Application process

Using the free-of-charge application process for refugees, uni-assist removes obstacles to taking up studies. Refugees in Germany may still apply for a study programme free of charge for the winter semester 2019.

The application process in two steps

1. The cost exemption is requested using a separate portal dedicated to this topic, the cost exemption portal.

2. After the request has been granted, applicants may submit their application free of charge to up to three universities for the winter semester 2019 using uni-assist's regular online portal.

You can find a detailed overview of the free apllication process here.

Use uni-assist’s information materials on the free application process to find out more. You can download the documents here or order them free of charge by mailling to

Good to know
  • Inform prospective students with refugee status of the free application process. The formal requirement is a valid residence title. Here you can find out more.
  • If you are a uni-assist member university, you may issue a university's attestation – one of the documents needed for the application. Our FAQs contain the relevant guidelines. Under downloads you can find a template for the university's attestation.
  • Please note: the request for cost exemption is handled online exclusively using the special portal. Please do not supply applicants with application forms on paper.
    As of 1 April 2018 requests for cost exemption sent to uni-assist in paper form will no longer be accepted. The application must then be made in the cost exemption portal again.
  • uni-assist itself does not offer study counselling. Your university may advise refugees on beginning their studies within its regular counselling offers, offer educational counselling as a third party or refer to educational counseling offers by other universities.

Student applications with missing documents due to refugee status

uni-assist has developed a self-disclosure form which applicants may use to report their own educational history. Using this data, uni-assist evaluates and documents the candidate's university entrance qualification even when certificates are missing or incomplete (missing certifications or similar issues).

In this way, uni-assist supports universities in implementing the decision by the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on missing documents due to refugee status, as well as Federal State law.

For uni-assist member universities the self-disclosure form is available for download in the university portal.

More information

You are not a member university? Contact us!

How to offer support
  • Have you been advising refugees and know that they are missing documents because of their refugee status? In that case, you may immediately hand out the self-disclosure form to applicants, who may then submit the form together with their application. This will save valuable time, especially when deadlines are closing in.
  • The decision on whether to admit persons who are missing documents because of their refugee status lies with the universities. The examination methods used vary between universities. Please inform your prospective students about the methods used by your university or the universities in your region!

The HZB certificate

All persons for whom a university entrance qualification can be determined receive their HZB certificate (university entrance qualification) upon request, using the free-of-charge process for refugees – outside of the regular uni-assist evaluation procedure. This certificate serves as proof of university entrance qualification as determined using educational certificates or self-reporting and may be used as documentation in further applications. The  HZB certificate can be requested until 31 March 2020, using our contact form (

Universities may take the data contained in the HZB certificate into consideration in their admission procedure. Other institutions, such as job centres, employment agencies, counselling services and employers, may use the HZB certificate as reliable documentation on refugees' educational background.

A HZB certificate is requested? Applicants who are using the free-of-charge process can inform uni-assist using the contact form.

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