Apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying

You can obtain a residence permit if you meet certain requirements for this

You can obtain a residence permit for the purpose of studying if you want to study in Germany and are admitted to a state-recognized university or a comparable educational institution in Germany. The course must be a full-time course of study.

The purpose of the study also includes preparatory measures for studies. Preparatory measures for studies are:

  • attendance of a preparatory language course if admission to the programme has already been granted and admission is linked to attending a preparatory course, and
  • attending a Studienkolleg or a comparable institution, if a place is safely available.

The residence permit for the purpose of studying is a temporary residence permit. It is granted for a minimum of one year and usually for a maximum of two years or for the duration of the study if the study lasts less than two years.

When participating in a Union or multilateral programme with mobility measures (e.B. ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union) or if the foreigner is subject to an agreement between two or more higher education institutions, the residence permit is issued for at least two years or for the duration of the study if the study lasts less than two years.

With your residence permit for the purpose of studying, you may work for up to 120 days or 240 half days a year or be a student part-time job. In the case of preparatory measures in the first year, you are not allowed to work, except during the holiday season

  • Valid passport
  • Current biometric photo
  • Visa, if required
  • Proof of subsistence (e.B. scholarship certificate, declaration of commitment, blocked account at a bank, proof of the income of the parents or similar)
  • lease
  • Proof of your health insurance
  • Letter of admission from the educational institute
  • If necessary, proof of the required language skills, e.B. by suitable language certificates such as language tests of the ALTE-certified examination providers Goethe-Institut, telc GmbH, ÖSD, TestDAF, but also DSH, DSD, TOEFL, IELTS
  • When participating in preparatory measures: Proof of admission to the Studienkolleg or to a preparatory language course
  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from your immigration office, if necessary they are also offered online
  • Online procedure possible in isolated cases
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: yes


  • You have a recognised and valid passport or passport substitute and - if required for entry - a sappropriated visa.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You are admitted to a state-recognised university or educational institution in Germany.
  • Your livelihood is secured for the duration of your studies.
  • Depending on the study requirements of your degree programme, you may have to prove to the Foreigners' Registration Office any language skills required for your studies (usually at least at level B2). No proof of language skills must be provided if these have already been checked by the host university as part of the admission decision or are to be acquired as part of a preparatory language course

§ 16b Abs. 1 AufenthG

Related Links

  • § 16b Abs. 1 AufenthaltsG

The residence permit must be applied for at the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence. The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the foreigners' registration office and concerns, it may be possible to apply via the Internet. Find out whether your immigration office offers the electronic application for a residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be accepted and your proofs will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment). Your fingerprints will be taken for the production of an electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • In the event of an electronic application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you upon receipt of your online application in order to make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your proofs will be checked (bring them to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the electronic residence permit (eAT card).
  • If your application is granted, the Foreigners' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT card to be produced.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the eAT card at the Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • The eAT card must always be collected in person.
  • Fees apply for issuing the residence permit. The timing and form of payment vary depending on the authority.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport
Unit 64 (Aliens and Asylum Law)

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