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Applying for a master’s program in

Germany
By Khuldoon Usman

Summary
So, you’ve decided to apply to Germany for a master’s program and are looking for a step-by-step
guide of the process. Please note that this guide will only explain the application, admission and visa
process and not the actual reasons for choosing Germany. Those are left solely to you, the reader. If,
however, you have made the decision and are wondering what to do, then this guide will prove
beneficial. It must be noted that this guide is purely based on my personal experience and the
information I was able to draw from blogs, articles and Facebook groups. I hope that this alone will
suffice for new prospective applicants. The guide is divided into two major parts, the first is the
application phase to a German university. Following this, the second part primarily focuses on
application for visa.

Admission: Applying to universities


DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service
DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) is an online platform that serves as a database for
searching most of the international master’s programs that are available in most German universities.
It acts as a central library so that you can search and shortlist programs using a variety of filters such
as “interest”, “tuition fee”, “language of instruction” and more. The first step you are going to take as a
prospective applicant is to shortlist courses from this website. Once you have shortlisted courses, you
must visit the direct university websites of these courses and learn more about each course and its
requirements from their respective university websites. The web address for DAAD is:
https://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programmes/en/
Uni-assist
Uni-assist is another online platform just like DAAD, but the difference is that it acts like a central
application portal for most German university programs. When you create an account on uni-assist,
you can search for the program you want to apply for. You must know about the required documents
by that university for that program because scanned copies of those documents must be uploaded
during your application in uni-assist. Uni-assist charges you a separate application fee for each
program you apply to, the first application usually costs 75 Euro and successive applications each
cost 30 Euro. Please note that not all universities accept applications through uni-assist. Uni-assist
basically serves as an intermediary helping to evaluate your international degrees and qualifications
so that they may be comparable with German ones and then send them to the universities directly.
Uni-assist web address: https://www.uni-assist.de/en/
Direct Applications
There are universities that do not accept applications through uni-assist rather they have their own
application portal where you create an account and apply. It is therefore important to know which
method your intended university requires. Usually, universities with their own application portals do
not charge an application fee.
Documents
Whether you apply to uni-assist or through individual portals, documents usually remain the same
except for one or two that might vary depending on the program you are applying for. Also,
remember, in both cases, you must also send hard copies of some or all documents that you have
uploaded in either application portal. Which hardcopies and documents are needed can be found in
your intended university’s website. I have prepared a list of documents that a university might require
but this list is purely provisional and must not be considered final, please check university websites to
confirm what documents you need.
Application Form
This is usually a PDF version of the entire application you filled in the portal. It basically contains a
record of entries of your entire application in PDF so that you may verify and sign it.
Educational Documents
If you are applying for a master’s program, most universities will ask for your Bachelor’s degree,
Bachelor’s transcript, higher education entrance qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) which
is basically you O/A level certificates or your SSC/HSSC certificates.
Letter of Motivation
Perhaps the most important document in any university application, the Letter of Motivation or LOM
for short is basically a one/two-page document that details your personal interest in the course. It is a
letter your write to the admissions committee of your intended university explaining why you are
interested in this course and why you would be a suitable student in this course. Many tips for writing
LOMs are available on the internet.
Language Proficiency
If you plan to study in a program where the medium of instruction is going to be English or German, it
is also necessary to provide a document certifying your fluency in English or German. These are
