BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Entry rules

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Entering Germany

Citizens of a Member State of the European Union can enter Germany without a visa.

Foreigners from other countries of origin require a visa as a matter of principle.

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The European Union has withdrawn the visa requirement for visits of up to three months in a six-month period for citizens of certain states. You can find out whether the country of which you are a citizen is one of these countries from Germany’s representations abroad or on the website of the Federal Foreign Office (see link in the right-hand column).

Application procedure

You need to apply for a visa in person from the German representation abroad in the territory of which you live whilst still in your home country.

The best thing to do is to find out beforehand what documents you need and what requirements you need to meet. You can obtain the information you need for the visa procedure directly via the website of the responsible embassy or consulate.

You will find an overview of the German representations abroad including contact addresses and telephone numbers on the website of the Federal Foreign Office (the German Foreign Ministry; see link in the right-hand column). There you will also find general information on how to enter Germany and on the visa requirements.

Costs and processing time

The fee for a visa is generally 60 Euro per person.

The representations abroad need an average of between two and ten working days to decide on a visa application for a short stay of up to three months. This may sometimes take longer during the holiday period.

If you would like to apply for a visa for a longer stay, you should expect the processing to take several months. Please also note that because of the large amount of visitors in many representations abroad an appointment should be arranged in advance and that you may need to wait.

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If you wish to work in Germany, you must to apply for a visa as a matter of principle. Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are exempt.

Date 4 April 2014