Who needs a residence permit to study? When should you apply for or extend your residence permit for the purpose of studying? Are international students allowed to work in Germany?
Before your studies
Applicants from the India, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and Mongolia have to pass a special visa procedure. Please get in contact with the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS), which is attached to the German Embassy, in good time before the application. Detailed information and the forms can be found on the respective homepage.
Whether you need a visa to travel to Germany depends on your country of origin, the aim of your trip and the duration of your stay.
We definitely recommend that you check the current visa regulations on the "Visa-Navigator" page of the German Federal Foreign Office several weeks before applying!
- Entry without visa
Citizens from the following countries do not need a visa to apply or study in Germany:
- EU-countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Swiss nationals, however, must report their stay personally within 3 months of their arrival in Germany / Schengen area.
- Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, Republic of South Korea, New Zealand, San Marino, UK and USA. If you stay in Germany for more than three months, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying directly in Germany (see page "During your studies").
With the Visa Calculator you can count the remaining allowed days of stay in the Schengen area. Here is the link: https://www.visa-calculator.com/en
- Entry with visa
- Citizens from other countries worldwide need a visa to apply or to study at UdK Berlin.
If you need a visa to enter Germany, you should enquire about a prospective student visa (Visum zur Studienbewerbung) at the German consulate responsible for your place of residence before applying.
A tourist visa cannot be changed into a residence permit for the purpose of studying! With a prospective student visa, on the other hand, you can directly apply for aresidence permit for the purpose of studying. We recommend that you go to the Landesamt für Einwanderung (Immigration Office) responsible for your place of residence after receiving your admission letter.
- When should you apply for a visa?
The UdK Berlin recommends that international applicants apply for a visa as soon as they have received confirmation of their application. This will allow you to travel to Germany in time to take part in the entrance exam after receiving an invitation.
You will receive the application confirmation with the application number in the campus management portal my.udk-berlin (as an application PDF document) after submitting the online application for admission. You should submit this application confirmation as well as the application and admission information to the embassy (see application page of the respective degree programme). Please note that issuing a visa can take several weeks or months and that the dates for the entrance examination cannot be changed!
- Is it possible to receive a conditional admission or an invitation from UdK Berlin before applying?
Unfortunately, we cannot give you an invitation or a "conditional admission" document for your visa application, since only artistic talent is relevant for the admission at UdK Berlin. This can only be assessed by the admission committee during the regular application procedure.
Update on 13 June 2022
If you want to stay in Berlin permanently and study there, you can submit an online application for a humanitarian residence permit for temporary protection (humanitäre Aufenthaltserlaubnis zum vorübergehenden Schutz) at the Berlin Immigration Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung - LEA) if you meet the following requirements:
- You are entitled to this residence title (list of entitled persons: see link below).
- From 1 June 2022 is an allocation decision (Verteilentscheidung) from the State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) or from another authority required.
- For applications submitted online before 31.05.2022, the residence permit can be issued without an allocation decision. In this case, you need to prove that you are allowed to remain permanently in your current accommodation in Berlin.
Here you can find further information on the application for a temporary residence permit: https://www.berlin.de/ukraine/en/arrive/online-application-temporary-residence-permit/
Here you can find further information for prospective students, scholars and artists: https://www.udk-berlin.de/en/service/press-communications/support-help-and-solidarity-for-ukraine/
If you want to attend an intensive language course or a Studienkolleg in Germany before applying at UdK Berlin, we advise you to apply for a visa for study preparation (Visum für Studienvorbereitende Maßnahmen bzw. zur Studienvorbereitung). The visa is generally issued for 3 months, and the residence permit duration for that purpose should not exceed 2 years. This residence title can later be changed into a residence permit for the purpose of studying.
For further information, please contact the German consulate responsible for your place of residence directly.
If you have already entered Germany with a tourist visa, you must apply for a student visa at the German consulate responsible for your place of residence in due time. A visa/ residence permit won't granted for part-time studies!
Please note that the process can take several weeks or months to issue a student visa and that it may not be possible to start your studies at UdK Berlin on time!
When applying for a visa or a residence permit in Germany, you must prove that you can finance your studies in Germany. From 1 January 2021, a proof of secure livelihood of EUR 10,332 is required for one year.
Before starting your studies, we strongly advise you to enquire about this matter at the German consulate responsible for your place of residence a long time ahead. A blocked account is in most cases required as a proof of financial resources. Please find under the following link a list of blocked-accouns providers: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/sperrkonto/388600. Please note that the process usually takes several days!
You can find more information on the topic of visa / residence before, during and after your studies here.
If you have any questions regarding visa and residence permits, please contact International Student Services.
Exchange students and scholarship holders who do not come from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and who will study at UdK Berlin for more than three months, should apply for a national visa (D-Visa) at the German consulate responsible for their place of residence several weeks before entering Germany. The visa can be issued for three to twelve months. With this visa and a valid passport, you can also travel freely throughout the Schengen area.
Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of South Korea, UK and the USA also have the option of entering Germany without a visa and applying for a residence permit for the purpose of studying within 3 months of their arrival in Germany (see During your studies).