gained by taking language tests which usually cost additional charges. Whichever test you take,
make sure to check beforehand whether your intended university accepts that language test result or
not. Some of the most popular English language tests are IELTS, TOEFL, CAE etc. Apart from this, if
you can get a documented statement from your previous university certifying that your previous
degree was instructed in English, then some universities will exempt the English language
requirement. This document is known as a Language Proficiency Letter. Some of the most popular
German language tests are GOETHE certificate, DSH, DSD, TestDAF etc.
Letters of Recommendation
Most universities will also require one or two letters of recommendation from your previous
professors. These letters must be signed and stamped and must be sent in sealed envelopes to
ensure non-tampering.
CV(Resume)
Many institutions will also request copies of your resume/CV as part of the application. Most CVs are
made on the Euro-pass format when applying to German universities, but it is not necessary. To learn
more about Euro-pass, visit: https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/
Apart from this, most educational establishments will also require a copy of your passport and a
personal photograph.
Attested Copies of Documents
Remember, uploading soft copies of documents is never enough. Be it an application through uni-
assist or a direct application at the university portal, in both cases, hard copies of documents are
required to be sent via courier to the respective institutions. If you send them to uni-assist, you can
find the address on uni-assist website or if you send them to the university directly, the address must
be available on the university website. However, some universities have strict rules when sending
copies of documents. To make sure the copies are genuine, they must be attested or as the Germans
call it “Officially-Authenticated or “Officially-Certified” before they can be sent. Most universities will
only require attestation of educational documents but since this varies from university to university, it
must be checked on the university website beforehand. Now let’s look at the type of attestations:
Notary Public
These are by far the most commonly requested types of attestations by German universities and the
cheapest as well. Once you have decided which documents you want to attest, visit your nearest
district courts with your documents and get each document attested from a notary public officer of the
court for 30-50 PKR per page.
German Embassy/Consulate
Getting documents attested directly from the German embassy or consulate in Pakistan is also an
option and you can rest assured that this attestation is the most official form of attestation there is.
The downside is that it costs quite a lot more and you must get an appointment at the
embassy/consulate before you can get your docs attested.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Very few universities require that copies of documents be attested from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
in Pakistan. I myself never applied to a university that requested this.
Higher Education Commission
Some universities, like TUHH, specially request that the bachelor’s degree and transcript be attested
from HEC before it’s copies can be sent. For an attestation appointment at HEC, take the following
steps:
• Go to e-portal HEC and set up an account
• Complete your profile be entering all information and uploading scanned copies of all
documents
• Apply for attestation of originals and copies of degree and transcript
• Wait for initial scrutiny of documents
• Once initial scrutiny is complete, set an appointment date and time
• On your appointment date and time, appear at HEC regional office with all the docs, HEC
application form and challan form (available on your e-portal account)
• Pay the fee and submit your docs
• Come back to receive your attested docs in a few hours
Sending Documents
When choosing a courier for sending educational documents, always look for those that have reliable
service not just the cheapest one. FedEx is a great option for students as it offers discounted rates for
sending documents to universities and is an efficient service. Make sure to neatly place documents in
the envelope and double check the address you are sending them to because sending them again is
going to be costly.
Note: Once you have applied on the respective portal, paid the relevant fee and sent the
necessary documents, then comes the time to wait because you cannot begin the next part of
the process without an admission letter. The only step you can take is to register for an
appointment!
This is very important, register for an appointment at Islamabad embassy at least 4 months
before your intended travel date because getting an appointment alone takes 2 months at the
embassy and then a further 2 months for visa processing!!
This does not apply to the Karachi embassy.

