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 you to download.
- Please make an appointment to submit your application through our Online Booking System.
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 will ask you questions about your planned trip and take your photograph and fingerprints.
What happens during processing?
Please note that submitting a complete application does not automatically guarantee that a visa will be issued. Every application is assessed individually as to whether the individual applicant qualifies for a visa under German law. The Embassy is obliged to verify the submitted documents and may ask for additional documents in individual cases.
Visas for a stay exceeding 90 days per six months require the consent of the local immigration authority in Germany. Therefore, the processing time for a long term visa depends on both the complexity of the case and the individual processing times of the immigration authority. The Embassy has no influence on the processing times of the immigration authority and cannot guarantee that a long term visa will be issued in a certain amount of time or before a certain date. In many cases six to ten weeks is realistic, however, in some cases it may take much longer.
The Embassy will contact you as soon as a decision on your application has been made. 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
As soon as the Embassy has reached a decision on your application, the Embassy will contact you and you should collect your passport in person Monday to Thursday between 14:00 h and 15:00 h. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorise another person to do so for you.
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.
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.