As it was announced by the German representation in India, starting from November 1, 2022, Indian students will have to include a certificate from the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) in their application for a German student visa. The APS office in India will start receiving applications for the APS certificate on the 1st of October, 2022. In this article, we provide you with the answers to the key questions regarding this certificate.
It is our goal to inform you honestly and accurately, therefore, we need to add a disclaimer:
You should use this text as a general guide, but it cannot be a legal consultation. All of the information regarding the APS certificate needs to be verified by the APS office in India.
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What is APS for India?
Simply put, the Academic Evaluation Centre (in German Akademische Prüfstelle) at the German Embassy in New Delhi is an institution-specific to studying in Germany. In general, students from India, Vietnam, mainland China, and Mongolia are required to go through the APS due to a large number of applicants. The APS India issues the APS certificate, which confirms that your documents are genuine and valid and that, consequently, you are eligible to study in Germany. Put differently, if your application for the APS certificate was successful, you will receive the certificate with which you can apply for a German student visa through the VFS and for German universities. It is worth mentioning that the APS certificate is valid for an unlimited period of time.
Is the APS certificate mandatory for Indian students?
Yes, the APS certificate is mandatory for almost every Indian student! Without the APS, Indian students usually cannot apply for a student visa. Hence, almost every Indian who wants to pursue a degree in Germany has to go through the APS.
However, as always, there are some exceptions. The Indian students do not need the APS certificate in the following cases:
If they are funded by Germany- or EU-based scholarships
If they are Ph.D. applicants, whose dissertation supervisor does not demand the document for registration
If they hold international certificates from schools (e.g. A-Levels, International Baccalaureate) or universities
Note: Those Indian students who want to attend a short course (less than 90 days) in Germany do not need an APS certificate.
How to apply for the APS certificate in India?
As an Indian student, you can apply for the APS certificate in 5 simple steps:
Familiarise yourself with all of the requirements specific to your case
Collect the necessary documents
Transfer the processing fee
Submit all the required documents together with a printed and signed online application form
Further ReadingVisa for International Students
Documents required by the APS India
Depending on whether you want to do your Bachelor's, Master's or Ph.D. in Germany, the documents required for getting the APS certificate vary. Here is the list of documents for those who would like to do their Master's in Germany:
Complete application form (printed and signed) with passport size photo
Copy of the verification fee receipt
Copy of Aadhaar card with linked mobile number
Copy of the first and last pages of your passport
Copy of 12th class certificate and transcript of records
Copy of 12th class admit card (upon availability)
Copy of the Bachelor's certificate and transcript of records
Copy of language certificate
Keep in mind that you need to notarise only the documents translated into English from one of the regional languages.
Geeky Stuff Box
TestAS score is required from only those Indian students who would like to pursue their undergraduate in Germany and do not hold a Bachelor's degree from India. TestAS requirement does not apply to the class 12th graduates with JEE (Mains and Advanced).
According to the APS India, the TestAS will be obligatory for the relevant students from the 1st of January, 2023.
APS India: Costs and Money Transfer
The APS certificate is not free: the processing fee for the APS equals 18.000 INR. Indian students have to transfer this amount to the APS bank account. The details of the account can be found here.
Take into consideration that once the money is transferred, it cannot be refunded (with no exceptions).
Submitting the application for the APS in India
After your application package with all the necessary documents is good to go, you have two options:
You can either send the package via courier; or
Take the documents to the APS India office yourself
Be careful: Incomplete applications will not be processed.
APS India: Processing times
To process your APS application, the APS India will need around 3-4 weeks. Generally, the APS office starts processing your application as soon as it receives your payment.
So, start checking your online profile regularly in about 3 weeks, because as soon as the results of the verification are available, the status of your application will be updated in your online profile.
If your application is successful, instead of a paper-printed certificate, you will receive a digital certificate (pdf format) via the email that you used during the registration. It is noteworthy that these APS certificates are authenticated by a digital signature. Furthermore, digital APS certificates are valid for three years, necessitating renewal afterwards.
Note: Digital versions of the APS certificate were introduced in April 2023. Before that, students were receiving paper-printed APS certificates. If you are one of those students who possess the paper-printed version, do not worry - your certificate is still valid and will be accepted by relevant authorities (e.g., by German universities, by uni-assist, etc.).
Here are some key recommendations from German authorities for the Indian applicants:
- You should not rush! Take your time to recheck the correctness of the provided email. If you typed in an incorrect email, the whole APS procedure will get extremely complicated for you.
- Regularly check your spam folder. Your APS certificate might land in the spam. Hence, it is a good idea to check the folder from time to time.
- Do not "bombard" APS India with unnecessary messages. For instance, if applicants keep sending the same emails with numerous attachments to the APS, their emails will be blocked. It means that communication with these applicants will be lost. Consequently, these applicants might be left without the APS certificate.
Further ReadingEnglish Language Requirements to Study in Germany
APS India: Interviews
The interviews are not always a part of the APS application for Indians!
Usually, those Indian students who are still pursuing their Bachelor's degree at an Indian university MIGHT need to go through the interview process after their documents were successfully verified. This depends on the individual profile of the candidate and on the decision of the APS India itself. If that is the case, then the applicants will be contacted via phone or email and notified about the place and date of the interview 10-14 days before the interview is planned.
The candidates should reserve about 20 minutes for the interview, where they will mainly be asked questions regarding their academic background. The interviews will be held in English or German, upon the applicant's desire, which can be indicated during the online registration. If the interview was successful, then applicants will get their APS certificate within 14 days after attending the interview.
When to apply for the APS in India?
As soon as possible!
Why? Because getting the APS certificate, getting the visa appointment, and the visa processing time itself might take together several months. Thus, to increase your chances of arriving in Germany before the start of the semester, you need to act swiftly.