Tips For German Student Visa Application: If you have got through the admission process of a German University, you will soon find out if you need a German Student Visa. If you are in the exempted category, you might just need a residence permit. If you are not, then you must apply for a German Student Visa at the German Embassy of your country. Although there is no timeframe for the application process, it is suggested to do it in earnest, well before the actual trip date.
Germany is known for making high-quality and low-cost higher education accessible to the residents as well as to international students. Along with that, its robust research infrastructure, way of teaching and prospects for career growth are among the best in comparison to other countries.
The typical fee charged for a German Student Visa is approximately USD 70. You must also put all your documents in order and ensure their accuracy before submitting the application. Here are some of the other Tips For German Student Visa Application:
Document List for Visa Application
Three months is a reasonable time to apply for a German student visa in order to complete the process on time. The documents you will need for this application are:
- Fully completed application form
- Two latest photographs
- Academic Record Transcripts
- Valid Passport
- A letter that shows your acceptance to a German University
- proof of having sufficient funds to support yourself for one year when you are living in Germany (8640 Euros per year)
- Certificate of buying health insurance
- Self-declaration of document authenticity
In addition, you might also need to prove that you do not possess any criminal record.
Use a Blocked Account
The German student visa application form mandates you to provide proof of having sufficient funds to support yourself for one year when you are living in Germany. As of the year 2018, a foreign student spends an average of 720 Euros per month. As per the requirement, a student visa applicant needs to give proof of having 8640 Euros in the bank account for further processing of the application.
This is where a German Blocked Account comes in to play. This Blocked Account is a unique kind of bank account for international students in Germany. You must use this account and park the required funds to show that you have enough funds to support yourself for a year. Since it is a blocked account, you cannot use these funds until you reach Germany.
Student Applicant Visa
A student applicant visa can be used to apply for entry into Germany if a German university has not accepted you as yet. This visa permits you to stay in Germany for 3 months to find out and enroll in a university program while being present in Germany.
This visa can be extended to six months if you have not been able to enroll in a university. If you get enrolled in this period, this student application visa will get converted to a national visa, which needs proof of a German university’s acceptance of your application.
Apply for a residence permit
After reaching Germany, you must register with the local Alien Registration Office within 2 weeks of your arrival. In this office, you have to apply for a residence permit for educational purposes. The following documents are required for this process:
- Proof of current health insurance
- Enrollment certificate from the German university
- Proof of adequate finances
- Valid passport
- Present Visa
- Residence permit fee
A 2-year residence permit costs 100 euros with an additional 96 euros for each extension.
Residence permit for EU students
Students from EU/EEA (including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein) do not require a residence permit, but they have to register with the local registration authority within 1 week of their arrival. You also need to keep your registration document provided by the university for this confirmation.
EU students must also prove the presence of money to cover yearly expenses, statutory health insurance for candidates aged less than 30 as well as working proficiency of the language of instruction of the course. For insurance policies, students from certain countries having bilateral agreements with Germany can show their home country’s policy.
Tips for Visa Application Interview Questions
The ambassador can ask the following questions for a typical visa application interview. You must answer these questions truthfully and without hesitation
Q1. What made you select this university and how did you look out for it?
Answer Tip: Explain how you went through university rankings, profiles of notable faculty and alumni on websites to shortlist the university based on the course you wanted to pursue. You can tell that the curriculum of this university was most closely aligned with my interests and needs.
Q2. What made you select Germany for higher studies? Does your country not offer this course in its universities?
Answer Tip: You must brief about the quality of education offered in Germany. If you believe it is top-notch, feel free to mention it explicitly. Talk about how this course might not be available in your country and if available, it is not as advanced as the curriculum offered in Germany. Mention the latest research in the area and how it connects with the curriculum in the German university.
Q3. Can you pinpoint the location of the university?
Answer Tip: It is desirable to have a fair idea about where your university is located in Germany and about its various campuses if any. Use mapping software to exactly locate the university and tell the details to the ambassador.
Q4. Do you plan to continue working in Germany after the completion of this course?
Answer Tip: Tell the officer about your plans after completing the course at a German university. If you plan to opt for higher studies, you could elaborate on that and the subsequent reason. If you plan to work, be careful to mention about new visa requirements that may need to be fulfilled. If you plan to return back to your own country, you can inform of your decision to join a family business or anything else.
To conclude, the Visa application for students opting for a German university can be completed smoothly by keeping a few simple instructions in mind. This will also help you avoid any unexpected shocks during this long and tedious journey.
