“Study Application Visa” and “Student Visa”
Non-EU citizens need a visa to study in Germany. There are, however, a few exceptions, for example for citizens from Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zeeland, and the U.S.A.
In most cases a so-called Study Application Visa is initially issued, which is valid for three months. This is always issued in the case that there is not yet an acceptance from an institution of higher education or from a “Studienkolleg“. The visa should be applied for in a timely manner from the German Embassy or a German Consulate in your home country.
After acceptance into an institution of higher education, the Study Application Visa is converted into a Student Visa. Please do not apply for a Tourist Visa, as this cannot be converted into a Student Visa.
A Student Visa is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. The requirement for renewal is the continuing right to study at an institution of higher education or at a Studienkolleg. Furthermore, you need proof of health insurance, and that you can financially support yourself throughout your studies.