Important documents

In order to study abroad in Germany, international applicants must take a number of things into consideration. In addition to the timely submission of a valid visa and the guarantee of the legally required health insurance, proof of funding and the university entrance qualification are required, among other things. We have compiled the most important documents for a study visit abroad.


    In order to study in Germany, international applicants from non-EU countries must apply for a visa for study purposes before entering the country. The application must be submitted to the responsible German mission abroad and include the following documents:

    • Properly completed and signed application form
    • Valid passport and two photocopies of the passport
    • Birth certificate and, if applicable, marriage certificate and birth certificate(s) of any children
    • Photocopies of previous German residence permits or visas
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Proof of sufficient funds
    • Proof of existing German language skills
    • A university entrance qualification recognized in Germany (for the visa to apply for studies)
    • Letter of admission from the university (for the visa for study purposes)

    If at the time of the planned entry you do not yet have a university acceptance letter, it is possible to apply for a so-called study applicant visa. This special form of visa for study purposes is initially valid for three months and can be extended to a maximum of six months under certain circumstances.

    The visa for study purposes is issued only after the approval of the respective foreigners authority in Germany. In principle, there are no fixed deadlines for applying for the visa. However, since a visa must be presented upon entry into Germany, the application should be made in good time. More information on the recommended deadlines can be found here.


    Unlike in many other countries, there is a health insurance obligation in Germany, which foreign students must also comply with during their study stay. The same also applies to language students who are only living in Germany, for example, as part of a three-month language course. Proof of health insurance coverage must be provided at the time of enrollment at the university.

    In general, there are two types of health insurance in Germany - compulsory health insurance or public health insurance, on the one hand, and private health insurance on the other. The good news is that, due to the social security agreement, many international students' compulsory health insurances also apply during their stay in Germany. In some cases, private health insurance from other countries is also recognized, but it is not possible to switch to public health insurance while studying in Germany. If you have any questions about this, we recommend that you contact the international office of your university or your health insurance company in your home country directly.


    For a study stay in Germany, international students from non-EU countries* need a so-called proof of financing both for the visa application and for the study application in general. There are several ways to certify that you have the necessary financial means to finance your living and studies in Germany:

    • Blocked account
    • Declaration of commitment and proof of the parents' income and financial circumstances
    • Scholarship from a recognized scholarship provider
    • Bank citizenship; that is, a recognized German bank issues proof of financing
    • Letter of commitment from a German Verpflichtungserklärung; that is, someone residing in Germany commits to financially cover the study program

    In most cases, proof of financing is provided by means of a blocked account - a special bank account into which the amount of money required to cover the annual cost of living in Germany, approximately EUR 10,332, is deposited. As a rule, applicants do not have access to the account until they arrive in Germany and are only given limited access to the available money during their studies.

    * Citizens of EU countries (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Lichtenstein) are generally exempt from the proof requirement provided they do not need a visa to enter Germany for study purposes.


    The university entrance qualification - HZB for short - is one of the most important documents for taking up a course of study abroad at a German university and confirms the equivalence of the foreign educational qualification with the German Abitur. The HZB of applicants from EU member states as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway are generally also recognized in Germany. The same preconditions apply to non-EU citizens, although a visa for study purposes is also required (see above).

    If the foreign degree is not recognized in Germany, admission to studies can alternatively take place after attending a Preparatory College (Studienkolleg) followed by an assessment test. A Preparatory College is a one-year preparatory course for the corresponding course of study in Germany.

    All information about the TUDIAS Preparatory College and the necessary admission requirements can be found here.



    In preparation for studying abroad in Germany, foreign students are required to provide proof of their existing German language skills. This includes the following recognized test formats:

    • TestDaF and Telc C1
    • Language certificate for the DAAD and BVMD
    • German Language Diploma of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II (DSD)
    • German language test for the admission of international applicants (DSH)

    The TestDaF (German as a Foreign Language) is a standardized test in which the required language skills are tested both orally and in writing in four sub-tests.

    In some cases, proof of English language skills may also be required. TUDIAS offers, among others, the TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for academic English and the TOEIC® (Test of English for International Communication) for business English.

    More information on the language tests and certificates offered by TUDIAS as well as the costs involved can be found here.


    When enrolling at a German university, in addition to the documents mentioned above, the high school transcripts or officially certified (and complete) copies of the transcripts must also be submitted. We recommend that international students submit officially certified copies in the original language along with an English or German translation. Certification of certificates is usually possible in the home country as well as locally in Germany at any public office with an official seal. This includes, for example, city halls or courts. A certification contains the following features:

    • Print of the official seal in the original
    • Certification note showing that the copy and the original are identical
    • Original signature of the certifier

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