Further Information

Legal Requirements (Immigration/Visa)

Legal Requirements (Immigration / Visa)

In order to study in Germany international students need a student residence permit.

You have to apply for a student residence permit with the German diplomatic representation in your country of origin before you come to Germany.

Commencing your studies without a student residence permit is not allowed. A tourist visa, business visa, etc. will not suffice!

When applying for a visa, you will have to present your letter of admission or an official document stating that you have applied for admission at Heidelberg University, as well as proof of sufficient funds to pay for your studies and your living expenses in Germany. If you have further questions regarding your visa application, please contact the German diplomatic representation (embassy, consulate) in your country of origin.

EU and EEA nationals do not need a visa and can apply for a certificate of freedom of mobement (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung") with the local foreigners' registration office.

Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Switzerland and the USA are allowed to enter Germany without a visa. However, students from these countries planning on staying longer than three months in Germany must apply for a residence permit with the local foreigners’ registration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) upon arrival in Heidelberg. The enrolment is possible before applying for a residence permit for a longer stay.

Applicants who have submitted their application documents to the International Office at Heidelberg University may request to be issued a confirmation of application stating that their application has been received. This document can only be issued

1. if all required application documents have been submitted in due time and form, and

2. if the programme applied for is offered at Heidelberg University.

To request a confirmation of application, please fill in the appropriate form and hand it in at the International Office. The document you will be issued is an official confirmation that your application documents have been received by the university in due time and form; you can use this document when applying for a visa with the German Embassy / Consulate. It is prohibited to enter Germany on a tourist visa when intending to study there. If you need further information, please contact the respective German diplomatic or consular representation.


Assessment Test at the Studienkolleg

International applicants who are required to take the “Prüfung zur Feststellung der Eignung für die Aufnahme eines Studiums” (so-called “Feststellungsprüfung” - assessment test) may take part in the preparatory course at the Heidelberg University’s “Studienkolleg” to prepare for this examination.

Applicants without citizenship of an EU/EEA country must apply for the “Studienkolleg” in combination with a study programme with the International Office. Special regulations apply when applying for the “Studienkolleg” in combination with the study programmes “Medizin” (Medicine), “Pharmazie” (Pharmacology) or “Zahnmedizin” (Dentistry). More information can be found here.

EU/EEA citizens who, according to the recommendations by the “Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen” in Bonn may take part in the “Studienkolleg”, and who wish to apply solely for subjects without admissions restrictions must apply with the university’s International Office, using the form Application for Admission. In this case, you apply for the “Studienkolleg” in combination with a study place in your degree programme of choice.

EU/EEA citizens who, according to the recommendations by the “Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen” in Bonn may take part in the “Studienkolleg”, and who wish to apply for subjects with admissions restrictions must apply with the university’s International Office, using the form Application for Admission. In this case, you apply only for the “Studienkolleg”, not for a degree programme.

The “Studienkolleg” only accepts applicants with very good German-language knowledge. You should be able to produce written evidence that you have taken at least 800 hours of German lessons up to the time of application. Exemption from the entrance examination / German examination cannot be granted, because the result of this examination is used as the basis for your placement in one of the preparatory courses.

The duration of preparatory courses at the “Studienkolleg” is two semesters. In exceptional cases applicants can be admitted to the assessment test without taking the preparatory course, provided that they have demonstrated a very good knowledge of the German language. Applicants can only be admitted to the so-called “Externe Feststellungsprüfung” (external assessment test) if they have been granted a study place at a higher-education institution in Baden-Württemberg. In addition to the general application documents, applicants intending to take the assessment test as “external candidates” must submit a self-written statement explaining why they wish to do so. The application must be submitted at least one month before the official application deadline (1 June for the winter semester; 15 December for the summer semester).


Financing Your Studies

It is expected that international students have sufficient funding at their disposal when they come to Heidelberg University. Therefore, Heidelberg University requires you to present a document explaining how you are going to finance your study visit (not applicable for EU / EEA nationals). Students cannot expect to be able to finance their studies by working or by working part-time. If you have any questions concerning labour laws, please contact the student advisory office at the International Office (e-mail:

Information on scholarships, in particular on those of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), is available with the German diplomatic and consular representations and with German cultural institutions all over the world. For further information, please read this information leaflet and visit the respective websites of the student services organisation (“Studentenwerk”).


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Latest Revision: 2014-04-16