If you wish to study in Germany you are generally required to apply for a student visa with the relevant German diplomatic representative abroad before you arrive in Germany. This does not apply to citizens of non-EU and EEA states. The German representative office cannot issue a visa until it has received official permission from the relevant government authorities in Germany.

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.

Who can apply for a study visa after arrival in Germany?

Nationals of the following states can apply for the necessary study visa after arrival in Germany. In this case the local Foreigner Registration Authorities in the area or town where you will be living are 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.

Visa requirements

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.

Time required to process a visa application

Applications for visas entitling the holder to a longer stay may take up to 3 months to process.

Residence 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 residence 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 Foreigner Registration 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)
Foreigner Registration Office (Ausländeramt)
Schwarzwald-Baarkreis County Offices (Landratsamt)
Am Hoptbühl 2
78048 VS-Villingen

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

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

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

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

Group appointments with the local Foreigner Registration Authorities can also be organized on the Schwenningen and Tuttlingen campuses.

Can I bring my family with me?

Unfortunately, this is normally only possible for EU students. The reunification of families of foreign students is usually only considered if the students belong to one of the following three groups:

  • Postgraduate students if the stay is longer than 1 year
  • Scholarship holders
  • Nationals of the following states: all EU states, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, USA.

In all other cases, dependants can only join foreign students in cases of particular hardship, most importantly if the foreign student is dependent on his/her spouse for their livelihood. For families to join students in Germany, the student has to be able to support himself/herself and his/her family without social assistance. The spouse who joins the student is generally permitted to take regular employment.