Long-term stays national visa /residence permits (more than 90 days, )


As a rule, all foreigners require visas for stays of more than 90 days or stays leading to gainful employment.

After having entered Germany with a national visa, the competent foreigners authority is responsible for issuing the residence permit.

Are you unsure, which visa you need to apply for? The Visa Navigator may be helpful for you.

Citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino may apply for their residence permit after arrival in Germany, provided that they do not intend to take up employment. Otherwise a visa is needed.

Please note that processing times for national visas vary greatly from about 2 weeks for some categories of employment visas to up to six months for self-employed professionals. Please ensure that you submit your application well in advance.

Please note:
Some visa categories for employment of academic professionals require that you hold a German, a recognised or a comparable foreign academic degree. If you hold a foreign degree, please check whether both your degree and the awarding academic institution are listed as comparable in the official Anabin database. If either is not listed please have the degree formally assessed through a „Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications“ issued by Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

Some visa categories for employment of non-academic professionals require that you hold a vocational qualification which has been formally recognised by the competent German authority.

Some regulated professions such as medical doctors, nurses, teachers, architects, auditors, tax advisors and more require a formal license to practise their profession in Germany. Please consult the database on recognition in regulated professions.

Please choose the purpose of your long-term stay below to read all about the application procedure:

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