Language course


In order to participate in an intensive German language course unrelated to university studies you may apply for a visa permitting a maximum stay of one year.

During your language course you are not permitted to take up employment or to pursue any other economic activity.

Visa-free travel

British nationals do not require visas or residence permits for language course stays not exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period - provided that they do not pursue any economic activity. This privilege also applies to all other nationals that do not require visas for visits not exceeding 90 days.

For any stay exceeding the time limit above British citizens may apply to the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) for their residence permit after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. Please note that any application for a residence permit needs to be filed within the first 90 days of your stay in Germany. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment. The visa-free privilege is also extended to citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Korea (Republic) Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino and the United States of America.

All other nationalities require a visa prior to travelling to Germany.

General information

For preparatory language courses for subsequent studies at a German university please refer to the information for student visas

How to apply for your visa:

1. Complete the online application form, print two copies of the form including the barcodes and sign both copies (separate application forms are required for each applicant; all children require separate forms).

2. Compile your supporting documentation:

  • Two printouts of the online application form including barcodes
  • Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity of the visa applied for. The passport needs to have at least 2 subsequent blank pages.
  • 2 photocopies of the passport biodata page
  • Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (foreign residents only)
  • 2 photocopies of the permit/ visa
  • 2 fully biometric passport photos, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
    Please ensure that your photo adheres to German biometric requirements and is taken in front of a white/bright background.
  • Two copies of the language course confirmation letter (“Anmeldebestätigung”).
  • Evidence of sufficient funds minimum EUR 947 for each month of stay, (2022 requirement, subject to change). Options below may be combined, provided that the total requirement is being met. Please note that NO alternative evidence of funds is acceptable.

    • Blocked account

    • OR evidence of scholarship

    • OR formal commitment (“Verpflichtungserklärung”) by sponsor resident in Germany

  • Confirmation of health insurance cover commensurate with the level of statutory German public health insurance (“gesetzliche Kankenversicherung”).

  • Curriculum vitae – 2 copies.
  • Personal motivation letter in German or English explaining in detail what are your reasons for undertaking a language course, what you expect to achieve by learning German and how this language course will help your personal development/ professional career – 2 copies
  • Prepaid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery return envelope (up to 500g) in order to return your passport after processing.

  • Visa fees apply
  • Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will contact you.

    In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 3 months.

    Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.

3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.

Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:

Please apply directly to the German Mission having jurisdiction for your place of residence

Additional information

If your application is successful, you will be issued a limited-validity entry visa - similar to a UK entry clearance. Once you have arrived in Germany please register your new residence with the local authorities (“Meldebehörde”) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply to your local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) for your Electronic Residence Permit. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.

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