Relocate from US to Germany

American citizens can relocate to Germany as long as they meet the legal requirements for this purpose. Since the United States of America (USA) is considered to be a third party country, as it is not included in any of the larger structures in which Germany is included (such as the European Union), American citizens will have to complete certain formalities, depending on the purpose of their stay in this country.

Americans moving to Germany for a short-term basis or for a long-term basis will have to verify the conditions applicable to each of these two options, as there are different visas and documents that should be obtained. Considering this, we invite you to obtain information on such procedures from our immigration lawyer in Germany. We can help you apply for a residence permit in Germany if you are a US citizen.

Do American citizens need a visa for Germany?

The visa requirements applicable to American citizens can vary based on specific matters. For example, the USA is one of the countries that is included on the list of third jurisdictions exempted from the visa requirement. This applies to visas issued for both short-term stays (of less than 90 days) and long-term stays (of more than 90 days).

Americans relocating to Germany for a short period of time, which can be related to work, education, training and so on can thus, arrive in this country without a Schengen visa (issued for a period of maximum 90 days) as long as they have a US passport and they are considered American citizens. However, it must be noted that persons who are residents of the USA and who are of other nationalities may need to apply for a Schengen visa if they intend to come here for various reasons.

In the case of those who are interested in Germany migration for a period longer than 90 days, the visa exemption is still applicable. However, in this particular case, the person has to apply for a residence permit in Germany, a document which gives an immigrant the right to lawfully reside in Germany. Our immigration lawyer in Germany can assist with more details on the procedure related to the issuance of the permit. They will also advise on German citizenship applications.

What documents should Americans present when entering the Schengen Area?

American citizens who are considering relocation to Germany for a short-term basis or a long-term must know that when arriving in this country, they are entitled to visit any of the countries that are part of the Schengen area. Even though American citizens do not need a visa, they still have to present specific documents to the local authorities.

Thus, they should have the following: a valid US passport, evidence regarding the purpose of their visit (this means that the foreigner has to present specific documents that present the reasons for which why they have arrived here – traveling, studies, etc.) and documents attesting the fact that the person has sufficient financial means to live in Germany or in other Schengen countries for the given period of time.

Please mind that all these documents have to be presented upon arrival in Germany and the lack of sufficient proof can lead to rejection of entering the German territory. Provided that the person was rejected, then he or she must return to the USA and apply for a Schengen visa, following the standard application procedure. The Schengen visa can be used to obtain a residence permit in Germany.

How many Americans have German citizenship?

Numerous persons who are interested in relocation to Germany will want to live here on a permanent basis. If they do so, they will have the right to apply for a permanent residence permit, which can be granted after living in this country for a period of 5 years. After 5 additional years, they are entitled to apply for the Germany citizenship. This also applies to American citizens. With regard to this subject, the following data is available, as presented by the German Federal Statistical Office:

• in 2016, 1,086 American citizens obtained their German citizenship;
• this marked an increase of 33% compared to the number of Americans who applied for German citizenship in 2015;
• 2016 was a record year for this matter since 2000, and a large part of the American citizens applied for German citizenship as they had German lineage;
• 79% of the Americans who have obtained German citizenship did not live in Germany at the level of 2016;
• 55% of the persons who obtained the German citizenship had to renounce to their American citizenship.

We can help you apply for German citizenship if you want to move here permanently.

American citizens must know that if they are interested in moving to Germany for a long-term basis they can apply for a residence permit (at first, the temporary residence permit can be required) after their arrival in the country. We invite you to contact our immigration lawyer in Germany for additional information.