Knowledge about Germany
- Name any tourist places in Germany and why they are famous?
Answer: Mention a few German museums, palaces, and national parks, castles, Berlin wall, and other attractive spots that are considered country’s top attractions and talk in short about their distinctiveness and key features.
Tip: visit the webpage Germany travel to understand which are mostly visited spots in Germany and get to know more about their history of reputation
- Do you know German?
Answer: Usually international students applying for studies have to know the German of the upper basic level which is B1. In case you have been required to know German for your studies, the state which the level of knowledge you possess is.
Tip: Get some prior information about language proficiency for studying in Germany. You also can try to learn German online.
- How many borders does Germany have and with which countries?
Answer: Germany has nine neighboring countries Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.
- Which are the top most expensive cities to live in Germany?
Answer: There are five cities in Germany known as most expensive to live in: Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, and Bonn.
Tip: Get some general information about these cities, in case you will be asked about the specifics of these places.
- How many states are there in Germany, and can you name some of them?
Answer: Germany consists of sixteen federal states: Baden Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia.
Tip: you might want to have some general information about Germany federal states.
Information about future studies in Germany
- What’s the duration of your course?
Answer: Let them know how much does your course last and if needed starting and ending date. If being asked let them know how many semesters the course has.
- What is the scope of your course?
Answer: Name the department and the subject of your studies. I.e. Law department and the study program/course name, and which its main objectives are. Mention also the main subjects/modules of the course.
Tip: You might use this as a sample for your prior preparation.
- What is the course structure?
Answer: Explain in short how many semesters, full time or part-time, core subject areas, credits per semester, total hours of lessons per semester, study methodology and activities are, and so on.
Tip: visit the website of the university and get the needed information in the section courses.
- In which university you are going to study? What is the location of your university?
Answer: Let them know which the university you have chosen is and the city where its location is.
Tip: Practice with spelling the name of the university and the city correctly so you will appear familiar enough with the university.
- Why do you think the university is awarding you a scholarship?
Answer: Mention your high GPA scores, GMAT scores and/or TOEFL scores. If there was any other reason why you have been granted a scholarship that you know, mention it too.
Tip: make sure to recall all the requirements for getting a scholarship were, so you can be more confident about how to respond.
- What benefits can this course bring round you?
Answer: Mention the career options you are expected to have either as an employer or self-employed person, after your graduation at a German university. Let them know about the lack of expertise in your country in the field you are about to study for and the level of eagerness the country has for filling jobs with qualified people of a first-rate knowledge/practice.
Tip: get prior information/statistics in your country about the demand for qualified people in the field of your studies. This will add a realistic piece to your answer.
- What is the course start date?
Answer: let them know where you are about to start your enrollment as a student.
Tip: you have this information on your admission letter from the university, and anytime you might require additional information from the International Office about the course schedule.
- What will be the total cost of studies per year?
Answer: Tell them the estimated study tuition fees for the entire study course, all study years.
Tip: do not include in your calculation the number of living costs, as this is only costs for studying.
- What is the name of the course?
Answer: name the course which you are about to study. I.e. Biology.
Tip: do not tell them about the content of the course, they are simply asking for the name.
- Do you have a conditional or unconditional letter of acceptance for studies?
Answer: This means whether you have complied completely with the study requirements and been accepted to register for studies if not, you have met most of the requirements but needs to meet also another requirement. If you have a conditional (provisional) letter of acceptance for studies, means that you have been accepted to study provisionally – meaning that you must undertake the preparatory course for sitting the final exam “Feststellungsprüfung” – upon successfully passing it a “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” University Entrance Qualification will be issued, which will guarantee you a seat to study.
Tip: Learn more about what is the University Entrance Qualification, so you can be more prepared.
- Can you name some of the modules you will be studying?
Answer: Mention main modules of the course you are about to study, i.e. if you are about to study architecture, main modules may be: architectural design, urban and landscape transformation, cultural heritage and so on.
Tip: Make sure you get the needed information on the webpage of the university – usually found under the subcategory of degree awarding programs – course outline on the webpages.
- Is the course completely in English?
Answer: Tell them whether you are accepted to study in an international program or a regular program. Usually, international programs are fully in English, but some can include also lessons in German.
Tip: make sure you have the exact information about the language of your future studies, so you do not get confused and leave a bad impression.
- What is your intended travel date?
