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Applicants and students who want to stay at a German university for more than 3 months need to get a residence permit for study purposes. This permit will be issued in Germany upon a valid visa for study purposes.

This regulation does not apply to applicants and students from EU countries as well as from the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and from countries with which Germany has arranged different regulations. At present this applies to Andorra, Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA. They have to apply for a residence permit for study purposes within 3 months after entry.

You need to apply for and receive the visa before coming to Germany at a German embassy/ consulate. Do not come to Germany with a tourist visa if you want to study or do research. It is not possible to change a tourist visa into a visa for study purposes.

Please ask the German embassy/ consulate in your home country for the exact regulations applying to applicants and students. If you do not have a letter of acceptance from HAWK yet you can apply for an ‘application visa’ (= Bewerbervisum). This also applies to applicants who need to pass the preparatory course first or who want to do a German course in Germany before starting their studies. Once you have been accepted at a university it can be changed into a residence permit for study purposes without problems.

For an ‘application visa’ (= Bewerbervisum) you need the following documents: 

Please ask the embassy/ consulate in your home country which documents exactly are accepted and if anything else needs to be handed in.

For the visa for study purposes you need to hand in the same documents as for the ‚application visa’. But instead of the confirmation of application you need to have a letter of acceptance from the German university.