When you received your admission for studying, you can apply for a visa (residence permit in form of a visa) at the German embassy or the German consulate. Students from the EU and some other countries do not need a visa.

Whether you need a visa or not, can be seen in this list. Please remember to apply for the visa on time (at least two months before entering the country).

Independently from whether you need a visa or not, all foreign students who are staying for a longer period in Germany need a residence permit. You can apply for this right after your arrival in Bochum.

    * Information of the Foreign Ministry:
    * List of the German Foreign Departments:

Which visa is the right one?

There are two kinds of visa which are suitable for students:

    * a university applicants visa ("Studienbewerbervisum") is only valid for three months. It is thought to gather information in Germany about the course of studies or to gain missing prerequisites for an application. This visa can be changed into a "residence permit for studying" after a successful admission.

    * the students visa ("Studentenvisum") is given to foreign students who already have an admission for a German college or sixth-form college. It can be changed into a "residence permit for studying" as well.

A language course visa ("Sprachkursvisum") only makes sense if you only want to attend a language course and not take up studies afterwards. It is only valid for the period of the language course and can not be changed into a students visa. If you want to study in Germany after a language course, you should apply for a university applicants visa right from the beginning.

Please do not enter Germany with a tourist or visitors visa! These visa cannot be changed into a residence permit for studying. You would have to travel back to your home country to apply for a different visa.

Further information about visa:

Required documents

You will need the following documents to apply for a visa for studying. As a precaution, please check whether you need any further documents.

    * a valid passport
    * passport photographs
    * a college admission permit which is acknowledged in Germany
    * certificates of earlier studies
    * financing proof for one year
    * registration papers of a college or sixth-form college ("Studienkolleg")

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