Visa & co.


Visa & co.


As an international student, you will need to obtain a visa and residence permit for the duration of your studies in Germany. All new residents of Hamburg, including international and German students, must register within one week of moving in.

Applying for residence permit takes quite some time and preparation, so to make your planning easier and provide orientation, please find below our overview on what you need to do when entering the country for the purpose of study. Not all steps apply to everyone, but depend on your nationality amongst others.

The detailed information below will help you through the process of visa application, registration and application for residence permit in Hamburg.

Non-EU applicants please note: The visa process takes up to two months, starting on the date of acceptance by KLU. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of other organizational matters to deal with when planning your study abroad. We recommend non-EU applicants to apply at KLU five months before the commencement of studies, and to apply for visa right after having received the acceptance by KLU.





apply for a student applicant visa / student visa in your home country, if appl.

right after having received the acceptance by KLU


register in Hamburg (all students/residents, regardless your nationality)

commencement of your studies


apply for residence permit, if appl.

max. 90 days after you have arrived in Germany


extend your residence permit until the end of your studies, if appl.

during your studies at KLU


in case you move within Hamburg or Germany: always register your new address (all students/residents, regardless your nationality)

during your studies at KLU

In general applicants for university studies have to apply for a student visa in order to enter Germany and study in Germany.

This does not apply for:

  • Citizens of EU,
  • Citizens of other European countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland),
  • Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Republic of South Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America may apply for a residence permit ("Aufenthaltstitel") after arriving in Germany.

Nationals from the countries mentioned above do not require a visa to enter Germany. Applicants from all other countries need a visa for entering Germany and studying in Germany. A tourist visa does not entitle the holder to register as a student. Visa applications must be made well in advance at the local German embassy or a German consulate.

There are two kinds of applicable visa:

  • Student applicant visa,
  • Student visa.

The following documents have to be presented:

  • Visa Application,
  • Valid passport,
  • 1 biometric passport-sized photo,
  • KLU admission letter,
  • Proof of sufficient funding (bank statement e.g.),
  • Proof of health insurance valid in Germany.

For details on visa, please contact the German embassy or consulate in your country. A list of German embassies, information on current entry regulations and the application forms can be found at the Federal Foreign Office.

Further information is also provided on the website by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

After arriving in Hamburg, you will need to register at any service center in Hamburg. It doesn’t matter whether you are an international or a German student – all new residents of Hamburg have to register within one week after moving in a new apartment or room.

KLU students find all relevant information and forms in the student intranet by KLU.

In order to be allowed an extended residence in Germany, non-EU citizens have to apply for a residence permit immediately upon migrating to Germany. It is essential that you always have a valid residence permit during your stay in Germany. As a rule this permit can be extended as long as your purpose of stay is still valid.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides detailed information about residence permit.

KLU students find all relevant information and forms in the student intranet by KLU.

Profile image

Kristin Duchow

Student Services Manager

Profile image

Stephanie Richter

Student Services Manager

Profile image

Frederick Stein

Student Services Manager