Difference between a visa and a residence permit
A visa is a permit that allows you to enter Germany.
It is issued by German embassies and consulates all over the world. Anyone who intends to stay in Germany for longer than three months in order to study or work must apply for the correct visa. The type of visa always depends on the purpose of the stay (student visa §16).
A residence permit is a permit allowing you to stay in Germany for a particular purpose. This permit is issued by the local immigration authorities and must be applied for within three months of arrival.
An extension to the residence permit should be applied for at least one month before it expires.
If the purpose of the stay or place of residence in Germany changes, then a change to the residence permit must also be applied for.
Visa procedures for international students
When you have received your admission letter from the University of Applied Sciences Landshut, then you may apply to the relevant German embassy for a student visa.
USA: For citizens of the United States of America (including the American Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico) there is no visa requirement for entry to Germany. After entering the country without a visa you must apply for a residence permit from the immigration authorities in Landshut.
China: Citizens of the People's Republic of China require a visa to enter Germany. Holders of SAR passports (passports issued by the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau) are exempt from the visa requirement.
For more detailed information on other countries, please contact your relevant local consulate. You are strongly advised not to apply for a tourist visa!
Documents that are usually required:
- valid passport
- admission letter
- proof of travel medical insurance
- proof of means of subsistence (blocked account, scholarship/grant etc.)
- possibly proof of knowledge of the German language
Please contact the relevant German embassy local to your place of residence for more information on the precise visa application process.
Registration with the immigration authorities in Landshut must take place immediately upon arrival. The International Office will be pleased to be of assistance.