Beratungssituation des International Office am SSZ-Desk
Beratungssituation des International Office am SSZ-Desk

Visa, residence permit and local registration office

The topics “visa” and “residence permit” are very important when studying in Germany. Whether or not you need a visa to travel to Germany or require a residence permit depends on your country of citizenship.

Where do you come from?


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

If you are a citizen of an EU- or EEA-state, you may travel to Germany at any time. You are not required to have a residence permit during your study stay. You only have to register your arrival with the "Einwohnermeldeamt" (local registration office) within a week's time.
According to § 19 BMG (Federal Registration Act) you need a so called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation from lessor) from the landlord of your accommodation, which confirms, that you have officially moved into the accommodation.
If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please be sure that you collect that document from the housekeeper or from the Mieterservice (tenant service) as soon as possible when moving in.
If you however live in a private accommodation, please ask the respective landlord to issue the confirmation for you as soon as possible. A template can be found on the page of the Bürgerbüro Konstanz.
When living in Konstanz, please visit the "Bürgerbüro" (citizens services) in Konstanz to register.

Switzerland

If you are a Swiss citizen, you can travel to Germany for pursuing university studies at any time. Which are the next steps?

First step:
Register your arrival within the first week at the “Einwohnermeldeamt” (local registration office).  According to § 19 BMG (Federal Registration Act) you need a so called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation from lessor) from your landlord of your accommodation, which confirms, that you have officially moved into the accommodation.
If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please be sure that you collect that document from the housekeeper or from the Mieterservice (tenant service) as soon as possible when moving in. If you however live in a private accommodation, please ask the respective landlord to issue the confirmation for you as soon as possible. A template can be found on the page of the Bürgerbüro Konstanz.
When living in Konstanz, please visit the "Bürgerbüro" (citizens services) in Konstanz to register.

Second step:
Apply for the residence permit at the local “Ausländerbehörde” (foreigners registration office), which is also at the “Bürgerbüro”.

Important: Please follow the steps in order!

  • Please request an appointment: auslaenderamt@konstanz.de
  • You will most likely have to wait a few weeks to go to your appointment.
  • Important documents include: Proof of funding + statuatory German health insurance
    Health insurance: If you hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from Switzerland, please ask for an "exemption " from the compulsary state insurance issued by a German statutory health insurance (e.g. Techniker Kasse, AOK) . Please present the exemption letter at the immigration office.

You will receive either an electronic residence permit card or a approval document. The residence permit may only be issued for a duration that is limited to three months before your passport expires.

 

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

You may travel to Germany for a study stay without an entry visa. You may enter Germany with your valid passport as a tourist. Within the first three months (duration of your tourist status) you must apply for a residence permit as a student in Germany. Your are required by law to have a residence permit in order to complete your study stay in Germany. This residence permit will also allow you to travel as a tourist for 90 days in the Schengen area countries.
Please take note: The three-month period does not begin when you arrive in Germany. It begins once you enter the Schengen area.

You should apply for the residence permit as soon as you arrive in Konstanz.
First,
register within the first week after your arrival with the “Einwohnermeldeamt” (local registration office) at the “Bürgerbüro” (citizens services).
According to § 19 BMG (Federal Registration Act) you need a so called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation from lessor) from your landlord of your accommodation, which confirms, that you have officially moved into the accommodation.
If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please be sure that you collect that document from the housekeeper or from the Mieterservice (tenant service) as soon as possible when moving in.
If you however live in a private accommodation, please ask the respective landlord to issue the confirmation for you as soon as possible. A template can be found on the page of the Bürgerbüro Konstanz.
When living in Konstanz, please visit the "Bürgerbüro" (citizens services) in Konstanz to register.
Second, apply for the residence permit at the local “Ausländerbehörde” (foreigners registration office), which is also at the “Bürgerbüro” (Please take note: waiting times for an appointment can be up to 5 weeks).

Important:

  • Please follow the steps in order.
  • Please decide which proof of funding you will submit before you leave your home country.

Alternative “long-stay visa”: Those who may only study for a maximum period of 1-2 semesters in Germany, may apply for a long-stay visa in your home country at the German diplomatic mission (in accordance to Art. 18 para. 2 SDÜ). It can be issued for a duration of up to one year. Please consult the staff at the German embassy/consulate in order to discuss this option. The foreigners registration office in Konstanz recommends this option for international students who are planning a study stay for up to one year.

All other non-EU countries

All other students from non-EU countries require a visa for educational purposes (no tourist visa!) to enter the country. You must apply for this visa (no later than 8 weeks before travelling to Germany) at the German diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) that is responsible for your country of residence.

Long-stay visa:
If you will study for a maximum period of 1-2 semesters in Germany, you may apply for a long-stay visa at a German diplomatic mission (in accordance to Art. 18 para. 2 SDÜ). It can be issued for a duration of up to one year. You may also apply for statutory German health insurance in your home country.

Please consult the staff at the German embassy/consulate in order to discuss this option. Your advantage: You will save 100 euros for the visa extension in Germany and will have settled all legal formalities required for staying in Germany for study purposes. Take advantage of this opportunity!

National visa (3 months):
If you travel to Germany with a national visa that is valid for three months, you will have to turn it into a student residence permit. For this, you will need to submit an application at the local Ausländerbehörde (foreigners registration office) before your visa expires.

First step:
Register your arrival within the first week at the “Einwohnermeldeamt” (local registration office).
According to § 19 BMG (Federal Registration Act) you need a so called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (confirmation from lessor) from your landlord of your accommodation, which confirms, that you have officially moved into the accommodation.
If you live in a student residence of Seezeit, please be sure that you collect that document from the housekeeper or from the Mieterservice (tenant service) as soon as possible when moving in.
If you however live in a private accommodation, please ask the respective landlord to issue the confirmation for you as soon as possible. A template can be found on the page of the Bürgerbüro Konstanz.
When living in Konstanz, please visit the "Bürgerbüro" (citizens services) in Konstanz to register.
Second step:
Apply for the residence permit at the local “Ausländerbehörde” (foreigners registration office), which is also at the “Bürgerbüro”.

Important: Please follow the steps in order!

  • Please request an appointment: auslaenderamt@konstanz.de
  • You will most likely have to wait a few weeks to go to your appointment.
  • Important documents include: Proof of funding + statuatory German health insurance

Usually this includes a residence permit that is provided by the local foreigners registration office for a maximum period of two years. The residence permit may only be issued for a duration that is limited to three months before your passport expires. 

Proof of funding

In order to receive a residence permit in Konstanz, non-EU citizens must show proof that they have access to at least 720 euros per month for the duration of your study stay. In our information sheet, you can find different options for proving your funding as well as a template for the guarantee letter of your parents . Please bring the original copy of your proof of funding with you to Konstanz. In case you intend to open a blocked bank account for your visa application from your home country, you may use the following German bank:

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.