Hamburg Welcome Center - Entry & Residence

Hamburg Welcome Portal Residence Permit for Students

If you're a foreign national planning to study in Germany, you'll need a residence permit that states this purpose. Find out how to apply.

Symbolic picture: Residence Permit for Students in Hamburg, Germany

Residence Permit for Students - Hamburg Welcome Portal

In order to be granted a residence permit for the purpose of studying, you must have been admitted to study at a state or state-recognized university or comparable educational institution. The main purpose of your stay must be to study and you can study full-time or, under certain conditions, part-time. It is not sufficient to attend an evening, weekend or distance learning course.
If you have not yet been admitted, you can apply for a residence permit to look for a training or study place. You can also apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying if you are attending a preparatory language course or a preparatory college (Studienkolleg).

During your studies or preparatory studies, you are allowed to work 140 full days (more than 4 hours) or 280 half days (up to 4 hours) per year as well as to work part-time as a student ("studentische Nebentätigkeiten'). People who are looking for a place at university may work up to 20 hours per week.

Further information for international students can be found in this brocAmt M_M31_Informationen für ausländische Studenten-2023_englisch_pdfhure.

Once you have successfully completed your studies, you can take up gainful employment. It is not absolutely necessary that your future job matches your studies. However, it cannot be a job as a helper. If your residence permit for studying is still valid at the time and you have not yet used up your maximum permitted working days (see above), you may already start the new job. Please apply for the residence permit for work at the Hamburg Welcome Center as soon as possible.

To look for suitable employment, you can apply for a residence permit for job seeking at the local Hamburg Service vor Ort.

Citizens of member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not require a residence permit to take up studies or employment. They enjoy unlimited freedom of movement in Germany.


  • Entry with a German visa for the purpose of studying. The German mission abroad in your home country is responsible for issuing visas.
    Exception: Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, San Marino, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the USA can enter without a visa.
  • Letter of admission/enrolment certificate of the education institution
  • Proof of financing (934€€ per month or 11.208€ per year), alternatively a Declaration of Commitment
  • Sufficient health insurance

Use the Online Service Residence Permit Hamburg to apply and submit your documents.

Information on the application and the documents to be submitted can be found in the forms section.

Intra-EU mobility for students (up to 360 days)

If you have a residence permit for the purpose of studying in another EU member state and want to pursue part of your studies in Germany, you may stay and study here without a German residence title for up to 360 days.

Your host educational institution should notify the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). This must be done as soon as the host educational institution knows about your intention to study in Germany. If accepted, the Federal Office will issue a certificate for short-term EU mobility for the purpose of studying in Germany. With this certificate, you may enter Germany at any time during the validity of your residence title. If the Federal Office does not deny your application or does not send the certificate within 30 days, you may enter and stay in Germany without this document.


  • You hold a residence title for the purpose of studying issued by another EU member state (in accordance with EU Directive 2016/801), valid for the full period of your intended stay in Germany.
  • Proof that a part of your studies shall be spent at an educational institution in Germany, because you participate in a union or multilateral programme incorporating mobility measures or because an agreement exists between the education institutions involved
  • Proof of admission to the host education institution in Germany
  • A recognised, valid passport or replacement passport
  • Proof that you can finance your stay in Germany and that you have sufficient health insurance

You can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying at your relevant location at Hamburg Service vor Ort - Ausländerangelegenheiten ('Foreigners' Affairs') or at the Hamburg Welcome Center. Contact the relevant authority directly or use the Online-Service Residence Permit Hamburg to submit your documents. 

Detailed informations on the required documents for an application can be found in the Forms section.

Residence Permit for Students