German visa process, job and monthly expenses details

The reason why most people choose Germany for education is because of its very low tuition fees, good quality of education and higher availability of student jobs as compared to other countries.

There are a lot of English language programs being offered by German universities. These are very easy to search using the Course Finder by DAAD [⇑]

Note:   English   language   programs   are   often   referred   to   as   International   programs   by   European universities.

For a Europe wide search and information about scholarships, available programs etc. you may want to refer to:

German Student Visa Process:

The visa application process starts only after you have received your admission letter. The only thing you can do before getting the admission letter is to arrange finances. As of now, you need to deposit €8640 in a bank account in Germany in your name.

As soon as you get your admission letter, you should open up an account in Deutsche Bank. Download the account opening form from Deutsche Bank’s website. [⇑]

Warning: Make sure to download the latest version from Deutsche Bank’s website. Don’t use older downloaded forms or forms available as samples in the Files section of the group. If your form is not the latest version, Deutsche Bank will ask you to send the form again.

Warning: Other than the blocked bank account, the German Embassy has now also been asking for bank statement of sponsor in some cases (not from all applicants). Make sure you have it with you when you go for interview.

The form has to be attested by German Consulate in Karachi or Lahore or the German Embassy in Islamabad. For form attestation, you need to take an appointment and this can be done on phone. Fill in the form but don’t sign it. Embassy/Consulate will ask you to sign it in front of them. Take your admission letter, passport and NIC (as well as their copies to be on the safe side) with you. Send the form to the German address mentioned on it.

Within a couple of weeks of sending your form, you will receive an email with your account details. Once  you  have  the  details,   you  may  now  transfer   the  amount  into  it.   This  can  be  done  directly  if  you/relative  has   a  foreign  currency  account   OR  you  can  have  the  money  transferred  via  a  money  changer.  Keep  in mind  that  money  changers  might  do  the transaction  few days  after  you have  asked  them for it.

Transfer about €50 extra than the required amount. €50 is deducted from your account as charges for opening the account. As far as I know, €50 will be deducted after you arrive here and your account is activated but its better to be safe (than sorry!). When the money has been transferred, Deutsche Bank will send a confirmation email. Take a printout of this email with you as proof of finances when you go for visa interview. Make sure you write your email address correctly and clearly since all communication with Deutsche Bank takes place through this email address. Sometimes, emails from Deutsche Bank go to spam folder. Check there also when you are expecting their emails.

Warning: The amount you transfer is going to be blocked for one year and cannot be taken out all at once. You may only take out €659 per month and not more.

Take a look at the relevant link for you:

German Consulate in Karachi (for Sindh and Baluchistan residents) [⇑]

German Embassy in Islamabad (for Punjab and NWFP residents) [⇑]

Check out the visa requirements. Download the visa form,   fill   it   in.  Make sure that   you fulfill   all requirements. There is no appointment system at the German Consulate in Karachi. They take 20 applications per day (including other visa applications than student visa). So get there early to make sure you get a number. For applying at the German Embassy in Islamabad, you must take an appointment. You can book one using the following link. [⇑]

Take an appointment well in advance because the slots fill up very quickly and students then have problems finding an appointment. Also, when you submit the application, you will be given a deposit slip. You need to deposit Rs. 500 at the Standard Chartered Bank, Diplomatic Enclave Branch as fees for returning your passport by courier.

The student visa fees if €60. This can be paid in Pakistani Rupees.  There are some strict payment rules listed on the German Embassy’s website (in terms of the currency denominations in which you can pay. Please check the website). The interview is usually held the same day.   The interview is not at   all   difficult.   Just   a few general questions like why did you choose Germany, why this particular university, what your family members do, German language skills etc.

For German Consulate at Karachi:

You may collect back your passport after about 12 days if you need it (or just leave it there). It might take about a 1.5 months or more for your visa clearance. The consulate should call you up when that has been done or you may call yourself and inquire. When the clearance has been done, they will ask you to bring back your passport (if you had taken it back earlier) along with a ticket and travel insurance. This insurance is just for your travel period and different than the health insurance which you have to get here in Germany after your arrival. Usually they ask for one month’s travel insurance. After you have provided them with the travel insurance and the ticket, they will call you or give you a    date to collect your passport with the visa stamped (after a week or more).

For German Embassy at Islamabad:

For applicants at the German Embassy, Islamabad, the insurance has to be submitted along with the other documents at the time of application. They usually do not call about visa clearance and your passport will be sent back to you directly by courier.

