VISA How to get your student visa
Obtaining a visa is one of the most important first steps for prospective students from abroad. Whether you need a visa or not depends on which country you come from. Please note that the visa process can be long, so make sure you start the application process as soon as possible.
- If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in Germany, you can obtain a visa after you arrive as citizen of one of the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Canada, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, and the United States of America.
- All other foreign nationals wishing to stay longer than 90 days must apply for an entry visa in their home country before they come to Germany
- If you are a citizen of the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a visa. You only need a valid personal ID card or passport.
Please contact the German Embassy in your home country to find out whether you need a visa to enter Germany.
Detailed information about visa for Germany can be found on the DAAD websites “study in Germany”.
Indian Students can find relevant information here.
The entire visa procedure can take eight to twelve weeks, especially for autumn admissions. So ideally, you should submit your visa application to the German embassy or consulate in your country as soon as you have the letter of acceptance from SRH University Heidelberg.
There are several types of visas, so be sure to apply for a student visa, and under no circumstances come to Germany on a tourist visa. You cannot study in Germany on a tourist visa, and a tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa.
Student visas are usually issued for a three-month period. After you have arrived in Heidelberg and enrolled at SRH University Heidelberg, you will have to apply for a long-term residence permit at the Registration Office for Foreigners in your place of residence (Heidelberg, Mannheim, Eppelheim, Schriesheim, etc.).
As a rule, you will be asked to present:
- Proof of financial resources. Currently, international students must prove they have at least € 10,332 per year at their disposal (€ 861 per month). Proof of financial resources can be provided in various ways. In some cases, the German embassy or consulate may require a specific amount to be paid into a blocked access bank account to ensure financial security for the initial period of the applicant’s stay in Germany.
- Certificate confirming health insurance
- Certificate of past academic work and achievements – make sure that you write a convincing motivation letter, why your study at SRH University Heidelberg is important for your career.
- Certificate of German language proficiency (Exception: international programmes taught in English)
- Notification of admission from SRH University Heidelberg (“Final letter”)
If you are an international student coming from a non-EU country, you will have to provide evidence that you have sufficient financial resources to cover your living expenses in Germany for one year. This evidence is an important condition of getting your student visa and your residence permit.
International students have to set up a “blocked account” (Sperrkonto), which is a special type of bank account. You can choose where to set up your blocked account. From 1 January 2023, the annual amount that must be paid into the blocked account is € 11,208. Students are then allowed to withdraw up to € 934 per month.More information and list of banks
Make sure to take care of your health insurance
As a student in Germany, you are required to have health insurance. Without proof of coverage, no German university will be able to enrol you.
Please check to see which of the following situations apply to you:
- You are a resident of an EU country or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or Macedonia, and are insured at home. In this case, your medical insurance probably covers your stay in Germany. Germany has signed social insurance agreements with these countries to ensure cross-border coverage. With your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you are also insured in Germany. Please check with your insurance provider to be sure. You will need to send your policy to a German public company for them to check it and give you an exception letter.
- You are a citizen of a non-EU country and you are insured in your home country, but not covered for travel abroad. In this case, you must buy insurance from one of the statutory medical insurance companies in Germany (e.g. AOK, BEK, BKK, DAK, IKK, KKH, TK). Doctors charge the insurer directly for any medical treatment you receive. Insurance for students currently costs about €110 per month. Although all statutory insurance policies cost the same, it is worthwhile to compare services and payment options offered by the various insurers.
- You are a citizen of a non-EU country, and you have sufficient medical coverage in your home country for international travel or study. If so, you may be exempt from obligatory student insurance. Be sure to bring your proof of insurance with you.
Traveling from Frankfurt Airport to Heidelberg
If you plan to fly to Germany, Frankfurt Airport is usually the best choice. There is a very good train connection to Heidelberg (about 80 kilometres south of Frankfurt), or you may want to use private shuttle services.
