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Preparations Before Arrival: Residence Permit

As soon as you have received the letter of admission you should start to prepare your life in Germany.

Visa and Residence Permit

  • Who needs a visa?

    Foreign students who wish to stay in Germany for longer than three months generally must obtain a stamp (visa) from the German embassy or consulate in their home country. Contact details can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

    - Exemption: Citizens of EU Member States, EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) or states that have entered a bilateral agreement with the German Federal Republic, e.g. Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, United States of America.

    Check the website of the Federal Foreign Office to find out whether or not you need a visa and to check on regulations for the entry and residence in Germany.

    Please note: A tourist visa (Schengen visa) cannot be converted into a visa for the purpose of studying.
  • When do you have to apply?

    Please apply for your visa as early as possible because it usually takes some time until your documents are processed.
  • Which documents do you need?

    • Letter of admission from Bielefeld University
    • Proof of sufficient financial resources

      You need to prove that you will have an amount of around 720€ per month at your disposal. You can use a confirmation of your bank or a document in which your parents declare to finance your life in Germany. If somebody who lives in Germany will finance your studies, this person must prove that he/she has the means to do so.
    • Evidence of the education in your home country (certificates)
    • Health insurance policy
    • Photos

You can apply for a residence permit as soon as you arrive in Bielefeld.


Do you have any questions?
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Download important documents, brochures and event programmes for degree-seeking students
-> here.


-> Click here to find the events for international students.