The insurance can be had from one of the companies listed on the consulate’s/embassy’s website:

ACE, Adamjee, AIG, New Hampshire, EFU, IGI, PICIC, UIC, Takaful Pakistan

Caution: Book your ticket well in advance since it is sometimes difficult to get a seat later on your desired date and you might have to buy a more expensive ticket or might not even get a seat!

Congratulations! You have completed the German student visa process. The whole visa process may take upto 6­-8 weeks. However, if your classes are starting earlier, you may request the consulate/embassy to speed up your process and they are usually very cooperative.

The student visa granted is for 3 months. After coming to Germany, you have to apply for residence permit which is given for either the whole period of study at once or maybe for a year or so and you might have to get it renewed later.

The rejection ratio of student visas is very low for Germany and if you fulfill all the requirements, you can be pretty sure you will get the visa. The situation has changed recently and many students have also been denied a student visa. This in my observation mostly happened to those students who did not do the program search, university application etc. by themselves but rather relied on a friend or consultant for everything. Because of this, they were not able to clarify their intention for studies in the interview. If your visa is rejected, you still have a chance to appeal against the rejection and some students did get visa after appeal.

Best of luck for your studies in Germany.

Student Jobs in Germany:

One other   thing most   students   are   interested in knowing about are   student   jobs.   These   are   called Hilfswissenschaftler  (HiWi)  here  which literally means  Assistant Scientist  but is commonly used for  part­time working students as student assistants or research assistants.

Students are allowed to work up to 20 hrs/week in Germany. Also, there is a condition on the number of days you may work during a year. This is limited to 120 full days or 240 half days.

Almost all student jobs available in Germany are related to programming. So if you intend to work here  to  bear   your  expenses,   you  should  be  good  in  at least   one  programming  language  like  C/C++,   Java,  Python etc. There are some jobs for VHDL as well (Verilog is not used here).

You may work either   a university institute or at   a company.   Both have some pros   and cons.   At   a company, you get paid higher but the working hours are strict.

At university institutes, the pay rates are slightly lower but the advantages are great: flexible working hours, can work from home (which you may also do on weekends), easy to stop working

before exams (university supervisors will never say no  if  you  need  time  for  studies  before  exams).  One other great   advantage is that   the work you do at   a university institute does not deduct your 120 full (240 half) days allowed per year.

University notice boards usually host student job postings. Almost all notices are in German. But this is not that big an issue even if you don’t know German. With a little bit help from the internet, you can understand them. Note the requirements and email addresses of the contact person(s) and send them your CV by email.   Try  to  keep  the  length  of  the  CV  restricted  to  one  page.   Include only relevant information.

Student job advertisements are also there on university institutes’ websites. You may also contact people by email before arriving to Germany and meet them when you are here so that you may have a job as quickly as possible (although this is not possible in all cases). If you intend to start your job as soon as possible, you should apply for residence permit as soon as you can since this is one of the requirements for student jobs.

Finding a student job may take some time.   It  also  depends  on  their  availability  on  the  German  city  where you are coming for studies.

In some cities, students find jobs quickly within the first few months while in others,   it   might   take more than one semester.   Availability of student jobs is one factor to consider when choosing a university if you cannot fulfill your expenses without them.

Other than student jobs, there is also a possibility to do odd jobs at stores, fast-food restaurants etc. But if you cannot speak German, your job will not be at the counters and will mostly be manual labor. These jobs are physically taxing and the experience is useless. Doing a student job on the other hand, helps you learn useful tools and skills related to your field and earn valuable part time experience. For odd jobs, you will also need to know some German to be able to communicate with your colleagues and understand what has to be done.

Estimate of Monthly Expenses:

Monthly expenses   vary from city to city.   Large cities   like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich etc are   more expensive than smaller cities. The major expense is of accommodation.

In big cities, the cost for a room starts generally above €250.  The  other   major  expense  is  health  insurance  which  costs  about  €77  a  month. Transport is expensive in bigger cities (about €40 ­ 50) whereas in smaller cities, it might be included in the fees and does not cost anything extra. Food and other items cost less than a €100. To sum it up, monthly expenses may range from €400 – 450 for smaller cities and €500 – 600 for larger cities.

I would like to mention that this is an estimate and the actual expenses might be lesser or higher according to your living style but some expenses are fixed and you cannot cut down on those.

Important Notes:

The   author   of   this   document   is   not   responsible   for   any   loss   caused   to   anyone   from information contained in this document. The student visa process might change and it is the responsibility of the applicant   to be aware of the most   recent requirements.   For this,   consult   the website of the German consulate/embassy when applying for student visa.

The  document  does  not  have  any  copyrights  and  maybe  copied  and  used  by  anyone  but  the  above  disclaimer statement must be included.

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