Answer: Your travel date must be the same with the one showing on your travel ticket and has to be early enough so you can register and enroll in studies.
Current academic and skills level
- What was your latest academic degree taken? When you received it? Who issued it?
Answer: Name the academic title you have received and the institution which have been granting you such a degree, i.e. a Bachelor of Finance, the year and month being issued and the location of the issuing institution.
Tip: Do not make a gaff appearing uncertain about the exact date of your graduation, so check your degree awarding diploma to recall all the needed details.
- Which was your grade point average (GPA) received at the end of such studies?
Answer: Tell them which your latest GPA grading you have reached by the end of your latest studies, by offering the supporting documentation such as your latest degree awarding certificate.
Tip: do not use the interview talking about your previous GPA from other earlier studies.
- Which are your IELTS scores?
Answer: Speak about the results you have achieved on your IELTS without having to give other details without being asked.
Tip: Make sure you recall once more your IELTS early enough before the interview.
- What have you done since your latest graduation?
Answer: Explain which was your main activity and interests ever since you have graduated from previous studies. It can be paid work, following training, engagement in charity activities, completing a reading-list of science/academic volumes, researching, preparation for studies in Germany, learning/advancement of English/German/other foreign languages, social engagement, voluntary job, online job, you have been taking care of a person in need, etc.
Tip: saying that you enjoyed study-free time by doing nothing does help at all, so make sure you discern useful engagements you have been engaged during such period.
- Have you taken any English course? Have you taken any specific course related to your studies?
Answer: Name the English course and level of the English language taught, in case you were following such a course. Also, if you have been enrolled in a subject-related course to prepare for future studies, speak about the main topics taught. You might tell which the institution offering such courses was, and related dates if asked.
Tip: If enrollment before studies in such courses was not a mandatory thing, do not feel uncertain to say you did not take any of the courses.
Current and future financial status
- How are you going to fund your education?
Answer: Different answers might be given depending on the situation. You might be either using your own money you have collected for future studies- a security payment deposited in a blocked bank account (Sperrkonto), somebody is sponsoring you (father, someone in Germany, else), a study loan, you have been granted a scholarship, other.
Tip: You cannot mention any sponsor that is not legally qualified as your sponsor, meaning that has not issued you a sponsorship letter with details of the amount and ways of support.
- How much money is available for your stay in Germany?
Answer: Give numbers of how much available money you have on your bank account that you will have on disposal in Germany for studies and living. The amount of money you present has to be in line with your “Finanzierungsnachweis”- proof of having enough money to cover your study and living costs in Germany.
Tip: Be concise and sure about the amount of money you present, as it has to be realistic and in line with the costs of studying and living and supported by the needed documentation.
- Who is sponsoring your education? How much do they earn in a year?
Answer: If you have a sponsor tell your relationship with them, i.e. a father, a sister, a brother, else, what job they do and their annual salary. You have to show the needed supporting documents to prove such a statement.
Tip: Be early enough to familiarize yourself with the details about your sponsor’s annual earnings and their job position.
- What proof do you have that your sponsor can support your studies?
Answer: If you are about to study using sponsor’s funds, you can support this question by offering any of following supporting documents: Certified Income statement (with their latest three salary statements and employment contract) and financial assets – if a parent is the sponsor; A letter of guarantee issued by the “Ausländerbehörde” Foreigners Registration Office – if a permanent German resident is the sponsor; or A scholarship awarding certificate – if you are about to study using a scholarship fund.
- Who are all earning members in your Family?
Answer: Name all the family members who are currently engaged in a paid job and make sure you mention also their job positions, and if asked also their employers name.
Tip: Take the needed time to discuss with your family members about their job details, so you will not end up uninformed in the interview session.
- How much you will be able to earn after completing your studies?
Answer: Let them know which would be your annual salary for a job that can be potentially encountered when you get back in your country as a graduate from a German university. Also, in case you have already a business idea, you should present the business plan, including expected business incomes/yearly– but make sure amounts are based on a realistic prospect.
Tip: Make some own research by checking which the offered common salaries are in your home country, for the jobs which you can potentially be qualified to get by the end of your studies.
Common information about the study field
- Name some of the famous researchers in your field of study?
Answer: Mention several role model researchers/innovators in the field you choose for your studies, which you’ve been using as your inspiration. It can be Alan Guth – physical science, James Watson as for biological science, Einstein, Timothy Berners- Lee – computer science, or else.
Tip: make the time to recall and make a list of all your inspiring researchers and their key findings.
