Applying for a Visa

You require a visa in order to legally enter and remain in Germany. Normally you must apply for a visa in your home country.

Do I need a visa?

Citizens of European Union (EU) member countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland do not need a visa.

Citizens of other countries must normally apply for a visa before entering Germany.

Exceptions: citizens of the following countries do not need a visa merely to enter Germany. However, they may stay in Germany for no more than 90 days in any half year but may not engage in any employment. You can apply for the residence permit you require after entering Germany at any German foreign nationals’ office.

  • Australia (including the Cocos Islands, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island)
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Korea (the Republic of Korea, South Korea)
  • New Zealand (including the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau)
  • the United States of America (including the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico)

Which visa do I need in order to take up employment or study/occupational training?

If you wish to take up employment or study/occupational training, you must ensure that you apply for a visa for the intended purpose.

When applying, you must apply for a “national visa“, not a “Schengen visa”.

Where can I apply for my visa?

The foreign missions of the Federal Republic of Germany are responsible for issuing visas

The local diplomatic or consular mission of the Federal Republic of Germany located in the official area of jurisdiction for your country/place of residence is responsible for issuing your visa.

How long does it take to process a visa application and what does it cost?

Processing period:

up to 9 months

Charges:

EUR 35.00 – €60.00

Fee-exemptions apply to:

  • foreign nationals receiving a scholarship or bursary from public funds, their spouse or life partner and any underage children if they are also being supported by the scholarship or bursary
  • members of diplomatic missions based in Germany
  • consular missions and international organisations, members’ spouses and children up to and including the age of 25
  • for spouses, registered same-sex life partners and underage children of Germans
  • parents of underage German children and family members of EU/EEZ citizens if they enjoy freedom of movement

Which requirements do I have to fulfil and what documents do I need for a "national visa" for the purpose of taking up employment?

Requirements:

  • employment with a company in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • approval of the German Federal Employment Agency

Required documents:

  • the visa application form
  • a valid passport with a photo
  • evidence of qualifications (employment references, school leaving certificates, other certificates and qualifications, all translated and certified). You will find further information under “Recognition”
  • a contract of employment with or a formal offer of employment from a German employer
  • a job description
  • a rent agreement of a Germany-based residence

Which requirements and documents do I need for a "national visa" for the purpose of study or occupational training?

Requirements:

  • an occupational training position with a company in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • approval of the German Federal Employment Agency

Required documents:

  • the visa application form
  • a valid passport
  • evidence of qualifications (employment references, school leaving certificates, other certificates and qualifications; all translated and certified)
  • contract of employment with a German employer
  • a rent agreement of a Germany-based residence
  • evidence of ability to support oneself personally

Contact person

Stadt Braunschweig, Ausländerangelegenheiten
Stadt Wolfsburg, Ausländerstelle