VisaBefore you travel to Germany you will have to apply for a visa for study purposes at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Please ask these institutions as early as possible about the application prerequisites and processes, especially how long these take.
If you do not arrive in Germany with the proper visa you cannot file for a residence permit for study purposes . However without this residence permit you are not allowed to study in Germany!
Students from EU-Countries, from countries of the European Economic Area (EEA - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA do not have to apply for a visa. Citizens from these countries - except EU-citizens - have to file for a residence permit after arrival. Students from Andorra, Honduras and San Marino do not need a visa if they do not plan to work in Germany before or after their studies. They, too, file for a residence permit after arrival in Germany.