Known for their quality curriculum, facilities, research-oriented studies, diverse student communities and accommodating nature, universities in Germany are well-regarded in the global educational system. Every year, many international students opt to study in Germany.
If you are planning to study in Germany and your stay exceeds more than three months, then you must apply for a student visa before arrival. Recently, the German embassy in India has made it compulsory for Indian students to present an Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) certificate along with their visa application to prevent any fraudulent academic and language documents from being submitted to obtain the student visa.
If you are looking to pursue an education in Germany, it is important to understand the student visa application process for Indian students travelling to Germany.
What is an APS certificate?
APS is a venture of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German embassy’s cultural department. APS assesses the academic records and educational backgrounds of students applying to study in Germany and checks for their authenticity. If the certificates submitted are found to be genuine, APS issues an authenticity certificate which must be submitted with the application for the student visa.
Why is an APS certificate a mandatory requirement for Indian students?
A recent report by the DAAD stated that Indians are the second largest group of students to enrol in various universities in Germany and there has been a threefold increase in recent years.
Compared to the 2020-2021 cycle, there has been an 18% rise in the number of Indian students for the 2021-2022 cycle taking the total number to 33,753 Indian students in Germany. The increase is due to the quality of education and lucrative career opportunities offered by the country.
While this is a positive sign for the German educational system, the number of fake documents presented by students is also on the rise. The German ambassador to India, Philip Ackerman, stated that around 15% of documents submitted as part of the visa application are fake, forcing the authorities to look more carefully into the matter.
Language certificates indicating high levels of language proficiency are the most common forged documents according to the officials. This is done by students to cut down the visa waiting time.
With the number of forged documents increasing every day, it has become mandatory to filter the documents to identify authentic ones. Therefore, an APS certificate has been made compulsory for Indian students from 1 November 2022 to ensure a genuine and undisputed application process.
How to apply for an APS certificate
As APS certificates are a mandatory document from 1 November, students can apply for one from 1 October 2022. Below are the steps to apply for an APS certificate online.
- Register at aps-india.de. Sign and print the completed application form
- Pay a fee of INR 18,000 to the APS bank account
- Submit the documents and the application form in-person or through courier at the APS office
- The concerned authorities will perform the verification and the application status will be updated on the online profile
- If verified, the APS certificate will be sent via courier to the student who can then apply for a student visa in Germany.
The documents to be submitted to APS are listed below:
- Signed and printed application form
- Recent passport-size photograph
- Receipt of APS fee payment
- Copy of Aadhaar card
- Copy of passport
- Copy of degree certificate and mark sheets
- Copy of English or German language certificates.
You will be required to submit additional documents depending on the level of degree you apply for.
Students will receive an APS certificate within two weeks of submitting a complete application form if they are approved. Students who pursue courses of less than three months duration do not need to apply for an APS certificate. Those funded by German or other EU scholarships are also exempted from presenting the certificate.
Other than the student visa, students who intend to stay longer than three months must also apply for a resident permit. A blocked bank account is also necessary to show the authorities that you have enough money to fund your studies in Germany.
Once you complete your course, you are eligible for an 18-month job seeker visa that allows you to apply for jobs in the country.
If you are interested in studying in Germany, check out the various programmes offered at the University of Europe for Applied Sciences. You can study our bachelor’s or master’s programmes online, hybrid or on-campus. UE offers courses in art and design, tech and software, business and psychology and many more.
We offer students a practice-oriented curriculum that prepares them for the challenges of the marketplace and helps them find employment soon after graduation. The international focus on different programmes is beneficial for the career growth of our students. We also provide a friendly environment that helps your overall development.