A Follow-Up FAQ: How To Apply For A German Language Visa

I’ve already explained most of it in detail in the initial post that I’ve written up here: An Epic Guide to German Language Visa Application. However, some of you still have questions so it’s probably time to update the FAQ. I’ve put together the questions that I’ve been getting below and have answered them in-depth. 

Here goes:

1) How do you write your motivation letter?

This is a popular question. It seems that no one wants to get this wrong because a poorly written motivation letter could screw up your chances of getting the visa. When I wrote my motivation letter, I didn’t have any other sample letters as a guide so I wrote it in the way I thought it was right and I did get the visa.


First off, I wrote it in a formal letter format. Addresses on the left, date on the right and a title that said: Motivation Letter To Do An Intensive Course At (A School Of Your Choice).

The length of the letter was 1.5 pages long. My sentences were short and the intention clear.


Paragraph 1

I started the letter by declaring that German is the language of Kant, Beethoven and Hesse, and also a highly sought after language for job and education opportunities in Europe.


Paragraph 2 & 3

I elaborated on the current employment opportunities in tech and engineering in German cities like Berlin and Munich and how mastering the language would be essential to getting a job in these fields. I spoke a little about startups in Berlin and tied it back to what I’m currently doing professionally. I wrote generically about my admiration for German workplace ethics and culture and how I’d someday love to be part of it.


Paragraph 3 & 4

“As a world traveller, I relish the authentic ‘foreign’ experience and its challenges. I have partied with the locals in Cologne during Carnival, have travelled to Heidelberg, Kiel, Erfurt, Leipzig and Berlin, and yet I believe I’ve only skimmed the surface. Germany is provincial. Each state has its own local delicacies and traditions that are honoured. Like how Thuringia is known for their Roster, Berlin for their Currywurst and Cologne for their Kölsch. Munich has Oktoberfest while Cologne has Carnival. If I could communicate to Germans in German, I believe there will be no end to my discoveries. To think that all Germans speak English, is a myth.


German is not my first European language that I’m learning but it’s by far the most challenging and most stimulating. Nothing beats a full language and cultural immersion while learning it in Germany, the Land of Ideas.”


Last few paragraphs

I mentioned my previous and current efforts in learning the language, why I wanted to learn it at the school and city of my choice and briefly, my personal reasons of learning the language. Highlight how you’ve been taking the initiative on your own to learn German through Youtube or DuoLingo or through a current class that you’re taking. Showcase your efforts and then mention that, to able to do it in Germany itself would double your chances of success.


After that, I included a closing paragraph of thank you, hope you’ll my consider my application and please refer to the supporting attachments as requested (proof of acceptance at language school, health insurance, etc.).

 How To Apply For A German Language Visa \\ Studying German in Germany

2. Can you enter Germany on tourist visa, before the Language Visa date starts?


Let me clarify here a little. The date on the visa sticker (you’ll see it when you get it) would state a starting date and an expiry date. Don’t be surprised to note that the duration of the visa is only for three months, even though if you’ve applied it for a 6-month or 1-year visa. The starting date on the visa is normally the date when they approve your visa and the expiry of the visa would be 90 days later.


Take mine for example. I received a call probably on the 25th March from the embassy, telling me that my visa is ready for pick up. On my visa, the starting date was 24th March and expiry was 21th June. I travelled to Germany on the 29th March but my German course was only due to start two weeks later.


What happens is, when you get to Germany, you’ll still need to go to the Foreigner’s Office to apply for a Residence Permit where you’ll get in a form of an ID card. This Residence ID card (Aufenthaltstitel) is technically the ‘real’ visa which will state the duration of time you can stay in Germany.


Why so complicated? I have no clue.

3. Why do we need a Residence Permit (Aufenthaltstitel) when we have a visa?


As reasons stated clearly in question #2. The initial visa that you have, stuck on one of the pages of your passport, is just an indication that you are allowed to enter the country and apply for the Residence Permit in Germany itself. The visa itself is important for the first entry into Germany but would not mean anything after that. What matters after arrival and how long you can remain in the country is your Residence Permit (Aufenthaltstitel).


4. Do you need to apply for health insurance before or after the visa application?

Before. You’d need to show proof that you possess valid health insurance for the visa application. Health insurance for language students are different from statutory health insurance for regular (university, high school, PhD) students. A few private companies offer this, including Mawista and CareConcept. When choosing the right policy, make sure you select language student and not student as an option.

