You are here: Home / Destinations / Germany / All Documents - Germany / Germany - Visas

Germany - Visas

The following information was last updated on March 2004.
EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany. In general all other Non-EU nationals require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to three months of nationals of those countries for which the EC has abolished the visa requirement.  Please refer to the list below to see  which category your nationality falls into.

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.

All foreign nationals living in Germany require a residence permit. As part of the visa procedure a check will be run to see if a work permit is required for any intended employment in Germany and whether it can be issued. Before applying for a visa you should therefore obtain assurance from the German Employment Office "Arbeitsamt" in the district your prospective German employer has his place of business and include it with your visa application (see Application requirements below).

Visas Needed

The citizens of countries listed below always require a visa to enter Germany.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus (see also White Russia),
Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands,
Central African Republic, Chad, China (People's Republic), Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Republic of the Congo), Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Djibouti,
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, former Yugoslavia (see Serbia and Montenegro), 
former Zaire, now: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia,
Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Democratic People's Republic), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya,
Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco,
Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands (Federated States of Micronesia, Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Palau Islands), Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis,
Saint Helena and Dependencies, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro,  Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania,
Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,  Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda,
Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Western Samoa, White Russia (see also Belarus), Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Visas Not Needed for Short Stay

The citizens of the countries listed below do not require a visa to enter Germany. Without a visa, however, they may not stay longer than three months every half-year or take up gainful employment requiring a work permit.
If required, citizens of member states of the European Economic Area and some other countries may obtain a residence and/or work permit after entry (these countries are marked with "*").
Provided that they do not intend to enter into employment, citizens of Honduras, Monaco, San Marino may obtain any residence permit required after entry (these countries are marked with "***").
Hongkong: for holders of SAR passports "****".

Andorra, Argentina, Australia (including the Cocos Islands, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island)*, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada*, Chile,
Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras***, Hongkong****, Hungary, Iceland*, Israel*, Japan*, Korea (South), Latvia, Liechtenstein*, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco***, New Zealand (including the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau)*, Nicaragua,
Norway*, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino***, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland*, United States of America (including Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico)*,  Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela, Romania.

Visa Not Needed

Citizens of the European Union member states may reside in Germany (for which a residence permit is needed) and take up work without needing a work permit.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France (including French Guyane, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, New Caledonia, Réunion, St Pierre and Miquelon), Greece, Ireland, Italy,  Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain (including Spanish territories in North Africa with Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Bermuda) 

Application requirements

Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, processing can take three months or longer, so make sure you apply well in advance of your anticipated travel date! Application materials generally include:

  • Application form (from the German consulate or embassy in your home country, or their website), completely filled in and signed

  • 1 Photograph

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

  • Return airline ticket

  • Proof of sufficient funds, 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.

Filed under: , ,