German visa & rights of residence

Whereas EU citizens do not require a visa either for entry or for longer-term residence for working purposes in the Federal Republic of Germany, a general visa requirement does apply to many foreign nationals. The visa must be applied for, prior to entry, at a German embassy or German consulate within the respective country. Once obtained, a visa entitles the holder to enter the country and remain in Germany for the specified period, usually up to a maximum of 90 days within a 12-month-period. Travellers may also apply for multiple-entry visas for several years (fi ve years maximum). Such visa usually do not allow the person to work in Germany.

Residence and work permit

Any non-EU citizen who wishes to remain in Germany for longer than 90 days must possess a valid residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel). Depending on the purpose of the stay, there are different types of residence permits which are governed in the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) as well as supplementary ordinances. Residence permits can be granted for the following purposes:

  • residence for the purpose of gainful employment
  • residence for the purpose of study
  • residence for family reasons
  • residence on the grounds of international law or on humanitarian and political grounds.

Apart from the settlement permit, all residence permits are issued for a limited period of time. The application for a residence permit must be submitted to the local aliens’ authority (Ausländeramt) in the district in which the employment is to be taken up. It is advisable to submit the application approximately three months before arriving in Germany.

Katerina Koleva

Katerina Koleva

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*Copyright Counselhouse 2017. Counselhouse is a legal service provider. All legal advisory services offered on this website are provided by René Udwari & her team. René Udwari is a registered business lawyer in Germany.