Visas for Students - Study Visas

The German practice for issuing a visa follows these steps: The student must contact the embassy to apply for a study visa for Germany, providing all necessary documents to prove their eligibility for studying in Germany. A motivation letter stating the reason for their intended study is also required. The applicant will be invited for a personal interview with the embassy officer, during which the sincerity of their intention to study in Germany will be assessed.


To ensure a well-prepared visa application, the applicant is advised to seek assistance from a lawyer. If anything goes awry, the embassy may refuse to issue the visa, leading to a lengthy procedure for obtaining it. Moreover, a rejection from the embassy can make obtaining even a tourist visa very difficult.


Strictly speaking, this practice violates EU COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training, or voluntary service, Official Journal of the European Union 23.12.2004, L 375/12. Despite this, the applicant should not avoid this procedure, as some embassies and certain chambers of the responsible administrative court in Berlin still assess the sincerity of the study intention, although they should not do so based on the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

The significant decision here is from the ECJ, judgement, September 10, 2014, in the case Case C 491/13 (Mohamed Ali Ben Alaya). According to this, the embassies must follow Art. 12 of directive 2004/114/EC.

The ECJ has decided that member states are obligated to issue visas to third-country nationals intending to stay in the territory of the EU member state for more than three months for the purpose of studying, as long as they fulfill the admission conditions set by the European Union. Member states cannot impose additional admission requirements. If the conditions are met, the embassy must issue the visa. The only criteria for rejecting the visa is if the study applicant poses a threat to public policy, public security, or public health.



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