VisaGuide » Europe » Germany Visa » Long Stay Visas
Information about Germany long stay visas, types and requirements

The D Visa is usually issued for three months, but may also be issued for up to twelve months and must specify whether its holder is permitted to work in the respective country. The granting of a national visa is generally subject to the approval of the immigration authorities.

Based on the D visa, a German residence permit may be issued after the entry. In addition to staying in and experiencing Germany, the D visa is valid for short stays in other Schengen countries.

Who Needs a Germany D Visa?

Depending on your nationality you could need a visa to enter Germany, one of the top destinations for many world travelers.

EU citizens and those of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland don’t need a visa to enter Germany for any purpose, due to the Schengen Agreement reached in 1985 among the majority of the European Union member states.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals that want to stay longer than three months in Germany for whatever reason: studying, research, family reunion, have to apply for a German National Visa, or else known as a D Visa, at the competent mission before arriving in the country, i.e. consulate or embassy at one’s country of residency.

Nationals of the following are exempt from the Germany long-stay visa requirement:

  • EU / EEA / EFTA countries
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of South Korea
  • the United States of America

Nationals of the rest of the world countries will need to apply for and obtain a long-stay visa prior to traveling to Germany.

Types of German Long Stay Visas

Germany visa for long term employment

The German long stay employment visa is established for skilled workers who have the capability to contribute to the economy of  Germany and permits every year, many workers from across the world to come to work. The German Immigration authorities have established this type visa for the sole purpose of working thus giving to internationals the chance to work in the Federal Republic for long terms.

Germany visa for family reunion

Families of German residents that live outside the European Union countries can apply to join their family members in Germany as their dependants. The relative you are going to join must have: a residence permit, enough room for you and sufficient and secured finances.

Germany study visa

Non-EU state students can Study in Germany with a Study Visa which is valid for up to 2 years, which can be extended on request. In order to apply one must be accepted by a state or state-approved university, and be able to support oneself during the period of studies. Foreign students can also work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days in order to do so.

Germany long stay visa for researchers

Highly qualified professionals, for example regarding the employment of scientists, researchers and teaching staff or executives who wish to pursue an activity in their field can apply for a long term stay in Germany. They are not usually required to have German Language ability.

Germany job seekers visa

If one has not found a job in Germany yet, he or she can apply for a Germany job seeker visa for up to six months, in order to find a job within this period. In order to obtain such visa one must have a higher education diploma recognized in Germany and also the means of subsistence to support oneself during the periods of stay. One having found a sustainable job one can apply for an EU Blue Card or a Residence Permit in Germany.

Germany visa for freelance self-employment

If one wishes to work as a freelance in Germany in one of the liberal professions, one must obtain a visa that allows the candidate to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. The applicant must prove the possession of the necessary means to prove their project, support oneself and a permit to exercise that profession. If over 45 years old, one must also provide proof that one has adequate provision for old age.

Germany language course visa

All non-EU citizens who wish to absolve a language course in Germany for longer than three months are required to obtain a long stay visa in Germany, which can be issued for a maximum of one year.

Germany student internship visa

If you are not a national of the EU and you wish to do an internship in Germany you will need a visa. Beside your internship offer, you will need the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. Your employer is the one that should apply for this as soon as possible. If you possess documentation of the two above mentioned, then you can apply for an internship visa. The internship cannot last longer than 12 months.

Germany long stay medical treatment visa

The German Immigration Authorities have also established a visa, particularly for people who seek medical help in Germany, and have to stay in for more than six months in order to get the adequate treatment. While those who need less than three months in order to receive their medical treatment can enter Germany with a Short Term Medical Treatment, the German long stay Medical Treatment Visa is for those who need a longer period of treatment.

Required Documents for Germany Long Stay Visas

Compared to the Schengen visa, the requirements for a German National Visa are different.

