General information on process
Generally speaking: If you need a visa to enter Germany depends on your home country, the duration and intention of your stay.
Below you will find some pieces of information regarding the different visa types, but for exact details, please contact your local German mission (embassy or consulate) in your home country or see the German Federal Foreign Office.
Please keep in mind, that 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. Please check their website in advance to see which documents are required.
The different types of visas
You are not required to apply for a visa and you can enter Germany with your national identification document. 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 here). 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 here.
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). For further details see: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/kurzmeldungen/EN/2020/01/brexit.html
(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.
- Website of the Federal Foreign Office: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/visabestimmungen-node#content_1
You are not sure for which visa you need to apply? The visa navigator by the Federal Foreign Office can help! https://visa.diplo.de/en/#/vib