5. How much money do you need in the Blocked Account?

I think the sum differs from year to year. You’ll have to check with the embassy for that. But for a rough approximate, Fintiba Bank mentioned on its website that it should be at least 720 euros a month. Which means, if you plan to apply for a 6-month stay, you’ll need 720 euros x 6, hence: 4320 euros.



That’s it! I hope the FAQs could help clarify doubts that you have. I’ve answered your questions based on my personal experience. But for clearer and more accurate answers, you should really contact the German embassy in your city.


If you do have further questions, do leave them at the comments below and I’ll try to answer them to my best ability.





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Ying Tey
Ying Tey Reinhardt (Piccola Ying) is a Malaysian writer and copywriter based in Germany.

In her vagabonding heydays, she's backpacked to many countries, lived in a few, funded her wanderlust by teaching English to sailors on Italian cruise ships and making coffees in hipster cafes.

Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Roads & Kingdoms, Bootsnall and OffAssignment.

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  • Aiman 16/10/2017   Reply →

    Hi Ying Tey,

    Is it possible to legally work part-time with the German Language Visa?


    • Ying Tey 16/10/2017   Reply →

      Unfortunately not. You can only work part time when you’re on a proper student visa.

      • mae 19/02/2018   Reply →

        Hi. I just read on other sites that IT IS possible for language course student to get a part time job but with stricter regulations. Is this correct? I am planning to move to Germany on July and I will enroll for a language course…. And by the way, can someone outside Germany provide sponsorship of my language course?

        • Ying Tey 19/02/2018   Reply →

          I’m not sure about working. It says on your residence permit that you can’t. If you’ve read it on other sites, why don’t you ask the writers of those sites to verify? As for sponsorship, it’ll be best if you ask the embassy yourself. They’ll have a more accurate explaination for you.

  • Aiman 16/10/2017   Reply →

    wow very fast reply haha. Thanks Ying Tey.

  • Yuvati 25/10/2017   Reply →

    Hi, I’ve already prepared everything and waiting for my visa interview on November. But I still havent found any accommodation in Germany. I contacted a lot of flat owners but i dont get any response until now. I guess it’s because they need to meet face-to-face first. So, i would like to ask you that do I have to write germany’s address on the visa application form ?

    Thank you.

    • Ying Tey 25/10/2017   Reply →

      Hmm…I’m not entirely sure but maybe you could write down where you’d be staying ie: hotel’s address, etc?

  • Svetlana 10/12/2017   Reply →

    After your application for a visa, how long you wait to take it?

  • Panca 04/01/2018   Reply →

    Hey there it’s me again!
    I’ve got my visa appointment in a week. I’ve prepared everything, like insurance, LoA by language course, banks, and stuff. But the only thing I am still confused is that about this motivation letter. I thought that we get it written at home and ready to be handed over during the visa interview. Well there’s an information I read on the internet that we have to write our motivation letter during the visa interview, where the visa officer will give you a blank paper to write on. Which one did happen to you? if the latter, then it means, that we have to “memorize” our “well planned and organized” motivation letter. If that is the case, do you happen to know how long we’re given to write the letter.

    Thank you again for replying so fast last time.
    Regards Panca

    • Ying Tey 04/01/2018   Reply →

      Hi Panca, that’s interesting. I wrote it at home and submitted it as part of the application. But if the rules have changed, I don’t know. Where did u read about this other procedure?

  • Mimi 13/01/2018   Reply →

    Hey Ying Tey,

    First, thank you so much for this wonderful brief. I am preparing for a Language Visa and I found this Information so helpful. What are some of the questions that they ask during the interview? Also does it mean, you cannot apply for a Language Visa if your intentions are to study thereafter- for example, your dream course at the university requires you to have a C1 in German? What would you advise in such a situation? Last but not least, what did you do after the 1 year of your Language studies? Did you go back home? Did you apply for another type of visa from Germany?
    Thanks in advance

    • Ying Tey 13/01/2018   Reply →

      Hi Mimi, to answer your question: I’ve no idea what interview questions are because I didn’t have an interview. Or at least during my time there was no interview. Technically if you want to be a student in a uni you need to apply for a student visa. You can have that visa to also learn German till your level meets the uni requirements before starting your course. As for me after I finished my one year I changed my visa to a spouse visa. After marriage of course.

  • Liz 26/03/2018   Reply →

    Hi Ying Tey!

    Your blog is very helpful. My question is, do you have any experience with Ausbildung and the type of visa that they may require for it?Thank you.

