For International Students: Formalities
International students who want to study in Germany need a student visa which can only be issued by a German Embassy or Consulate in the student’s home country. This currently does not apply to students or study applicants of the following countries:
- EU states & EEA states (European Economic Area countries: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein)
- Andorra *
- Australia *
- Brazil *
- Canada *
- Honduras *
- El Salvador *
- Israel *
- Japan *
- Monaco *
- New Zealand *
- San Marino *
- South Korea *
- Switzerland **
- United Kingdom ***
- USA *
For more information, you should always contact your nearest German Embassy or Consulate.
The visa application process normally takes eight to twelve weeks to complete; however, sometimes it may take even longer. Some German embassies and consulates abroad are temporarily closed during the Corona crisis. You should take this into account when planning your stay abroad.
Important: It is not possible to change a tourist visa to a student visa after arriving in Germany. It is also not possible to apply for a student visa in Germany. Visas can only be obtained at a German Embassy or Consulate abroad.
In addition, the website of the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service) provides helpful information on visa requirements for international students as well as a useful information leaflet with ‘Information on the legal framework conditions for Immigration and Residence of foreign students and scholars’.
Citizen Registration Office/Aliens Registration Office
Citizen Registration Office ('Einwohneramt')
All citizens living in Germany are required by law to register their address with the Citizen Registration Office located in the City Hall (Rathaus am ZOB) in Bamberg at Promenadestraße 2a (near ‚Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof/‚ZOB‘) within one week of arrival and after having found a permanent address. Please schedule an appointment at ewo(at)stadt.bamberg.de, and be prepared to accept waiting time.
Students living in the administrative area of Bamberg may find information on the Citizen Registration Office at:
--> Bürgerservice --> Ämter von A-Z --> Einwohnerwesen
Students who live outside the administrative area of Bamberg must register with the authority of their place of residence (e.g. municipal administration – Gemeindeverwaltung).
Aliens Registration Office ('Ausländerbehörde')
Students who are not from states of the European Union and do not have a visa for their stay have to register at the Aliens Registration Office in addition to the Citizen Registration Office. Please note that the Citizen Registration Office (Einwohneramt) and the Aliens Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) are two separate authorities.
Important: If you have a visa for the entire duration of your complete stay (e.g. for your exchange semester), you do not have to register at the Aliens Registration Office at all. If you want to stay in Germany longer than your visa allows, you need an appointment at the Aliens Registration Office. You must ask for an appointment before your visa expires (contact: abh(at)stadt.bamberg.de).
For students living in the administrative area of Bamberg, the Aliens Registration Office is located in the City Hall (Rathaus) at Maximiliansplatz 3 (‚Maxplatz‘). After registering at the Citizen Registration Office, you must ask for an appointment with the Aliens Registration Office of the City of Bamberg by e-mail at abh(at)stadt.bamberg.de about 8 weeks before your visa or residence permit expires. Please send only one e-mail. The following information must be included in your e-mail to the Aliens Registration Office when you ask for an appointment:
- your last name(s)
- your first name(s)
- your birth date
- information that you are a student at the University of Bamberg; in addition, your field of study (e.g. English and American Studies, Business Administration) and intended degree programme (e.g. short-term studies within an exchange programme; Bachelor’s; Master’s)
- expiry date of your visa/residence permit
No appointment can be made without prior arrangement! Appointments must be made at least 8 weeks in advance. Therefore, please be sure to ask for an appointment in time. Please contact the Aliens Registration Office again by e-mail only one week before your residence permit expires and attach your first appointment request. For the appointment with the Aliens Registration Office, the following must be brought along:
- current confirmation of enrolment at the University of Bamberg (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung)
- one new biometric, German passport photo (not older than 6 months)
- valid passport with visa
- proof of adequate health insurance (current certificate issued by health insurance company)
- your lodging address in Bamberg (as registered with the Citizen Registration Office)
- proof of funding during the study period in Germany (e.g. by formal obligation*; scholarship; savings book with restricted access/”blocked account”; or proof of sufficient funds in your personal German bank account -- in the current year 2021, the minimum credit balance is € 10.332 for one year -- to be proven with a current account statement of the credit balance). Proof that you had enough money for a year when you entered the country, or when you were issued a visa, is not enough.
The electronic residence permit is issued within 3 up to 6 weeks. It is not necessary to hand in one’s passport during the application process for the electronic residence permit. Consequently, students are granted full freedom to travel within the Schengen area during the waiting period of approximately three weeks. The fee for the initial electronic residence permit is € 100; the renewal costs € 93.
