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Germany - Types of visa

There are two types of visa generally available: a short-term visa, and a long-term visa that entitles the holder to take up gainful employment within Germany. Visas may be granted provided that the applicant's presence does not prejudice or endanger the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Short-term visa

The applicant must prove that he/she has adequate funds for the intended stay and may not claim any public funds in this connection. Should the applicant be unable to finance the journey or stay from his/her own funds, a host resident in Germany may pledge to cover all costs associated with the trip, including the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation costs.

Long-term visa

With the exception of EU nationals, all foreigners require a visa for stays of more than three months or stays leading to the holder taking up gainful employment for which a work permit is necessary. A person intending to come to Germany for such a stay must apply for a visa before arriving in Germany. His/her visa application must be approved by the aliens authority in the place where the applicant intends to take up residence in Germany. Citizens of the EU, the EEC countries and of Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States of America are exempted from this requirement and may obtain the necessary residence permit after entering Germany.

You can obtain visa application forms for a long-term stay (over three months) from the German consulate or embassy in your home country, or off their website). You must hand in two originals to your nearest German consulate or embassy. The approval procedure usually takes up to three months, in some cases longer.

Some countries have bilateral agreements for working holiday visa programs for youths aged 18 to 30 which enable a cultural exchange. Check with the German embassy in your home country to see if such a program exists. The main purpose of the program is to spend time in the country, and holiday jobs can be taken up to help finance the stay.
Under the working holiday programme visa holders are able to stay in Germany for up to 12 months. During that period visa holders are allowed to work for a total of 90 days. During those 90 days, employment can be taken up with different employers of the visa holder's choice.

Application requirements
  • Application form, completely filled-in and signed

  • 1 recent passport photograph

  • Passport, which is valid for at least three months after the expiry of the visa

  • Return airline ticket

  • Proof of sufficient funds (a monthly minimum of 200 euros) for the complete length of the stay, for
    example current bank statement or sponsorship declaration with proof of income of sponsor

  • Proof of health insurance cover valid in Germany for the duration of the stay

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