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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 want to study in Germany and have been admitted to a state-recognized university or a comparable educational institution in Germany. The course must be full-time.

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

  • attending a preparatory language course if you have already been admitted to the programme and admission is linked to attending a preparatory course and
  • attending a preparatory college or a comparable institution if a place is certainly available.

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

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

Process flow

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

Competent authority

The immigration authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence.


  • You have a recognised and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute) and – if this was required for entry – an appropriate visa.
  • You have been admitted to a state-recognized university or a recognized educational institution in Germany.
  • It is a full-time course.
  • Your livelihood is secured for the duration of your studies.
  • Depending on the study requirements of your degree programme, you may have to prove that you have language skills required for your studies (usually at least at level B2) to the Foreigners' Registration Office. Proof of language skills is not required if they 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 preparatory language course.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • Their stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Which documents are required?

  • Recognized and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
  • Up-to-date biometric photo in the passport (45 x 35 mm)
  • Visa, if required for entry
  • Proof of securing a livelihood (e.g. equity, scholarship certificate, declaration of commitment, blocked account at a bank, proof of parents' income or similar)
  • Lease
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Letter of admission from the educational institute
  • If applicable, proof of the required language skills, for example through suitable language certificates such as language tests from 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 preparatory college or to a preparatory language course

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more evidence.

What are the fees?

Issuance of residence permit: EUR 100.00


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

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • The residence permit should be applied for at least eight weeks before the expiry of your visa or residence permit, which is still valid.
  • Deadline for appeal: 1 month

Processing duration

Duration (with fixed time): approx. 8

Note for further information on processing time:

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

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

Applications / forms

  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from your immigration office, if necessary they are also offered online
  • Online procedures possible in isolated cases
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: yes


An action against negative decisions of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.

What else should I know?

  • The procedure is usually carried out in German. If you have insufficient knowledge of German, it is advisable to speak with a person who can act as a translator.
  • All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and belief so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be detrimental to the persons concerned. In the event of an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Foreigners' Registration Office may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment 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" from 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 Sport

Section 64 (Law on Foreigners and Asylum)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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