If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you have to apply for a residence visa. This type of visa has to be applied for if, for example, you are interested to work or study in Germany or if you would like to permanently join your spouse in Germany.
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.
Please note: 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. Scheduling an Appointment
In order to apply for a visa, your passport must have at least two empty pages. Your passport must have been issued within the last ten years. A passport older than ten years that has been extended for a period exceeding ten years from the time of issuance cannot be accepted.
Visa applicants must have their biometric data taken, e.g. ten fingerprints and a digital photograph. All supporting documents for your visa application have to be presented in original plus 2 copies of each document.
Declaration of Waiver and Hold Harmless
In case the applicant requests the German Mission to mail the passport including the visa back to the applicant, the German foreign mission and its employees, as well as the German Foreign Minister, is released and held harmless from any and all damage claims resulting from a possible loss or damage of the documents while in custody or during transport, except in cases of intent or gross negligence.
Welcome to Germany
Would you like to move to Germany, or have you recently moved to Germany with the intention of living there permanently? The website Welcome to Germany provides helpful information and tips about where to find further information, telephone numbers and contact addresses. This service should help to quickly make you feel at home in Germany.
A guide for your first weeks in Germany: Arrival App