EU citizens as well as nationals from Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are exempt from the visa requirement. After their arrival and settlement in Germany, these citizens only have a general obligation to register with the responsible residents’ registration office. Around 60 third countries are exempt from the visa requirement for short-term visas of up to 90 days (Schengen visa). Find out in our list of countries which citizens need a visa for short stays in Germany and which do not.
For long-term visas over 90 days (national visas), all third-country nationals generally need a visa. However, there are some exceptions. Nationals from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA can also obtain the required residence permit for Germany after entering Germany. The same applies to nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino if no gainful employment is to be taken up. All other third-country nationals must apply for a visa for Germany before entering Germany.
Where can I find the form for a visa application for Germany?
Do you want to apply for a visa for Germany? You will receive the form for the visa application, as well as an overview of the documents required for the visa application, free of charge from your German diplomatic mission in the local language. You can also download the application forms for the national visa online.
You can apply for a visa for Germany at the responsible German diplomatic mission in your home country. You can find a list of all German missions abroad on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. Make an appointment there to apply for a visa for Germany.
Which forms do you need for a Germany visa?
If you would like to apply for a visa for Germany, in addition to the visa application form, you will need other documents that vary depending on the type of visa and your home country.
Basically, the following are always required:
a completed and signed visa application form,
a valid passport,
current biometric passport photos,
the visa application fee
1. Documents for a Schengen visa Germany
The Schengen visa is a type C visa for third-country nationals who require a visa and who wish to enter the country for a short stay of a maximum of 90 days within 6 months for professional or tourist reasons. When applying for a Schengen visa, you are always obliged to provide a credible explanation of the reason for your trip and the conditions under which you are traveling. The Schengen visa is also known as a tourist or visitor visa.
The following documents are necessary if you want to apply for a Schengen visa for Germany:
A letter with your reason for entry
Proof of local accommodation
possibly a letter of invitation when visiting relatives or acquaintances
Proof of financial means
Take out Schengen visa travel insurance
Note: The invitation letter for the Schengen visa application is issued by your host in Germany. With the letter, the sender assures you that you will be responsible for your stay in Germany and that you will be responsible for any costs incurred during your trip. The host can be a relative, acquaintance or even a company or institution that has sufficient income or assets.
2. Documents for a work visa in Germany
The type D work visa is a prerequisite if you want to work in Germany as a foreigner who requires a visa. You can only apply for a residence permit for qualified employment in Germany with the responsible foreigners authority if you have a work visa.
Checklist of documents for a work visa for Germany: