With free world-class degrees and no-tuition fee for local and international students, Germany has become the topmost preferred country for students worldwide. Almost 400,000 International Students are now studying in Germany!
India rose from the 4th to the 2nd in ranking under the ‘international students list’ in Germany in 2021. The significant rate of growth of Indians going to Germany is because of how well-settled they feel in the country. So, let’s discuss more about the Germany Study Visa and how the application is processed.
Upcoming Intakes for Universities in Germany
The general timelines for application submission are as follows:
Intake 1: Summer Semester – Submit your application before January 15th
Intake 2: Winter Semester – Submit your application before July 15th
Why Study in Germany?
From globally-reputed universities to almost free education at the Undergraduate level, Germany offers a great deal of promise for all the individuals across the globe. Extensive student support, scholarships and thousands of diverse programs are some of the attractions that fascinate international students seeking to study in the nation.
Some other factors that contribute to credibility in the favor of the country are as listed below.
- Tuition-free university education: There is no tuition fee. Students have to pay a nominal fee of 250 EUR per semester, which covers the administrative costs.
- A wide array of courses: There are more than 1,800 international programs along with 18,000 Bachelors's, Masters and doctoral degree programs to choose from.
- World-class universities: There are over 400 institutions of higher education in Germany out of which, 150 universities offer courses and degrees in English. Around 30 universities in Germany are ranked in the world’s top 500 universities. The average acceptance rate for a German institute is around 92%.
- Dual Education System: Allows students to pursue an apprenticeship in a company along with a vocational course at a vocational school. International students can earn up to 14 to 19 EUR per hour.
- Economical cost of living: The cost of living in Germany amounts to 841 to 1,287 EUR per month, which is quite low as compared to its European counterparts.
- Financial Aid and Scholarships: Plenty of scholarships are offered to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Germany by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and other non-governmental foundations.
- Employment/Job opportunities for graduates: It has a graduate unemployability rate of 3.04% which is the lowest in Europe. Nearly 77% of the graduates find employment in Germany within months of completing their degrees.
Top 10 Universities in Germany for International Students in 2021
Here’s the top 10 Universities for International Students as per QS rankings in Germany:
QS World University Rankings
Technical University of Munich
KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Freie Universitaet Berlin
RWTH Aachen University
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Indian students need to show that they can pay for the tuition fees in Germany. The fees for the courses are different for each university.
The average costs are as mentioned below.
Average Tuition Fees (yearly)
Undergraduate Bachelor Degree
Postgraduate Master’s Degree
€5,000 – €30,000
Note: Students can study without pay in Public German universities. But they still need to pay for their administration and enrolment charges annually. Thus, they need to show they have enough funds to cover this.
If you have reached a final decision that Germany is the country you are applying to in the upcoming session, it is highly recommended to start working on your application at the earliest possible opportunity. To serve you in the process, the step-by-step guide for the application process of Germany is as compiled below.
- Explore your options: Since the nation has nearly 400 countries offering over 20,000 programs, choose the alternative that best fits your needs and budget.
- Plan your finances: Germany is renowned for offering almost free to affordable education to aspirants irrespective of their nationalities. While most public universities in the country are free of cost, private and master programs might charge fees at par with other renowned institutes of the world.
- Prepare your application: Universities in Germany usually follow their own application process, application fee (not more than 50 EUR) and deadlines. Some institutes are organized centrally and accept applications via UniAssist. Make sure you have carefully gone through all the eligibility requirements of your particular course
- Submit your application: The country has 2 admission seasons with their individual deadlines. Applicants are highly encouraged to send in applications at least 4 to 6 months prior to these deadlines, especially if they have to apply for a visa to avoid last-minute complications like the rejection of visa etc.
- Apply for a study in Germany visa: As soon as you have received your acceptance letter, apply for a student visa at your nearest German Embassy along with relevant documents like passport, health insurance and proof of funds. From January 2020, an applicant has to demonstrate funds of around 10,236 EUR to be eligible for a student visa.
Admission Requirements for study in Germany
Some basic information regarding the admission process and basic requirements are as tabulated below.
Where to apply
Uni Assist portal/ Individual portals of respective universities
75 EUR per course with 30 EUR for each extra course in same semester
Transcripts, Standardised tests like GMAT or GRE
Valid Visa, Interview (video interview on case-to-case basis), CV, Statement of purpose
German/English Language Requirements
IELTS: 6.5; TOEFL: 69 to 80 (German language requirements for courses in German)
Foreign students need to show their skill level in the basic German language. They can also show certificates from German-learning courses.
