Residence Permit (Aufenthaltstitel)

Residence Permit for University Students

Students are initially granted a three month visa from the German embassy if they intend on studying in Germany. After their arrival to the country, they are expected to contact the Alien Authority (Ausländeramt) in their city of residence.

A residence permit for the purpose of studying is granted once the student arrives in Germany. It can also be granted on the basis of a student’s willingness to attend a language course in Germany, without the intention of studying here after the completion of the language course.
In order to obtain a residence permit, the student is expected to visit the Alien Registration Authority or Ausländeramt and present the necessary documents, which are as follows:

  • Residence Permit Application Form
  • National Passport
  • City registration (Anmeldung)
  • Acceptance letter from the university
  • Enrolment certificate from the university (Studienbescheinigung)
  • Proof of funding (confirmation of your blocked account)
  • Study progress certificate (not applicable if you are applying for residence permit for the first time)
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Passport photos

The study progress certificate can be obtained from the Student Services Office at your university. It is only required if you are not applying for a residence permit in Germany for the first time. The city registration, known as Anmeldung in Deutsche, can be obtained from the Town Hall (Rathaus) in your city of residence in Germany. For more information on how to obtain the city registration (Anmeldung), please click here.

The validity of the residence permit ranges from one year to two years. After expiry, it can further be extended by at least one year and up to a maximum of two years if the purpose of residence has not been fulfilled and is still underway. However, it is important that the student shows that he is making progress along the study pathway. The residence permit can be revoked if no academic progress is made on the student’s behalf.

After the completion of their studies, foreign students can have their residence permit extended up to a period of 18 months for the purpose of looking for a gainful employment in Germany. The job should be appropriate and relevant to the graduate’s qualifications in order for the individual to receive the residence permit for the purpose of gainful employment (Section 18 Residence Act). More information on residence permit based on gainful employment in Germany after graduation is available here.

Residence Permit for Preparatory/ Language Course Students

Students coming to Germany for the purpose of attending a language course, even without the intention of studying in Germany, can also apply for a residence permit. If the three month visa granted to these students initially is not sufficient, these students can apply for a residence permit. The prerequisites for obtaining the residence permit in this case are similar to applying for a visa for the purpose of studying in Germany. These prerequisites can be found here . However, it should be kept in mind that students coming to Germany on an applicant visa cannot stay for more than nine months, i.e. three months visa and a maximum six months residence permit. Furthermore, the validity of the residence permit for preparatory pre-study courses (Studienkolleg) cannot exceed a period of two years, and can be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of studying after successful admission into a university. The requirements for applying for a study visa can be found here.

It should be kept in mind that the procedure for a residence permit can take from 4 to 6 weeks, and hence it is advisable that you apply for it as soon as you arrive. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that the officials at the Alien Registration Authority only speak Deutsch; so if you do not have a good understanding of the language, it is advisable to take someone who is a fluent speaker of Deutsche along with you.

Once your residence permit is ready, you are notified through mail and are advised to collect it from the Ausländeramt. Before collecting the residence permit, the student is asked to make the necessary payment for it. There are two ways to make the payment: through bank transfer or through cash. For the student’s convenience, it is recommended to pay through cash as it simplifies and shortens the procedure. The cost of obtaining a residence permit depends on how long you have been granted the residence permit for.

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