What you should know about visas before you arrive in Germany

If you wish to study in Germany you are generally required to apply for a student visa with the relevant German representative office abroad before you arrive in Germany. This does not apply to citizens of non-EU and EEA states.

Click here for further general information on student visas and here for detailed information on visa regulations and a list of countries for which a visa is required.

The following documents are normally required when applying for a visa:

  • a valid passport
  • letter of acceptance from the German university
  • proof of adequate financial means
  • medical insurance

Details of the documents required can be found on the internet pages of the relevant German representative office in your home country.

The German representative office cannot issue a visa until it has received official permission from the relevant government authorities in Germany.

Nationals of the following states can apply for the necessary study visa after arrival in Germany. In this case the local immigration authorities in the area or town where you will be living is responsible for issuing the document.

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • USA
  • Andorra
  • Brazil
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Monaco
  • San Marino

Please note:

The visa must be issued for study purposes. A tourist visa or a so-called "Schengen Visa" is not sufficient. It is not possible to alter the type of visa after arrival in Germany.

Residency Permits

With the exception of nationals of EU and EFTA countries, all students, including those who do not need a visa, must apply for a residency permit if they plan to stay in Germany for longer than 3 months. This should be carried out through the local government authorities as soon as possible after arriving in Germany.

Local immigration offices
The following are the local government authorities responsible, depending on which HFU Campus you are studying at or where you are living:

Furtwangen (= Villingen-Schwenningen region)
Immigration Office (Ausländeramt)
Schwarzwald-Baarkreis County Offices (Landratsamt)
Am Hoptbühl 2
78048 VS-Villingen

Schwenningen (= Town of Villingen-Schwenningen)
Immigration Office (Ausländeramt)
Municipal Offices (Stadtverwaltung) Villingen-Schwenningen
Marktplatz 1
78054 VS-Schwenningen

Tuttlingen (Town)
Immigration Department (Ausländerwesen)
Municipal Offices (Stadtverwaltung) Tuttlingen
Rathausstr. 1
78532 Tuttlingen

Tuttlingen (Region)
Immigration Office (Ausländeramt)
County Offices (Landratsamt) Tuttlingen
Bahnhofstr. 100
78532 Tuttlingen

Regular appointments with the Immigration Office are organised by the International Center on the Furtwangen Campus at the beginning of each semester.

Group appointments with the local immigration authorities can also be organized on the Schwenningen and Tuttlingen campuses.