Please inform yourself as early as possible at the German embassy or consulate in your country whether you need a visa to enter Germany for the purpose of studying or whether you need to apply for a residence permit here only after your entry. Please also find out, which documents you exactly need and prepare them carefully.
If you need a student visa, you must apply in good time to the German diplomatic representation in your home country. Under no circumstances is it possible to first enter Germany on a tourist visa and then transform it into a student visa on the spot.
If you need a visa to enter Germany, you will need, among other things, proof of financing. This must also be presented each year for the subsequent residence permit. The proof of financing serves to demonstrate that every international student can pay for his or her living expenses. Therefore, 836 euros per month and 10,032 euros for a whole year must be proven. This money must actually be available to you and usually blocked on a German bank account.
Further information on blocked accounts can be obtained from the International Office.
Please read our detailed Travel Directions carefully, which you will receive with your registration and can find in the download area below.
Upon arrival, every student must be enrolled at the RWU. Matriculation will be carried out during the Welcome and Orientation Programme and the International Office will assist you. You will receive an e-mail before your arrival telling you what documents you need to bring with you and what things you need to have done.
Residence registration office
Foreign students must register with the Einwohnermeldeamt of the city or municipality in which they live within the first 14 days of their arrival in Germany. We will do this together with you during the Welcome and Orientation Programme.
You will have to present your passport or identity card and answer questions about your address (if you live in a dormitory, please also state your room number!), your religion and your marital status.
Since 01.11.2015 you also have to show your tenancy agreement or a so-called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" when registering. Your landlord must complete this form before registering with the Einwohnermeldeamt.
Every foreigner must register with the Aliens Department in his or her place of residence within the first seven days of entering Germany. This happens automatically with the registration at the Einwohnermeldeamt.
Citizens of all non-EU countries must apply for a residence permit as soon as they have all the necessary documents. The application documents must be submitted before the visa expires, i.e. at least 4 weeks before. You will receive the relevant application form from the Aliens Department as well as a list of the documents you will need and the fee you will have to pay.
The residence permit is usually issued for one year, usually until the end of the semester after next. Thereafter, the residence permit must be extended annually and thus an amount must be proven each year to secure your livelihood. Please note that this sum must actually be available to you. If you have entered with a blocked account, you must block the annual minimum amount on your German account for each renewal of your residence title.
Please note: The residence permit is issued for the purpose of studying in Germany and is also tied to the course of study at the university for which you have applied for your visa. Therefore, the residence title will be lost after you have dropped out of university and you will have to apply for a new residence title if you want to stay in Germany.
A change of study programme within the same university or to another German university can be made without restrictions within the first 18 months after the beginning of the study programme (semesters 1-3). However, you must register early with the relevant foreigner’s authority. From the fourth semester onwards, the change of study programme can only be permitted within the framework of an individual discretionary decision by the competent foreigner’s authority.
According to German law, every student at a state college or university is obliged to have sufficient health protection. The presentation of a health insurance certificate is a prerequisite for matriculation. Your residence permit for Germany is also subject to a valid health insurance.
Please note that health insurance taken out in a non-EU country is not recognised at the RWU. We strongly recommend that you take out a statutory German health insurance policy. The International Office will be happy to assist you during the Welcome and Orientation Programme and even before you arrive. You will receive further information with your admission.
If you enter with a visa, you need a travel health insurance for your journey and the first time in Germany.
If you come from an EU country, please bring your EHIC (European Health Insurance Certificate) with you to Germany. You will receive this card from your state health insurance at home. If your home country has a social security agreement with Germany, please bring the appropriate form with you.