Students from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and from some other countries can enter Germany without a visa. They only need a valid passport or ID card and must apply for a residence permit for study purposes with the foreign nationals office (Ausländeramt).

German law requires non-EU nationals to apply for a Student Visa (Visum für Studienzwecke). As visa requirements differ for each country, you have to contact the German Embassy or the German consulate General in your home country to obtain correct information. The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a table of countries that shows which citizens require/do not require visas to enter Germany.

Since the visa process can be rather lengthy, we recommend that you enquire about the entry regulations which apply for your country  well in advance of the date you wish to begin your academic studies. You have to apply for your student visa in your home country.  Once you arrive in Germany you must present your visa to the German Aliens Department where it will be converted to a residence permit for the purpose of studying.

The actual visa process can only be started after you have received the visa invitation/ your letter of acceptance from DHBW Heilbronn.

Do not enter Germany with a tourist visa, because you will not be able to convert it to a residence permit for studies, not even if you are in possession of the admission certificate to a German university. In such a case you would have to return to your home country!

The German Embassy issuing your visa will send the visa application directly to the Alien Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) of the German town you wish to reside. Once you are in Germany, you will have to register with the Ausländerbehörde where you will also receive more information on how to extend your visa.

The International Office will assist you in this matter during the Orientation Week.


Residence Permit

You are required to register with the local authorities. Depending on your home country, you might additionally need to apply for a residence permit for which you will have to provide further documents. The International Office will assist you in this matter during the orientation week.Please see here for more information on the residence permit: