Germany offers several long-stay and short-stay visas to international travelers. The German visa types depend on your purpose of visit and how long you intend to stay in the country.
German Visa Types
The visas are broadly classified as the following.
- Type A visa: A transit visa for people who are traveling through Germany to another country. You can travel through German airports. This visa does not allow you to enter Germany.
- Type B Visa: This is also a transit visa. You are permitted to travel through the territory of Germany to your next destination. This visa is valid for a maximum of 5 days.
- Type C Visa: This is a short stay visa that allows a person to be in Germany for a maximum of 90 days. This visa is four tourists and is popularly known as the Schengen visa.
- Type D Visa: This visa is suitable for those people who wish to stay in Germany for more than three months. This is referred to as a national visa and is also used for the purpose of education and research.
What Attracts People To Germany?
Germany is one of the largest nations in Europe. The rich history and beautiful landscape have always attracted travelers from all over the world.
Germany offers the best training and education to students especially in the fields of Engineering and Science. This is a major reason for hundreds and thousands of international students seek admissions to colleges and universities in Germany.
The excellent employment opportunities in this nation and exciting life in the cities attract workers and professionals from all over the world to move to Germany as residents.
Is It Mandatory For All Nationalities To Have A Visa To Go To Germany?
No. It is not mandatory for all nationalities to have a German visa to go there. However, you need to find out if you belong to one of those nations that are exempt from a German visa before visiting this country or moving there permanently.
You do not require if you belong to one among the following nations
- European Economic Area (EEA)
- European Union (EU)
Visa Requirements In Germany For EEA/Swiss/EU Nationals
Germany belongs to one of the 26 nations in the Schengen area. Citizens of these nations can move freely in the nations given below.
These nations have a common visa and are free from border controls. If you belong to one of these countries you can live, study, visit or work in Germany without a visa or a permit.
All that you require is a valid passport or proof of identity to get yourself registered at the residents’ registration office in the area where you live.
Visa Requirements For Other Nationals
If you do not belong to the EU/EEA/Swiss nations you require a Schengen visa to visit Germany for a period of 90 days. However, certain countries apart from the EEA and EU are also exempted from this visa. They are:
- New Zealand
- The Republic of Korea
- The USA
- Some of the countries from South America and Central America
All these countries require a residence permit to stay and work in Germany for a period above 90 days.
The nations except the ones belonging to the EEA and EU require a permit referred to as the ‘Residence Title” to live and work in Germany.
Different Types Of Visas To Germany
International travelers to Germany who do not belong to the EEA and EU require a short-stay or a long-stay visa for different purposes like
- For higher education
- For research
- To do a short-term course
- To attend an event/conference/Seminar
- For medical and health care
- For employment
- To move as a dependent family member
- To be a permanent resident
Given below are some of the visas that you require to travel to and be in Germany.
German Visa Types – Type A Visa
Type ‘A’ visa is for those foreigners who wish to travel through one of the airports in Germany to another country.
Airport Transit Visa
- For those international travelers traveling through one of the German airports
- This visa is for a few hours and you cannot leave the airport
- People belonging to the following countries require this visa.
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
However, you do not require this visa if you are traveling through the international area for transit at the following airports in Germany. They are:
Type B Visa For Transit
The B Visa is also another visa for transit.
- This transit visa is required for those international travelers who wish to travel through the German territory en-route to their next destination.
- The maximum validity of this visa is 5 days.
Type C Visa- Short-Stay Visa
An international traveler planning to visit Germany for a period of 90 days can apply for a short-stay visa.
- A Schengen visa allows you to make a short visit to Germany
- The maximum time that you can be in Germany with this visa is three months
- You can apply for a Schengen visa for the following situations
- A holiday
- Short-stays related to your employment/profession
- To attend a seminar/conference/workshop
- To attend an event/marriage
- To attend business fairs
- To attend a short-term course
- For health and medical care
- An individual can apply for this visa at the German consulate or embassy within her/his native country.
- Unless an exceptional circumstance arises you are not allowed to change this visa to a permit for residence.
- To get a residence permit you have to go back to your native country and apply for it
Type D- Visa- Long-Stay
- The Type D Visa or the long-stay visa is necessary for those international travelers who do not belong to the EEA/EU/Swiss nations
- This visa is for those individuals who wish to be in Germany for a period above three months
- This visa is also referred to as the German National Visa
- This visa may be taken for many reasons including the following:
- Higher studies
- To join a research program
- To join a family member
- For the purpose of employment
- To be a permanent resident
- For long-term medical treatment and care
- The individual has to apply for this visa at his/her country of residence
Unless you are a national belonging to the EEA/EU or Switzerland you have to apply for a D-Visa and residence permit before arriving in Germany. The visa processing might take several months. Hence, you have to start early to get a German residence permit in time. Given below are the Long-stay visas in Germany.
