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Visa regulations and residence permit

In order to enter and stay in Germany during your studies, you may require a student visa or a residence permit depending on your citizenship. Please do not enter Germany with a tourist visa under any circumstances - it cannot be converted into a residence permit.

Citizenship Visa / residence permit

Students who are citizens of EU countries like Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland

Citizens of these countries can enter Germany with a valid passport or ID. No visa or residence permit is required.

Students who are citizens of Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand,  the US and other (see list of countries of the Federal Foreign Office)

Because of special visa regulation agreements for those countries, these students can enter Germany with their passports and apply for their Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit) at the Ausländerbehörde of the city of Stuttgart (Foreign Registration Office) after arrival.
The following documents must be presented to the Ausländerbehörde and should therefore be brought with you from home:

  • Valid passport
  • Letter of admission (Zulassungsbescheid)
  • A biometrical photo
  • Health insurance certificate (Krankenversicherungsnachweis)
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources (at present between 670 EUR and 1.000 EUR per month, depending on your home country). This can be a savings book, a letter of guarantee, a confirmation from a bank on the credit balance available, a proof of stipend or scholarship, only visiting program students: a bank statement (this form is available at the Office of International Affairs:
  • 50 EUR handling charge (visiting program students need a confirmation from the IA for a waiver)

Students who are citizens of non-EU countries (apart from those mentioned above)

These students must apply for a student visa (Visum zu Studienzwecken) at the German Embassy or a German Consulate in their home country prior to departure. This should be done as early as possible because the processing time for such visas can be very long, i.e. up to six months. More information about entry visa for educational purposes can be found on the following websites:

Residence permit
The student visa is only valid for a short period of time (maximum of 3 months). On arrival in Germany, students must apply for a study residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) from the registry office or Foreign Registration Authority in their place of residence. In Stuttgart the relevant authority is the Office of Public Order (Amt für Öffentlich Ordnung):

Amt für öffentliche Ordnung
Ausländer- und Staatsangehörigkeitsrecht
Eberhardstraße 39, 70173 Stuttgart

Information on the residence permit by the Stadt Stuttgart [de]

Registration at the registration office

Since Germany has compulsory registration by law, every student (regardless of citizenship) has to register at the Einwohnermeldeamt / Bürgerbüro (Residents’ Registration Office) of the place where she/he lives within seven days of arrival. The following documents have to be presented to the Einwohnermeldeamt:

  • Valid passport
  • Form Anmeldung (application for registration) which is available at the Office of International Affairs upon arrival or at the Einwohnermeldeamt.
  • Letter of admission (Zulassungsbescheid)
Information regarding the registration can be obtained from the Office of Public Order or from the Welcome Guide of the University of Stuttgart which you will receive upon arrival.