- Arrival by train: Frankfurt Airport Station to Heidelberg Central Station. Tickets are available at automatic ticket machines in the station or online at bahn.de. The price is approx. € 25 one-way.
- Arrival by shuttle service to Heidelberg city centre: You should book your seat in advance, and be prepared to pay the fare in cash.
- Arrival by shuttle service door to door: This option must be booked 48 hours in advance, and again, be prepared to pay the fare in cash.
- Arrival by Flixbus: This must be booked in advance as there are limited buses.
On campus Getting started in Heidelberg
Living and studying in a foreign country and discovering an unknown culture may be a challenge at first. But you will overcome the culture shock: learn some German, try German bread, go to some traditional festivities, and travel to get to know your new home!
The International Office will organise a Mandatory Orientation Session during your first week, providing you with some social and cultural advice and connecting you with other SRH students. And we will be there to assist you with formalities or any problems you may encounter.
To digitally enrol before you arrive on campus, you need to send your documents to Student Services (email@example.com). However, you have to show up in person in order to complete the final enrolment process at SRH Heidelberg UAS. Please bring the following documents with you:
- Your admission notification;
- Originals of: your secondary school leaving certificate, and university diploma or degree certificate (if applicable);
- Your passport with a visa or a confirmation of your visa appointment for digital enrolment.
One day after enrolling, your student ID card can be issued at Maria-Probst-Strasse 3 (ground floor). Your student ID is a multi-functional chip card that serves as academic identification and is needed for photocopying, the parking garage, and the canteen.
Heidelberg has an excellent local public transport system that students can use inexpensively (€ 180) thanks to the Semesterticket. It is valid for six months, and you can buy it at Maria-Probst-Strasse 3 or at the central train station as soon as you have your student ID.
In Germany, all residents and visitors staying for longer than three months must register with the city government. Once you have found housing, you have to inform the Residents’ Registration Office in your city or town within one week. Students who live on campus have to go to the Residents’ Registration Office in Heidelberg-Wieblingen, Mannheimer Strasse 259, and fill in a registration form (Anmeldebescheinigung). All other students have to go to their local Registration Office. Please ask your landlord where it is. You will need the following documents to register: your passport (and visa) and your tenancy agreement, with a statement from your landlord confirming that you have moved in.
Please note: Anyone who lives in Germany and moves to a new location is required to inform the Residents’ Registration Office of their new place of residence within two weeks of moving in.
The formalities involved in obtaining a residence permit (from the Ausländerbehörde) depend on which country you come from.
- For students from an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland: You will receive a certificate confirming your right of residence when you register at the Residents’ Registration Office.
- For students from a country other than those listed above: After you have registered at the Residents’ Registration Office, you will have to go to the Registration Office for Foreigners (Ausländerbehörde) in your city to apply for a residence permit.
- For Heidelberg, the Registration Office for Foreigners is located at Bergheimer Strasse 69 (Bürgeramt). The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will have to make an appointment for your application.
Be prepared to present the following documents on request:
- Confirmation of registration from the Residents’ Registration Office
- Confirmation of health insurance coverage
- Confirmation of enrolment from SRH University Heidelberg
- Proof of financial resources
- Your passport and current visa, if you have one
- Money for the residence permit fee
- Your tenancy agreement
- Biometric passport photos (35 mm x 45 mm)
You will then be issued a residence permit valid for at least one year and a maximum of two years. It can be extended if necessary. Be sure to submit your application for your residence permit before your current visa/residence permit expires, even if you have not yet collected all the necessary documents. In this case, you will receive a provisional proof of application for the residence permit.
In Germany, almost every regular money transaction is done by bank transfer. This applies to recurring monthly expenses such as rent and insurance, as well as income such as salaries and grant or scholarship payments. If you present your enrolment certificate, most banks will be willing to open a student account for you. Some banks may request a copy of your residence registration or your tenancy agreement. Each bank offers different terms, although students are usually offered a current account free of bank charges and fees. The largest banks in Germany are Deutsche Bank, Sparkasse, Commerzbank, and Postbank.