Residence permit for international students in Germany
If you are wondering whether you need to obtain a residence permit during your studies, this is explained in detail under Do I need a residence permit?
A short, simplified summary: if you are a non-EEA citizen and if your stay in Germany is going to exceed three months, you will need a residence permit. You can apply for this at the Ausländeramt .
Student helpers will be on hand to assist you with the formalities during the Orientation Weeks for international students.
If you are an EU or EEA citizen
EU and EEA citizens do not need to obtain a residence permit document. (List of EU and EEA countries)
However, those staying in Germany for the long term can obtain a document that confirms their entitlement to stay in Germany permanently after five years of living here.
If you are from Switzerland
As a Swiss citizen, you need to obtain a document of the type Aufenthaltserlaubnis-CH if you wish to stay in Germany for more than 90 days. This is a special type of residence permit for Swiss people living in Germany. As of September 2020, the paper version costs 8 Euros, an electronic version costs between 22.80 and 28.80 Euros, depending on your age.
If you are from the United Kingdom
UK citizens who moved to Germany before the end of 2020 must obtain a residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB) by the end of June 2021 to protect their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
UK citizens who arrive in Germany after 1st January 2021 require a residence permit to stay in Germany for more than 90 days (out of any rolling 180-day period).
If you are from another country but you did not need a visa to enter Germany
If you are from a country that is not part of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland, and if you arrived in Germany without needing a visa, then you definitely must obtain a residence permit if you wish to study in Germany. You should apply for one as soon as you arrive in Passau.
If you needed a visa to enter Germany
If you needed a visa to travel to Germany, then you need to check how long the visa allows you to stay in Germany for.
If your visa covers the whole duration of your studies (and your stay) in Germany, then you do not need to obtain a residence permit.
If your visa expires before your studies are due to finish, then you must obtain a residence permit. You should start the process of applying for a residence permit at least 8 weeks before your visa expires.
Please note: you must have the correct type of visa (i.e. a student visa) in order to obtain a residence permit. If you arrived on a tourist visa, for example, you will not be able to obtain a residence permit.
If you already have a residence permit
If your residence permit expires before your studies or your stay in Germany are finished, then you must apply for a new residence permit. You should start the process of applying for a residence permit at least 8 weeks before your old one expires.
Applying for a residence permit
Citizens of countries that aren't part of the EEA are issued electronic ID cards for foreign citizens, the 'e-Aufenthaltstitel'. If either your visa or residence permit is about to expire, you should renew your residence permit at least eight weeks before your current one runs out. At the time of writing, the fee for a student residence permit application is €100.00 (frist time) and €93.00 for renewals.
To apply for a residence permit, you need to provide the following documents:
- the completed application form (You can find it for download after logging in to Stud.IP here)
- a biometric passport photograph not older than three months
- copy of your valid passport (which should include your entry visa if applicable)
- the enrolment certificate ('Immatrikulationsbescheinigung') you received from the University of Passau (German page)
- a health insurance certificate (if possible in German; recent letter from the insurance company)
- proof of sufficient funds for your stay, such as one of the following:
- a scholarship or bursary with a stipend of at least €934 per month (date of information: January 2023)
- a guarantee ("Verpflichtungserklärung") given by a company, organisation or private individual, that the they will pay for any expenses incurred during your stay in Germany, as well as bank account statements showing that the amounts have actually been paid into the account for the last six months. The guarantee has to be certified by the immigration office if the guarantors are based in Germany, or, after a credit check, by the relevant German embassy if the guarantors are based abroad.
- a blocked savings account ('Sparbuch mit Sperrvermerk') held in a German bank, with a monthly withdrawal limit of €934 (date of information: January 2023). The minimum deposit must be €934 times the number of months on the programme (one semester = 6 months; highly recommended to block it for two semesters). The limit can only be removed with the approval of the foreigners' registration office.
- if you want to use a work contract as a financial proof, make sure to check: does it specify the exact monthly/weekly hours? does the net payment cover the monthly amount of €934 (date of information: January 2023) or do I need to combine it with a blocked account? does the period of the contract cover the period you want to extend your residence permit?
- a "Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung" signed and filled in by your landlord. You can download the form on the website of the city of Passau. (for first-time application)
- a confirmation about your city registration"Meldebescheinigung" (for frist-time application)
Please note: At the moment (spring 2023) you need an appointment to visit the Foreigner's Registration Office. The University supports international students during their extensions and first-time applications for residence permits. Please check further details after loggin on to Stud.IP in the announcements.
Contact information for the Ausländeramt ('foreigners' registration office') in Passau:
When contacting the Office, please, make sure to include date of birth and contact details!