Entering Germany

Entering Germany

Citizens of an EU Member State can enter Germany without a visa. Other foreign nationals normally require a visa.

Citizens of certain countries can visit Germany for up to 90 days without a visa. You can find out if this applies to your country of citizenship by enquiring at one of Germany’s diplomatic missions abroad or visiting the Foreign Office website www.diplo.de

Application procedure

You have to apply for a visa before travelling to Germany. The application should be made in your home country at the German diplomatic mission responsible for the area where you live. Before you travel to the diplomatic mission, it is best to find out what documents you need to bring and if there are any special requirements you need to fulfil. This information about the visa application procedure is available on the website of the embassy or consulate responsible, or by calling them. You can find an overview of all the different types of German missions abroad with their contact addresses and telephone numbers on the Federal Foreign Office website: www.diplo.de. This website also provides general information about entering Germany and the regulations that apply to visas. The fee for a visa is generally 60 euros per person.

On average, the diplomatic missions need between two and ten working days to process an application for a short-stay visa (up to 90 days). During holiday seasons this can take longer. If you need a visa for a longer stay, please be prepared for your application to take several months. Many German missions abroad give you the chance of arranging an appointment to submit the application for a visa so as to avoid long waiting times.

If you would like to work in Germany you generally need to apply for a visa, unless you are a national of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States can also obtain the residence permit after entering country from the relevant Aliens Office in Germany. Remember that the intended economic activity may only be commenced after the residence permit has been issued.

Where to get more information:

Foreign Office: www.diplo.de,
menu item “Entry and Residence”
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): www.daad.de

Foreign Of ce Help Desk: buergerservice@diplo.de

Foreign Office Help Desk:
+49 30 1817-2000 (Monday to Friday, 9 am–3 pm)

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