The German Ambassador to India discusses the student visa application process and the newly introduced APS system
(Studying abroad offers many opportunities, experiences, and more. However, securing admissions presents a number of questions. What are the scholarship opportunities available to international students? What do colleges look for in an application? What make an application stand out? Is going abroad a limited opportunity? In the ‘Study Abroad’ column on Friday, The Indian Express features an expert who offers tips, advice, and answers to common questions.
— Philipp Ackermann
There are many reasons why studying in Germany can be an unforgettable experience, from the serenity of Heidelberg to the bustling streets of Berlin.
A growing number of German universities offer degrees in English, which makes the country an attractive destination for Indian students. Located in the heart of Europe, the country offers a unique research ecosystem that is characterized by direct connections between universities and industries, as well as a number of competitive universities of applied sciences.
The number of international students studying in Germany is on the rise – there are nearly 35,000 Indian students studying in the country alone, making them the second largest group of foreign students. As a result of this trend, Germany and India have developed scientific relations of considerable scope. At German universities and research facilities, many Indian PhD students contribute to cutting-edge research.
The growing number of applications for German student visas has created new administrative challenges. It has been our experience that visa application processes were not as swift in the past as we would have liked them to be. This has caused some applicants to feel angry, which is understandable. A significant number of fraudulent student visa applications are being submitted.
As a result, each and every student application must be thoroughly screened, which would result in a longer application process. In October 2022, the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) was introduced to India as a means of streamlining and simplifying the visa application process and facilitating the verification of academic credentials.
As a service provider for the German Embassy in New Delhi, the Academic Evaluation Centre is also a partner of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). A hassle-free admissions process is facilitated for Indian students to German universities through the authentication of their documents.
Upon successful completion of a document verification, the APS can issue a certificate, a requirement for applying for a visa to study in Germany.
By presenting an APS certificate, applicants are able to prove the authenticity of their academic credentials and their eligibility for study at German universities. In order to obtain a student visa to Germany, students with a degree from an Indian higher educational institution or an Indian school board must adhere to new guidelines.
In order to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly, it is recommended that you begin the application process for APS at least a year before the start of your studies in Germany.
Incomplete or erroneous applications often arrive at our office, which results in a delay in the processing of the application. To facilitate the application process and ensure that your application is complete, the following steps should be followed:
Visit the APS-Website (www.aps-india.de)
You can obtain official information about the APS from this website. Do you have any doubts about your eligibility? It is recommended that you start your application process by answering the questions in our eligibility quiz. In this way, you will be able to determine whether your current academic and educational background qualifies you for studies in Germany.
What is the best course of action? Should I apply for an APS certificate first or directly to the German university? Could you please tell me how I can submit my documents? The FAQ section of our website provides answers to such questions that you may have. Please refer to this section for answers to general questions regarding the application and verification process. You should also review the “News-Section”. Information about the application and verification process can be found here in a timely manner.
In response to our eligibility quiz, we will inform you of the verification procedure you should follow. You can find detailed information regarding the documents you will need to prepare for the various application procedures in our “Checklist-Section”.
Online registration and payment
There are seven steps involved in the registration process. You will be asked to provide detailed information regarding your personal details, educational background, and language abilities at each step. At the time of submitting your online application, please ensure that you have all the necessary information available.
At the end of the process, you will be asked to provide us with your payment information. Alternatively, you may wire the fee to us through your online banking system or make an online payment through our website.
We strongly recommend that you make your payment through our own payment portal, as this will ensure that your payment matches automatically and that your account is activated immediately. We recommend that you make the payment via your own banking portal before submitting the registration form, and that you have the wiring details handy (IFSC code, account number, etc.).
Duration of the verification
The certificates have already been issued to more than 1,500 applicants over the past few weeks. In light of the high volume of applications, it may take some time before we are able to get to your application and begin your individual verification process – we receive more than 200 applications each day. In addition, we are working towards reducing the processing time for each individual to a maximum of four weeks. In light of the large number of applications, it is not possible to avoid certain delays at this time.
It is understandable that you are waiting for an update on your current application status. Answering these types of inquiries would, however, take away valuable time that we would otherwise need to devote to your application. As soon as possible, we issue your certificates in accordance with the German universities’ deadlines. By providing us with official contact details of your Indian university representatives, we’ll be able to help you out a lot.
(The writer is the German Ambassador to India and Bhutan)