Please note that the information on this website is for general guidance only. If you have specific questions, you should always contact your responsible foreign representative.
On the page of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) you will also find useful information on visas.
Do I need an entry visa?
Non-EU nationals usually need an entry visa. EU nationals or citizens from the European Economic Area, Switzerland and some other countries with special agreements are exempt from the visa requirement. To find out whether you need a visa or not to enter Germany, visit the website of the German Foreign Office.
Where do I apply for my entry visa?
You must contact the German mission (German embassy or German consulate general) responsible for the official district of your main place of residence. Find a list of German missions abroad on the German Foreign Office website.
Which visa do I need?
You can apply for different types of visas. Be sure to apply for the right visa, as it usually cannot be easily converted to a different one and ties you to a specific purpose. For example, you cannot study on a tourist visa, but in order to convert that visa you must return to the country the visa was issued in.
If you intend to study at a university in Germany (to seek a degree or as part of an exchange program), write a bachelor’s or master’s thesis, or participate in a research project or internship as part of your studies, you will usually need a national visa for study purposes.
You can find further information at Study in Germany.
What documents do I usually need?
You can download the visa application form on the website of the relevant mission abroad. The foreign mission will require additional documentation from you, mainly proving the purpose of your stay and financing. As a rule, these include:
- A valid passport, valid beyond the planned duration of stay.
- Proof of health insurance.
- Proof of funding of approximately EUR 11,208 per year or EUR 934 per month (as of: January 01, 2023) This may include a scholarship award letter, proof of a blocked account at a bank in Germany, or a letter of commitment from your parents or another person along with proof of income or assets.
- Admission letter from the university or enrollment in preparatory language course, if applicable.
- Proof of English language skills
- Proof of previous academic achievement and/or higher education entrance qualification.
When do I apply for my entry visa?
Since visa processing often takes a long time, we recommend applying for a visa and making the appointment with the responsible foreign mission early on.
Submit all required documentation accurately to avoid delays due to subsequent document requests.
Do I need an residence permit?
Non-EU nationals usually need a residence permit. EU nationals or citizens from the European Economic Area, Switzerland and some other countries with special agreements are exempt from residence permit requirements.
I am an EU/EEA national, what do I have to do?
If you plan to stay in Germany for longer than three months, you must register your new German residence with the local residents’ registration office/ citizens’ office within two weeks of moving into your apartment.
I am a non-EU national, what do I have to do?
You must apply for a residence permit at the foreigners’ authority for your place of residence.
Please note: Before you submit your application for a residence permit, you must register your residence with the citizens’ office responsible for your place of residence. You must register your residence within two weeks of moving in (see item above).
Where do I apply for a residence permit?
You must apply for a residence permit at the foreigners' authority for your place of residence. To start, check the authority’s website to see if you need to make an appointment online.
What kind of documents do I need for a residence permit?
As a rule, the following documents are required to apply for a residence permit for study purposes:
- Valid passport (if you want to extend your permit, the valid electronic residence permit).
- Registration certificate of your residence.
- First application for residence permit or application for extension: Please fill out the corresponding application.
- Current passport photo: The passport photo should meet the requirements of the Passport photo sample board of the Federal Printing Office entsprechen.
- Certificate of Semesters Studied: Bachelor’s and master’s students need a certificate of semesters studied that contains information about the field of study and the number of semesters the student has completed. You can print these yourself via Compass.
- Proof of funding: You must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to pay for your stay. Acceptable proof may include a scholarship award letter, a letter of commitment from a parent or other person along with proof of income, a blocked account, or salary statements. Generally, the same documents are required as when applying for a visa.
Please note that the responsible person at your foreigners’ authority may request further documents from you.
After submitting your application, it may take up to six weeks for your residence permit to be processed and issued.
How long is a residence permit for study purposes valid for?
The residence permit for study purposes is usually issued for a period of one to a maximum of two years. It can be extended if the purpose of the stay, for example the completion of studies, has not yet been achieved or can be achieved within a reasonable period of time. An important criterion for the duration of validity of your residence permit can also be the proof of financing. For example, if you can only prove financial security for six months, your residence permit may only be valid for six months.
If you expect to take longer than the standard period of study for your studies, for example due to missing or fewer study achievements, the Foreigners’ Registration Office can request a academic progress certificate.
Please apply for a renewal approximately three months before your residence permit expires. If the application is filed in time (i.e., before it expires), the residence permit continues valid until the next decision of the foreigners’ registration office, including its associated rights such as permission to gainful employment.
Submitting your application late can lead to considerable disadvantages! Timely means submitting the application before the expiration date of your residence permit or requesting a permit renewal appointment by email to the foreigners’ registration office.
What is a Fiktionsbescheinigung (Probationary certificate)?
A Fiktionsbescheinigung grants you a temporary right of residence while the foreigners’ registration office processes the issuance or renewal of your residence permit. Contrary to the residence permit, this probationary certificate can be issued at short notice and is usually valid for a few months only.
Wenn Sie bereits im Besitz einer gültigen Aufenthaltserlaubnis sind und eine Verlängerung beantragt haben, wird die Fiktionsbescheinigung für die Wiedereinreise nach Deutschland akzeptiert und ermöglicht auch eine Erwerbstätigkeit.
