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Visa and Student residence permit

Information regarding the residence permit:

1. If you were unable to arrive in Germany on time or unable to attend courses in the first semester due to a delay in obtaining your visa, we highly recommend that you keep track of all documents related to this. It might be important at a later stage for the extension of your residence permit. This applies to flight tickets or appointments at the embassy as an example.

2. If you were enrolled at the University of Potsdam during the COVID pandemic: We recommend that you submit the PULS-Studienverlaufsbescheinigung ("Confirmation of periods of study"- this is a different document than your certificate of enrollment for the current semester) whilst applying for the extension of your stay. There, it is stated that certain semesters were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can download the Studienverlaufsbescheinigung via PULS ("My Documents").

Visa requirements

Citizens from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway & Switzerland

Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States.

Citizens from other states

Student Visa (National Visa, D)

You should make sure that you apply for a Student Visa (national visa)! You can receive this in a German embassy (or a Consulate General) in your country of residence. It may take several weeks for a student visa to be issued. We recommend that you find out early about the necessary application materials from the embassy or online sources and that you apply for the student visa in a timely manner.

  • Stay with a maximum of 12 month
    The national visa can be issued for a longer period, with a maximum validity of 12 months (Long-Stay Visa, D-Visa). If you do not intend to study in Germany for more than one year (e.g., academic exchange program), you should apply for this kind of national visa. If your visa covers the entire duration of your stay, you do not need to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany.
  • Stay for longer than 12 month
    If you know in advance that you want to stay in Germany for longer than one year, please apply for the regular national visa.  Once you have started your studies, please apply for an appointment for the issuance of a residence permit for study purposes at the Immigration Office responsible for your place of residence three months before your visa expires.

Student applicants who have not yet been admitted to a German university or have not yet received their admission letter can apply for a Student Applicant Visa. It is valid for three months and can be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of studying once you have been admitted to a higher education institution.

DAAD fellows apply for their visa with their DAAD letter of award and do not need to wait for admission letter by the university.

Student Residence Permit

The duration of the student residence permit depends on the duration of your studies and the fulfillment of other conditions (e.g., secured means of support). The application must be submitted in person at the Immigration Office. The residence permit may take up to 4 weeks to be issued as an electronic card (“elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel - eAT”) and costs 100 Euro, expect scholarship holders of German fellowship provider.  You will need the following materials:

  • application form
  • your passport
  • a current biometric passport photo
  • your registration confirmation from the local Immigration office
  • your rental agreement or other proof of housing
  • Bestätigung des Hauseigentümers (Proof of accommodation) - for the Immigration Office Potsdam
  • your notification of admission or your certificate of enrollment
  • proof of health insurance
  • proof of sufficient funds


Any residence permit is only valid for a specific time period and can be extended at the Immigration Office. Please note that you must apply for an extension of your residence permit before its expiration.

If you have questions or problems please contact the International Office for an individual consultation.

Proof of sufficient funds

Proof of sufficient financial means to secure your livelihood in Germany.

The benchmark is the maximum funding rate (BAFöG) of 934 euros per month. A certificate of your account or savings account with current account balance is not sufficient. Proof of funding is considered to be:

Blocked account
At least 11,208 euros per year at a German financial institution (e.g. Coracle, Fintiba or Expatrio. The account may only allow the withdrawal of a certain amount per month.

From German public funds, a funding organisation recognised in Germany or from public funds of the country of origin, if the Federal Foreign Office or a German organisation providing scholarships has taken over the placement at the German university.

Income from one's own gainful employment
can also be used to contribute to the financing.

Statement of your parents' income and financial circumstances.
The certificates are submitted in the original and in German (certified translation). In addition, a written statement and a copy of your parents' identification may be required. Herewith your parents commit themselves to provide you with the necessary money. The decision as to which funding options are accepted is always case-by-case.

Formal declaration of commitment from relatives or acquaintances permanently living in Germany,
who will pay the costs for you. These persons must prove to the Immigration Office that they can meet their obligation.

Applying for an appointment at the Immigration Office

Immigration Office Potsdam

Immigration Office of the State of Berlin