National visas are issued for long-term stays for a particular purpose. Usually issued for 90 days, such visas may be issued for up to a year in certain cases. After entering Germany, visa holders must apply for a residence permit as a general rule.
Preparing your application
You should start preparing your application as soon as you have plans to stay long term in Germany. The entire visa application process can take several months.
Please prepare your application as follows:
- Please fill out and print the visa application form and bring a copy of it to your appointment.
- Please compile the documents you need to submit with your application. If documents or supporting documents are missing, your application may be rejected. We have prepared a checklist for each type of visa.
- National Visa Applications for nurses and Rivercruise Seafarers („Binnenschiffer“) have to be submitted at VFS. To book an appointment at VFS, please go to the VFS website
- Please only hand in complete documents. Do not forget health insurance, biometrical photo.
- Please make an appointment to submit your application. Visa applications can be accepted in the Visa Section only if an appointment for the submission of the application was scheduled. How do I set an appointment ?
Please do not send the Visa Section any documents unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. We are not able to store such documents and will not know to which application they belong. Please always bring the complete documentation with you to your appointment.
Submitting your application
In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at the Embassy in person. Please hand in your complete documentation and pay the fee. The Embassy, Consulate General or Consulate will ask you questions about your planned trip and take your photograph and fingerprints.
What happens during processing?
The Embassy, Consulate General or Consulate will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will check whether your application meets the legal requirements. Depending on the purpose of your trip, it can take up to three months (maybe longer in cases of document checking) to check your application. The Embassy will contact you as soon as it has made a decision on your application. We hope you will understand that we are not able to answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. After that, enquiries are only answered if they are made by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorised in writing by the applicant.
Return of your passport
Due to the pandemic situation passports cannot be collected at the embassy. As soon as the Embassy has decided upon the application, the passport is sent via VFS to the applicant’s address. VFS uses the courier service LBC.
There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected. These reasons are explained in the FAQs.
If your visa application was rejected and you do not agree with the decision, you can remonstrate against the refusal of your visa.
You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.
Have a good trip! Information for visa holders
If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the number of days you can stay and the period of validity, that is, the time by which you must have received your residence permit for Germany.
Therefore, please do not forget to register at the residents registration office shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority. Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area.