You can find out if you need a visa to enter Germany by checking out the list of countries for which a visa is required issued by the Federal Foreign Office. On this multilingual website of the Federal Foreign Office you will find all information on visa applications and what is currently valid for your nationality.

Please apply for your visa in a timely manner with the responsible German representatives, as it may take up to two or three months to process your application. We strongly urges applicants to apply for a student applicant visa immediately following the application deadline by submitting confirmation that their application for admission to university has been received. This ensures that you can enter Germany in time to commence studies if you are accepted to a programme.

Note that the 3-month Schengen visa (tourist visa, visitor’s visa, business visa, visa to attend a language course without the intention of pursuing university study) cannot be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of university study in Germany. In this case, you must leave Germany and reenter with a special student visa issued by the diplomatic mission responsible.


Study applicant visa

You can already apply for a student applicant visa if you have applied to HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) and have received confirmation of your application. 

Applying for a student applicant visa is recommended as the processing of visa applications usually takes 2-3 months and you can enter the country in good time before the start of your studies.

It is important to arrive before the start of your studies so that you:

  • have time to look for accommodation
  • can take part in the orientation week
  • register for courses in good time
  • prepare for your semester and start your studies without stress

To apply for a student applicant visa at the German embassies/consulates general, you will need a confirmation of application. HCU will send you this “confirmation of application” by email after you have submitted your online application electronically via the ahoi application portal.

The application confirmation does not say anything about whether you will actually be admitted to HCU. It is only a confirmation that you have applied. You should therefore only enter Germany with your student applicant visa once you have received your letter of admission and have accepted your place.

If you are already in Germany and your visa expires, you can present the application confirmation at your local foreigners’ department. Based on this, the foreigners’ department can give you a short-term extension to your visa until a decision has been made about your application.

The student applicant visa is usually valid for 3 months.

Please contact the responsible German diplomatic mission directly to find out how to apply for a student applicant visa.


Student visa

As a student applicant, you can also apply for a student visa to enter Germany. To apply for a student visa, you must provide proof of confirmation of your stduy place (letter of admission) and the financing during the study visit. 

Please contact the responsible German diplomatic mission directly to find out how to apply for a student visa.


Residence permit of Hamburg

If you are accepted to study and arrive in Hamburg with a student applicant visa, your visa will be converted into a temporary residence permit for study purposes after a re-examination by the Hamburg Welcome Center or the local foreigners authority, providing all requirements have been meet.