National visas are issued for long-term stays for a particular purposes and may be issued for up to a year. After entering Germany, visa holders must apply for a residence permit as a general rule.
Preparing your application
Please compile the documents you need to submit with your application. If documents or supporting documents are missing, your application may be rejected. We have prepared a checklist for each type of visa:
Submitting your application
Please schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the competent German Mission in the U.S. Please make sure you have your documents prepared and in order as per the checklist.
Please fill out the application and bring a printout to the interview.
In addition, some German missions in the United States require that a stamped envelope for mailing your documents already be submitted at the time of application. The missions abroad that have this requirement will inform you of this in your appointment booking confirmation.
Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person. 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.
Have a good trip!
After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Authority and – if applicable - by the Work Office (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), the German Mission in the U.S. will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa, which will include the authorization to work in Germany. The Aliens' Authority requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany after arrival.
Please consult our FAQs for any further questions.