German student visa norms for Indians get tough

Applications for APS certification have been open since October 1, and the certificate will be a mandatory document to be submitted along with the visa application, the German Embassy stated.
Representative Image
Representative Image

NEW DELHI: With Germany ready to open student visa appointment slots from November 1, the norms for Indians have got stricter, who now have to get their academic records assessed by the the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) and obtain authenticity certificates before applying for student visas.

Applications for APS certification have been open since October 1, and the certificate will be a mandatory document to be submitted along with the visa application, the German Embassy stated.

A steady rise in the number of Indian students applying for courses in Germany has also led to an increase in number fraudulent practices, like attaching fake academic documents.

German ambassador Philipp Ackermann said the move was initiated as "up to 15 per cent of the applications have fraudulent academic documents, which at times lead to genuine students getting rejected".

The APS certificate background checks a student's academic record.

"The certificate will act as proof of authenticity for Indian academic documents. It will first look into an applicant's identity via an Aadhaar linked to a mobile number and passport," Ankur Dhawan, the President of upGrad Abroad, told Edex Live.

It would also check a students high school grade sheets and bachelor's or master's degrees or diplomas a student holds," he said.

"With only genuine cases coming to the embassy, the process will be more streamlined, with visas getting approved in shorter durations and more applicants processed," Dhawan added.

An APS certificate is not required for shorter-term courses, but for those that are longer than 90 days. One can register online at www.aps-india.de and later print the document and sign it.

Thereafter, a procedure fee of Rs 18,000 is to be transferred to the APS bank account.

More than 3,000 students from India have queued up for Germany in the 2022-23 academic year.

The number of Indian students in Germany has increased three-fold in the past seven years with Indians forming the second largest group of international students in German universities. Currently, there are 33,753 Indian students studying in Germany.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) revealed the number of Indian students who went to Germany in 2021-22 is 33,753 -- an 18 per cent jump from last year's 28,542.

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