Receiving a visa may be a long and tedious process. German authorities want to be sure that you are able to sustain yourself financially during your studies (currently you will be requested to show 700 Euro per month), and that you are willing to return home after your studies are completed. In any case, be sure to start the visa application process well before you travel to Germany. Two months duration for the issuing of a visa are pretty average. So be sure to start the process as early as possible, and ensure that your documents are valid and credible.
Modalities of visa application and protocols are subject to changes and guidelines are frequently modified. Please contact the German Embassy, which is located nearest to your residence. A list of addresses and internet sites is available via the Auswärtige Amt (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) of Germany.
Please do not enter Germany with a tourist visa if you intend to study here because it cannot be transformed into a visa for study purposes. You would have to return to your home country to apply for a new visa at the embassy there, which would take too much time and cost a lot of money. You might even miss the start of the semester.
In order to study in Germany you need a valid visa for "Studienzwecke" (purpose of studies) resp. for "Studienbewerber" (prospective student). At the German embassy in your home country you can apply for:
- a visa for "Studienzwecke" (purpose of studies) if you already have a "Zulassungsbescheid" (letter of admission) or "Bewerberbestätigung" (confirmation of application) or a "Zulassung" (admission);
- a visa for "Studienbewerber" (study applicant visa) if you have the "Bewerberbestätigung" (confirmation of application), which is valid for 3 months and can be converted into a full visa for study purposes after you have been admitted to a higher education institution.
If you arrive at Frankfurt Main Airport there are several ways of getting to Giessen: you can travel by train (From 13,50 to 25 Euros, depending on the train you take) or by taxi (about 55 Euros). Giessen is situated approximately 70 km north of Frankfurt / Frankfurt Main Airport.
If you decide to take a taxi to Giessen, you can order this service in advance via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure that you receive a notice of confirmation.
Please inform your tutors of your time of arrival at Giessen rail station if you wish to be picked up there. The tutors can then, among other services, help you get to your accommodation.
If you reserved a room at a student hostel, you will need to sign the rental agreement in:
Telefon 0641 40008-0
Telefax 0641 40008-109
Please bring with you following:
- Letter of admission or certificate of enrollment
- Cash with which to pay the deposit
If you intend to live in Germany, you need to take out a local health insurance policy. If you are from the European Union and already possess an EU-Health Chip Card, you are sufficiently insured already. If it is not the case, you have two options. You can acquire an insurance plan from a public health insurance or from a private health insurance company. We advise you to choose a public insurance company, since all of these are recognized by the immigration authorities. However, if you are older than 30 years, a private health insurance policy can be a less expensive option.
Public Medical insurance companies:
Techniker Krankenkasse, Liebigstraße 14, 35390 Gießen (Mon-Wed, Fri 8.00-16.00, Thurs 8.00-17.00)
Barmer GEK, Bahnhofstraße 82-86, 35390 Gießen (Mon- Wed 8.00-17.00, Thurs, 18.00, Fri 16.00)
AOK, Gartenstraße 10, 35390 Gießen (Mon- Wed, Fri 8.30-16.30, Thurs 8.30-18.00, Sat 9.00-13.00)
More information about health insurance and medical care you can read here
Registration to Giessen city office (Stadtbüro)
In Germany it is required that you inform the local authorities within one week of moving to a new address. This means that, once you have moved into your new accommodation and signed the rental agreement, you will have to register to the
Stadtbüro Gießen (Giessen city office): Berliner Platz 1, 35390, Giessen
For registration you need following documents:
- Rental agreement
The registration ar the city officeis necessary in order to apply for a residence permit.
The enrollment process takes place at Mrs. Smolka's office in the International Office within the enrolment period. Please bring with you following documents:
- Letter of admission
- Proof of payment of administrative fees
- Health insurance certificate
- Passport photo
Frau Katarzyna Smolka Goethestr. 58, room 9 35390 Gießen Office Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 10.00 - 12.00
Once the enrollment has been made you will provided with a temporary student ID card. Your permanent student ID card You will receive within 3-4 days along with a letter containing your PIN codes. You can pick up your ID card at the Studierendensekretariat (Student office). Please remember that the PIN letter is an important document, as it contains all of the passwords that you need to register for classes and exams. In case of loss, please contact the Hochschulrechenzentrum (university information services).
Monday-Thursday: 8.30-11.30 & 13.30-16.00
Each semester every student must pay the administrative fees within a specific time period – a procedure known as re-registration (Rückmeldung). Failure to pay the fees within the given period will result in automatic exmatriculation.
Winter semester: 15.January-28.February
Summer semester: 15.June-31.July
Most foreign students – except nationals of EU and EEA countries – must, after arriving in Giessen and having registered to Giessen city office, go to the foreigners authorityto apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying.
Please take the following documents with you to the foreigners authority:
- Confirmation of registration issued by Giessen city office
- Proof that you have a health insurance
- Certificate of enrollment at the university (Studienbescheinigung)
- Proof of sufficient financial resources
- Valid passport
- Biometric passport photo
- Money to pay the residence permit fee (please ask the foreigners authority in advance how much the rates are)
- Rental agreement
The residence permit is initially valid for two years and can be extended when it expires. The extension is subject to proper progress being made in your studies and must be applied for in good time before it expires.
The Giessen city office and the foreigners authority are located in the same building:
Ausländerbehörde der Stadt Gießen Berliner Platz 1, 35390 Gießen Opening hours of foreigners authority: Monday and Wednesday: 8.00-12.00 Thursday: 14.00-17.00 Tel: 0641 306-1321
More information about visa issues you will find here
You can open a bank account as soon as you have registered at the city office.
You will require the following to open a bank account:
- Certificate of registration by the city office
- Deutsche Bank: Marktplatz 4, 35390 Gießen
- Sparkasse Gießen, Johannesstraße 3, 35390 Gießen
- Volksbank Gießen, Goethestraße 7, 35390 Gießen
Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9.00-16.00
Please note: Several banks do not accept travelers' cheques.
More information you can find here.
Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU)
Homepage of the University
International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt)
Department for International Students (Internationale Studierende, Studienberatung)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
GOPA Worldwide Consultants
The City of Giessen
Town magazine for events and advertisements: "Giessener Express"
Visa / Federal Foreign Office
Information about Germany
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)