Accommodation in Germany
- Where will you stay in Germany?
Answer: Let them know which your accommodation type is. Different ways of accommodation are practiced by international students in Germany which includes: private accommodation, student residence hall, youth hostels, shared room (flatshare), or other means. If you have already found your long-term place of stay in Germany provide the needed address, while if you don’t and expecting to search for your permanent place of stay when in Germany, show the hostel/hotel reservation document with the address included.
Tip: you might contact the international office of your university for supporting you on finding the right accommodation for you.
Relationships with people living in Germany/Europe
- Do you have any relative in the respective country or Europe?
Answer: Mention close family members who currently live in Germany, or have lived before if being asked.
Tip: do not include in the list of distant relatives living in Germany, only parents and siblings.
Holidays and semester-break
- What do you plan to do during your vacations?
Answer: Answer by showing no interest at all on getting a job in Germany. You have to express the intention to get back in the home country to reunite with family members during the semester break.
Tip: Saying you will get a job on your semester break might be interpreted as the lack of financial capacity to cover your costs, or as an attempt to travel to Germany for employment instead of studying there. So be clear and definite about studies.
Plans of the future
- What are your future plans?
Answer: The answer should be displaying your interest in returning home following the completion of your studies. Let them know you are interested in either start a career in your country, in a job position, or in your own business related to the field you will be studying.
- Do you plan to work there?
Answer: Generally you should show no intention of getting employed while studying. On the other hand, there are exclusive cases when international students can get a job while they are studying there. Make sure your visa type and your student status qualify you for working, while studying or after studies. Anyhow, you must show your main focus on studies not in getting employed there.
Tip: Learn more about who qualifies for side jobs while studying in Germany before answering.
- Have you researched your career prospects?
Answer: Again, show no intention on remaining in Germany either for work or for becoming a permanent resident, by stating that your vision is returning home to pursue the career related to your studies. Show them you have researched enough and there is plenty of gap for qualified people on your field in your country.
Tips for attending a student visa interview
The visa interview session should be treated sincerely, in case you want to be considered a serious candidate for the visa. Your appearance and behaviors must represent the best parts of you. You cannot be expected to be given consideration when your dressing manner and your conducts say the opposite. A person who does not wear and behave suitably, a person who is not punctual and does not use the appropriate arguments during the interview cannot expect any big good news.
Let us reveal some of the details you need to put effort on, which cause you to zero costs and can be decisive for the fate of your German student visa.
When to go to the German embassy/consulate?
Be on time. Do not be too early and especially not even a minute late for the interview. Make sure you arrive at the premises of the German Embassy/Consulate a few minutes earlier, so you can get yourself together and breathe. It is important that you greet all the staff; you never know what impressions you might leave.
It is advised not to drive on the interview day. This day is very stressful, so you do not want to spend yourself time and effort on finding a free parking lot. Also, you might get lost in the traffic and get late for the interview. Make sure someone drives you at the Embassy or you take a taxi early enough before the interview hour.
What to wear?
The dressing is something you must put a lot of effort on to. Make sure you wear outfits that are comfortable but not exaggerated. You can wear a dress or a shirt and pants that give you a formal and confidential look. Avoid overdressing, putting strong fragrances, or showing too much of body parts, tattoos, or wearing too many accessories – especially not accessories with specific discriminating figure/significance. Avoid also shirts with printed images or quotes; you are not going on a festival or a coffee bar.
What to take with you?
The complete list of the German student visa supporting documents has to be taken with you on the day of your interview. The visa staff will be expecting from you to have all the needed originals and copies of such documents, within the needed standard, on the interview day. Make sure you are all set, do not expect for the visa officials to photocopy your visa documents, or to wait until you go home take the forgotten documents for completing your visa dossier. This is not what you should do, so be well-arranged, check and re-check if you have included all the documents in the ordered list early enough before the interview day.
How to answer?
There is no other way to answer them directly and honestly, do not give false information or avoid questions. There are things that visa officers may ask for which they might already be informed, but they just want to know if your intentions are real and you do not want to misapply your student status in Germany. Keeping yourself frank and open is the only way you should follow during the student visa interview.
What to say?
All the information you provide to the visa officers through your answers has to be in line with the documents you offer and your current or past situations. Try to be short, direct and simple when answering questions.
What not to say?
Being honest and frank during an interview session does not imply excessive talking and unnecessary detailing. Try to be specific not give information about things which are not directly related to the question made.
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