Do I need an entrance visa in order to apply for admission?
No. You can, however, apply for a student applicant visa if you have not previously been able to establish contact with a German university. This will enable you to remain in Germany for eight months in order to gather information about studying in Germany and take steps to comply with any requirements for applying or being admitted to your chosen course that you do not already meet. During this time, you can also try to extend your residence permit without having to leave Germany.
Do I need to apply for an entrance visa in order to study?
In most cases, the only way to gain entrance to Germany in order to study is to obtain a student visa. If you enter Germany with a normal tourist visa or without a visa at all, the immigration authorities will not issue you with a study residence permit. More detailed information about the visa requirements for individual countries can be found on the German Federal Foreign Office's.
Citizens of EU countries and EEA countries (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) may enter the country without a visa. After entering the country you must obtain a certificate confirming your right of residence from the registration office. Equally, citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the USA may also enter the country without a visa. You must apply for a study residence permit from the immigration authorities after entering the country.
A letter of admission from the University of Magdeburg and proof of sufficient funds for financing at least one year of study in Germany (€720 per month or €8,640 per year) must be submitted to the German embassy in your home country with your study visa application. As the application process may take between three and twelve weeks, we recommend that you submit your application to the German embassy in your home country as early as possible. This visa is time-limited (usually for three months) and must therefore be converted into a residence permit for the duration of your studies after you arrive in Magdeburg. Note: For study and research visits of up to one year, it is possible to apply at the German Embassy for a visa for the entire duration of your stay.
Student applicant visa
If you have been unable to make contact with a German university from within your home country, the student applicant visa grants you the opportunity to enter Germany without having formally applied or having been admitted to an institution of higher education. Your stay as a student applicant may not exceed nine months. Initially you will receive a three-month visa from the German embassy. The visa may then be converted in Germany to a study application residence permit for a further six months by the relevant immigration authorities. During this period you may research the possibilities for undergraduate and postgraduate/PhD studies in Germany or take steps to meet any requirements for an application or admission to the course of study that you do not already fulfil. If all of the study requirements are met, you will receive a study residence permit. When applying for a student applicant visa, evidence of your qualifications to date and sufficient financial means (no less than €720 per month for one year) must be provided to the German embassy in your home country.