All persons who wish to stay in Germany for more than 90 days are required to obtain a residence permit, irrespective of their citizenship.
German Tests for Certain Visa Applicants
In order to facilitate integration, visa applicants from Non-EU countries, who intend to move to Germany as a spouse, must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa.
Where and how to apply?
Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a residence permit prior to entry (an option also open to US citizens) at the German Embassy in Washington, the Consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco.
All German Missions require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa. Appointments have to be booked via our free online appointment system.
Click on the Consulate Finder below to find out where to submit your application and to learn about any specific application procedures. Due to local particularities handling and processing may vary slightly among the German missions involved. Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person. Consulate Finder
Upon submission of all required documents the application will be forwarded to the Aliens' Authority (Ausländerbehörde) competent for your intended place of residence in Germany. Applications take about 1-3 months to be processed. After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Authority the Consulate will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa. The Aliens' Authority requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in German after Arrival.
What do I need to fill out and bring?
- Residence Permit Application Form PDF / 485 KB
- Declaration of Accuracy of Information PDF / 197 KB
- Visa Photo Examples PDF / 550 KB
- Visa Fees
- Information on Data Protection
Required Documents (Original + 2 copies of each document)
- Family reunion: Your spouse/child/fiancé(e) is a German citizen
- Family reunion: Your spouse/child/fiancé(e) is NOT a German citizen
Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.