Students can also give an education completion certificate of a study program in German.
In German international programs, knowing some basic German language is helpful.
The acceptable German language grades for each program are:
Educational program (in Germany)
Grade level (Language test)
DSH II Level
CEFR C1 Level
DSH I Level
DSH II Level
No specific requirement.
The individual education providers choose the language they allow for admission.
The certificates that Indian students can show as German skill proof are:
DSH I Level, UNIcert III, DSH Certificate (Level 1 and more), The least total of 14 points in TestDaF Certificate, GDS Certificate (C1 Level or more), Telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule Passing Certificate, Education Ministers’ Conference language certification (Level 2 + C1 all sections)
CEFR C1 Level, Education Ministers’ Conference language certification (Level 2 + C2 all sections), GDS Certificate (C2 Level or more), DSH Certificate (Level 2 or more), Around 4 points in four sections of TestDaF Certificate.
Germany provides various scholarships for Indian students and other international students. Many of the institutions in Germany allow this. Those with low funds can apply for such scholarships from top universities.
It is another of the Germany study visa requirements. Scholarship students need to show proof of confirmation during their visa application.
Some of the most popular higher-education German scholarships for Indian students are:
higher-education German scholarships for Indian students are:
DAAD WISE Scholarship Program
Heinrich Boll Scholarships
Kofi Annan MBA Scholarships
ESMT Women’s Academic Scholarship
Goethe Goes Global Scholarships
EMS Undergraduate Scholarship
WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, International Scholarships
Master Scholarships at University of Stuttgart
DLD Executive MBA Scholarship
What is a German Student Visa?
To study in Germany, you mandatorily need a German Student Visa. The minimum duration of this visa is about three months and it can last up to 4 years depending on the duration of your course. This visa can be extended under certain conditions. The German Student visa can be later used to seek Permanent Residence.
Visa Requirements for Indian Students
Indians form the second largest group of international students at German universities. There was a record-breaking growth in the winter semester of 2019-20, showing a 20.85 percent growth in intake over the previous academic year of Indian students. Approximately 21,000 Indian students were enrolled into German universities in 2019.
The growth rate in the intake of Indian students in Germany is 3 times the global average, having almost doubled in the last five years. Indian students who wish to study in Germany need a German national visa for programmes that are longer than 3 months. You can get a Schengen visa for a 3-month course.
The Germany study visa requirements are quite stringent. International students are required to have valid documents and a residence permit in Germany for a national visa. Read on to know about this and the other requirements in depth.
There are three types of Study Visas for Germany: German Student Visa, German Student Applicant Visa. and the German Language Course Visa. The German Student Visa is the most popular among these visa types.
Let’s take a look at the requirements for the Germany Study visa, one at a time.
Make sure that you have the following checklist of German Study Visa requirements before you apply:
- Correct and CompleteDocumentation
There are some documents that Indian students need to get a German student visa. This is one of the main Germany study visa requirements. The documents required (original and 2 copies) include:
Passport, Visa application form, An A4 sheet copy of the information page of the passport, Cover letter or an admission letter from the German University, German language fluency scores, Proof of your funds, Educational certificates, colleges and universities, Receipt proof of Student Visa fee, Passport-size photographs, Schengen visa proof (if you had one before) German residence permit (if you had one before), Personal covering letter with purpose and duration of stay. Note: The German embassy can have extra German study visa conditions. They would ask you for the additional documents if necessary.
- Financial Resources Proof
The proof of financial funds is called 'Finanzierungsnachweis' in German. This is one of the most essential Germany study visa requirements. The main things applicants need to provide are:
A bank guarantee from a Germany Bank
Scholarship certificate, if available
The scholarship should include information about the total costs that it covers.
A letter called ‘Verpflichtungserklärung’ by a resident of Germany issued at the Alien’s Registration Office. This applies if a German resident is covering the course study costs
A German blocked bank account deposit confirmations of €10,236 in total. This is a special account for international students. It proves that they can cover the expenses of their stay for a year. This covers the €853 they need for living expenses per month
A letter of commitment for fee payment from the applicant’s guardians. This includes evidence of their financial assets and income records
- University Letter of Admission
Another of the Germany study visa requirements is a letter from the university of choice. This appears after a few weeks of the application submission in an email. You need to print the email and show that as the admission letter proof. You should show it in your home country's German embassy during the visa application.
