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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My German Visa Journey: Student Application Visa

In my last visa update, I talked about how I got a German language course visa. Since my German class ended and I took the TestDaF at the end of February, that visa was expiring.

My plan is to now apply for my Master's. However, the application period does not begin until April 1, so I needed an extension on my visa. Luckily, Germany has something know as a student application visa (Visum zum Zweck der Studienbewerbung) that gives foreigners time to live in Germany for 3 to 9 months as they apply to universities (if you can speak German, check out §16(1a)).

My new sticker in my passport. Germany loves the color pink.

For the student application visa, all I needed was:

1. Proof of Health Insurance
Just like last time, I brought a letter from my parent's insurance (BlueCross BlueShield) that states that I am covered while living abroad. It was in English, but he didn't care.

2. Proof of Finances
Marco already filled out the necessary paperwork to vouch for me financially last time (Verplichtungserklärung). This is good for three years, so I didn't have to do anything here.

3. Money
If I had asked for 9 months, then I would have had to pay more. However, when you are getting a visa for 6 months or less, you only get a sticker in your passport, not a separate ID card. This cost me 50 Euro.

My old visa was expiring on March 31st. I went into the foreigner's office on March 24th, and I walked out that same day with the sticker in my passport. Good to have that out of the way!


  1. Hello!
    I just came across your blog and it has completely struck a cord with me. I studied abroad in Berlin fall 2013, and met my current boyfriend happenchance on the street there :). He is now in his last year of his Masters program in Berlin, and I am finishing my undergraduate studies in the states this May. The tentative plan is to spend this summer working and saving money in the U.S., and hopefully getting a TEFL certification as well. I want to apply to masters programs in Germany (ideally also Berlin), but first want to take the time to become near-fluent so that I can apply to German-speaking programs.

    Anywho! I was wondering if you had any advice regarding the ""Verplichtungserklärung" portion of the Language Course visa (or the student application visa). Since my boyfriend is still in school, he does not have a salaried job as you mentioned being a requirement. Do you know how much "a lot of money in a locked German bank account" would generally be, or what type of relationship you need to have with the person who is vouching for you? My host mom from when I studied there is ecstatic about me moving there, and even offered to adopt me if it would help.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Hi! Just wanted to say I really like your blog. It has been very helpful and interesting to know someone else's process of getting the visa and how life is life in Germany. Keep it up you're doing a great job!
    Have a great day. :)


  3. Hey!

    I have done A LOT (notice the capital letters) of research about this over the past few months so I hope I could help even a little bit. [Although I don't consider myself an expert either]

    SO, for the "a lot of money in a locked German bank account" portion, what I know is that you would need to open a bank account in Deutsche Bank in Berlin (you can do this through mail, you don't actually have to go to Germany to do it, but it takes a long time) and deposit the minimum amount for a year, around 8100 Euros (which is about 8800 USD or something).
    For the Verpflichtungserklärung, as far as I know, you don't even need someone who lives in Germany to do it. Your parents can do it for you at the nearest German embassy or consulate (check their website for the exact requirements.) Of course they would need to prove they have enough money to support both you and themselves (eg. Bank statements, salary certificates, business ownership documents, etc.) My parents did it for me and it went smoothly (keep in mind I don't live in the US though)
    The one I have looks like this:

    With all that being said, I hope I was helpful and I wish you luck in your future.
    Have a nice day :)


  4. That's very helpful, thanks! People ask about Verpflichtungserklärungen all the time, and I had no idea that non-Germans can fill one of those out.

  5. Yup! It was quite a headache to prove financial means without depositing money in a German bank account. I'm glad its over, now I'm just waiting for my student applicant visa to be approved by the embassy... wish me luck! :P


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