Exchange Students Coming to Hamburg

Stefan Malzkorn

The City of Hamburg

HSBA is located in the heart of Hamburg, Germany's second biggest city, fascinating, vibrant and with a fantastic quality of life. Find out more about Hamburg, it's culture and people here.

The Hamburg Welcome Center

The City of Hamburg is a continuously growing metropolis. Each year, more than 80,000 people choose Hamburg as their new home and enrich the city with all of their different mentalities, qualifications and experiences. To make all these newcomers feel at home, the Hamburg Welcome Center was established in April 2007. It is the first contact point for new citizens from both Germany and abroad and provides free advice on topics such as accommodation, work and business, school education and university studies, children and family as well as culture and leisure. There is an additional tailor-made offering for qualified employees with regard to managing immigration issues.

Foreign students can also get their first residence permit and their first registration of residence at the Hamburg Welcome Center by prior arrangement. Further information can be found on the Hamburg Welcome Center website

Visas

Please contact the relevant German representative offices abroad in order to find out whether you need a visa and/or a residence permit for your studies in Germany. The staff will also provide you with information concerning the required documents and papers for a visa application.

We strongly advise to apply for visa early in advance. We will provide you with an official invitation letter to support your application. In case you have not received a confirmation within 8 weeks of application, we suggest that you contact our international office.

Overview on Visa Information for Different Countries

You do not require a visa. To enter Germany you need a valid passport or an ID card. Within the first two weeks of arriving in Germany, you must report to the registration authority (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt). For registration in Hamburg you can go to any customer service centre (Kundenzentrum). You can find the closest customer service centre online. Simply type “Kundenzentrum” into the search box. Please bring along your passport or ID Card, a landlord's confirmation of residence ("Wohnungsgeberbestätigung") as well as a rent contract signed by your landlord/landlady, and money for the registration fee.

You do not require a visa, and you may apply for the necessary residence permit after arrival in Germany. Alternatively you can apply for a residence permit at the German Embassy or at a German Consulate prior to entry. To enter Germany, you need a valid passport. Within the first two weeks of arriving in Germany, you must report to the registration authority (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt) (see above for detailed information). Additionally, you must apply for a “residence permit for the purpose of studying” from the relevant authority (Ausländerbehörde) within three months of arrival.

 You do not require a visa, and you may apply for the necessary residence permit after arrival in Germany if you do not intend to take up employment. Alternatively you can apply for a residence permit at the German Embassy or at a German Consulate prior to entry. To enter Germany, you need a valid passport. Within the first two weeks of arriving in Germany, you must report to the registration authority (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt) (see above for detailed information). Additionally, you must apply for a “residence permit for the purpose of studying” from the relevant authority (Ausländerbehörde) within three months of arrival.

You must – with a few exceptions – obtain a visa before entering Germany. You can get this visa from the relevant German representative offices in your country. 

Please make sure that you obtain a national visa which is issued for stays lasting longer than three months (for example, to study a full programme).

You must make sure right from the beginning that you apply for a national visa for the purpose of studying (student visa). As a rule, you will have to present the following papers and (identity) documents to the relevant German representative offices in your country (e.g. embassy or consulate): 

•    valid passport

•    letter of acceptance from HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration

•    health insurance policy

•    two passport-sized pictures

•    transcripts of past student records

•    school-leaving certificate or equivalent entitling the bearer to study at a German institution of higher education. 

 Please make sure that you apply for the visa in good time and that your passport is still valid!

Within the first two weeks of arriving in Germany, you must report to the registration authority (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt) (see above for detailed information). Additionally, you must apply for a “residence permit for the purpose of studying” from the relevant authority (Ausländerbehörde) within three months of arrival.

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt): Information on the visa process as well as application forms in various languages.

Residence Permits

After arriving in Germany and having reported to the registration authority, most foreign students – except nationals of EU and EEA countries – must go to the relevant authority for non-residents (Ausländerbehörde) in their municipal district to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying.

You will be asked to show the following documents: 

  • confirmation of registration issued by the registration authority
  • proof of health insurance
  • certificate of registration from HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration     
  • rent contract
  • completed and signed application form 
  • proof of sufficient financial resources – if not already verified when the visa was issued 
  • valid passport
  • biometric passport-sized picture
  • money to pay the administration fees
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