Am I allowed to work with a residence permit for study purposes?
You may work 120 full days or 240 half days a year in addition to your studies. Find more information here.
What else do I have to keep in mind?
If you change your degree program, you must inform your responsible foreigners’ authority.
Once you have completed your studies, your residence permit remains valid and allows you to take up an initial job, as long as you have not exceeded the limit of 120 full or 240 half days. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you inform the foreigners' registration office as soon as you have completed all the required coursework. The degree is confirmed by a certificate of completion issued by the ZPA (Central Examination Office). From this moment on, you have 18 months to look for a suitable job that matches your field of study. During this time you can apply for a residence permit to look for a job. As soon as you have found a job, you should contact the foreigners' registration office to apply for a work permit or an EU Blue Card.
Please note: If you leave Germany and do not re-enter within 6 months, your residence permit expires! You then have to apply for a new entry visa through a German embassy or consulate in your home country.
As international student at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, you can contact our Admissions Office. Our staff members Ursula Haque and Laure Leuschner are at your disposal and will not only answer general questions, but will also provide you with the academic certificates requested by the foreigners' registration office.
Please contact Mrs. Haque or Mrs. Leuschner from the International Team and include your name, degree program and student identification number. Please note that it may take up to two weeks to process your request.
Some of the certificates, such as the certificate of enrollment or a proof of grades, you can print out yourself on the Compass platform.
Registration with the city
If you are new to the Rhine-Main area or if you change your place of residence, you must register with the citizens' office/city office of the respective city within two weeks. You have to find out which citizen's office/city office is responsible for your place of residence.
You will need your identity card as well as proof of your address, the so-called “Wohngeberbescheinigung”, which your renter must fill out. You can usually find the template for this on the website of your local citizens’ office.
After your registration, you will automatically be contacted by the contribution service for the Public Broadcasting Fee. In doing so, you will be asked to register for the public broadcasting fee. The public broadcasting fee amounts to €18.36 per month and is a fee that must generally be paid by every household. In a shared apartment (WG), the contribution must be paid only once by one person, while all other roommates refer to the contribution number of the person paying. Please either sign up or, if applicable, notify us if someone else in your household is already paying the fee. Ignoring the requests could have serious consequences, such as starting collection process.
If you are leaving Germany permanently – not for short-term stays abroad – you must deregister at your citizens’ office.
Even if you move within the town where you are registered, you must report this to the relevant citizens’ office.
Opening a bank account
Once you have registered with the city, you can open an account at a German bank with your registration certificate and your identity card or passport.
Find out if the bank you want to open an account with offers free accounts for students and what you need for them (e.g., certificate of enrollment).
Withdrawing money from an ATM
ATMs can be found near most banks. Best use an ATM from your own bank to avoid additional transfer fees. We recommend having a small amount of cash with you, as you cannot pay cashless everywhere.
What should I do if I lose my bank card?
Cancel your card immediately! To do this, go to your bank in person or check their website to see if they have a special number you can call. For debit cards, the standardized number is: 01805 021 021.
General emergency numbers
Fire and accident 112
Police in an emergency like traffic accident 110
Medical on-call service 116117
In case of an acute emergency or if you need emergency medical assistance, call the emergency number 112.
It is strongly recommended that you find a family doctor for your stay in Germany, whom you can contact in case of health problems. In case of illness, your family doctor may refer you to a specialist, such as a dermatology practice.
If you need medical care outside the opening hours of your family doctor’s office but do not have a life-threatening emergency, you can find a family doctor that is on-call by calling 116 117 or checking online. This service is usually available on weekends or holidays.
For very urgent, but not life-threatening emergencies, go to a hospital emergency rooms.
Pharmacies and medicines
German pharmacies sell over-the-counter and prescription medications. Prescription medication must be prescribed by a health care professional before its purchase. Please not, the medications costs are not necessarily fully covered by your health insurance.
The type of prescription indicates how much you will have to pay or co-pay. Red: EUR 5 co-payment, the rest is covered; green: you must pay the costs.
Pharmacy emergency service
Find out online which pharmacies currently offer emergency service , for example on Sundays or public holidays.
How can I reach the psychological counseling service at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences?
For students of the Wiesbaden degree programs:
Monday 12–1 p.m.
Telephone: +49 611 9495-1593 (only available during open office hours)
Kurt-Schumacher-Ring Campus in Wiesbaden, Building A, Garden Floor, Room A105b
For students of the Rüsselsheim degree programs:
Wednesday 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Telephone: +49 6142 898-4186 (only available during open office hours)
Am Brückweg 26, 65428 Rüsselsheim, Building A2 Süd (intermediate floor), Room 073
Psychosocial Counseling of the Studierendenwerk Frankfurt
The following facilities can help you in emergencies or outside of the office hours of the psychological counseling service:
- Telephone counseling in Mainz and Wiesbaden (24 hours a day and free of charge):
Telephone: 0800-1110111 or 0800-1110222
- Anonymous help line by students for students:
Nightline Frankfurt e.V.
- Psychiatric outpatient clinic where you live:
Community psychiatry in Wiesbaden
Social Psychiatric Service Groß-Gerau (for Rüsselsheim)
- Offene Ohren Hessen (Hessian database for help services on various topics):
Offene Ohren Hessen