No Germany study visa for international students forced online

No Germany study visa for international students forced online

Germany will not be granting a study visa to any international student who has to pursue their education online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent report by DW stated that international students who are enrolled on online courses at German higher education institutions have been, and will be, denied a visa to study in Germany.

This move comes as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant numerous courses in German institutions have had to shift to an online-only remote learning method of teaching.

For students whose courses will take place entirely online, the German government has declared that they are no longer eligible for visas.

Henceforth, international students originally from outside of the European Union, must receive a ‘certificate of presence’ from their host institution, before they can apply for a visa.

Over 80,000 international students left Germany in April 2020

As a result of the Coronavirus lockdown, over 80,000 international students studying in Germany had made the decision to leave the country by April this year.

According to DW, some individuals have expressed concern that this decision by the German government seems to echo the announcement of the same nature made by the US government, which was then quickly revoked, earlier this year. 

No visa for online studies, Germany study permit only for international students with a ‘certificate of presence’

Anja Karliczek, Education Minister of Germany, responded to the statement:

“Foreign students who can prove that their studies cannot be carried out entirely from abroad, for example, due to compulsory attendance, can enter the country to begin their studies.

“But the entry for online or distance learners will not be allowed.”

Michael Flacke, speaking on behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service, similarly explained the nuances behind this new development:  

“For the winter semester, German universities are planning a mix of online and physical classes, and for this ‘mix’ foreign students from outside the EU are allowed to come to Germany.”

Pic: Ingo Joseph

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at

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