A student residence permit is valid for at least one year and for a maximum of two years.

The permit can be extended if the course of study has not yet been completed but can be completed within a “reasonable period of time”. This is assessed on the grounds of your previous accomplishments in the study program at the time of applying for an extension.

The residence permit will generally be extended if the standard period of study has not been exceeded by more than three semesters.

In contrast, if you are taking longer than that, the renewal will generally be denied, unless there are no special reasons justifying an extension such as illness, pregnancy or other causes not for which you cannot be held liable.

When applying to renew your residence permit you will have to prove:

That you will be able to fund your studies and support yourself for the duration of your studies. The required monthly amount is based on the German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetzes – BAföG) and is currently €659 per month (€7,908 a year). You only have to provide proof for up to one year at a time;
Proof of sufficient parental income or assets;
A declaration from a German citizen that they will cover the student’s expenses;
Payment of the estimated amount for an entire year to a German bank account (with the restriction that only 1/12 of the amount may be withdrawn per month);
A bank guarantee that must be renewed each year; and
A scholarship from a German or foreign public authority or an accredited institution;
Proof of accommodation, generally a tenancy contract in Germany will be enough.