    • Ying Tey 16/04/2018   Reply →

      I don’t think there’s a specific visa to an Ausbildung. I think you’ll be eligible for a student visa, provided that you have been accepted in a university or some kind of Hochschule in Germany.

  • Camy 23/05/2018   Reply →

    Dear Ying Tey,

    Thank you very much for writing a very informative blog about how you obtained your Language Visa for Germany.

    I have a question regarding the change of your visa to spouse visa. Did you have to go back to Malaysia to process it or can you change your status in Germany?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Ying Tey 23/05/2018   Reply →

      Hi Camy, by regular regulations you’re supposed to get the spouse visa in Malaysia but I was lucky enough to have my case officer from the Ausländerbehörde and the Standesbeamter waive those rules for us. But we did go back to Malaysia to get the documents needed for marriage in Germany

  • Mae 29/05/2018   Reply →

    Hi! Your blog is really helpful! I would like to know what are the requirements for applyong for residence permit? What will be their basis for the validity period for issuing one’s residence permit?

    I initially enrolled for 4 month german intensive course and i passed those admission docs to the embassy. I did not get the approval yet but I am just planning ahead of time… Now im planning to get 8 month-course instead of 4 months. Do i have to present new admission documents to the office in Germany? Will there be any problem?

    Be glad if you can help me on this. Thank you

    • Ying Tey 30/05/2018   Reply →

      Yup. You’ll just have to present a re-enrollment letter of the school for the extra time that you’ll be taking and the proof of sufficient funds to go with it. You’ll most likely do this in Germany itself when your first residence permit is about to expire

      • Mae 30/05/2018   Reply →

        Great! So I can actually extend mu residence permit?

        • Ying Tey 30/05/2018   Reply →

          You’ll have a year max for this visa so yes you can extend it. But it will be your case officer who has to approve it I guess.

          • Mae 30/05/2018  

            Alright. Thank you! Really helpful

  • Yy 01/06/2018   Reply →

    Hi, I want to apply the language course visa. I registered an integration course (level A1-B1) that is a six month course in Germany. Is that ok for apply the language visa? In the motivation letter I should written it as integration course or intensive course? I am confuse about it!

    • Ying Tey 01/06/2018   Reply →

      Yes, an integration course is OK as long as it’s 25 hrs of teaching hour ago week. You don’t have to say why you want to do this specific course in your motivation letter but rather why you want to learn German in Germany in general. They need to see that you’re really motivated to learn the language and not just going to Germany for a holiday.

      The integration language course is usually aimed for refugees and migrants who are living in Germany but anyone could participate. You’re still learning the language at the end of the day.

  • Yy 01/06/2018   Reply →

    Thank you so much for your quick replied. My class will be Monday to Friday (8.4am- 12.45pm) hope that is alright..

  • Yy 12/06/2018   Reply →

    In the visa application form has this question.
    do you intend to maintain your permanent residence outside the federal republic of Germany? Should I tick yes/no ? I’m applying language visa.

  • Van 25/06/2018   Reply →

    Hi Ying,

    Thank you for your blog guide. So, if I apply for a 4 month language course, the embassy will only give exact for that 4 month course?

    • Ying Tey 25/06/2018   Reply →

      Technically not the embassy but at the local Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde). And yes, the visa is as long as your course lasts. However if you decide you extend your course, you can get an extension of the “visa”. You’ll need to evidence that with documents of course

  • Van 30/06/2018   Reply →

    Quote: “The starting date on the visa is normally the date when they approve your visa and the expiry of the visa would be 90 days later.”

    Hi Ying,

    Does above means that the sticker given is consider as a separate visa to my 90 days entry visa (Schengen Agreement) ? I like to tour around Europe after my language course, thus I hope the 90 days of the sticker is a separate visa to my actual granted 90 days.

    Also, if you know if let say I fly in 2 months before my course start, am I allow to move around the countries which are under Schengen?

    • Ying Tey 01/07/2018   Reply →

      Hi Van,

      I think Schengen rules and being able to reside in Germany are two different things. Say, your course starts at 5th October and your visa states valid from 4th October to 4th December (for example). And you plan to fly to Amsterdam on 5th of August. Yes, technically you can move around Europe without needing your German language visa because they’re two separate things. Now, say you do eventually get to Germany, say on 20th September…you’re technically still travelling around under your 90-day Schengen rule. When you get to Germany and are ready to start the course, you’ll have to go to the Foreigner’s Office to get a Temporary Residence Permit. It’s a form of ID card that allows you to stay in Germany in order to learn German. On this particular card, it’ll state the exact time you’re allowed to stay in Germany and when time is up, you’ll have to leave Germany. This card looks somewhat like a Malaysian IC. If you want to travel after or before your course, I think it’s fine. It’s best if you clarify this point with the Immigration Officer handling your case though.

