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Information on visa applications

26.08.2020 - Article

Here you can find information on visa applications and visa renewal.

Processing of visa applications


Visas can currently only be issued in the specific exceptional cases listed below:

  • Healthcare professionals, health researchers and elderly care professionals;
  • Transport personnel employed in the movement of goods; other transport staff;
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture;

  • Sailors who need to travel through Germany to reach a port from which their ship is sailing or an airport to return to a third country;

  • Temporary visits in the following cases:
    - Visits by third-country members of the “nuclear Family” (i.e. spouses, registered partners, minor children and parents of minor children) of German citizens, EU citizens, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or of third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany. These persons can enter Germany on their own or together. In the case of third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany, they must additionally have their permanent residence in Germany.
    - only for imperative family reasons (births, marriages, deaths/funerals or other specific exceptional cases where there is an imperative family reason):
    Visits by first and second-degree relatives who do not belong to the ”nuclear family“ (i.e. children over the age of majority, parents of children over the age of majority, siblings and grandparents) of German citizens, EU citizens, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany.
    - Visits by the third-country partner to a non-married/non-registered partner in Germany. The partner issuing the invitation must be a German citizen, a citizen of another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or a third-country national with a long-term residence permit for Germany.
    a. It is conditional on the relationship/partnership being long term, i.e. intended to be lasting and both partners having met in person in Germany at least once or until recently having had a joint place of residence abroad.
    b. Appropriate documentation must be provided as proof:
    a written invitation from the person resident in Germany (including a copy of ID papers), a declaration by both partners on the nature of the relationship (for a visit / for joint entry) and proof of prior meetings in person (specifically in the form of passport stamps or travel documentation/airline tickets or proof of a joint place of residence abroad (e.g. residence registration certificate)). Supplementary proof can be provided in the form of documentation such as photos, social media, letters and email correspondence.
    - In the case of serious personal reasons:
    visits by unmarried couples from abroad travelling together (e.g. wedding, illness or funeral of close relatives). One of the partners must be a German citizen or a citizen of another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions;

  • Passengers in transit;

  • Persons in need of international protection or protection for other humanitarian reasons, including urgent medical reasons;

  • Applications for family reunification. If entry into Germany for a permanent stay is possible due to one of the exceptions listed here, it is also possible for family members to enter Germany at the same time (e.g. the spouse and minor children of a skilled worker can enter Germany together with the skilled worker).

  • Applications from skilled workers and highly qualified workers from the following categories:
    - skilled workers with a concrete job offer in accordance with the legal definition (sections 18 (3), 18a, 18b of the Residence Act), as evidenced by the declaration of employment
    - scientists/researchers (section 18d of the Residence Act)
    - secondments (section 19c (1) in conjunction with section 10 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment) and in‑company transfers (ICT) restricted to managers and specialists (sections 19 (2), 19b of the Residence Act)
    - senior employees
    - managers and specialists (sections 19c (1) in conjunction with section 3 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment)
    - IT experts (section 19c (2) of the Residence Act in conjunction with section 6 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment)
    - employment in particular public interest (section 19c (3) of the Residence Act)
    - business travellers
    Entry as a skilled worker or highly qualified employee is conditional on proof of an obligation to be present in Germany (e.g. employment contract) and prima facie evidence that employment is necessary from an economic perspective and that the work cannot be postponed or carried out from abroad (verification from the employer/contractor). Economic necessity refers to economic relations and/or Germany’s economy or that of the single market. Relevant documentation must be carried and presented to border control personnel.

  • Persons employed under contracts for work and services (section 19c (1) in conjunction with section 29 (1) of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment), only Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey

  • Students whose studies cannot be performed entirely from outside Germany. This exemption applies to all those who have a notification of admission (even if preceded by a language course or an internship). It does not, however, apply to university applicants and those who wish to travel to Germany for a language course and then look around for a course of study (isolated language course). Evidence of an obligation to be present in Germany is necessary in the form of verification from the university (e.g. via email); documents must also be presented to border control personnel.

  • Apprentices who are completing a qualified training course. This must be a training course for a state-recognised or similarly accredited training occupation with a planned duration of at least two years (with a preparatory language course). A prerequisite is submission of confirmation from the training provider that it is necessary for them to enter Germany even taking the current pandemic situation into account (actual, not merely online presence).

  • Participants in additional training opportunities with the goal of having vocational training courses completed abroad recognised. Here, too, confirmation is required from the training provider that it is necessary for them to enter Germany even taking the current pandemic situation into account (actual, not merely online presence).

  • School pupils who are attending a boarding school for a period of at least six months (possibly with prior language course)

Laws on entry requirements

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