For a visa application you need to submit the following documents to your nearest German consulate 2 to 3 months at the latest before you commence your studies:
- a Notification of Admission (when applying for a visa for the purpose of study, or Student Visa) or Acknowledgement of Application (for example, for the JLU Courses in German as a Foreign Language for Student Applicants, when applying for a Student Applicant's Visa)
- and documentary proof of your possession of sufficient funds to complete your course of study
Financial proof can take the form of the promise of a grant by a public institution, a blocked account of at least € 8,640 (€ 720 Euro x 12 months), or of a statement from a private bank. If you possess private funds, you must present a legally certified financial declaration. Forms for this latter purpose can be obtained from the Giessen International Registration Authority.
Do NOT try to enter Germany on a tourist visa if you intend to study here. It is not possible to convert a tourist visa into a student visa – you would have to travel back home again and apply for the correct type of visa at your German embassy or consulate. All that, of course, would cost you a lot of time and money, and you might very well arrive back too late to start your course of study properly.
Exceptions: citizens of the EU, the USA, and a few other countries are exempted from the obligation to possess an entry visa. Information on your particular status is available from the German embassy and consulates in your home country, and at Giessen's International Registration Authority.
For further information on student visas and on residence permits for Germany, click here.