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Nationals of the EU or EEA can travel to Germany without restrictions with a national identity card or a valid passport. Residence permits for EU-EEA nationals are no longer necessary. For citizens of over a hundred countries, only a valid passport is required to enter Germany for a stay up to 90 days. The list of visa exempt countries for entering Germany is available on the Federal Foreign Office website. For nationals of other countries, a tourist visa is necessary for entering Germany.

Schengen visa (short term)

You can opt for a Schengen visa allowing you to travel within the European Union Schengen travel zone for a period of up to 90 days. For more Information about the Schengen visa, visit the Schengen Visa Info website. Other short-term visas are available. Check out with the German embassy or consulate in your home country.

In order to apply for a Schengen visa at the German embassy or consulate in your country, it is necessary to provide the following information / documents:

  • purpose of your stay, for example tourism, business or family visit
  • financial statements covering the expenses of your stay
  • health insurance certificate covering your healthcare expenses during your stay in Germany. 

If you are unable to provide such statements, a sponsor living in Germany can vouch for you. This statement of support must be filed at the city hall of your sponsor's city of residence in Germany.

If you are in possession of a Schengen visa issued by another EU member state, you can enter Germany without further formality for a period not exceeding 3 months. 

For more information about the Schengen visa, visit the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees website

National visa (long term)

Depending on the purpose of your trip, you may be eligible to apply for other visas to study or work. Nationals of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Israel can apply for a work permit after having entered Germany.

Applicants with recognised university degrees or highly skilled workers may find it easier to get sponsored by a  German company. For more information, contact the German embassy or consulate in your country.

 Useful links: 

Auswärtiges Amt - Federal Foreign Office
Schengen Visa
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

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