  • Prisca 05/09/2018   Reply →

    Hello! Thank you very much for this precious help, it is very much appreciated!
    I have a question regarding the requested documents for the Visa. Did you have to prove accommodation for the duration of your stay? I thought it was only a documents requested when applying for a STUDENT VISA, not for a Visa when attending German courses, but I was told otherwise when I called the German embassy…
    I would like to know about your personal experience 🙂

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Ying Tey 05/09/2018   Reply →

      Hi Prisca, in my experience I didn’t need to prove accommodation at all. It was also not stated in the checklist so I’m not sure why would the embassy recommend otherwise.

  • Iman 12/11/2018   Reply →

    Hey Ying thank you so much for this post.

    It says now on the checklist that I need to prove German Language Certificates.. did you need to have prior experience learning German when you applied for this visa?

    • Ying Tey 14/11/2018   Reply →

      I don’t know about now but when I applied for it, I didn’t need to prove anything. I just started from scratch

  • Van 27/01/2019   Reply →

    Hi Ying,

    You mentioned that you went on to apply a year language course. May I know how long the immigration officer grant you to stay? Is the end date the last day of your class or did they give u more days to stay in Germany ? If more, estimate how many days more? Appreciate your patient and reply 🙂

    • Ying Tey 29/01/2019   Reply →

      Hi Van,

      My circumstances changed before my one year was over. Two months before my visa expired, I applied to get married in Germany. It was a complicated procedure but basically, we got married and got some kind of extension from the Officers. That said, the Officer who managed my case was pretty lenient and gave us the approval. So I’ll say, it’s good to ask and see how long you can stay. I think with good reasons, they might extend your stay. Good luck!

  • Abby 05/03/2019   Reply →

    Hi. Thank you for your tips! Is it possible to apply for the visa if I want to learn from A1 level in Germany. Because I saw the requirements of documents sayinb I have to proof my German language. I mean I’m just scared that when applying for visa suddenly they say I need to have basics first like A1 level.

    • Ying Tey 06/03/2019   Reply →

      Hi Abby, I think you can prove your knowledge by stating what have you done to learn German on your own. You could say that you have bought some books or went on YouTube..etc. I would say A1 is very basic and so within 2 weeks of independent learning you might be learn it. I think they want you to have the basics just to prove that you’re serious about the lessons.

  • palak chadha 26/07/2019   Reply →

    hy i am palak i am gng for german language school visa . what are dos and donts i need to write in motivation letter
    and can i said in that i want to study in germany after that with a new student visa from my country

    • Ying Tey 26/07/2019   Reply →

      You can write anything you want as long as you can prove that you’ve undertaken efforts to learn German and that you want to continue learning it in Germany. Good luck!

  • Donna 15/04/2020   Reply →

    I just want to ask regarding with the spouse visa. My partner and I are planning to get the language course visa and study German there and after that maybe in span of 3 months get married there. If I have all the requirements for registration of marriage in Germany, do I still need to go back to my country or is it okay to proceed the processing of spouse visa there? As much as possible, we both don’t want to be separated again after the marriage. Thank you in advance for the answer.

    • Ying Tey 15/04/2020   Reply →

      Hi Donna, technically if you enter via language visa, you’re supposed to then go home to apply for the spouse visa. However I think they might make an exception since you’re already married. The officer that I dealt with here was okay with it but I’m not sure if it applies to everyone or if it’s just a one off case. I guess it’s best to ask them yourselves?

  • niklaus 16/12/2020   Reply →

    So, im kinda confused about the intended duration of stay From/to.. on the visa application form
    Should i just plug in the start and end date of my language course or do i tweak the date around a bit to 2/3 days later then when my course ends.
    Lets say my course begins on the10th of jan and ends on the 20th of August, that is, of course, how long i intend to stay but what if i am forced to leave a day or two after the course ends like 22nd of august..etc. i hope you get what i’m trying to say lol

    And, i do plan on pursuing my higher education in Germany after im done with my language course, i do plan on returning to my home country of course, but is it safe to mention my actual purpose for learning the language.

    Thank you!!

