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: Application form for National Visa (in German and English language) PDF / 485 KB
Biometric passport photo sample PDF / 2 MB
- 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.
Checklist for visa for family reunion to a foreign spouse or foreign children living in Germany PDF / 334 KB
Checklist for visa for family reunion to a German spouse or German children PDF / 333 KB
Checklist for visa to work in Germany (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 329 KB
Checklist for visa for Au Pair in Germany (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 330 KB
Checklist for visa for internships in Germany (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 330 KB
Checklist for visa for a language course in Germany (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 336 KB
Checklist for visa for student applicants (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 337 KB
Checklist for visa for students (stay longer than 90 days) PDF / 338 KB
Booking an appointment
You need an appointment to submit your application. You can make your appointment here:
- Please book only one appointment per person providing the correct passport number
With immediate effect there is an additional box in the online booking menu into which applicants will have to enter their passport number a second time.
Due to security concerns and in order to help avoid multiple appointment bookings by applicants, the passport number stated in the appointment confirmation and the actual passport number will be cross-checked. Entrance will be granted only to those applicants whose numbers match.
The Embassy asks for the understanding and cooperation of every applicant in order to avoid long waiting periods for an appointment in the future.
- Entry to the consulate is permitted 30 minutes prior to your booked appointment with printed booking confirmation and passport in order to verify the correct passport number as stated in your booking
- Plan your commute so that you are in time for your appointment. If you are late we will not be able to attend to you - we ask for understanding in the interest of all applicants
- The online appointment system works optimal on the browsers Internet Explorer and Firefox.
- Please note that appointments are currently only available in several weeks' time. We therefore advise you to make your appointment in good time before your trip.
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 fingerprints.
Please note: due to technical reasons the Consular Section can only accept cash payments until further notice!
What happens during processing?
The Embassy 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 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
As soon as the Embassy has reached a decision on your application, we will contact you. If your application has been granted, we will inform you when to hand in your passport for the visa to be issued.
You should collect your passport in person. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorise another person to collect it for you. To do so, please write a short note who will pick up your passport. This person has to provide us with a copy of his/her ID in order to make sure that we hand out the passport to the authorized person only.
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 FAQ.
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.