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Depending on your home country and the duration and intention of your stay, you may or may not need a visa to enter Germany.

Below you will find general information regarding visa application, but for exact details, please contact your local German mission (embassy or consulate) in your home country or see the German Federal Foreign Office.

In general, it takes up to 14 business days for an application for a short stay visa.

Applications for longer stays or requesting gainful employment, may take several months to process. Applicants must submit all paperwork in person at their local German mission. It is important to check their website in advance to see which documents are required.

You are not required to apply for a visa and you can enter Germany with your national identification document. This freedom of movement also applies to your accompying (civil) partner and your children (until the age of 21), even if they are not EU nationals (see above). Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

If you want to stay longer than 90 days or you plan to work here, please register at the Residents' Registration Office ("Einwohnermeldeamt") within 14 days after your arrival (more information can be found under Living in Darmstadt).

Citizens of the United Kingdom:

During the transition period until December 31, 2020, the visa regulations will continue to apply as before, i.e. British citizens will continue to enjoy visa-free travel until then (as of June 13, 2020).  More information on Brexit.

 (check the German Federal Foreign Officefor an up-to-date country list)

  • You are generally not required to obtain a visa and can enter Germany with your passport.
  • You are allowed to stay for up to three months without working. If you would like to stay longer or start working, you will need to get a residence permit after arriving in Germany.
  • You need a visa if you would like to start working immediately in Germany (Visa zur Arbeitsaufnahme). You can apply at the local German mission in your home country and convert it to a residence permit once you arrive in Germany.
  • You are required to obtain a visa.
  • You can apply for a visa at your local German mission in your home country.
  • Make sure you apply for the proper visa. It is not possible to extend a Schengen or a visitor’s visa!
  • Please start this procedure as soon as possible, as it can be a very time-consuming process.
  • Please check the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

If you want to do research in Germany, you can apply according to the facilitated conditions for international researchers (§ 18d Residence Act, formerly §20).


  • You have concluded an admission agreement with a recognized institution for the implementation of your research project and
  • You will receive a monthly income (salary or scholarship) that can secure your living (the respective German Foreigners' Registration Office will give you concrete information about the required amount).

With this residence permit, you can do research and teach in Germany and additionally stay for research purposes in other EU countries (except Denmark and Great Britain) for up to six months. Your partner can also use the residence permit to look for gainful employment without having to prove his or her knowledge of German. 

Further information on residence permits for researchers 

If you want to work in Germany and come from a non-EU country, the so-called Blue Card may be an option for you. It is a temporary residence title (valid for four years).


  • You have completed your university studies and these are recognised in Germany or are comparable with a German degree (more information on the recognition of your studies).
  •  You have an employment contract or a binding promise of employment in Germany
  •  Your minimum annual gross salary is 55,200 euros; for jobs in special professions such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, etc., the minimum gross salary is 43,056 euros (adjusted every year; status 2020).
  •  Your future employment must match your qualifications.


  • You can catch up with your family members with easier conditions
  • You can apply for a settlement permit more quickly (after 33 or 21 months depending on your German language skills)

More information on the Blue Card application procedure

Visa Navigator

You are not sure for which visa you need to apply? The visa navigator by the Federal Foreign Office can help! 


Please note: The information on visa should only be an overview; we do not assume any liability for the correctness of the information.