Visa: Applying for a Student Visa for Germany


Getting an appointment
You can apply for a student visa at either the embassy in Islamabad or the consulate in Karachi.
Whichever choice you take depends on where you have lived and worked up till the time of
appointment. If the answer to this question is a place in Punjab/NWFP or Kashmir, then you must
apply at the Islamabad embassy. If, however you have been a resident of Sindh or Balochistan or
have worked in these provinces for more than 6 months, then you can apply at the consulate in
Karachi. You must get an appointment date for either the embassy or consulate to submit documents
for a visa application but depending on where you go, the hassle of getting an appointment is
completely different.
Islamabad Embassy
If you must apply at the embassy than it is imperative that you register for an appointment at the
embassy website 4 MONTHS before your intended travel date. You will enter your passport number,
email address and first and last name and be put in a waiting list. Usually, you are allotted an
appointment after 2 months of waiting and are informed via email. The appointment date is also
approximately 2-3 weeks after you receive this confirmation email. Please note that the timelines I
have mentioned are approximate and not exact. For Islamabad embassy, it is imperative that you
register for an appointment as soon as possible because getting an appointment in the embassy has
been quite tedious in the past. To register for an appointment at embassy:
https://service2.diplo.de/rktermin/extern/choose_realmList.do?locationCode=isla&request_locale=en
Karachi Consulate
Now if you are eligible to apply at the Karachi consulate, that is an easier process because
appointments for almost any date is always available at the consulate website. However, the
appointment can be booked a maximum of three months in advance. Therefore, you don’t have to
apply for an appointment at the consulate until all your documents are ready. This makes the process
easier. To register for an appointment at the consulate:
https://service2.diplo.de/rktermin/extern/choose_realmList.do?locationCode=kara&request_locale=en
Documents Required
The website of the German embassy lists all the documents required but since there is sometimes
confusion as to what exactly the docs are and in what order should they be arranged. Remember,
documents should be arranged according to a specific order as mentioned in this PDF:
https://pakistan.diplo.de/blob/1673192/b5051e07cdbda8202a3c591ce52815ac/orderstudentvisaapplic
ation-data.pdf
Note for both the consulate and the embassy, you need all the originals and 2 photocopies of each
document in separate ordered sets. I will mention the documents according to the order they are
required. All documents must be on A4 pages and no page must be stapled. This is mandatory.
For more information, visit:
https://pakistan.diplo.de/pk-en/service/05-VisaEinreise/2-study-visa-seite/1676104
Passport(s)
Please remember to take all passports (old and new) and their copies. For copies, make sure the first
three leaves of each passport (one with your picture, one next to it and one with your signature)
MUST be all on one side of the same A4 page. Thus, you will have two A4 pages like this because
you need two copies of each passport. Passport needs to be valid for three months after the expiry of
the applied visa.
Visa Application Form
Fill out the entire application form on computer and only print it when you must sign it at the end.
Samples of filled visa forms are available in the files section of Facebook groups. You need to have
two filled visa forms with you. Remember that the date and place should be appointment date and
either Islamabad or Karachi depending on where you’re going to submit the visa application
Admission Letter
A printout of the admission letter from the university is needed. In these days, it is best to have the
original PDF rather than a printout of the admission email because the original PDF has the
letterhead, signature and stamp. The letter should contain the following details:
• Start of enrollment/classes
• Intended semester
• Language of Instruction
Two copies of the admission letter are needed as well.
Proof of Funds
Funds can be proven in one of three ways:
• Blocked account in either Deustche Bank or Fintiba
• Scholarship
• Relative in Germany
Blocked Account
A blocked account is basically a student account that is opened in Germany where you deposit
8640Euros which are then “blocked” and only accessible in Germany. The purpose of a blocked
account is to show that the money can only be accessed once you get to Germany and that you will
only receive monthly payments of 720 Euros so that you may not withdraw the funds all at once.
Blocked account can be opened in Deutsche Bank which is a bank already in Germany. I have
uploaded the process of opening a blocked account in files section of Facebook groups. Fintiba is an
online service in which you create an account online and deposit the money into that account.
However, unlike Deustche Bank, since Fintiba is not a bank itself, when you get to Germany; you will
have to open an account in an actual German bank and link it to your Fintiba account. UBL in
Pakistan has also recently offered the option to open a blocked account. Whichever option you go for
is your own choice and the merits and de-merits of each have been discussed several times in detail
in previous posts in the Facebook groups and in files section as well.
Money can be transferred in a blocked account through one of two ways. One way is that you open a
foreign currency (EUR) account in any local Pakistani bank, buy Euros from open market, deposit
them in the FC account and then transfer the money from your FC account to your blocked account
as an international transaction.
The other way is to go to reputable money exchangers like Western Union, MoneyGram, NBP
Exchange etc. and give them the PKR equivalent of the 8640 Euro amount in the form of cash or
