3.2 Residence permit

If you come from a non-EU country, you will need a residence permit.


Nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland do not need a residence permit, but often you have to provide proof of health insurance and proof of financial resources in order to register with the residents' registration office.

After entering Germany, your visa will be converted to a residence permit for study purposes. In order to get the residence permit, you have to apply to the local immigration authorities before your visa expires:

  1. You register with the municipality within one week after your arrival as described on the previous page.
  2. Book an Residence Permit Appointment with the local Immigration Authority in order to apply for the residence permit.

Please note that this page was built when offices were limited in appointments due to the Covid19 pandemic. There is usually a way to make appointments online. This will be available soon for sure. Until then, we are linking to the general contact page.

What documents should you bring?[]

  • your valid passport, possibly with visa
  • passport-size photo
  • a completed and signed housing confirmation from your landlord
  • proof of financial means
  • German health insurance
  • admission letter or certificate of matriculation from your German university,
  • your registration confirmation from the residents' registration office
  • service charge approximately 130 € in cash

Usually, the residence permit is issued by the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) of the corresponding university location and is initially valid for a maximum of 2 years. The residence permit can only be issued up to 3 months before the passport expires.