Entry to Germany and your stay in Lüneburg

Before entering Germany for your studies at Leuphana, there are a number of things to consider. We have summarised the most important aspects for you here, from visas and health insurance to re-registration, residence permits and enrolment. In addition, we offer you the opportunity to take part in a language and orientation programme before you start your studies to make your start in Lüneburg easier.

As a part-time student, your periods of presence in Germany are usually short. However, the information on entry to Germany bundled here refers to a longer-term stay in Germany. Please contact the respective programme coordinator to find out about the specifics that apply to you in terms of visa and health insurance.

Students' entry to Germany and Leuohana Campus ©Leuphana
Entry and stay on the Leuphana Campus.

Entry to Germany with a visa

You do not need a visa if...

... you are a citizen of an EU member state, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

... you are a national of a country for which the EU has waived the visa requirement (e.g. Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea and USA). In this case, however, you have to apply for a residence permit within the first 2 weeks you spend in Germany.

You need a visa if...

... you have a foreign nationality and wish to enter Germany for study purposes. Exceptions to this rule can be found above.

Attention! Do not enter Germany with a visitor or tourist visa, as you will then not be able to obtain a regular visa for study purposes!

Tips and further information for entry and stay

  • Apply for your visa at the German mission abroad (consulate, embassy) as early as possible. Since the German mission abroad may only issue a visa in consultation with the respective foreign authority in Germany, the application process can take up to 3 months.
  • To apply for a visa, you have to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the duration of your stay (usually by means of a savings account with a blocking notice of 934 euros per month [subject to change]).
  • The respective mission abroad is your contact to clarify questions about the process and the required documents.
  • Contact your respective mission abroad regarding a visa that covers the entire study period. This eliminates the need to apply for an electronic residence permit in Germany.
  • You can find more detailed information on the websites of your respective mission abroad and at the Federal Foreign Office.

Health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory in Germany and also applies to international students. Travel health insurance is not sufficient for your stay. All further information at a glance:

Who is exempt from compulsory health insurance?

Students who come from an EU country or Turkey do not need German health insurance for a study-related stay. It is sufficient to present the health insurance card from your home country. However, if you become gainfully employed during your studies, you will also need German health insurance. In any case, it is advisable to take out additional private health insurance abroad to cover any extra costs.

Who needs to take out German health insurance?

Students who do not come from the EU or Turkey are required to take out German health insurance. The following aspects should be taken into account:

  • Insurance can be taken out online in advance or directly after entering Germany with a travel insurance policy.
  • The insurance premium corresponds to approx. €120 per month
  • Foreign health insurance policies are only accepted in exceptional cases, e.g. with unlimited coverage. In this case, you should apply for exemption from compulsory insurance in Germany as soon as possible.
  • Students older than 30 cannot take out statutory health insurance and have to instead take out private health insurance within the first week of their entry to Germany.


Claudia Wölk
Coordinator International Students & Visiting Scholars
International Office / C14.111a