Steps towards Studying in Germany                         

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A non-EU citizen taking a course in preparation for studying in Germany generally needs a visa. The following are extracts from the relevant regulations of the Regional Administration Office (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) in Munich:

A visa is not necessary for citizens of EU, EFTA, USA, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Israel or New Zealand. However, they need to apply at the applicable Foreign Immigrants Office (Ausländerbehörde) for a Residence Permit for Studying (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung zu Studienzwecken) within 3 months of entering Germany.

All others need to apply for either a Visa for the Purpose of Study (Visum zu Studienzwecken) or a Student Applicants Visa (Studienbewerbervisum) from a German embassy or consulate in their home country. A tourist visa can not later be converted into a student visa.

Nor can a visa for learning German (Visum zum Zweck des Deutschlernens), granted for a stay of up to 12 months to take a language course, generally be changed to extend the duration of stay in order to study.

Your visa application should describe the intentions of your stay in detail, for example, "language course followed by study at the Technical University". In addition, two important documents should be included:

  - Evidence of the reason for residence, namely a confirmation of either your application to a language course having at least 24 lessons per week, or one from your university.

  - Evidence of adequate finances for the stay. The German authorities assume that at least 583 Euros per month will be needed.

- This can be confirmed either by

  - an attestation from a German embassy or consulate as to the financial status of your parents, or

  - proof of a savings account at a bank in Germany containing 7000 Euros.

  - a guarantee from a bank in Germany to this amount, or

  - proof of a stipendium.

It takes 4 to 8 weeks to process a visa application.


Obtaining a visa


All this sounds complicated. However, those wishing to learn German and study here can turn to ASL. This language school not only offers reasonably-priced language courses (see the link for Courses on the left), but can also help those wishing to study in Germany.

Applicants living abroad can also get in touch with ASL and, after booking a course, will receive written confirmation which they can show to the embassy or consulate in their own country. The Intensive and Exam courses with which ASL prepares you for the Studienkolleg and DSH entrance exams are designed to fulfill the requirements set by the embassies and consulates. With a confirmation from ASL, and if all other requirements mentioned above are in order, an applicant will generally have no difficulty getting a visa.

A considerable number of the young people now studying in Munich and elsewhere in Bavaria have made use of this offer, entering Germany using a course confirmation from ASL and successfully qualifying for university.