Applying for a Visa in Germany



Germany possesses one of the most powerful and thriving economies in the globe. With its modernised infrastructure, excellent public transport and high quality of life, it's no wonder why so many expats choose to live here. Stop waiting and start planning by learning about the different types of visas that’ll open the door that’ll lead to a new adventure in Germany. 

Not everyone who wishes to live in Germany is required to have a Visa such as nationals from the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) and those whose home countries are on the list of the Schengen Area Member States. These citizens can stay and seek employment in Germany without any restrictions but have to register at the closest Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office) near the area of residence within seven days of arriving in the country. The applicant must be able to speak or German or at the very least, be accompanied by someone who speaks the local language. 

Some visas need to be processed in the applicant’s home country while other types can be acquired in Germany. The standard fee for all visas is €60, but there are some exceptions such as children under six years old who are applying for a Schengen Visa and National Visa applicants who are under a scholarship by a publicly-funded institution in Germany. 

Short-stay Visa (Type C Schengen Visa) 

This type of visa is issued to expats who are planning on staying in Germany for no more than three months. Type C Schengen Visa can be issued for single entry where the holder can continuously stay in the country within 90 days and the multiple entries which allow its owner to enter Germany several times with a total duration of three months within any 180 days period. 

Long Stay or National Visa (Type D Schengen Visa) 

National visa is issued to foreign nationals from non-EU, EEA and Schengen states that will stay in Germany for more than 90 days. It can be issued for single entry to those who need to remain in Germany for a particular length of time on which they will return to their countries of origin afterwards or for multiple entries which allow its holder to travel in and out of Germany and other Schengen member states. Expats who have a long stay visa can study and take up gainful employment in Germany. 


Some of the basic documents that need to be presented when applying for a visa to Germany are: 

  • Passport (valid for at least three months)
  • Travel Health Insurance
  • Proof of Accommodation in Germany
  • Proof of sufficient income while in Germany
  • Accomplished application forms (short-stay, long-stay and student visa)
  • Letter of Acceptance from a school in Germany (for students)
  • Employment Contract between applicant and future employer in Germany (for work purpose)
  • Original Marriage Certificate (for Spouse)
  • Copy of Spouse’s residence permit (for non-EU residents)
  • Copy of dependent/s’ Birth Certificates