I made my visa application from Nigeria in 2019. This was one of the easiest parts of my journey besides boarding the plane of course. Way too many things have changed since then. So here’s a ‘then’ versus ‘now’ comparison. I imagine ‘now’ is what’s actually relevant for you.
Making the visa application
Then: Once I received my admission letter, I opened a German blocked account using fintiba. Then I sent an email to the German embassy in Lagos to request a visa interview date. In this email, I attached a copy of my admission letter, German blocked account verification letter, and my passport data page.
- completed their bachelor’s degree with first-class not earlier than January 1st, 2018 or
- posses a scholarship/German public funding or
- are Ph.D. students or
- have a research hosting agreement.
All other candidates (those who do not meet any of the requirements listed above) fall into category B.
Then: After sending the required documents via email, I received a response on the same day! I was given an appointment to have my visa interview the next month.
Now: Rumor has it that it takes several weeks or even months to get an interview date these days. This is often longer for category B applicants. Nevertheless, it’s not at all a dead end. What’s important is that you have to apply really early to increase your chances of getting an interview date before the enrollment deadline at your university.
Blocked account requirement
Then: If you do not have a scholarship, sponsorship, or any external source of funding, you would have to provide proof that you can personally fund yourself while you study in Germany. Education is free in most public universities in Germany but bills such as accommodation, health insurance, feeding, and so on, must be paid. Depending on the city you live in, this could cost anything between 450€ and 750€ per month for a moderate lifestyle. Nevertheless, in 2019, I had to prove that I could afford a lifestyle of 720€ per month for the first 12 months of my stay in Germany and the entire amount (8,640€) must be blocked in a German account. Blocking this amount means being able to access it only upon arrival in Germany, and even at that, I would receive the monthly rate (about 720€) until the end of my first year in Germany.
Now: The process is the same as above. However, you now have to prove that you can afford up to 861€ monthly by blocking the sum of 10,332€ in a German bank account.
Evidently, there’s a great discrepancy between then and now. It’s becoming a bit more challenging to pass through the visa application stage but one thing I can assure you is that the amount of Nigerians trooping in here to study is still on the rise. Note that this information is based on my experience in Nigeria and it could differ largely from country to country.
PS: I started this blog series to share insights and FREE tips for relocating to Germany. Take it from me, leaving the country legally is cheaper and easier than most people think. Beyond sharing my story (and those of my friends) so you can learn from real experiences, I’ll occasionally share useful resources through newsletters during this series. The resources would all be FREE and trust me, you’ll need them. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletters so you won’t miss any of them.