Visa and City Hall Registration

Important Information during the Corona-crisis


1. For students applying for visa

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

Currently, almost all countries in this area are not classified as risk areas with regard to the Corona pandemic. However, this may change again, as the Federal Government is constantly examining to what extent areas are to be classified as risk areas. Therefore, short-term changes, in particular an extension of this list, may occur and it cannot be ruled out that countries from the above-mentioned area are also affected again. Therefore, please check immediately before you start travelling whether you have stayed in a risk area within the last 14 days before entering Germany. In these cases, you must expect to be subject to a 14-day quarantine. 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 application of a visa. 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 requires 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 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, however, that there are still strict quarantine guidelines and that you should only plan your arrival if you have found quarantine-suitable accommodation.
More about quarantine regulations can be found here.


2. For students who are already in Germany

Concerning residence permits, work permits and visas

  • Residence permits/visas (and therefore also the corresponding work permits) that have expired in the Corona interim period (from about 17.03.2020) or will soon expire remain valid until an appointment can be made with the Immigration Office. This includes the 120-days work permit.
  • Persons with residence permits for Germany who are currently staying abroad and whose residence permit expires abroad can contact the Immigration Office in Kiel by e-mail in order to obtain a fictional certificate that allows them to re-enter Germany.   
  • Appointments that were canceled during the closure of the Immigration Office in Kiel, do not need to be requested again. The Immigration Office will send out new appointment invitations to those, whose appointments were canceled.
  • Appointments that were scheduled for the period after the re-opening of the Immigration Office (from May on) do not need to be requested again. The Immigration Office will send you a new appointment invitation letter or a confirmation of your scheduled appointment.

General visa required for students from NON-EU countries

International students who come from a NON-EU country need - with a few exceptions, please check with the next German Embassy - a visa to enter Germany. This visa can be obtained from the respective German Embassy 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 the summer language course) of up to three months per half-year. Caution: If you have a Schengen visa, you must leave the country after three months 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 is issued for a stay of more than three months 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 the studies (proof of financing, e.g. a blocked account)
Starting January 1, 2020, the presumed annual requirement that must be paid into the blocked account when applying for a visa will increase to 10,236 Euros (853 Euros per month). This increased amount applies to all visa applications submitted from September 1, 2019.
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 without a German residence permit if they have already been granted a residence permit in another EU member state within the meaning of the REST Directive. The prerequisite for these facilitated mobility conditions within the EU is not only the sending of a digitally filled out notification ( download for the notification form Mobility according to §16a AufenthG) as well as the form for proof of subsistence (download form for proof of subsistence) but also:

  • Residence permit of the first EU member state for study purposes and within the meaning of the 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 853,-- per month, this also includes proof of health insurance valid in Germany) - necessary: bank account balances

All documents need to be sent in pdf format to not later than 5 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 the responsible residents' 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
mondays 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
tuesdays 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
thursdays 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
fridays 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Spontaneous consultation hours are between 7.30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Those who come during that time, report to the information counter with the necessary documents and receive a waiting number. Only limited waiting numbers are available.

After 12 p.m., registration, passport and identity card issues can only be dealt with by appointment. Appointments can be booked online at or by phone at (0431) 901-904. For some matters, such as criminal records, no appointment is necessary in the afternoon.
An appointment is always required for visits registration offices in Kiel suburbs. Booking has been possible for some time at
The opening hours of all offices can be found here.

At the beginning of winter semester, from October 19 to November 13, 2020, you also have the possibility to register on campus at the Studiale in the rooms of the Förde Sparkasse (Westring 389, 24118 Kiel):
mondays from 8 AM to 12 PM and from 1 to 4 PM
tuesdays from 8 AM to 12 PM and from 1 to 6 PM
wednesday closed
thursdays from 8 AM to 12 PM and from 1 to 4 PM
fridays from 8 AM to 12 PM

The Studiale will be closed on November 2.

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)

must apply for an appointment with the responsible 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 an appointment to register at the relevant City Hall, as this determines which immigration office will be responsible for you.
If you have an appointment for registration 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:

  • Completed confirmation of registration (Meldeschein) from the Einwohnermeldeamt / Bürgeramt (Residents' 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 - when you make the appointment - 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