Although the International Office tries its best to provide up-to-date information on immigration issues at its website, we strongly recommend that you always check current visa requirements with the German Embassy / Consulate in your home country / country of residence since they are the only institutions that can give you legally binding information.
General visa rules:
- EU citizens: no visa required
- Non-EU citizens: a ''(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ is required
Citizens of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, (South) Korea, New Zealand and the USA have two options:
- Option 1 (strongly recommended!): apply for ''(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“
- Option 2: You are allowed to enter Germany without a visa but, in this case, you have to apply for an electronic residence permit in Konstanz upon your arrival.
Please apply for a „(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ according to „Art. 18 Abs. 2 Schengener Durchführungsabkommen“
General information about the national visa for longer stays:
With this type of visa, you can stay in Germany for a period of time between 3 and 12 months. Although it is called “national visa”, this type of visa allows you to freely move within the Schengen Area up to three months in any six-month period. The issuing authority for the visa is the mission responsible for the area in which you have your ordinary residence. The fee for this visa is 75 €. When you enter Germany with this visa, you will NOT be required to apply for an electronic residence permit (see other visa types below) in Konstanz.
Other visa types:
Please also note that you should in no case apply for other visa types such as “Schengen visa”, “tourist visa” or “visa for study purposes”, etc. With a Schengen or tourist visa you are not allowed to study in Germany and the “visa for study purposes” is only valid for three months. After that, you would have to apply for an electronic residence permit. This would mean additional costs (visa fees + at least 100 € for the electronic residence permit), several personal visits to the Konstanz Immigration Authorities and a lot of paperwork. The whole application process for the electronic residence permit takes about three months.
Should you have difficulties with the application for your visa for longer stays, please contact HTWG Konstanz's International Office immediately and do not apply for any other visa types!
How and when to apply:
Please apply for your visa at a German Embassy/Consulate immediately after receiving your acceptance letter from the HTWG Konstanz. The total processing time for a visa can take up to two months after the complete documentation has been submitted!
Proof of Finance:
When applying for the visa, you must provide proof of finance for the whole duration of your stay in Germany. This financial proof will be checked by both the German Embassy/Consulate and by the Konstanz Immigration Authorities. Konstanz Immigration Authorities are sometimes stricter regarding the financial proof than the Embassies/Consulates. Therefore, please only hand in proof of finance for your visa application that meets the requirements from Konstanz Immigration Authorities. "Proof of Financial Resources" below lists detailed Information about the (only!) four accepted forms of financial proof.
All students who need a visa to enter Germany receive the following documents for the visa application from the International Office at the HTWG Konstanz:
- Formal invitation letter
- Admission to the HTWG Konstanz
- A statement exempting you from the prerequisite German language certificate, if necessary.
Should you need proof of health insurance coverage by a German statutory health insurance company for the visa application, please see the link "Health Insurance" (below).
Electronic Residence Permit
Students from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, (South) Korea, New Zealand or the USA that have entered Germany without a „(Nationales) Visum für den längerfristigen Aufenthalt / (National) visa for longer stays“ must apply for an electronic residence permit at the beginning of their stay in Konstanz. With this residence permit, you can extend your stay in Germany until the end of your exchange period at the HTWG Konstanz.
The electronic residence permit (eAT – elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel) was introduced EU-wide on September 1st, 2011. It features an online ID function that allows the holder to communicate online with public agencies and administrations and to do business on the internet. You can find further information about the functions of the electronic residence permit here. Unfortunately, several personal visits to the Konstanz Immigration Authorities and a lot of paperwork are needed for the application and the whole process takes about three months. The International Office at the HTWG Konstanz will provide you with support throughout the bureaucratic process that you might encounter.
In order to receive the electronic residence Permit, you must also provide a proof of finance of 853€ per month for the whole duration of your stay in Germany. It is therefore crucial that you bring an authorized proof of finance to Konstanz (see Proof of Financial Resources below).