German student visa norms for Indians get tough
India will have to go through a more difficult application process for student visas to Germany starting on November 1. Applications for APS certification, which is required to be submitted with a visa application for Indian students, are now being accepted through October 1. This certification is needed to demonstrate the validity of degrees and students’ ability to enroll in German universities.
On November 1, Germany will begin accepting applications for student visas, but the addition of Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) certificates. Which the Academic Evaluation Centre will provide before applications are accepted—signified that the requirements are becoming more stringent for Indian students.
Stephan Kowitz, chief of the visa and consular division at the German Consulate General in Mumbai. Stated that while the procedure for obtaining a student visa “may look tougher from the outside,” sincere students don’t need to be scared of it.
German Mission addresses concerns over fake student visa documents
- The launch of APS certification coincides with Philipp Ackerman, the German ambassador to India, who said that around 15% of Indian student visa applications include fake documents. The German Mission in India has highlighted some of the major risks of fake language certifications and residency cards.
- Kowitz prioritizes what Ackerman stated while arguing that this adjustment is necessary given the current circumstances. “As stated by Ambassador Ackermann, the German embassies deal with a significant amount of fake documents in student visa applications. Applications for visas have always been thoroughly examined. The APS certificate is a further stage in the document verification procedure. According to the law, their applications would be handled as previously.
- According to Kowitz, who also said that the move will streamline the visa application process at all German Missions in India. This is because the standard of certificates varies across the board.
Not all students will be affected by the new adjustments
Short-term courses are free from the APS certification requirement and are only applicable to programs lasting more than 90 days. The APS bank account must receive Rs. 18,000 in procedural fees from the students. The Mission made it clear that the provision only applies to national student visa applications and not Schengen visas.
Numerous Indian students are studying in Germany
With a population of 33,753, Indian students will represent the second-largest group in German universities for the academic year 2021–2022, up 18% from 28,542 in the previous year, according to the Free Press Journal. In 2022–2023, more than 3,000 Indian students will go to Germany to pursue their education. Universities are free to decide whether to inquire about APS certification even though German authorities have informed them about it.
Conditions for blocked accounts have changed
The need for all student applications for a blocked account has raised to 934,00 EUR per month, or 11,208 EUR per year, as of October 1st, 2022, as a result of changes to the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) laws that took effect on August 1st, 2022.
With the aim that students who truly want to continue higher education in Germany will now be chosen for admission. The APS certificate will be a very useful tool in the battle against fake documents when applying for student visas for Germany.