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Visa and residence permit

Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa and/or a residence permit in order to be able to study in Germany.


Please take care of visa matters as early as possible in order to be able to start your term abroad without any problems. As you have to apply for the visa from your home country (or country of residence), we suggest to start this process at least about two months prior to your departure from your home country (or country of residence). Please always contact your local German Consulate or visit their website to find out if you need a visa prior to your trip to Germany/Europe.

EU citizens and some other nationalities (currently for example students from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA) do not need a visa prior to entering Germany. So, just pack your suitcase, book a flight and come to Germany!

Those who do need a visa (currently for example students from China, India, Thailand and Turkey) must apply in their home country as visas are never issued in Germany! For your student visa application you will need the letter of acceptance (“Immatrikulationsbescheinigung”) from WHU, which you will receive after your application has been processed, as well as some other documents (please ask at your local German Consulate for more information or check the mentioned website). The visa will normally be issued for a period of three months, regardless of the time you will be staying in Germany. Once you entered Germany with a visa, you will apply for a residence permit covering the entire time of your stay.

If you have to apply for a visa, please make sure to apply for a student visa, as tourist visas cannot be changed into student visas afterwards and a tourist visa is not valid for entering Germany in order to study.

Residence Permit

All Non-EU citizens staying in Germany for more than 3 months must officially obtain a residence permit after entering Germany. You will need to apply for your student residence permit at the local alien office (Ausländerbehörde) in Koblenz after your arrival. The International Relations Office will assist you in this matter and will inform you in detail about the process during the orientation days. In order to save time, we kindly ask you and strongly suggest that you gather the required documents before you leave your home country. This will save you a lot of time and problems. Prior to booking your flight, please contact the IRO for information regarding the duration of your residence permit.

You need to gather the following documents for your Residence Permit

  1. One biometric, passport-sized photo
  2. Valid passport photocopy (just the page with the photo and personal date - in case you have a visa also a photocopy of your visa page)
  3. Photocopy of WHU Acceptance Letter ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung")
  4. Photocopy (or print out) of recently-dated proof of sufficient funds (at least 670 Euros per month) in English or in German (bank statement, account statement, certificate of scholarship and/or parent’s certificate including parents’ bank statement)
  5. Photocopy of proof of valid health insurance in English or German (mandatory data needed: confirmation letter specifying coverage for sickness, emergencies and all medical expenses, insurance period (whole time you will spend in Germany/Europe), region or country of coverage, your name).

Please gather these documents before leaving your home country.

We recommend all Non-EU citizens who do not need a visa to enter Germany to apply for your residence permit only after your arrival in Germany. If you already apply for your residence permit in your home country / country of residence, you will have to apply again at our local alien office in Koblenz, which will result in additional costs.

Internship in Germany

Some exchange students want to do an internship after attending WHU. Once you are accepted for an internship, it is very important for all non-EU citizens to obtain the necessary work permit.

Be sure to apply for your work permit as soon as you get the acceptance of the company! The application process may take at least six weeks. For additional information about the necessary steps, please contact the International Relations Office. More information on this topic will also be included in your welcome package which you receive upon arrival at WHU.