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What is the processing time for German student visa in 2020?

Posted on December 20, 2019
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Germnay Study Visa

Germany is one of the leading study abroad destinations. If you are a student thinking of going to Germany for higher studies, it is worth finding out about the processing time for German student visa in 2020.

According to the annual trends report Wissenschaft weltoffen kompakt 2019: Facts and Figures on the International Nature of Study and Research in Germany, the number of foreign students enrolled in German universities has gone up by 4.4% from 358,900 in 2017 to 374,580 in 2018.

Germany attracts many students from all over the world. High-quality of education, diversity in courses offered, and a good deal of focus on research opportunities are some of the reasons that make Germany so attractive to foreign students.

Studying abroad in Germany is also comparatively cheaper than at universities in other countries in Europe. Generally, many of the public universities in Germany do not charge any tuition fees from domestic as well as international students.

What are the globally ranked universities in Germany?

According to the QS World University Rankings 2020, Germany has the following universities in the list of Top 500 universities in the world –

Rank in 2020 Institution
55 Technische Universität München
63 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
66 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
120 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
124 KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
130 Freie Universität Berlin
138 Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
147 Technische Universität Berlin
169 Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
169 Universität Freiburg
179 Technische Universität Dresden
197 Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
227 Universität Hamburg
243 Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
260 Technische Universität Darmstadt
179 Universität Stuttgart
291 Universität Frankfurt am Main
308 Universität Köln
314 Universität Mannheim
319 Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
340 Universität Jena
340 Universität Ulm
347 Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
410 Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz
424 Universität Konstanz
432 Ruhr-Universität Bochum
462 Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
468 Universität des Saarlandes
478 Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Which visa will I need to study in Germany?

There are 3 visas that a foreign student can apply to for study purposes in Germany. These are –

German Language Course Visa
Student Applicant Visa or Visum Zur Studienbewerbung
Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken)


German Language Course Visa

Most of the applications for the German Language Course visa are processed within 3 months. In certain cases, it might take longer than that so applying well in advance is advisable.

This visa is for learning the German language while living in Germany. This visa is issued to foreigners for the purpose of completing an intensive language course that is between 3 to 12 months in duration.

Such an intensive language course in Germany must contain a minimum of 18 hours lessons in a week.

Do note that a language course visa might be extended to up to a maximum of 1 year in certain cases, provided, however, that the intension for attending the course is not to take up any further education in Germany.

If you wish to continue your studies further on the completion of your language course in Germany, you will have to apply for a Germany student visa. To apply for a Germany student visa, you will have to return to your home country and apply from there.

Student Applicant Visa or Visum Zur Studienbewerbung

Usually, a student applicant visa application takes from 6 to 12 weeks for processing. Make it a point to apply about 4 months prior to the start date of your course in Germany.

This is for those foreign-born students that –

  • Have applied for university courses, BUT
  • Not been officially admitted to the concerned university.

In many such cases, additional admission requirements have to be complied with – attending an interview or clearing an examination – for the enrollment to be confirmed.

Simply put, the student applicant visa is specifically for those international students that are required to be in Germany for appearing for acceptance exams for the university that they have applied to.

For a student applicant visa, you will have to apply at the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Validity of this visa is 3 months. An extension of 6 more months can be given. That is, you can live in Germany for a total of 9 months on a student applicant visa. If, by the end of the 9 months’ allotted duration, you have not secured admission to any institution, you will be required to leave Germany.

If, on the other hand, you are successful in gaining admission into a university in Germany, you will have to apply for a student visa instead. You do not have to exit Germany for being able to apply for your German student visa.

A student applicant visa lets you enter Germany for complying with the additional requirements pertaining to your intended course of study in Germany. As you cannot apply for a student visa in the absence of any formal evidence of admission in a university in Germany, you will have to go to Germany on a student applicant visa instead and complete the formalities.

Do keep in mind that once you are in Germany on a student applicant visa, you can apply for a Germany residence permit for studies without the requirement of having to return to your home country.

Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken)

Usually, a student applicant visa application takes from 6 to 12 weeks for processing. Do apply well in advance.

You will have to apply for a German student visa if you have already been accepted to a German university.

The German student visa is the standard visa for international students who have been formally admitted to a university in Germany and are ready to commence with their full-time studies in the country.

How can a German student visa get you German citizenship?

You can apply for a German settlement permit once you successfully complete your graduation studies in Germany and have also worked for 2 years in Germany. Do keep in mind that your employment in Germany must meet the academic qualification received by you from a higher education institution in Germany.

After graduation, you must have worked for a minimum of 2 years and have held either an EU Blue Card or a residence permit for work or have been self-employed.

With a German settlement permit, you can live, study, work in Germany permanently and also bring your family members to the country. After having spent 8 years in Germany on a settlement permit, you can apply for German citizenship.

Common German terms and their meaning in English –

Finanzierungsnachweis Proof of financial means
Sperrkonto Blocked account
Verpflichtungserklärung A letter of commitment by someone hosting you and they live in Germany
Bürgerbüro Residence registration offices
Studienkolleg Preparatory course
Feststellungsprüfung University qualification exam
Visum Zur Studienbewerbung Student applicant visa
Visum Zu Studienzwecken Student Visa
Meldebestätigung Address registration certificate
Einzugsbestätigun a residence confirmation letter
Zulassungsbescheid Confirmation of admission in studies
Einwohnermeldeamt Resident’s Registration Office
Meldebestätigung Confirmation on Registration
Ausländerbehörde Alien Registration Office
Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid Proof of conditional admission
Zulassungsbescheid Confirmation of admission in studies
Meldebescheinigung confirmation on registration (from Resident’s office)
Aufenthaltstitel Resident’s permit
Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels Application form for Residence Permit
Krankenversicherung German health insurance

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