Applying for a national visa
- Foreigners require a national visa for long term stays in Germany (over 90 days).
- EU citizens and citizens of
- Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America
- do not require a visa. Citizens of these countries can also travel to Germany for a long term stay without a national visa and apply to the foreigners’ authority for their residency title within 90 days of arrival.
The procedure and requirements depend on the citizenship which you hold and for what purpose you wish to reside in Germany (for example paid employment, joining family members, study and vocational training).
In certain cases, you must provide proof of knowledge of the German language. The issuing of the national visa depends on the same regulations which apply to the issuing of the residency title which you must apply for prior to the expiry of the visa in Germany (for example residency permit, EU Blue Card).
for issuing a visa: the German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
Tip: The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a list of addresses of German diplomatic missions abroad on its website. You can generally find further information on the websites of the German diplomatic missions abroad, often also online forms.
The requirements depend on your citizenship and the purpose of your stay.
Information can be found on the websites of the German diplomatic missions abroad.
You must apply to the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad for a visa for a long term stay in Germany.
- Please consult the Internet site of the German diplomatic mission abroad which is responsible you in order to find out the application procedure and the documents which need to be submitted.
- Please agree an appointment with the German diplomatic mission abroad.
- Please download the visa application, print it out and fill it in. At the agreed time, please speak personally with the German diplomatic mission abroad. Please bring in the filled in application and all necessary documents with you.
- An employee of the German diplomatic mission abroad will hold a meeting with you. This takes place at the counter for security reasons.
- In certain cases, the German diplomatic mission abroad will get in touch with the foreigners’ authority or with the Federal Employment Agency in Germany in case you wish to take up paid employment which has responsibility for the location in which you wish to live or work. The German diplomatic mission abroad can only issue the visa in these cases if the foreigners’ authority of Federal Employment Agency agree.
- The visa will be attached to your passport as a label.
- Only if a visa cannot be issued will you receive a written notice. You then have the following legal remedies:
- You can submit your obligations to the German diplomatic mission abroad within one month. The German diplomatic mission abroad will then check your visa application again.
- Should your application also be rejected after the second assessment, you can bring a claim before the administrative court in Berlin.
- You can also bring a claim before the administrative court in Berlin directly within one month.
- Should you already be resident in Germany: Please contact your competent foreigners’ authority. It is responsible for residency matters and will take a decision concerning your application.
In good time prior to the intended date of travel to Germany.
Information concerning deadlines can be found on the websites of the German diplomatic missions abroad.
The documents depend on your citizenship and the purpose of your stay. Information can be found on the websites of the German diplomatic missions abroad.
- Up to the age of 18: EUR 37.50
- Over the age of 18: EUR 75.00
Depends on the individual case: between a couple of days and several months
- Website with a list of the diplomatic missions of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Schengen visa
- Applying for a residence permit for Swiss citizens
- Information concerning the "residency permit" in the “chapter with the same name of living position "immigration”.
- Working in Germany: the official website for qualified professionals
- § 5 of the German Residency Act (AufenthG) (general issuing requirements)
- § 6 of the German Residency Act (AufenthG) (visa)
- Schengen Border Code
- EU Visa Ordinance
- Visa Code
- § 39 Residency Ordinance (AufenthV) (extension of residency in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany for long term purposes)
- § 41 Residency Ordinance (AufenthV) (exemption for citizens of certain countries)
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 20.10.2020. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.