Entry and Residence Regulations

EU citizen, citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

Do not needa visa to enter or a resident permit to stay in Germany. Citizen of Switzerland need to apply for a Residence Card (Switzerland) at the Foreigners’ Registration Office.

Important Notice regarding the residence permit

Brexit Information for British Citizens

Citizen of Andorra, Australia, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, the USA, the UK

May enter the country without a visa and will then need to apply for a Student Residence Permit within the first 90 days of your stay in Germany.

Citizen from other Countries

You will need a Student Visa (National Visa, D) in order to enter Germany for the purpose of study.

A tourist visa (or “Schengen Visa”) does not permit study in Germany. It will expire after a maximum of three months and you will need to leave the country.

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 with a validity of 90 days. After your arrival in Germany, we recommend that you apply for your residence permit as quickly as possible, as it can take up to 6 weeks for the permit to be issued.

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 Foreigners’ Registration Office. The residence permit may take up to 4 weeks to be issued as an electronic card (“elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel - eAT”) and costs 110 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 resident registration office
  • your lease
  • Bestätigung des Hauseigentümers (Proof of accommodation) - for the Foreigners' Registration 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 Foreigners' Registration 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

To show that your support is secured for the duration of your stay in Germany. The financing options that will be accepted are determined on a case-by-case basis.

The maximum amount of financial aid according to BAföG of 861 euros per month serves as the measure for students. Please note that it is generally not sufficient to provide a statement of your current balance from a checking or savings account. The following are accepted proofs of sufficient fund:

Blocked bank account
Of at least 10,332 euros per year paid into a blocked bank account ("Sperrkonto") at a German bank (e.g., CoracleFintiba or Expatrio). The account may only permit the withdrawal of a certain amount per month.

Please Note: Some international students are currently experiencing disbursement difficulties with the blocked account provider BAM! For more information, please check the following website.

Explanation of your parents’ financial situation (income and assets)
Confirmation must be provided in the original and in German (as a certified translation). In addition, you might have to provide a written declaration by your parents and a copy of their identification cards. In this declaration your parents commit to providing you with the necessary financial means.

A formal declaration of a relative or friend who permanently live in Germany,
and who declares to the Foreigners’ Registration Office his/her commitment to cover your costs ("Verpflichtungserklärung"). These persons must prove that they are able to keep their commitment.

paid from public German funds or stipends provided by a funding organization that is recognized in Germany or stipends from public funds of the country of origin, if the Foreign Office or a German funding organization has arranged the placement at a German university.

Income from personal employment
may also be included as contribution to your financial means.