check and they will transfer the money in Euros on your behalf via a Telegraphic Transfer (TT). Since
these money exchangers charge their Euros a certain amount above the open market rate, thus the
PKR equivalent will be roughly 50,000 higher than the open market rate.
Once you have transferred the amount into your blocked account, you will receive a confirmation
email from DB or Fintiba verifying that the amount has been received at 8640EUR have been
“blocked”. This is known as the “blocking confirmation” and this will serve as your proof of funds. Take
a print-out of this blocking confirmation and make two photocopies (Remember to print only on A4).
Scholarship Letter
If you have a funded scholarship, then you do not need to open a blocked account and a print-out of
your scholarship letter will serve as your proof of funds. Two photocopies of this letter needed as well.
Sponsor in Germany
If you get a written agreement from a relative in Germany who is willing to sponsor your expenses in
Germany, then this agreement will serve as your proof of funds. Two photocopies of this letter
agreement needed as well.
I recommend not depositing money in your blocked account until you have confirmed your
appointment date.
Curriculum Vitae
A colored printout of your resume will be part of the original documents’ set while two black and white
copies for each of the photocopy sets. DO NOT STAPLE.
Education Certificates
The original bachelor’s degree and transcript MUST be attested from HEC before appearing for visa
interviews. Attestation of intermediate/high school certificates is not necessary. Two copies of each
educational document are needed for the photocopy set.
Language Proficiency
Original score report of IELTS/TOEFL and German certificates is needed. Two photocopies of each
document for the photocopy set.
Experience Certificates
All employment letters and experience certificates from previous or current employers plus two
photocopies.
Bank Statement
Normally not required at the Karachi Consulate, the bank statement is requested by Islamabad
embassy to ensure that you have enough funds for second year expenses apart from your blocked
account. The statement can be your own of your sponsor’s, but it should be at least 6 months old with
the latest date being as near to your appointment date as possible. If you use a bank statement of
your sponsor, then you need to show CNIC of your sponsor as well. Both the bank statement and
sponsor CNIC should also have 2 copies for the photocopy sets. Remember, the CNIC copies should
also be on A4 page with both the front and back side on same side of the A4 page.
CNIC
Your own CNIC and two copies of it (on A4 pages) are needed as well
Polio Certificate
In the past, polio certificate was a mandatory requirement but recently it has been told it is not
needed. Nevertheless, to get a polio certificate, all you must do is visit a government hospital and get
it made on the same day from the vaccination department in that hospital. 2 copies of this will be
needed too.
Applicant’s Declaration
A document declaring that all the information you have provided is true and correct. Print out original
and make two copies. You may fill the printout and then make copies, or you can make copies and
then fill them in. Remember that the date and place should be appointment date and either Islamabad
or Karachi depending on where you’re going to submit the visa application. It can be found here:
https://pakistan.diplo.de/blob/1673160/0df4cde708df0256522476388e30656a/applicants-declaration-
e-ur-data.pdf
Security Questionnaire
Another document meant to be an undertaking of non-fraudulent activity. You may fill the printout and
then make copies, or you can make copies and then fill them in. Remember that the date and place
should be appointment date and either Islamabad or Karachi depending on where you’re going to
submit the visa application. This can be found here:
https://pakistan.diplo.de/blob/1673150/a12fd42ecee16b8852d84a18016512fa/sicherheits-fragbo-eng-
data.docx
Appointment Email
This is a printout of the email you receive from the German embassy confirming your appointment
date and time. It IS NOT the email you receive when you register for an appointment online. A
printout of this email in German/English will suffice and no photocopies are needed.
AMEX Receipt
A courier receipt usually provided to applicants at the Islamabad embassy. This is given to you once
you get inside the visa section. A man collects 500 RS from you and gives you this receipt. This is
basically a receipt for courier charges as Islamabad applicants usually receive their passport via
courier. Karachi applicants must go and collect the passport themselves from the consulate once they
are informed.
Travel Insurance
The only document not mentioned the PDF. The embassy website declares this as “travel health
insurance”. For Islamabad applicants, travel insurance must be submitted at the time of interview. For
Karachi applicants, it can be submitted once you get an email of visa clearance. Before you enroll in a
German university, you must purchase health insurance from a German insurance provider when you
reach Germany. Until then, you must purchase travel insurance to cover your international medical
expenses for visa application. The travel insurance must be of six months, must provide a minimum
coverage of 30,000 Euros and covers all Schengen States (not just Germany. This travel insurance
can be purchased from any of the embassy’s recommended local insurance providers. It usually
costs 7,000 – 10,000 PKR. Recently, Coracle, a liaison company has been providing candidates with
free travel insurance from ERV (acceptable at both consulate and embassy) on the condition that you
purchase German health insurance beforehand through them. It does not cost extra but it means
buying health insurance before you reach Germany. Print out your travel insurance document for
original and make two copies. Apart from this the list of acceptable insurance companies is:
https://pakistan.diplo.de/pk-en/service/05-VisaEinreise/6-health-insurances-seite/1673134

