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National Visas

18.01.2018 - Article

For long-term stays of more than 90 days

Passports with various visas
Visa © Colourbox

A national, long-term visa allows you to stay in Germany as a resident and to travel freely within all member states of the Schengen Treaty while you live in Germany for the purpose of studying, language course, au-pair, (self-)employment or marriage/family reunification.

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Korea (Republic of), Japan, New Zealand or the United States of America apply for the residence and work permit after arriving in Germany. Please note that until the work permit has been issued, you will not be able to work. If you intend to start working immediately upon your arrival in Germany, you  must apply for the residence and work permit at the German embassy in the country of your current residency.

Starting August 1, 2018 close family members (i.e. spouses, unmarried minors and parents of minors) of persons with subsidiary protection status living in Germany will be able to apply for visas for the purpose of family reunification. Family members who wish to do so may register here for an appointment to hand in their visa application.


Preparing your application

You should start preparing your application as soon as you have plans to stay long term in Germany. The entire visa application process can take 2-3 months.
Please prepare your application as follows:

Important information 

Please do not send the Visa Section any documents unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. We are not able to store such documents and will not know to which application they belong. Please always bring the complete documentation with you to your appointment.

Submitting your application

In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at VFS Global in person. During this appointment, we kindly ask you to submit all of your application documents, pay the fee and answer questions about your planned trip. Your photograph and fingerprints will also be taken on this occasion.

What happens during processing?

The Embassy will review your application and make a decision whether the legal requirements to issue the visa are met. Depending on the purpose of your stay and as consultation with administrative bodies in Germany is necessary, it can take up to three months to check your application. The Embassy will contact you as soon as it has made a decision on your application. We hope you will understand that we are not able to answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. After that, enquiries are only answered if they are made by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorized in writing by the applicant.

Return of your passport

As soon as the Embassy has decided on your application, your passport will be returned to you via the external service provider .
There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected.
You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.

Have a good trip! Information for visa holders

If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the number of days you can stay and the period of validity, that is, the time by which you must have received your residence permit for Germany.
Therefore, please do not forget to register at the residents registration office shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority. Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area.