| Visas and Residency
STUDENT VISA/RESIDENCE PERMIT
Citizens of the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland as well as EU citizens do not need to obtain a visa before departure but may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
Find more information here.
After your arrival in Germany, you will have to register with the Foreigners' Registration Authority (Auslaenderbehoerde). For your registration, be sure to bring the following documents with you to Germany:
• Visa (If applicable – not U.S. students)
• One passport photo
• Letter of acceptance from your host university
• Proof of sufficient financial resources (letter of admission from your host university should suffice)
However, if requested, this proof can be provided by non-EU citizens in two ways:
1. The student's parents submit a financial guarantee letter at the German Embassy/German Consulate closest to their place of residence. This letter will be forwarded to the Foreigners offices in Germany
2. Students open a blocked bank account after their arrival in Germany, which they deposit the required amount (a minimum savings deposit of EUR 7,716, from which you are able to debit only EUR 643 per month). Students on scholarship who can take their scholarship money with them only need to show proof of the scholarship amount they receive to make sure it covers the minimum financial means required.
You will then receive your residence permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) and your residents' registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung). Please take care of these documents as you will need them occasionally, e.g. when opening a bank account or applying for a reader's card in the public library.
Employment: Students looking for paid part-time employment in Germany must observe the German labor law regulations for international students. Most students from non-EU countries are not allowed to work for more than 90 full days or 180 half days per year parallel to their studies. All German and international students who earn more than EUR 400 per month are liable to pay contributions to the German pension fund. These contributions are transferable within the EU, students from non-EU countries can apply for a refund.
For most employment you will need a German tax card which can be obtained from the Citizen's Bureau (Buergerbuero). Do not forget your passport and visa or residence permit.
EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
2300 M Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Phone (202) 298-4000
Visa questions (202) 298-4224
Passport questions (202) 471-5529
Embassy of the United States Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
Germany is a member of the Schengen area. Students should review the important regulations that dictate travel and visas within the Schengen area.
This information provides guidelines about the visa process. Visa regulations often change, and procedures can vary by Consulate and/or Embassy. Students should verify the current visa application procedures with the appropriate Consulate or Embassy before initiating the process. While every effort is made to ensure these guidelines are updated and as accurate as possible, ISEP cannot guarantee that the visa information posted is the most current.