Apply for a national visa
For a longer-term stay (over 90 days) in Germany, foreigners need a national visa.
No visa is required for
- EU nationals and
- Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
- Nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not wish to engage in gainful employment with the exception of the activities specified in Section 17 (2) AufenthV.
Nationals of these states may also enter for a longer stay without a national visa and apply for their residence title at the foreigners authority within 90 days of entry.
The procedure and requirements depend on your nationality and the purpose of your stay in Germany (e.g. gainful employment, family reunification, study and training).
In certain cases, you must prove knowledge of the German language. The issuance of the national visa is governed by the same regulations that apply to the issuance of the residence title that you must apply for in Germany before the visa expires (for example, residence permit, EU Blue Card).
for issuing a visa: the German mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
Tip: The Federal Foreign Office provides a list of the representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad on its website.
On the websites of the German missions abroad you will usually find further information, often also online forms.
The requirements depend on your nationality and the purpose of your stay.
You can find information on the websites of the German missions abroad.
You must apply for a long-stay visa at the mission responsible for you.
- Find out about the application procedure and the documents to be submitted on the website of the mission responsible for you.
- Make an appointment at the mission abroad.
- Download the visa application form, print it out and fill it in. At the agreed appointment, appear in person at the diplomatic mission or consular post. Bring the completed application form and all required documents with you.
- A staff member of the diplomatic mission or consular post will talk to you. For security reasons, this will take place at the counter.
- In certain cases, after your application has been accepted, the diplomatic mission or consular post will contact the Aliens' Registration Office or, in the case of employment, the Federal Employment Agency in Germany, which is responsible for the place where you wish to live or work.
In these cases, the diplomatic mission or consular post can only issue the visa if the Aliens' Registration Office or the Federal Employment Agency agrees.
- The visa is affixed to your passport in the form of a label.
- Only if a visa cannot be issued to you will you receive a written decision. You then have the following legal remedies:
- You can submit your objections in writing to the diplomatic mission or consular post within one month (remonstrate). The diplomatic mission or consular post will then re-examine your visa application.
- If your application is still rejected after the second examination, you can file a complaint with the Berlin Administrative Court within one month.
- You can also file a complaint directly with the Berlin Administrative Court within one month.
- If you are already in Germany: Please contact the foreigners authority responsible for you. They are responsible for residence law issues and will decide on your application.
in good time before the intended entry
You can find information on dates on the websites of the German missions abroad.
The documents depend on your nationality and the purpose of your stay. You can find information on the websites of the German missions abroad.
- until the 18th birthday: EUR 37.50
- after the 18th birthday: EUR 75.00
In certain cases, the fee may be reduced or waived entirely.
Please apply for your residence permit before the expiry of 90 days or before the corresponding expiry of the validity of your national visa after your entry at the competent foreigners authority in the federal territory.
- 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 08.08.2023. 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.