Students will be notified via regular mail from the Federal Printing Office (Bundesdruckerei) when their electronic residence permit (Elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel) can be picked up in Bamberg. Please make sure that your name is on your mailbox so that you can receive the PIN letter by post. Currently, due to the Corona crisis, the Aliens Registration Office is making appointments by e-mail or post (regular mail) to pick up the electronic residence permits.
If you have any questions, please contact abh(at)stadt.bamberg.de.
Further information on the Aliens Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) can be found at this link:
--> Bürgerservice --> Ämter von A-Z --> Ausländerwesen
Students who live outside the administrative area of Bamberg must register with the Aliens Registration Office of their place of residence (e.g. Rural District Office – Landratsamt).
By law, all students in Germany, both German and foreign nationals alike, must carry health insurance. Upon university registration, students must have a health insurance certificate issued or verified by a German health insurance provider.
To check which documents you need to bring along from your home country, please see below.
If you need a doctor or hospital:
Students who have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) must bring along the following documents when going to a doctor/dentist or to a hospital:
- identity card (e.g. passport)
- student ID
You must inform the doctor, the dentist or the hospital that you do not have a German health insurance. No costs shall be incurred for the services agreed contractually, except for any statutory additional payments which may arise (e.g. for medication).
Students who have an insurance certificate from one of the Convention States must contact one of the statutory health insurance companies and receive a medical treatment certificate (Nationaler Anspruchsausweis), which is required for a visit to a doctor/dentist or hospital treatment.
Here is a list of the statutory health insurance companies in Bamberg:
- AOK, Pödeldorfer Str. 75, 96052 Bamberg, e-mail: annika.neundoerfer(at)by.aok.de & martin.lindemann(at)by.aok.de
- BARMER, Moosstraße 91-97, 96050 Bamberg, e-mail: robert.kempf(at)barmer.de
- Bosch Betriebskrankenkasse (BKK), Starkenfeldstr. 21, 96050 Bamberg
- DAK-Gesundheit, Ludwigstr. 25, 96052 Bamberg, e-mail: lars.urbach(at)dak.de
- TK, Obstmarkt 5, 96047 Bamberg, e-mail: Werner.Orth(at)tk.de
Please note that this list is not a recommendation, but is for information purposes only.
For further general information on health insurance, please see:
Opening a Bank Account
Students from countries who are not part of SEPA (= Single Euro Payments Area) have to open a local bank account (for the regular bank transfers during their study period, e.g. rent, semester contribution fees).
To open an account, the following documents are required:
- identity card (e.g. passport)
- Letter of Admission from the University of Bamberg
- confirmation of your address in Bamberg (registration with the Citizen Registration Office, rental contract, certificate of residence/Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung)
Upon receipt by the authority in charge, the following must also be submitted:
- German Tax Identification Number (this will be sent automatically by post to your correspondence address in Germany within four weeks after registration with the Citizen Registration Office). The German Tax Identification Number must be submitted immediately after receipt. The EC card cannot be ordered without the German Tax Identification Number.
Students are mostly not subject to bank charges. The account must always be sufficiently covered for each withdrawal; otherwise, you might have to pay a penalty fee!
Liability Insurance ('Haftpflichtversicherung')
A private liability insurance is not compulsory, but strongly recommended. Not having a private liability insurance is grossly negligent.
A private liability insurance protects the holder against risks of liability imposed by lawsuits and similar claims. This means that a liability insurance offers protection if you are legally held responsible for property damage or negligent physical injury.
Anyone, who - for example - accidentally causes an accident, must compensate for the damage.
- You bump into someone at a bus stop, the person’s mobile phone drops to the ground, and the phone screen breaks. Fixing the damage or a new phone can cost you € 500 or more.
- While riding a bicycle you run over a pedestrian, and the person breaks his/her leg. The treatment costs can go up to several thousand euros. You must pay for any direct damage and, if necessary, bear the costs of treating permanent injuries.
Such and similar cases can therefore involve high costs. A private liability insurance protecting against this risk is available already from € 5 per month, and can be taken out after arrival in Germany. It is also possible to take out a liability insurance in your home country if the insurance from abroad is valid in Germany.
However, a liability insurance does not cover liability for injury or damage caused while driving a car. In this case, a car insurance is necessary, which is obligatory in Germany for the registration of a car.