Visa and Health Insurance
After you have been admitted to the University of Augsburg and you have been assigned a room in one of the dormitories, you can proceed to planning your journey! You now need to take care of your visa and get informed about health insurance.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa and/or a residence permit for your exchange stay in Germany. You should organize your visa as soon as you receive your letter of admission.
It depends on your nationality if you need a visa as an exchange student in Germany. One of the following conditions will apply to you:
1. You do not need a visa, neither for entering Germany nor for your whole stay.
(i.e. if you have German citizenship or citizenship within the European Union)
2. You do not need a visa for entering Germany.
In this case you can enter Germany without a visa, but need to apply for a residence permit in Augsburg within the first 3 months after your arrival.
3. You need a visa for entering Germany.
In this case you have two options:
o You apply for a visa for your whole stay.
o You will arrive in Germany with a visa for 3 months / part of your stay and must apply for a residence permit before your visa expires.
To find out whether you need a visa and how to apply for it, please check the website of the Federal Foreign Office and contact the German embassy in your country.
Before contacting the German embassy, do get in touch with your coordinator at the International Office of your home university, who most likely has experience with such matters, and might be able to give you some helpful tips.
If you are looking for a contact person at the University of Augsburg for questions regarding your visa, please contact the “Hochschulbetreuungsstelle“; service center for legal matters within the immigration office,
Please note: The WeltWeit Team cannot give you legally binding information regarding visa regulations. You are required to take care of visa formalities yourself. Your contact partner is the German embassy in the country that you live in.
If you need a visa, you should apply for it right away after you have received the letter of admission via email. Depending on the country you live in, you may be faced with long waiting periods. If you receive your visa too late, it may not be possible for you to take part in the exchange program.
Health insurance is mandatory!
As an exchange student, you are required to take out health insurance with valid coverage for your entire stay. Without valid health insurance you will not be able to enroll at a the university. In addition, it may be necessary to have a separate insurance policy for your journey to Germany.
We strongly recommend choosing public German health insurance over a private insurance plan.
In order to enrol at the University of Augsburg and to apply for a residence permit, you must take out a health insurance that meets the following requirements:
1) Your insurance is valid for your whole stay.
2) Your coverage has no financial limit.
3) The following medical care is included:
- outpatient treatment (= in a doctor’s office)
- stationary treatment (= in a hospital, overnight)
- treatment at a dentist’s office
There are two types of health insurance in Germany: public and private. As a student you are required to be insured with public German health insurance. Only in exceptional cases can you be insured privately.
Public insurance is the standard. It is also how most regular (non-exchange) students at the university are insured. It is more expensive than some private insurance plans (around 110 € per month), but it is the safe and easy option. If you are publically insured, you are not required to pay for checkups at a doctor’s office or treatments in a hospital. This insurance also covers the expenses of many medications. With public health insurance, you are also insured throughout Europe, as well as the Schengen countries.
You can get public health insurance at one of the major health insurance providers (BARMER, TK, AOK etc.) before traveling to Germany. The easiest way is to get it online via www.expatrio.com (there you can get health isurance from the „Techniker Krankenkasse“ or short „TK“).
For foreign students private health insurance may seem like the best option at first, since it is significantly cheaper than public health insurance plans. However, private health insurance plans are based on the principle of reimbursement of expenses. This means that you must be prepared to pay for all the expenses of medical treatments and medications yourself. Part of these costs may be reimbursed by the insurance agency, but the reimbursement may take up to one year. Also, private insurance plans can only be accepted for your enrolment at the university if you get a waiver from one of the major public health insurance providers (e.g. BARMER, AOK, TK...). That means that you must send your private insurance plan to one of these providers, they need to check the plan you chose and assess if it is equal to public health insurance. If yes, they will send you a letter stating that you are waived from getting public insurance which you can hand in for enrolment. If they decide your plan is not sufficient, you will need to get another insurance plan.
All in all we strongly suggest that you take out German public health insurance! Altough more expenisve than some private insurance plans, it is the easier, safer and more convenient option.
If you need a visa, please note: In order to apply for a visa, you need a valid health insurance beforehand. If you do not need a visa, you have more time, but you will need a proof of valid health insurance for the enrolment. You will get the necessary information about the enrolment by the International Office in due time.
Most health insurance providers offer the possibility to register for an insurance plan online. For example, you can get public health insurance from the insurance company „Techniker Krankenkasse“ via the website www.expatrio.com
The German embassy will give you information on health insurance according to the requirements for obtaining a visa. Keep in mind this does not mean that this type of insurance will be accepted for your enrolment or a residence permit!
The health insurance prerequisites in order to obtain a visa are usually minor compared to those needed to be enroled at a university in Germany, or to obtain a residence permit.
If possible, take out health insurance that meets all of the relevant requirements beforehand. Public health insurance is the best choice in terms of maintaining the required insurance coverage in Augsburg (for enrolment and also for the residence permit).