Visa and City Hall Registration

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Important Information during the Corona pandemic for students applying for a visa


Students from the EU, Schengen-associated countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Great Britain can enter without a visa.

However, many European countries, or at least some regions, are currently classified as Corona high risk areas. The list of countries and regions classified as high risk areas is continuously updated by the federal government. Therefore, there may be changes at short notice, especially new countries getting onto this list. Please check shortly before starting your journey whether you have been in a high risk area within the last 10 days before entering Germany. In these cases you have to expect a 14-day quarantine obligation (see exceptions here). The current list of affected countries can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute:

The following applies to students from outside the Schengen area:

In principle, you must apply for a study visa at the nearest German embassy or consulate. This is not so easy at the moment, because some embassies have not yet reopened and it is very difficult to get an appointment.

In previous months, the Embassies have asked for so-called "cerificates of presence". However, the German Foreign Office has decided that no more certificates of presence are necessary for the visa application. The German embassies and consulates have been informed accordingly and should accept your application for a visa without a certificate of presence, but on the basis of your admission letter, which you have received from us.

The same applies to entry into the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Police also no longer require certificates of presence when entering the country.

Important: If you enter from a country outside the Schengen area, for which normally no visa is required, you may currently be subject to visa requirements if your country is classified as a high risk area. In this case you should also contact the nearest German Embassy or Consulate. We recommend that you also regularly check the website of the Robert Koch Institute in this regard:

Please note :

If you have not entered Germany before your visa expires, you must apply for a new visa at the German Embassy. Residence permits from Germany also automatically lose their validity after 6 months abroad and you must apply for a new visa!

There are still strict quarantine regulations for entry from high risk and virus variant areas. Should this apply to you, you should only plan your entry if you have found quarantine suitable accommodation.
More about arrival and quarantine regulations can be found here.


General visa requirements for students from NON-EU countries

International students who come from a NON-EU country need - with a few exceptions, please check with the closest German Embassy - a visa to enter Germany. This visa can be obtained from the respective German Embassy or Consulate abroad. A basic distinction is made between two types of visa:

The Schengen visa is issued for a short-term stay (e.g. tourist stay, participation in a summer language course) of up to 90 days per half-year. Caution: If you have a Schengen visa, you must leave the country after 90 days at the latest. The Schengen visa is therefore not suitable if you want to study, do a doctorate or research in Germany.

A national visa (also called a D-visa) is issued for a stay of more than 90 days and therefore needed if you want to study or do a doctorate or research. As a rule, you will have to present the following documents to the German embassy or consulate responsible for you:

  • the admission letter of the German university,
  • health insurance coverage,
  • proof of any academic achievements already completed,
  • proof of any knowledge of German or a planned language course in Germany,
  • documents proving the financing of living expenses during your studies (proof of financing, e.g. a blocked account)
Since 2020, the annual requirement that must be paid into a blocked account when applying for a visa increased to 10,332 Euros (861 Euros per month).
For more information check the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Within the framework of the REST Directive, it is possible for third-country students to reside and study in Germany for a maximum time period of 360 days without a German residence permit if they have already been granted a residence permit in another EU member state for which the REST Directive applies. To apply for these simplified mobility conditions within the EU, you need to file an online notification ( download for the notification form Mobility according to §16a AufenthG) and the form for proof of subsistence (download form for proof of subsistence) as well as the following:

  • Residence permit of the first EU member state for study purposes and valid for the REST directive (Attention: this must be valid for the entire duration of the stay in Germany, as the stay within the framework of mobility is based on the residence permit of the first EU member state).
  • Proof of participation in a Union or multilateral programme with mobility measures or the agreement between the universities (this can be, for example, an Erasmus contract or a binational study programme).
  • Proof of admission to the host higher education institution
  • Recognized, valid passport/passport replacement
  • Proof that you have sufficient means of subsistence (currently at least Euro 861,-- per month, this also includes proof of health insurance valid in Germany) - for example: bank account statements

All documents need to be sent in pdf format to not later than 6 weeks before your planned arrival day in Germany!

Another option is a visa for a language course. But beware: This visa is only valid for the duration of the language course. It cannot be converted into a visa for study purposes. If a language course is to be taken in connection with a course of study, this must be stated when applying for a visa. A study visa or a student applicant visa must be applied for for this purpose.

Registration in Kiel

All persons who move to Germany (citizens from the EU, the EEA AND all NON-EU citizens) must register with their local residence registration office in their city upon arrival in Germany.

The opening hours of the registration office ("Bürgeramt" at City Hall, Fleethörn 9) in Kiel are
Monday 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m

Visits without an appointment are possible at the Residence Registration Office at the City Hall during the following hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

Please note that due to current hygiene regulations, access to the waiting area is limited. Unfortunately, it is possible that at the end of office hours the queue will have to be terminated.All appointments outside of these open consultation hours must be made through the City Hall's online registration service:
Please also use the appointments of the city's district offices, e.g. in Hassee, Mettenhof or Suchsdorf.

Registration at the Studiale
From October 4 until October 22 you can also use the services of the Residence Registration Office on campus at  Studiale (address: Westring 389). No appointment is necessary. The opening hours for this are:
Mondays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 6 p.m.
Wednesdays closed
Thursdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Fridays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The following documents must be brought with a registration:
  • Registration form (filled out by hand) or a pre-filled registration form (prepared by the registration office),
  • confirmation of accommodation provider "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (the renatl agreement is not sufficient),
  • identity card, temporary identity card, substitute identity card, recognized and valid passport or corresponding passport replacement document (§ 23 paragraph 1 BMG),
  • In case of registration by an authorized person additionally the handwritten signed power of attorney of the persons obliged to register and one of the above mentioned identity documents of the authorized person.
Additionally, if you are moving in from abroad:
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable,
  • in the case of children: Birth certificate.

Additionally, in the case of foreign documents: A translation of the documents by a certified translator (document and translation must be presented in the original).
More information is available on the website of the Kiel Citizens' Registration Office. (German only)

If you are staying in Kiel for more than one year and you register your main residence in Kiel, you can get 100,- Euro welcome money at the City Hall. More information.

If you do not live in Kiel, please contact your local authority to find out where and how to register.

Application for a Residence Permit

EU and EEA nationals

do not require a residence permit in Germany.

Nationals from third countries (NON-EU, NON-EEA)

must apply for an appointment with the local immigration office after entry and registration at the City Hall in order to obtain a residence permit. However, in order to apply for an appointment, you must prove that you already have registered or at least that you have an appointment to register at the local City Hall, as this determines which immigration office will be responsible for you.
If you have already registered or have an appointment to register at the City Hall in Kiel, you should also make an appointment at the Kiel Immigration Office by sending an email to In your email be sure to include your family name, your given name, your date of birth and the reason for the appointment.

The appointment invitation will be sent to your registered address. Make sure your name is on the mailbox to ensure delivery of the appointment invitation.

If you live in another city, please inquire where the responsible immigration office is and how you can arrange appointments there.
In general, you will need the following documents:

  • Confirmation of registration (Meldeschein) from the Einwohnermeldeamt / Bürgeramt (Residence Registration Office)
  • Proof of private or statutory health insurance
  • Student card of the university
  • Proof of financing
  • Valid passport
  • Money for fees (ask your foreigners authority about the rates beforehand)

However, your responsible immigration office will inform you - with the appointment invitation letter - what you need to bring along in your case. After checking your documents, the immigration office will convert your visa into a "residence permit for study purposes". The residence permit is initially limited to one to two years. Since study programmes usually last several years, you will have to extend your residence permit again.

If you have any questions, please contact
Jan Bensien