Live and Study in Konstanz

With or without Visa?

Visa, residence permit and local registration office

Whether or not you will need a visa to travel to Germany or require a residence permit depends on your country of citizenship.


No visa or residence permit is required for international students from:

EU-/ EEA countries (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland)

If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland), you can enter Germany at any time to study.

You only have to register at the "Einwohnermeldeamt" (local registration office) with your German address within one week of entering the country. Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not need a residence permit during their stay.

In order to register with the city, you need a so-called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation of the landlord of your flat) in accordance with § 19 BMG from the landlord of your flat. It confirms that you have officially moved into the apartment.

If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please make sure that you receive this certificate immediately from the caretaker or tenant service when you move in.

If, on the other hand, you live in private accommodation, please ask the landlord to issue the confirmation as soon as possible.

A residence permit, but no visa, is required for international students from:

Switzerland

If you are a Swiss citizen, you can enter Germany at any time to study.

What is to be done then?

1.: You must register with the "Einwohnermeldeamt" with your German address within one week of entering Germany. You also need a residence permit from the Aliens Department in accordance with the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the EU and Switzerland.

In order to register with the city, you need a so-called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation of the landlord of your flat) according to § 19 BMG from the landlord of your flat. It confirms that you have officially moved into the apartment.

If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please make sure that you receive this certificate immediately from the caretaker or tenant service when you move in.

If, on the other hand, you live in private accommodation, please ask the landlord to issue the confirmation as soon as possible.

2.: You apply for a residence permit within the first three months after entry at the foreigners authority of your place of residence in Germany.

Attention: Observe the order!

  •     Please ask for an appointment: auslaenderamt@konstanz.de
  •     The waiting period may be up to 8 weeks.
  •     Important documents are: Proof of financing + health insurance
  • Health insurance: If you have a European insurance card from Switzerland, please have a German statutory health insurance (e.g. Techniker Kasse, AOK) issue you with an "exemption from compulsory insurance" in the statutory health insurance. You then present this exemption to the Aliens Department.

You will receive either an electronic residence permit or a certificate.  However, the residence permit can only be issued up to 3 months before the passport expires.

USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel and Brazil

You may enter Germany for a study visit without a visa. With your valid passport, you enter Germany as a tourist and apply for a residence permit to study in Germany within the first three months (period of validity of the tourist status). You need the residence title to study in order to be able to legally stay in Germany to study. At the same time, it allows you to travel for up to 90 days as a tourist in the Schengen states.

Please note: The three-month period does not begin from the time you enter Germany, but from the time you enter the Schengen area.

During the orientation programmes, we will help you to apply for a residence permit.

You must first register with the residents' registration office within one week of your arrival.

To register with the city, you will need a so-called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation of residence) according to § 19 BMG from the landlord of your apartment, which confirms that you have officially moved into the apartment.

If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please make sure that you receive this certificate immediately from the caretaker or tenant service when you move in.

If, on the other hand, you live in private accommodation, please ask the landlord to issue it to you as soon as possible.

In a second step, you apply for the residence permit at the local foreigners authority (Attention: Waiting time for appointments up to 8 weeks).

A visa, but (initially) no residence permit, is required for students from:

All other non-EU countries

Citizens of all other non-EU countries need a visa for educational and study purposes (no tourist visa!).

This must be applied for at least 8 weeks before departure at the responsible German mission abroad (embassy or consulate).

Long-term visa (recommended)
Students who study in Germany for a maximum of 1-2 semesters can apply for a longer-term visa (according to Art. 18 para. 2 SDÜ) at the German mission abroad. It can be issued for a maximum of one year. You can also take out a German statutory health insurance abroad. Please ask the staff at the German embassy/consulate explicitly about this possibility. Your advantage: You save 100 Euro for the visa extension in Germany and have already clarified all residence formalities on entry. Make use of this opportunity!

National visa (3 months):
If you enter Germany with a national 3-month visa, the visa must be converted into a residence permit for studying.

To do this, you must apply to the local immigration authorities before your visa expires. Please have a look at the procedure for the USA, Canada, Australia (...).

The residence permit is issued for a maximum of 2 years.

Exchange students be aware:

Please make sure that your visa is issued for the winter semester up to and including March, for the summer semester up to and including August!

A later extension of the residence status will not be possible!


The necessary financial resources must be proven for the residence permit!

Is this German bureaucracy too much for you?

During the International Office’s orientation programmes , you will receive support with applying for your residence permit.

  • Students who need an entry visa NO LONGER require a transit visa when travelling via Zurich International Airport. With a “national visa“ (Category D) for study purposes in Germany, you may stay in Switzerland for 90 days as a tourist.
  • Please inform the International Office if you have dual citizenship.