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Many young people living outside of Europe decide themselves for a study in Germany.

There are many preparations necessary after this decision, which you have to meet as an international student. This contribution is made for you, but it is not complete.

According German rights, a foreign student is able to study and get the permission for staying, as it is sentenced in §16 “Aufenthaltsgesetz” of the emigration resolution. Because the law is talking only of the ability, the authority for foreigners has the possibility to decide. Therefore you do not have a legal demand for getting the permission for staying but only a demand for getting a fair examination and judgement for every occasion.

It is very important for you to work together because of a decision.

In the following text, I will mention some points to help you.

Visa for Students

Every international student needs a visa for entry except the citizens of Europe or the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Honduras, Island, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Lichtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marina, Switzerland and the USA. Citizens of these states are privileged to study in Germany. You can apply the paper for staying at the Immigration Office after entering in the country within three months.

All the other international students need a visa for entering in the country – therefore it is very important.

There is a particular order of visa according the valid right. There is a special separation of types of visa. A visa for tourists cannot be changed into a visa to study. The visa for tourists is only for a short visit.

The special visa for studying you must order at the German office for foreigners in your home country. Already there you must give up your documents, reports and everything you need to study in Germany.

  1. Approval Notification for a University or a Comparable Educational Institution

The most important regulation for getting a visa is the approval notification of the university. The application for the permission can cause several problems.

The result of your examination must be comparable with the German standards. In this case, you receive a Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), which is the basic prerequisite for the approval notification. The HZB can provide general access to all courses of studies or it can provide subject related access according to your qualifications.

Possibly, there is no direct way to study at a German university, if you do not have the correct permissions. In that case, there is an opportunity to join a German course for studying at the College “Studienkolleg”. This means you take part at the preparation course and finish the lessons by taking an examination. Reaching this test, you directly have the entrance examination for your abilities.

Educational institutes (Studienkolleg) work out this preparation course, which prepares the foreign students for the culture of universal life. Qualified teachers who are trained to teach foreign students preparing them to visit German universities teach these special preparation courses.

For instance there are so called M courses for medical, biological and pharmaceutical subjects or you can find T courses for mathematical, natural scientific or technical subjects.

The permission to join a Studienkolleg depends on the test which tells them about the knowledge of your German language. The permission to visit a Studienkolleg/College is already enough for a visa application. The costs for the courses that have to be paid each semester are between Euro 50 to 200. After abolishing these courses in North Rhine-Westphalia, the preparation for studies is much more expensive because either you must find a commercial institute offering the preparation for the exam, or, you do the preparation yourself.

The registration for the exam you must put to the “Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf, Dezernat 48, Postfach 300865, 40408 Düsseldorf.

We will explain some special features reaching the allowance for the study at a university for foreign students by an example of Iran.

  • 1st Example: A student applicant from Iran has got his final exam after visiting the secondary Highschool for three years and reaching the qualification about the Pre-University Course (after 2011). The Secondary High he has finished getting the necessary 15 Points. The student applicant has not taken part at any studies in Iran.

    For this student it is possible to join a German Course for studies (Studienkolleg) but it is combined to his subjects and depends on the education he has had so far.

  • 2nd Example: A student applicant has got his final exam after visiting the Secondary Highschool for three years and has reached the qualification about the Pre-University-Course (after 2011). She has finished getting 18 points. This is a better result than the student in example 1st and she has been studying successfully for one year in Iran.

    This student can directly take up studies about her special subject at a German University.

  • 3rd Example: A student applicant has got a final exam after visiting the Secondary Highschool for four years and she has taken part successfully at the university entrance examination. She has not taken up any studies in her homecountry yet.

    The permission to join the German course at Studienkolleg is as possible as at the 1st example.

  • 4th Example: The student applicant has reached the final grades at the secondary Highschool after four years and he has absolved the university entrance examination successfully. He studies in his homeland for one year.

    This student has got the qualification to go to a German university and study his subjects.

As you can see according to the examples there are several possibilities which are difficult to realize for foreign students.

Remember to ask for a university place in time. If you want to start a study in the winter semester you have to apply for it up to the fifteenth of July, for a university place in summer there is the normal application possible up to the fifteenth of January.

Of course there are some extra requirements possible for special cases. You should ask for information and advice if you need a special exam or better grades or meet the deadline.

Besides getting a place at a German University or a comparable educational institution there are other requirements necessary to get a visa.

  1. The Proof of Finances

You have to make sure that you are able to finance your study in Germany by showing a proof of finances.

The § 5 Aufenthaltsgesetz is the law for making sure you are able to finance your stay. The complete expenses for life must be financed in Germany for the first year. 7.908 Euro income is demanded at the moment, that is almost 659 Euro monthly. The proof of finances might even be higher, therefore inform yourself at the German Embassy in your country.

Normally these variations are possible:

  1. There is a sufficient proof of income and fortune of your parents
  2. A person living in Germany is obliged to finance the cost for you giving the evidence to the Foreigner`s office. (§ 68 Aufenthaltsgesetz)
  3. You pay a financial security charge to an account.
  4. You have got a grant from an accepted institution.
  5. You get a sponsorship from the German Educational Sponsoring Law (BAFöG)

The German Embassy in Teheran only accepts:

1st: You need evidence about your balance of 7.908 Euro on your own name in Iran. This account of money you have to take with you and put it on a freeze account arriving in Germany.

2nd: An explanation about the obligation of a German person who is giving the financial evidence to pay for a person.

3rd: The proof of the grant about the education and research given by German or European public funds or by the Iranian Department.

Also at these points you need a careful planning . You should make sure about the financial fees for the semester and the charges. They can be about 50-80 Euro for the administration. The students have got the ability to buy a ticket for the semester but the conditions can be different for each university. Please first ask for information.

  1. Health Insurance

In Germany everybody needs a health insurance before the entrance to university.

Already in your home country you have got to take out an insurance which is accepted in Germany. Please ask for some information about insurances in your home country. Normally they can inform you about arrangements between Germany and your country. Further information you can get at the German Students`place, if you want to change to a German health insurance.

But be careful about private health insurances. The change of a private health insurance to a common health insurance is normally not possible.

  1. Passport

A legal passport is a very important document to get a visa.

  1. The Knowledge of German Language

Because the studies in Germany are mostly taught in German the students need a good knowledge of the language.

Before entering university the foreign students must have visited and finished a language course. There are two different exams possible. That is the DSH, the German test for foreign students to join university and the TestDaF, the Test German as a foreign language. The DSH exam you can only take in Germany. Many universities offer these exams.

TestDaF you can take at the Goethe Institutions which is offered in about 90 countries all over the world. Of course both exams do cost a fee.

There is a chance to get a visa for taking part at a language course. You need the confirmation of a German language school where you take part at least 20 lessons a week.

Please take care! This visa for taking part at a language course but it is not changeable for the purpose to study somewhere else. If you take part at the language course to prepare for studies you have to make this clear. You ask then for a visa for the purpose of a study.

  1. Visa for a Study Application

If you haven`t got an entrance exam for a German University yet, you can apply a visa for study application. This is possible when you have the correct devices necessary for the study at a university or College. The visa for a study application is normally issued for three months and it is expired after six months. Certainly it is important you will get a permission to take up studies at a German university or a study institution meanwhile. The proof of a preparing German language course is also permissible.

At the end I would like to appeal to you to inform yourself in time at the German Embassy in your home country or at the German Konsul telling you about all the conditions needed because every country does have their own conditions.

The office Wanaki and its lawyers are helpful to inform about the regulations you need and answer all your questions.