For a Germany Long visa application, you will have to hand in some or all of the following documents, depending on your purpose of application and nationality:

  • The Germany National Visa application form completely filled out (at least two sets). The application form may change depending on your country. Fill the application form with detailed and accurate information about yourself and the purpose of your travel. Capital letters are recommendable, so handwriting doesn’t become an issue.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay. According to the European Commission information, a foreign applicant applying for a German Visa, must be able to prove the possession of 853€ per month to the German Embassy or Consulate for the period of stay in German territory.
  • Detailed itinerary of the purpose of a visit to Germany (travel ticket, accomodation etc.)
  • Accomodation – hotel reservation or if you are staying with friends/relatives you should submit a copy of their ID and Passport as well as proof that they can support your stay is mandatory.
  • If employed, a letter from your employer that confirms you are in working relations. If a student a letter from the place of study that confirms you are enrolled at a college/university. If self-employed you should hand in official documents, that confirm your own business.
  • Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable, etc.)
  • Proof of health insurance in Germany.

Visa application forms for a long‑term stay in Germany can be obtained from the relevant mission free of charge.

How to Apply for a German Long Stay Visa?

There is a procedure you must follow in order to be able to obtain a Germany long stay visa. This step by step instruction will show you how the procedure goes:

Prepare your Germany national visa application

Find the form you need online and apply by filling the required information honestly. Print the form and also gather all the other required documents. If the documents are required in original, please submit them in original as the embassy or consulate where you are applying will not accept copies of them.

Make an appointment

If you don’t book an appointment before you go to the Application center (embassy, consulate in your country of residence) to submit your documents for a German VISA, they will not accept your documents or application. All visa applications are accepted only if you have made prior appointment.

Go to the Application Center

Make sure to be on time at the application center since they may not accept your application if you are later than ten minutes. After the verification of your appointment letter,  you will be issued a token.

Submit your Germany long stay Visa application

In general the submission process takes around 10 minutes to complete. Please make sure that:

The official person at the application center will check and verify your  documents.  Take care to arrange your documents in the order stated on the checklist, in advance.

Entering of application information

After the verification of your application, all the application form information will be entered into the online system of the German consulate and you will receive a printed copy of your application. This process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After you get the printed form, please make sure to verify all the details are correct and sign the form.

After you pay the German visa fee, you will be issued a receipt which you have to keep in order to collect your processed application.

Biometric data collection

Once the application has been completed, biometrics will be collected. This is a quick process that captures a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner which usually takes 7-8 minutes per applicant.

After all these steps, the applying procedure has been completed. The Embassy, or consulate where you have applied will process your application, and may also ask for additional documents in the meantime. Take care to provide anything extra they ask for.

How to Fill German National Visa Application Form?

When collecting the required documents for a German National Visa, pay special attention to the application form. The application form is the nucleus of your application.  Following, find some useful tips how to fill a German National Visa application form.

  1. Fill in the application form on your computer. While some embassies around the world still allow you to dill it with a pen, most of the German authorities will not process an application that has not been completed through a computer.
  2. Give correct answers. If you lie in your application form, you will only harm your chances to get a visa. Remember that you will be submitting other documents as well, alongside with the form. If the information you give in e German National Visa application form does not comply with the information in the rest of the documents, you will be rejected from getting a visa.
  3. Avoid typos. It can happen to anyone, to miss a letter here or there. However, when it comes to visa applications the German embassy does not tolerate any typos, in any of the answers. That is why even after you complete the form you must check it several times for any possible mistake.
  4. Leave blank the questions that do not apply to you. Some of the questions may not apply to you; therefore you should leave them blank.
  5. Print the form twice. The embassy wants you to have two copies of your application form with your when you attend the visa interview.
  6. Sign both copies at the end. Sign the copies with a pen, after you print them.

Germany National Visa Processing Time

Germany national visa applications may take weeks up to several months to process. The embassy or consulate where the applicant hands their application form may take between two and ten working days to decide whether to grant the applicant with a short stay visa or not.

During the peak travel season there may be a waiting period for making an application to a German embassy. Persons wishing to obtain a visa to enter Germany should therefore submit their applications in good time.

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