Apart from this, if you have ever been refused a visa by an Embassy or High Commission, written
explanation about reason for application and refusal letter are required.
Appointment Day
Since I was an applicant at the Islamabad embassy, I cannot explain what happens exactly at Karachi
consulate although the process is quite similar. Nevertheless, you can always read previous posts in
the Facebook groups to know about the Karachi consulate process. Here is my account:
“Detailed Breakdown of what to do on the day of the visa appointment at Islamabad embassy:
-Reach the shuttle service location by max by 6:45 AM
Visa Seeker Shuttle Service
3rd Ave, Maira, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
https://goo.gl/maps/Y59FhheLXjP2
- There are two types of shuttle service:
a) Executive: Basically, a Car and it's booking starts at 7AM sharp. Costs 1000Rs.
b) Economy: A coaster and it's booking starts at 7:30AM sharp. Costs 500Rs.
Whichever one you take you will get to the embassy in time. You'll get a token for the shuttle which
you will use to get back.
- As you get there, you will wait on the benches outside at the entrance while a man calls you one by
one and sees your appointment email and notes down your passport number. Then he asks you to
remain seated and wait for your turn
- Once you're called to the entrance, a woman will check your photocopies and make sure they are in
the correct order. If they are not, they will rearrange the order for you and ask you to do the same for
both sets of photocopies. Once this is done, she will buzz you in and you'll go through a security
scan.
- After the security scan, you'll go to the waiting area with a token number and wait for your turn at the
visa counters. During that time, a guy will take your passport and note your details for courier and ask
you to pay the 500Rs.
- Now once your turn comes, you'll go to the counter and wait for the interviewer to ask you what
he/she wants.
- The interviewer will first ask you to make sure the photocopies are in the right order and then he/she
will go through both sets to check.
- Then they'll take your fingerprints
- After that comes the Q&A after which you'll be handed the payment receipt and you'll be told to
collect your originals, pay the receipt at the standard chartered branch of the diplomatic enclave and
then go home with shuttle token. You will also be asked to write the LOM so make sure to have a pen
on hand with you.
This is it. The whole process takes around 3-4 hours.
My details:
- Course: M. Sc Mechanical Engineering and Management at TUHH
- DB Blocked Account: 8900 Euros
- Second Year Statement: 2.4 Million
Questions Asked:
-Why Germany?
- Why this course and this university?
- How is this course linked to your field?
- Future Plans?
- What do your father and mother do and what they earn?
-How many siblings and what do they do?
Hope this information helps, Good luck to all those who are going to give the interview and prayers for
those who still need an appointment at the embassy”
This is a post I made in the Facebook group at the day of the interview.
Visa Receipt
Islamabad Embassy
For applicants at the embassy, you will receive your passport via courier on the address which you
told the courier person at the time of interview.
Karachi Consulate
Applicants at the consulate will be given an email about visa clearance after which they will be asked
to submit travel insurance and ticket booking. Then they shall collect the visa themselves from the
consulate

My Timeline
The following chart shows a timeline of events for my application and visa procedure. Use it just as a
reference to estimate your own process. In the end all I can say is good luck for your ambitions and
hope this guide helped in streamlining the process for you.

[Timeline on next page]