A visa gives you permission to reside in Germany as a student.
Prospective students can apply for a number of different visas.
The type of temporary visa you require depends on the nature of your stay in Germany:
- Visa for the purposes of studying (= Student Visa)
- Visa to attend a German language course in preparation for a period of study (= Language Course Visa for studying purposes)
- Visa in preparation for a period of study at a German university (= Student Application Visa)
By applying for any of these visas, you are expressing your intention to study in Germany, i.e. this is the reason for your stay. Correspondingly, all three types of residence permit can be converted into other types of permit in Germany at the local Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).
Some types of visa (such as tourist visas, visitor visas and business visas) cannot be converted into student visas in Germany. If you enter Germany on one of these visas, you must firstly leave Germany and return to your home country to submit a new application for a Student Visa. It is also not generally possible to convert one of the student visas into a residence permit for other purposes. A student visa cannot be converted into a work visa on completion of studies, for example.
You must submit your visa application to the relevant German mission abroad (embassy or consulate) in your country of origin or your country of permanent residence. Upon arrival in Germany you must register at your local Foreigners' Registration Office.
Finally, you must present your Student Visa when enrolling at Heidelberg University of Education.