General information

Use our helpful links  for refugees in Germany to find out more about studying in Germany and other topics.

Tip: Every university in Germany offers study counselling. Use the counselling offered to you to get advice on your questions about studying in Germany. You can find contact data on your chosen university's website.

Here are some helpful links  on alternatives to university studies, as well as links to counselling offers for refugees.

There are no disadvantages to letting the university know that you came to Germany as a refugee. Quite the opposite: Universities may offer you preparatory courses open only to refugees. Some universities also relax their application criteria for refugees.

Here is a list of special study programmes  by universities you can apply to using uni-assist. There are further offers for refugees by universities which are sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service.

The application requirements differ from university to university. Please find out more from the student advisory service or the International Office at the university of your choice.

You may submit your application to special study programmes using the online portal.

The cost exemption portal  is used by refugees to request cost exemption.

The online portal  is used by all international prospective students – including refugees – to submit their applications.

No. The free evaluation procedure is optional for refugees in Germany, but it has many benefits:

  • Free application to up to 3 universities per semester using uni-assist,
  • the HZB certificate,
  • the chance to apply even if you are missing documents due to your refugee status,
  • the chance to apply to special study programmes for refugees.

If you want to pay for the processing of your applications yourself, apply using the online portal.

Apply free of charge

You should always follow this sequence:

  1. Request cost exemption.
  2. After the request has been granted, submit your application to your university.

The application process itself is completely identical in the free and the regular procedure. The free evaluation procedure for refugees, however, offers a few additional elements, such as the self-disclosure form and the HZB certificate (university entrance qualification).

Processing a cost exemption application form usually takes a few days. During periods in which we process many applications (December, January, May, June and July), the evaluation may take more time – approximately 5 to 7 business days.

That is not necessary. Cost exemption is granted once and remains valid through 2019. You may use it to apply free of charge to up to 3 universities per semester.

If your request for cost exemption was not granted, you may submit missing or additional documents at any time using the cost exemption portal.

Yes. Request cost exemption using the cost exemption portal. After the request is granted, we will contact you and ask for your bank account details. We will then reimburse the handling fees for your application to a maximum of 3 universities for the previous semester.

You may use the free evaluation procedure to apply free of charge to up to 3 universities per semester. The number of desired study courses is unlimited at these universites. All desired courses of study at these 3 universites are free of charge. An additional application to a university in the same semester costs 30.00 EUR per desired study course.

The cost exemption is valid for up to 3 universities per semester. You will have to pay 30.00 EUR for each additional desired study course, regardless of the numer of universities you apply to.

For example, if you want to apply to 5 universities with 2 desired courses each, you will need to transfer 120.00 EUR to uni-assist (3 free applications + 4 x 30.00 EUR).

Please note that we will only start processing the non-free applications after we have received the handling fees for these study courses!

No. Please apply for cost exemption only online using the cost exemption portal.

Yes. Simply upload missing documents using the cost exemption portal.

Please send us a screenshot or picture of the error message using the contact form. We will be happy to assist you in solving the problem.

You can simply submit your application for cost exemption on a smartphone using the cost exemption portal. You can just take a picture of your application documents using your phone and upload them.

Requirements for the cost exemption

Only specific residence titles qualify you for the free evaluation procedure. You can find out which using our glossary of terms, in the section "Residence title".

No. You may only apply for cost exemption if you live in Germany and hold a residence title granted by a German government agency.

Yes. The TestAS result is not important when applying for cost exemption. You only need to have attained a valid result for your TestAS.

You can get a university's attestation from any uni-assist university you wish to apply to. This university's attestation confirms that the university approves of your participation in the free evaluation procedure without TestAS.

No. Any university, even one you are not applying to, can issue a university's attestation.

There is no set format for university's attestations. Every university can draw up its own attestation and recommend refugees who came in for counselling for participation in the free evaluation procedure. You can find a sample university's attestation here.

Missing documents

Yes, that is possible. We will send you the self-disclosure form, which you can use to self-report your missing certificates.

The university decides on whether it will offer you a place. You will very likely have to pass additional exams before you can take up your studies. The exams help the universities determine if the information you provided is correct, so you should make sure to always provide the correct data in your self-disclosure form!

The self-disclosure form is not available for download from our website. We will send the form to you once we have evaluated your application and noticed that you are missing documents.

The exams you will have to take depend on both the university and state law. The TestAS, the university qualification exam or an internal test of student suitability are some examples. You can find out more from the university of your choice.

This decision, made in December 2015, states that refugees may study at German universities even without their documents. According to this decision, refugees who are missing documents due to their refugee status must pass certain additional exams.

The original name of the decision is:

"Hochschulzugang und Hochschulzulassung für Studienbewerberinnen bzw. Studienbewerber, die fluchtbedingt den Nachweis der im Heimatland erworbenen Hochschulzugangsberechtigung nicht erbringen können"
("Access and Admission to Institutions of Higher Education for Applicants who are Unable to Provide Evidence of a Higher Education Entrance Qualification Obtained in their Home Country on Account of their Flight")

HZB certificate

We issue the HZB certificate only upon request. Please write to us using the contact form and ask for it. You can do this immediately after submitting your application, or you can do it at a later date.

The HZB certificate contains the educational data of refugee student applicants. It serves as a reliable documentation on refugees' educational background for government agencies, counselling services and employers. If you have questions about the data contained in the certificate, simply contact us us.

No. We can only issue an HZB certificate if we conclude that you actually have a university entrance qualification (HZB) for Germany.