FAQs for refugees
uni-assist‘s free application process for refugees will end on 31 December 2019. Refugees can still apply free of charge for the winter semester 2019. Starting with the application process for the summer semester 2020, the regular handling fees will apply.
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.
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.
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. Applications from refugees will be evaluated free of charge for the winter semester 2019 only,
- 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:
- Request cost exemption.
- After the request has been granted, submit your application to your university.
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. Please note: Applications from refugees will be evaluated free of charge for the winter semester 2019 only.
If your request for cost exemption was not granted, you may submit missing or additional documents until 31 December 2019 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. Please note: Requesting cost exemption retroactively will be possible until 31 December 2019.
You may use the free evaluation procedure to apply free of charge to up to 3 universities per semester for the winter semester 2019. 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 for the winter semester 2019. 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!
Requirements for the cost exemption
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.
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 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")
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.