Study Visa In Germany- Long -stay
- An international student requires a German study visa to do a long-term course in Germany
- The visa is valid for a period of 2 years after which it can be extended by putting in a request
- This visa can be used to do any degree program/exchange programs
- You can also do a German course(non-academic) using this visa
- To apply for this visa you must be accepted at one of the state universities/ colleges approved by the state.
- The applicant must have sufficient funds to cover the entire course fee and the living expenses in Germany during that period.
- The law permits the international student in Germany to work for 120 (full days) or 240 (half-days) to meet some of their living expenses in Germany.
There are mainly 3 types of German student visa
- Student Applicant Visa For Germany
- To apply for a student visa in person in Germany.
- Valid only for the process of application
- The applicant cannot study in Germany using this visa
- Student Visa For Germany
- The visa for international students to do a long term course in Germany
- Visa For German Language Course
- This visa allows you to study the German language in one of the recognized colleges in Germany
German Visa Types – Long-Stay Employment Visa
- This visa is meant for skilled workers from outside Germany who are capable enough to contribute towards the German economy
- This visa permits international workers to work for a long-term in Germany
Visa For Job-Seekers
- If an individual has not been successful in finding a job in Germany he/she can apply for a job seekers visa in Germany.
- Only those who have a degree/diploma in higher studies recognized by Germany can apply for this visa
- The individual must have sufficient funds to support his/her stay in Germany during that time
German Visa For Researchers -Long-Stay
- Researchers/Teachers/Scientists can apply for this visa if they wish to do research in their respective fields
- The ability to speak the German language is not mandatory for this long-term visa
Family Re-Union Visa In Germany
- An individual who lives outside the EU/EEA can apply for this visa if you have a family member who is a resident/citizen in Germany
- Your family member must have enough room to accommodate you there
- He/she must also have sufficient funds to support your stay in Germany
Medical Treatment Visa In Germany: Long-Stay
- This visa is for people who wish to take long-term medical and health care in Germany
- The people who have to stay at least 6 months or more to get medical treatment have to Apply For This Visa.
Self-Employment Visa In Germany (Freelance)
- If you wish to work as a freelancer in Germany you have to apply for this visa
- This visa allows the applicant to stay for a long while in Germany
- You must have sufficient funds to support yourself
- The applicant must have the required means to support her/his freelance project in Germany
- If the individual is over 45 years of age he/she must have the necessary proof showing adequate means to support themselves during old-age
Internship Visa For Students In Germany
- You should have an internship offer
- Approval of the FES or Federal Employment Agency is necessary
- The applicant’s employer must apply for this visa
- The Maximum Time Limit Under This Visa Is 12 Months
Visa For A Language Course In Germany
- To do a language course in this country for a period above three months the individual is supposed to apply for this visa
- This is a long-stay visa which is issued for a maximum period of 12 months
To Be A Permanent Resident In Germany
- You can apply for this visa once you’ve lived in Germany for some years
- A five-year period is a typical requirement
- There are exceptions for spouses of the citizens in Germany and graduates who have obtained a temporary work visa there
- The individual can stay in the country as long as he/she wishes to
- However, the individual does not have any voting rights
To Obtain Citizenship In Germany
- The individual can apply for naturalization once she/he has completed a period of eight years in Germany
- The people who’ve taken a course on German integration requires only seven years to do so
- Once you are a citizen you can enjoy all the rights of a German citizen including the right to vote.
German Visa Types – Refugees/Asylum Seekers
- The regulations for refugees and asylum seekers have been tightened by the German parliament.
- New requirements have been included for refugees who wish to study, work or take up permanent residency in Germany.
To get the required visa the individual has to submit the duly filled and signed visa application along with all the supporting documents required and the visa fee. You need to submit the application at the German consulate/embassy within your country of residence.
The short-stay visas require an average processing time between 2-10 working days. Long-stay visas could take a very long time for processing. Sometimes it takes several months before a visa gets approved.
Waiting times are much longer during holiday seasons. Make sure that you submit your applications as early as you can to get your visa approved in time.
- How Much Does It Cost to Study In Germany?
- Why and How to Migrate to Germany
- Can You Pass the German Citizenship Test?