Citizens of some countries do not need to apply for visa to enter the Schengen territory but they may have to apply for their residence permit after entering the Schengen zone. They are Citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, as well as EU citizens.
However, Citizens of other countries must apply for visa and also apply for and get a residence permit before entering the Schengen territories. This is also applicable to the citizens of countries who could otherwise enter without a visa first.
Application must be submitted personally only if there are unavoidable circumstances. Documents after submission, are taken to the Alien's Office that has the jurisdiction for the part of the country where you intend to reside. The student visa application process takes about 25 days. After the application has been approved by the Alien’s office, the consulate then issues a resident permit in the form of a visa. On your first arrival, you will register with the Alien's Office and then a final residence permit for the period of your studies will be granted after your arrival.