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Extending the Student Visa

It’s that time of the year again when we’re going through the bureaucracy of extending our student visas.

It’s always daunting and confusing the first time but later it becomes pretty simple and straight forward.
I’ve learnt that the documents and policies for extending a student visa varies slightly from state to state but this week I will write about what it’s like in Offenburg. It’s a good idea to start your application a month before your visa expires since it takes the office around a month or two to hand you your new one.

It’s always daunting and confusing the first time but later it becomes pretty simple and straight forward.

Rumeng He

In Offenburg, we go to the ‘AusländerBüro’ for a visa extension. As of now, it is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Thursday afternoons. It used to be incredibly crowded and you had to wait for two or three hours in line before it was your turn. So it was always a nightmare going there. But recently they increased their working hours and it has become much less crowded and a bit more efficient.

For extending your visa, you need the following documents:

  • Enrollment certificate Immatrikulationsbescheinigung der Hochschule
  • Insurance certificate Krankenversicherungsnachweis
  • Accomodation contract Mietvertrag
  • Bank statement Finanzierungsnachweis
  • Passport
  • A passport photo
  • The visa extension form

Sometimes, you are also required to submit your transcript especially if you are extending the duration of your study beyond the normal duration needed to complete your studies.

The bank statement shows your transactions for the past three months and should ideally have an amount of €8800 at the time of application, however that amount seems to have gone up to €10236 in some states. In Offenburg, the office accepts a bank statement with as little as €5000. And if you have a working contract which proves you have a certain amount of stable income every month, the amount could be even lower.

A student visa form
©Rumeng He

In Offenburg, there usually isn’t much of a hassle when applying for an extension – it might be because it’s a very small city and Hochschule Offenburg is the only university there is. The officers don’t have many questions to ask and once they check and accept your documents, you just need to record your fingerprints and sign some papers. The wait could be between one to two months but I have heard that the nationality of the applicant also affects the amount of time one will need to wait before receiving a new visa. For me it has always been around 4 or 5 weeks, but I do have friends who have had to wait for up to 3 months long. Tip: Apply early.

All the information in this blog post come from personal experience or that of friends’. For specific and more up-to-date information, please contact your local visa offices. Good Luck! 

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