    • Ying Tey 16/12/2020   Reply →

      Hi there, technically you should write the start and end date of your course. Regardless of what you write on your visa application, you’ll be issued a national visa which will expire in 3 months anyway. That’s because when you arrive, you’ll need to go to the Ausländerbehörde (International office) to properly apply for a resident permit. On that form, you might be able to tweak your dates to your liking. Or you could ask the officer what you can do, if you decide to extend your course, etc etc. Then you’ll be issued an Aufenthaltstitel (some kind of residency id) where it’ll be stated when your stay will expire. If you do intend to study in Germany later on, you can put in your letter of motivation but don’t put it like a main point. You could support your reasons by saying in future you might consider to do a degree there or whatever but the language visa is more for someone who wants to learn the language because they love the language, the culture and so on and so forth. Good luck

      • niklaus 16/12/2020   Reply →

        Thanks a ton!

        But, a question,
        I Intend to do my undergrad there as in apply to a university in Germany later on. I do not want to seem very unsure about my intentions to the visa officer during my interview. Do you think it’ll affect my chances of getting a visa if I’m very clear of my reason to visit as in, further studying later on.
        I may be able to make up stuff on the motivation letter but during the interview I kinda have to spill out the truth

        • Ying Tey 16/12/2020   Reply →

          I don’t think sharing your intentions of future study there might ruin your chances of getting a visa. As long as you’re not going to do your undergrad right away(right after your language visa), why not learn German first to see if you’re even capable of doing an undergrad in German? You could say it’ll give you a chance to learn about Germany a little before committing to a full time tertiary education there.

  • niklaus 23/12/2020   Reply →

    Hello, its me again.
    i just wanted to ask regarding the Health insurance ( care concept ) as you’ve chosen. They have a question that states whether or not i will be planning on studying after the course, now does that mean studying in the foreseeable future or directly after the course. And if i am not very sure whether or not i will study, do i just tick no.
    And as i know, carrying a language student visa, you cannot get insured in a public insurance and are therefore required to get private, so were u insured in care concept (which is expat insurance) for the entire year or did u switch to a private one. Bc people usually get expat insurance for the first 3 months before switching.
    And does the insurance get immediately terminated as you leave Germany?

    • Ying Tey 23/12/2020   Reply →

      Hi! I didn’t know that Care Concept was expat insurance or whatever…I just knew that it insured people on language visas too. I didn’t look into insurance all that much at all to be honest. I had Care Concept which insured me for that whole year and then when I went on another visa, I was publicly insured under my husband’s insurance. I don’t think it makes much of a difference…I wasn’t sick so I can’t comment. I think you should just tick no, for the sake of simplicity. In the future, if you do get a student visa to do your higher education in Germany, you’ll be eligible to apply for public insurance then. I think you’ll need to inform your insurance provider that you’ll be leaving and they’ll terminate your premium. Hope that answers your question!

      • niklaus 31/01/2021   Reply →

        heyy, fortunately my visa is at the brink of getting stamped and approved. i just need to hand over incoming health insurance proof. ive emailed the insurance company and the embassy but their answers were very much vague and brief. i just want to know what type of insurance policy did you pick out at care concept. The one that was recommended to me by the website when i plugged in my information was the care college basic package, but the embassy sent a link that redirected me to the care expatriate package which does include students but the ‘insured people’ section was quite confusing
        And was ‘proof’ exactly did you hand over to the embassy, just confirmation of enrollment or paid receipt? did you pay for the insurance beforehand or at the date of the commencement of coverage? As the insurance company informed me that the payment was due the date of the beginning of the coverage. i have to hand over the ‘proof’ within the next few days.
        One more thing, they said that they would mail the insurance card within the next two days of registration and alongside with few other documents, is that supposed to be handed over to the embassy as well or is that just for me?
        sorry for the disturbance haha, just wary about the specifics

        • Ying Tey 31/01/2021   Reply →

          Hi! Congrats on your upcoming visa approval. If I’m not mistaken, I chose Care College: which is an insurance policy designed specifically to cover language student participants. Check out the link and have a read. You can then choose to say, when you’re commencing the visa and for how long. The payment would only be collected at the start of your premium, not when you’re signing up for it. Once you’ve signed up for your health insurance, they will send you a few documents. One of these documents is a preview of your insurance policy. It will be quite obvious. I think I got that page printed out (it list your name, date of premium, bla bla bla…) and handed them to the embassy as proof. That will be enough to serve as ‘proof of insurance policy’. Of course, you will also have the printed copy of the premium …but I’m not sure how long will postage take. Good luck and hope it’s all going to work out.

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