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Apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying

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

The purpose of residence of the studies also includes study-preparatory measures. Study-preparatory measures are

  • the attendance of a study-preparatory language course, if an admission to study has already been granted and the admission is bound to the attendance of a study-preparatory course and
  • the attendance of a Studienkolleg or a comparable institution, if a place is certainly available.

The residence permit for the purpose of studying is a temporary residence title.

With your residence permit for the purpose of studies, you are allowed to pursue employment for up to 120 days or 240 half days per year or a part-time student job. You are not allowed to work during study preparation measures in the first year, except during the vacation period.

Process flow

  • The residence permit must be applied for before your visa or visa-free residence period or your current residence permit expires.
  • Find out whether your Aliens' Registration Office allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
  • If the application can only be submitted in person, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office. In the case of online application, the Aliens' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to schedule an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents to the appointment, if possible in original).
  • If your application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the residence permit in the form of the electronic residence permit (eAT card). You will also be required to sign a document.
  • The Foreigners' Registration Office will order the production of the eAT card from the Bundesdruckerei. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card at the responsible office. As a rule, you must pick up the card in person.
  • If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.

Competent authority

The Foreigners' Registration Office responsible for the applicant's place of residence.


  • You have a recognized and valid identity document (for example, passport or passport substitute) and - if this was required for entry - an appropriate visa.
  • You have an admission to a state-recognized university or a recognized educational institution in Germany.
  • It is a full-time study program.
  • Your livelihood is secured for the duration of your studies.
  • Depending on the study requirements of your degree program, you may have to prove to the Aliens' Registration Office that you have the language skills required for your studies (usually at least level B2). No proof of language skills is required if these have already been tested by the receiving university as part of the admission decision or if they are to be acquired as part of a language course preparing for studies.
  • There is no expulsion interest against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Which documents are required?

  • Recognized and valid identity document (for example passport or passport substitute)
  • Recent biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Visa, as far as it was required for entry
  • Proof of livelihood (e.g. equity capital, scholarship certificate, letter of commitment, blocked account at a bank, proof of parents' income or similar)
  • Rental contract
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Letter of admission from the educational institution
  • If applicable, proof of the required language skills, for example by means of 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
  • In case of participation in study preparation measures: Proof of admission to the Studienkolleg or to a study-preparatory language course.

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Aliens' Registration Office may require less or further proof.

What are the fees?

Issuance of residence permit: EUR 100.00


Under certain conditions, a fee reduction or fee exemption may be considered.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The residence permit should be applied for no later than eight weeks before the expiry of your visa or residence permit that is still valid.
  • Deadline for appeal: 1 month

Processing duration

Duration (at fixed time): Approx. 8

Note for further information on the processing time:

The processing time for the issuance of a residence permit can vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the Bundesdruckerei to produce the electronic residence permit.

Applications / forms

  • Forms: You can obtain forms from your foreigners authority; these may also be available online.
  • Online procedure occasionally possible
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes


Negative decisions of the Foreigners' Registration Office may be appealed to the competent administrative court.

What else should I know?

  • The procedure is usually conducted in German. In case of insufficient knowledge of German, it is recommended to appear with a person who can act as a translator.
  • All information provided to the Aliens' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information may slow down the process and be detrimental to the individual. In a serious case, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Aliens Department may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, a prison sentence of up to three years, or expulsion from the Federal territory.
  • Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.

  • Portal of the Federal Government for Skilled Workers from Abroad
  • You can also get free advice on the topics of entry, residence and work from the "Hotline Working and Living in Germany" of the Federal Government's portal for skilled workers from abroad.
    Phone: 030 1815-1111
    Service hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports

Unit 64 (Immigration and Asylum Law)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)