A Student's Blog: Life in Germany- What to do after your German student Visa is approved?

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Friday, 18 August 2017

Life in Germany- What to do after your German student Visa is approved?

Hey guys, What's up!

This is the 3rd chapter of the series- Life in Germany. This post is going to discuss the things that are important for a student who has already got his student visa for Germany. The previous posts discussing the requirements of getting admission in a German university and applying for a student visa can also be found by clicking on the link.

So here goes...

Chapter 3- Things to do once you get the student visa to Germany

That awesome feeling when after so many anxious moments, you finally lay hands onto your stamped passport. Flip through and you can see the short stay visa (valid for 90 days) firmly attached to one of the pages of your passport. This is the point where you take a breather and relax. May be go for a beer! You deserve it!

But what next? What are the things you should keep in mind? Don't bother, here is the list.

1) Look for an accommodation as soon as possible: There are many students who travel to Germany for higher studies. So finding an accommodation might not be that easy. You can contact the international office of your university and ask them for a room in one of the many student houses. This is the best option. The rooms are furnished, spacious, relatively cheap and very clean. You will get to know student from many different countries and the whole experience is worth it!

However, if you are too late to get an accommodation in one of the student houses. Don't worry. There are many private accommodations available online.

2) Get in touch with the student association: There are various student associations that are functional and very helpful in all the German universities (Example: Indian Student Association-TUHH). They will surely help you with the accommodation (in case you could not find a student room or a private apartment) and also pick you up from the airport when you arrive. Also, they conduct various cultural and induction programs where you can meet and get to know other fellow students. 

If the student association doesn't have a dedicated website, look it up on Facebook. Every student association definitely has a Facebook page.

3) Bring sufficient cash with you: Activating the blocked a/c takes some time (1-2 weeks), so bring enough liquid cash with you (~1000 euros). As you may have to pay caution deposit, 1st month rent and a nominal semester fees (approx 300 euros per semester) after coming to Germany.

Once you are here, you have to do the following tasks:

4) Get yourself registered in the city hall (Kundenzentrum): City registration is important when you arrive in Germany. Get an appointment within 15 days of your arrival by applying online to Kundenzentrum of your city (Example: Kundenzentrum Hamburg). You need the following documents:

i) Passport and Visa
ii) Rental agreement
iii) Completed application form (you can get the form online or at the city hall)
iv) 10-15 euros cash

Do not worry if you still do not have a permanent place, you can just show the rental agreement of temporary accommodation the first time. You will just have to go again for address change when you move into permanent accommodation (10 euros extra charge).

When you register at the city hall, you get a confirmation form (Anmeldebestatigung) which is needed to get the residence permit (long stay visa) and get the library card from your university.

5) Activate your blocked account: You can activate your blocked account at a nearby Deutsche bank by showing your passport and the blocked a/c confirmation letter. After that your a/c is activated in 3-4 hours and you will receive a debit card and TAN list at your registered address in 1-2 weeks.

6) Get a SIM card: Its best to get O2 prepaid sim in the starting. O2 to O2 call is free and almost everyone in Germany uses O2 service. You get the prepaid SIM for free and then you can charge it with 15 euros prepaid card. Later you can get a post paid O2 SIM if you want.

6) Get the student health insurance: There are many options (TK, AOK etc etc). Doesn't matter too much, they are almost the same. I had TK student insurance and I had to pay 90 euros per month through out my masters. So its quite expensive compared to other EU contries. 

Required documents: Admission letter from the university, Bank a/c details, phone number and confirmation letter from city hall (Anmeldebestatigung).

7) Register for the semester: Once you have the health insurance letter you can register for the semester at the admissions office of the university. You also need to show original documents (transcripts of your bachelor and school). After confirming the authenticity you will get an in-voice for the semester contribution which you can pay at the nearby branch of Deutsche bank. You will get a library card as well.

8) Apply for a residence permit: Once you register at your university, they make an appointment (or you haveto do it) at the nearby Kundenzentrum for you to go and get your long term stay visa (residence permit). You need to have the following documents:

i) Passport
ii) Confirmation of city registration (Anmeldebestatigung)
iii) Health insurance confirmation letter
iv) Student ID or certificate of enrolment
v) 2 biometric passport size photos
vi) Deutsche bank statement or blocked a/c letter
vii) Completed application form (which you can get at the office)
viii) Residence permit fees (approx. 120 euros)

After finishing all the required formalities, you will get a letter at your registered address (in 2-3 weeks) saying that your residence permit is ready and you can come and pick it up. You go the Kundenzentrum with this letter and you will receive your residence permit.

So these are the steps a student need to carry out after coming to Germany. I hope this was helpful. If you have further questions or feedback, you can comment below.

P.S.: The next chapter of the series- Life in Germany- is going to be Things to do and things to avoid once your semester starts! That will definitely be a much more interesting post I promise ;-)


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