Visa and Entry Regulations

Entry Regulations / Visa

Foreign students wishing to enter the Federal Republic of Germany require a residence permit visa for study purposes / student visa (Aufenthaltserlaubnis in der Form des Sichtvermerks) issued by a diplomatic representation of the Federal Republic of Germany (embassy or consulate) in the student's country of origin and entered into the passport.

This regulation does not apply to study applicants and students from EU countries and from countries with which Germany has agreed on different regulations (e.g. Australia, Iceland, Israel, Canada, Switzerland, United States).

You are urgently warned against entering the country as a tourist. A tourist visa cannot be retrospectively converted into a visa or residence permit for educational purposes.

On the web site of The Federal Foreign Office you find all essential information on german entry regulations.

Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)

Your visa application has to be directed to the German embassy or consulate in your country.

List of adresses of the German missions abroad

Residence Regulations

After having entered Germany you will need a residence permit. Within a week of your arrival you have to report to the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the town in which you are living, where you will apply for a residence permit. To do so, you will need your passport, your health insurance certificate, your lease, a confirmation of enrolment and proof that your stay in Germany is financially covered.

Approximately two weeks after registration at the Residents´Registration Office your data will be provided to the Aliens´ Registrations Authority (Ausländerbehörde), so then you can apply for the residence permit. You can find a list of the adequate authorities in the four locations of the Fachhochschule Südwestfalen on the right side. The International Office will help exchange students with this.

Work permit

Your residence permit allows you to work for a certain amount of time. You will find the number of days in your residence permit, usually these are 120 full days per year.