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Visas for entry into Germany

Flughafen FrankfurtEU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany. Generally speaking, all other foreigners require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to three months for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.

Bodies responsible for issuing visas

Visas are issued by the mission responsible for the area in which the applicant has his/her ordinary residence or domicile.

Visa fees

The fee for a so-called national visa (person plans to stay within Germany for more than three months, e.g. for a course of study) is 60 euro. The fee for a Schengen visa (valid for travel to 24 Schengen countries, stay of up to 90 days) is 60 euro. Exemptions may be possible.

Time required to process a visa application

As a rule, missions require between two and ten working days to decide on an application for a short stay visa. Applications for visas entitling the holder to a longer stay or to take up gainful employment may take several months to process.During the peak travel season there may be a waiting period for making an application to a German mission. Persons requiring a visa to enter Germany should therefore submit their applications in good time.

Requirements for the issue of visas for longer stays and/or stays entitling the holder to take up gainful employment

As a rule, all foreigners require visas for stays of more than three months or stays leading to gainful employment. Exemptions apply to EU and EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and Swiss nationals. Furthermore, citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America may obtain any residence permit that may be required after entering Germany. Citizens of all other countries planning a longer stay in Germany must apply for visas at the competent mission before arriving in the country.

Visa applications must be approved by the relevant aliens authority in Germany, i.e. the aliens authority in the place where the applicant intends to take up residence. Visa application forms for a long-term stay (longer than three months) can be obtained from the relevant mission free of charge. They can also be downloaded here (German, English, French, Italian). The forms submitted must be original versions (at least two sets) in the appropriate language of the mission in question. Please contact the mission beforehand to find out exactly which forms are required. The approval procedure usually takes up to three months, in some cases longer, since the aliens authority will often consult other authorities (e.g. the Federal Employment Agency). Missions may only issue visas once they have obtained the approval of the aliens authority. The aliens authorities are also responsible for measures and decisions pertaining to residence law for foreigners already residing in Germany.

Aliens authorities are not subordinate agencies of the Federal Foreign Office, and the Federal Foreign Office cannot influence their decisions. They are in fact accountable to and operate under the supervision of the respective interior ministries and senators of the Länder (federal states).

 

Source: Foreign Service