German visas: Guide for Indian students | Top Universities

German visas: Guide for Indian students

By Keshala Jayawickrama

Updated Updated

Its position as one of the world’s most robust economies and the business hub of Europe means that Germany is an attractive option for Indian students looking for a global career. 

Famous for its leading position in research and science and technology, it is particularly popular with those aiming to work as engineers. 

Its popularity has burgeoned in recent years due to its signing of the Bologna Process, and an increased propensity to offer courses in English. Here’s what you should know about getting a German student visa. 

What type of visa do I need? 

Indian applicants planning to stay in Germany for more than 90 days (about three months) need a visa to enter the country. In the case of students preparing to attend a university or preparatory school, a student visa is necessary. If you are planning to visit Germany for an intensive language course lasting three-12 months, obtaining a Germany Language Course Visa will be ideal. 

After successfully obtaining a visa and travelling to Germany, students will also have to apply for a student residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner’s Authority). Students are advised not to enter the country on a tourist visa since it cannot be converted into a residence permit once the student is in Germany. The types of residence permits available are: 

  • Residence permit to attend university 

  • Residence permit to attend a Studienkolleg (preparatory college) 

  • Residence permit to attend a language course 

In order to get one of these, overseas students must register their address at the residents’ registration office (Bürgeramt or Bürgerbüro) within 14 days of entering the country, obtain German student health insurance and be able to provide required documentation including certificate of enrolment at the university they attend, and valid proof of sufficient finances to show financial capability.  

After getting the documents ready, the application can be submitted at the local Ausländerbehörde. 

You will need to prove that you have finances to support yourself throughout your stay by showing a bank balance of around €11,208 (approximately INR 1,000,980) per year. 

A study residence permit is typically valid for either one or two years. Once this duration elapses, students can renew their German student permit by submitting a confirmation letter from their school, verifying regular progress in their studies.  

How much does it cost? 

It costs only €75 (INR 6670) to apply for a student visa. On top of that, a residence permit costs €110 (INR 9,784) for the first issuance and €100 (INR 8,895) for extensions. 

How long does it take to process? 

It can take between 15 to 30 days after the interview for a visa to be processed. However, this duration may extend if additional documents are requested, or if the application volume is high. Prospective international students are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience to mitigate any potential delays. 

Can I work while I study? 

Since Germany can be an expensive place to live, full-time international students are permitted to work part-time (20 hours per week) during the semester and full-time (40 hours per week) during breaks each year without any sort of work permit. Those enrolled on short-term language or preparatory courses are not permitted to work. 

Overseas students in Germany must be aware that if they are a DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship holder, they should first contact DAAD and get its permission before doing any paid work while studying. 

Can I bring my family along while I study In Germany? 

Spouses, partners, and/or children can potentially join you in Germany while you study, granted you and your family meet specific criteria to apply for a family reunification visa

  • You must hold a valid residence permit. 

  • You and your partner should be married at the time you received your residence permit in Germany. 

  • Your stay in Germany extends beyond one year. 

  • You can demonstrate the ability to financially support yourself and your family members during their stay in Germany. 

For personalised guidance, it's recommended to thoroughly discuss your situation with consulate or embassy authorities to understand your eligibility. 

Can I work after completing my degree? 

After finishing your degree and before your student residence permit expires in Germany, you have the option to switch to a job seeker residence permit. This permit grants you an additional six months to remain in Germany while searching for job opportunities. Once you have secured employment, you can convert this permit into a work permit.  

Alternatively, if you have a job offer immediately after graduation, you can seamlessly transition your student residence permit into a work residence permit. This permit for employment is initially issued for two years, with the opportunity for extension. 

What about opportunities to immigrate? 

Upon graduating from a German university and securing employment within the country, you qualify for settlement after just two years of working in Germany. After an additional eight years, you become eligible for German citizenship.  

Non-German degree holders, on the other hand, must work in Germany for a minimum of five years to be eligible to apply for settled residency. 

If you belong to the skilled worker category, such as those with backgrounds in IT or STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), you are eligible to apply for the EU Blue Card, a type of temporary residence permit.  

With the EU Blue Card, you can obtain permanent residence after 33 months. However, if you demonstrate sufficient proficiency in German, you can qualify for permanent residence after just 21 months. 

Bear in mind… 

•    Avoid handing over original documents along with your visa application. Certified photocopies are a better option. 
•    It is compulsory for all visa applicants to be personally present at the German Embassy when the application is being filed. 

Useful contacts 

The German Embassy in New Delhi 
No. 6/50G, Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021 
Postal address: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany 
P.O. Box 613, New Delhi-110001, India 
Telephone: (0091-11) 44199 199 
Fax: (0049-30) 1817 67238 

The German Consulate General in Kolkata 
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, 
1 Hastings Park Road, Alipore 
Kolkata-700 027, India 
Telephone: +91-(0)33-2479 1142 
Fax: +91-(0)33-2479 3028 

The German Consulate General in Chennai 
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany 
No. 9 Boat Club Road, P.O. Box 3110, R.A. Puram - Chennai 600 028 
Postal address: Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,  
P.O. Box 3110, Chennai 600 028, India 
Telephone:   (+91-44) 2430 1600 
Fax : (+91-44) 2434 9293 

The German Consulate General in Bangalore 
2nd & 3rd Floor, “Cash Pharmacy Building”, Corner St. Marks & Residency Road, Bangalore 560025, Karnataka 
Tel:  +91-80- 455 60 111 (for Visa inquiries)/ +91 80 45 30 01 00 
Fax: +49 30 1817 67131 

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

saved this article

saved this article

Explore Events

Get assisted by higher education experts

Our expert teams can help start your academic journey by guiding you through the application process.

Related Articles Last year

Most Shared Last year

Most Read Last year