Visa for Exchange Students

Make sure to find out in time if you need a visa for Germany. Possibly you will need a student visa ("Studienvisum"), since you cannot study in Germany with a tourist visa.

Citizens of the following countries currently do NOT need a visa to enter Germany:

  • all EU countries
  • all EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland)
  • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

Citizens of these countries will receive a residence permit when registering with the Alien Registration Office ("Bürgeramt").

Detailed information on legal residency can be found under employment laws ("Arbeitsmöglichkeiten ausländischer Studierender"), or on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) or the German Missions Abroad (Embassies, Consulates).

Important: Proof of Financial Resources

If you need to apply for a visa, you are required to prove to the Alien Registration Office that you can finance your living expenses during your stay in Germany without having to resort to public funds like social aid.

Therefore, you have to prove that you can finance your stay with your own means. This will require

  • a private confirmation that you can finance your stay (for example a bank affidavit, or an affidavit supplied by your family), OR
  • a Letter of Financial Support stating the amount of your scholarship, if you receive one, OR
  • a statement, in German, of your status as an exchange student (e.g. ERASMUS), issued e.g. by your home university.