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 permits you to stay in Germany as a resident. This type of visa will also enable you to travel freely within all member states of the Schengen Treaty while residing in Germany for the purpose of studying, attending alanguage course, going as 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 can apply for a residence and work permit after arriving in Germany. Please note that you will not be permitted to work until a work permit has been granted. If you intend to start working immediately upon arrival in Germany, you  must apply for a residence and work permit at the German embassy in the current country of 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 can apply for a visa for the purpose of family reunification. Family members who wish to do so may register here for an appointment to súbmit their visa application. For further information please visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees here.

Preparing your application

Start preparing your application as soon as you have decided to reside in Germany. The entire visa application process may take 2-3 months.

Please familiarize yourself with the visa regulations and procedures described here.
Prepare your application as follows:

Important information 

Please refrain from sending any documents to the Embassy's visa section unless expressly instructed to do so, in particular not prior to your application. Documents sent to the Embassy in advance will not be filed.

You are kindly requested to bring all necessary documents with you to your appointment.

Submitting your application

You must apply for your visa at VFS Global in person. While there you are requested to submit all required documents and pay the visa and processing fees. You may be requested to reply to questions concerning your planned visit.  Your photograph and fingerprints will also be taken.

What happens during processing?

The Embassy will review your application and decide whether the criteria to issue a visa are met. Depending on the purpose of your stay and as consultation with administrative bodies in Germany is necessary, processing your visa application may take up to three months. As soon as the process is finalized, the Embassy will inform you about the decision. During this period you cannot inquire about the status of your application. Upon expiry of the processing period only the applicant, his/her legal representative or  persons holding an authorization letter from the applicant may inquire about the status of the visas.

Passport Collection

As soon as the Embassy has decided on your application, you can collect your passport from the external service provider VfS Global.
Should your visa application have been disapproved,  you will receive a letter stating the relevant reasons for the visa rejection when collecting your passport.
You can always submit a new application provided that you present  all necessary and properly filled in documentation.

FAQs/Contact us

Here you may find answers to frequently asked questions.

If you were unable to find the answers to your questions in our FAQs, you can contact us using this form.

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