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Study Law in Germany 2023

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Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

    532
  • Share of utilities

    81
  • Internet subscription

    35
  • Local transportation

    70

Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

    8
  • Cinema ticket

    12
  • Pint of local beer

    4

About Germany

A large country in central Europe containing 16 states and a member of the European Union, Germany is officially referred to as the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) and holds much political and economical influence among all other EU countries.

The Chancellor presides over Germany's democratic government that enforces a system of law based on principles described in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

Essential Facts about Germany

- The sixteen states comprising Germany are called Länder, with each state possessing its own constitution.

- Contributions by Germans to the fields of science, mathematics and technology cannot be emphasized enough. Brilliant individuals like Einstein, Max Planck, Herman von Helmholtz, Johannes Gutenberg, Gottfried Leibniz and Carl Gauss are just a few German scientists who have supplied the world with famous inventions.

- Germany is one of the world's most technologically advanced manufacturers of coal, iron, cement, steel, machinery, vehicles and chemicals. It also has large investments in green energy, especially solar power and the use of windmills for electricity.

- Popular tourist attractions in Germany include the Bavarian Alps, the Black Forest, the Rhine Valley and its ancient castles and the artsy capital Berlin.

Germany's Legal System

Three sets of regulatory laws comprise Germany's legal system: public, private and criminal law. Public law (also includes criminal law) deals with legal matters between an individual and the state. Private law mediates relationships between companies and two or more people. Germany law is highly influenced by Roman law as well as Napoleonic law, or the Napoleonic Code.

Judges play an active role in Germany's legal procedural system. Although similar to the type of legal system used by other democratically run countries, Germany does not have jury trials due powers allocated to a judge that allow him to make a final decision. One judge or several judges can comprise a "tribunal", which is essentially a substitute for a jury. Lay judges, or citizens who are chosen by a special committee before a trial begins, can also be included in a tribunal.

In Germany, ordinary courts hear matters concerning marriage, criminal, family and civil disputes. Alternately, special administrative courts hear cases involving government actions. Labor, financial and social law courts are other specialized German courts that adjudicate cases related to work, taxes and social benefits.

Study in Germany

Obtaining a German Law Degree

To earn a law degree in Germany, students must take two state exams and go through a 6 year long curriculum.

First, students must pass the First State Examination at the end of 4 years of undergraduate studies.

They must then take a two-year internship (called Referendarzeit) to gain experience in all facets of the legal system.

Finally, a second State Examination is given to students finishing the two years of legal internships in criminal and civil court. During the internship, students must also take classes taught by lawyers or judges. Wages paid to the student are provided by the German government.

Potential lawyers in Germany have two chances to pass State Examinations. After passing both examinations, the student is considered qualified to seek employment as a judge or a lawyer.

Tuition Fees

Higher education costs are heavily subsidized by the German government and are relatively low in comparison to U.S. tuition costs, unless a student elects to seek a law degree at a private university.

Employment Opportunities

Germany's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the European Union. International students opting to earn a law degree in Germany and pursue employment are likely to find a position soon after passing the Second Exam.

Visa Requirements

  1. Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning) – the perfect option for those that want to learn the German language in Germany.
  2. Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) – if you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program or you still haven’t got the confirmation letter from your University.
  3. Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken) – if you have already been accepted to a German university.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Language Course Visa; Student Applicant Visa; Student Visa

Price and currency

EUR 60

You should expect to pay €60 (~US$74) for your student visa to Germany.

Who can apply for the visa?

For citizens from the EU or from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein, it is only necessary to have an identity card to enter Germany. It is not necessary to have a visa.

Citizens from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and the USA can apply for their visa even after they arrived in Germany.

For citizens from other countries, it is necessary to apply for a visa before coming to Germany.

If staying less than 90 days in Germany, there are even more regulations. Citizens from certain countries can enter Germany for this time without a visa. These are Venezuela, Vatican City, Uruguay, Singapore, Seychelles, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia, Macau, Croatia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brunei, Brazil, Bolivia, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas, and Argentina.

Visit the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for the latest visa requirements for all countries: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/visabestimmungen-node

Where can you make the application?

German embassy or consulate

You’ll need to apply for a visa from the German embassy or consulate in your home country.

Website:

How to make the application?

First, you need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview. On the day of the interview, you should offer your visa application documents.

The documents you typically need are:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid passport
  • Two photographs
  • Letter showing you’ve been accepted by a German university
  • Transcript of academic record
  • Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany (if studying in German)
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while living in Germany (€8,700 per year, which is roughly ~US$9,390)
  • Certificate showing you’ve purchased health insurance
  • Declaration of the authenticity of documents submitted

Dependent on the embassy, you may also need to show proof that you don’t have a criminal record.

Everyone needs to register with the local registration authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the first week of arriving in Germany. You’ll need to take your passport/national ID (and visa if appropriate), proof of your address in Germany (eg. a rental agreement from your landlord) and possibly the registration certificate from your course. You’ll be given a confirmation of registration.

When should you apply?

Examination of the visa application usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a language course. However, if the language course is longer than three months, the time taken for processing the application can extend up to 8 to 10 weeks. And during peak travel season, applications can be sent under the waiting period. Thus, students requiring a student visa for Germany should submit their applications well ahead of time before the commencement of the course. You should apply as soon as possible, and at least three months before your move to the country.

Study visas are valid only for the length of the course or program. The resident permits are usually issued for a year but may be extended.

Processing time

8 Weeks

Work opportunities

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland can work freely in Germany but for no more than 20 hours a week during term time.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (now including Croats as of July 2015) are permitted to work up to 120 full or 240 half days a year (including voluntary work) without permits. You can work more hours if employed by the university as a student or graduate assistant; for other types of employment you will need permission from the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and the Aliens' Authority to exceed the 120/240 limit. Studienkolleg and language students need permission from these authorities in order to take on any work. Students can’t be freelancers or self-employed.

Hours per week

20

Why do you need this type of visa?

These are the main reasons why your visa application for a German student visa may be rejected:

  • Poor financial status
  • Poor academic profile
  • Lack of preparation for your interview
  • Insufficient language level (German or English)
  • Inconsistency with your choice of study program

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