- German Entrance Qualification for Higher Education
Students need to show that they can qualify for higher education programs in Germany. The requirements under this topic are as follows.
The requirements for this are:
Indian students need to show their admission agreement in this study program
A higher education provider recognized in Germany must issue this
It should include information regarding the language in which you would study
It must include your course duration information
Indian students need to show conditional admission proof of this.
They should also show proof of admission in 'Intensiv-Sprachkurs,’ an intensive course. The letter shows that you can participate in this intensive language course before getting admission. The course lasts for 6 months, with 18 lesson hours in one week. The requirements for this are:
You have to show the letter of confirmation from the ‘uni-assist’
Communication proof with the university about final admission
Applicant’s admission confirmation proof
Proof of language course fee payment for the first 3 months
It is a foundation-level course of 1 year. It prepares students for 'Feststellungsprüfung'. It means a university-level assessment examination one has to sit for. You need to have good language skills at CEFR B1 level to attend the course. The documents required are:
Copies of the leaving certification from your foreign school
Average grades in studies. Applicants can get it from the 'Oberschulamt' state education officials in their city
Proof of CEFR B1 level language skills
The statement about how your foreign certificate is equal to a German school-leaving certificate
The study visa requirements for ‘Studienkolleg’ are:
Proof of participation in the course
Proof of any communication about final admission with the university
Letter of confirmation from the ‘uni-assist’
- Proof of Previous Educational Qualification
One of the important Germany study visa requirements for Indian students is showing their education proof. The documents necessary are:
Degree certificates (for applicants of Ph.D. and Mastery courses)
School-leaving certificate (original)
- Language Proficiency
One of the German study visa requirements is language skills. Indian students need to show proficiency in either the German language or the English language. Students can also show both certificates if they are fluent in both.
Rules for German language skills
- Health Coverage
One of the main visa requirements is applying for health insurance. Indian students have to cover their medical needs for emergencies.
There are two types of health-care insurance in Germany. They are:
Private insurance: One can customize it as needed.
Public insurance: It covers basic medical problems only. Most people can get this.
The health coverage plans for Indian students in Germany have certain rules. The rules for Ph.D. students are:
They should try for private health coverage plans.
Foreigners over 30 years cannot get statutory insurance.
Students starting their 14th semester in Germany cannot opt for public insurance.
The rules for preparatory course students are:
These students cannot get public health insurance in Germany.
They can opt for private health insurance plans only.
The rules for foreign exchange students are:
These students can opt for both public and private health coverage plans.
Most foreign exchange students opt for private insurance plans as they are easier to handle.
The rules for scholarship doctorate students are:
Those who are unemployed with lengthened courses choose private insurance plans.
They can choose a plan based on how much they can pay every year. It also includes how much cost their scholarship can cover.
- Visa Fees
Paying Visa Fees is one of the important Germany study visa requirements. This is a required step. The payment costs are as follow:
National visa applicants above 18 years of age must pay €75 as fees.
National visa applicants under 18 years of age must pay €37.50 as fees.
It takes 25 days to process a national visa. For extra documents, the time can extend to 12 weeks in total.
Applicants applying for a German Residence Permit have to pay €110 (approx). This takes 8-12 weeks to complete the process.
Note: The processing period can go up for visa processing. Thus, you should apply for this very early.
Books to carry for study abroad:
Talk to the seniors in your university and carry only the important books from India. Get some fundamental books for revision.
Documents to be carried for study abroad:
- University Documents
- University specific letters like admits, aid, forms.
- Original transcripts
- Syllabus copies
- Immunisation documents (specific to university)
- SEVIS fee receipt
- Travel and ID documents
- Passport photocopy
- VISA photocopy
- Air Ticket
- Educational Documents
- Original marksheets
- Attested marksheets
- Degree certificate
- Final year project report
- Recommendation letters
- GRE and TOEFL marksheet
Foreign currency to carry for study abroad:
- Most students carry about $1000 in currency and the rest can be taken in loaded forex cards. Carry some loose change for calling and eating/drinking during travelling.
- Forex cards are preferentially priced so consider carrying most of your money on the forex card. If you still haven’t got one, get your forex card delivered to your doorstep.
- For tuition fee, it is best to wire the money directly to the university.