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I am interested in doing a Master's degree in Sweden or Germany, and I was accepted for a program in Sweden, but for Germany, I expect decisions to come in in May and June. For me, Germany is preferable. I looked at the visa instructions and I have some concerns regarding the process. My situation is as follows:

  • For Sweden, if the process takes the longest time (3 months for the decision + 4 weeks for the residence permit card), I will need to have sent the visa application by April 25th. This includes paying a portion of the fees. I can keep my place in university if I pay before the 2nd of June, though.

  • For Germany on the other hand, I have to wait at least till May 15th for some admission decisions to arrive. My concern is that, for the visa, it is asked that my passport should be valid for beyond the duration of the study, but my passport will expire before the second year. I am not able to renew my passport till 6 months before expiration. Is it a problem if I can't comply with this one instruction?

If I stall applying for a Sweden visa, I may not make it in time for the program. I can have a chance if I apply before May 25th (best-case scenario). I am wondering if it is possible to proceed with the Sweden visa application and then, if I am accepted for a program in Germany, try for a Germany visa at the same time?

Any info or advice would be appreciated. I plan also to try to ask the German consulate about the passport problem.

Some background: I am an Iraqi citizen living in Dubai. I was rejected UK student visa twice for my Bachelor's.

closed as off-topic by Kris, Gayot Fow, DJClayworth, Karlson, Nean Der Thal Apr 1 '15 at 16:50

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    Is there something like "transferring credits" (as in the US university system) between a Swedish university and a German university that you can explore as well? I understand that the Swedish university could/will have different requirements than the German university. As an anecdote, I faced this issue of a "balancing act" with (awful) timing between visas (EU and USA) for two different jobs. I chose the one that was a stronger YES (in your case, Sweden). The German consulate may be your best source for an answer about passport validity. Good luck! – dearN Apr 1 '15 at 13:19

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