German Visa Guidelines

The Padnos International Center (PIC) provides the general information below as a service to GVSU students. We strive to maintain accurate information regarding visa procedures, however, changes to policies and procedures may occur frequently without our knowledge. Students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa for their program and must consult the consulate for the most up to date information on application procedures.

Please look over the visa information carefully and do not delay, as visa procedures are time sensitive.


Do I need a visa?

All students participating in study abroad programs in Germany longer than 90 days are required to apply for a residence permit either prior to arrival in Germany or after arrival.

Processing Time and Visa Appointment

Students have two options to consider when preparing to study in Germany for more than 90 days.

Option 1 – Apply for a residence permit AFTER you arrive in Germany BUT know that if your flight is round trip and is more than 90 days, the airline may require you to show proof of visa or they may require you to change your return flight to fit within the 90 day window. There are often ticket change fees involved, plus there will likely be an extra cost if the price of the flight has gone up. One way around this is to purchase a one-way ticket to Germany and purchase your return one-way ticket separately.

Option 2 – Apply for a residence permit through the German consulate in Chicago. Please note that if you decide to apply for the residence permit while in the United States, you may be required to open a “blocked” bank account with a German bank as instructed on the consulate’s website. This will add to the total amount of time needed to process your visa application. We suggest contacting the consulate directly to find out if this will be required.

Processing time is up to 25 days from the date of application. Students applying for a residence permit prior to arrival in Germany will need to schedule an appointment and travel to the German consulate in Chicago.

Students completing a paid internship opportunity must apply for a residence permit prior to arrival in Germany.

Application Instructions

German Consulate in Chicago   

Student Visa Information   

Visa Appointment Scheduling  

Estimated Cost

75 Euros payable in US dollars. Please reference the German Consulate for the most up-to-date fee information.

Nearest Consulate or Embassy

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany

676 North Michigan Avenue - Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60611-2804

Contact Information

Phone: +1-312-202-0480