Types of Visas in Germany

Germany issues visas for short-term stays or for long-term stays. It must be noted that certain nationalities will need to apply for a visa when arriving in Germany regardless of the period of their stay. Visas in Germany also vary based on the scope for which they are issued (work, travel, transit visa, business and so on).

Our immigration lawyer in Germany can present the categories of visas a person can obtain in this country and can also offer in-depth information on the formalities that have to be met based on the nationality of the applicant. Foreigners can also rely on our lawyer for advice on the types of documents that have to be prepared when applying for a German visa.

Who needs a visa in Germany?

The Germany migration rules vary greatly based on the nationality of an applicant. Thus, when referring to citizens of the European Union (EU), the requirement for having a visa is not applicable, given that Germany is a member state of the EU. The same rule applies to the citizens of Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Liechtenstein and this regulation is in force regardless of the duration of the stay in this country.

Other nationalities outside the ones mentioned above will generally have to apply for a visa designed for their specific situation. Foreigners have to be aware that the visa application process must contain a very clear reason, from ones prescribed by the Federal Foreign Office. However, the legislation in Germany stipulates that there are several nationalities from third countries that do not need to apply for a visa.

Our immigration lawyer in Germany can provide an extensive presentation with regard to all the nationalities that are exempted from this rule. For example, when referring to long-term stay visas, the visa exemption is available for citizens of countries such as the United States of America, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and others. There are exemptions on the issuance of the visa for short-term stays as well.

What are the main categories of visas in Germany?

Germany provides a wide category of visas. When referring to the duration of the visa, a short-term visa available for foreigners is the Schengen visa. This document allows a foreigner the opportunity to arrive in Germany for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days and to travel within the Schengen zone.

This document can be requested for legal grounds such as holiday, business trips or visiting relatives living in Germany. The Schengen visa is issued as a single-entry visa, a double-entry visa or for multiple entries within the given period of time.

Certain nationalities must obtain an airport transit visa. This type of document allows the citizens of countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and others to transit a German airport when traveling to a destination outside the Schengen area. This type of visa does not provide the right to exit the airport, visit the country or moving to Germany.

Those interested in Germany immigration can, however, apply for a national visa, which is issued only for long-term stays. Considering that this is a visa specially designed for long-term stays in this country, the holder of the visa should also complete the necessary formalities related to the issuance of a residence permit. The national visa can be obtained for a wide range of reasons, such as:

• family reunification purposes – joining a spouse, partner or a family member that lives in Germany;
• employment purposes – obtain a job offer in Germany or work in this country as a freelancer;
• studies purposes – enroll as a student in one of the German universities or other higher education institutions available here;
• participate in research or academic projects or participating in training projects;
• business purposes – starting a business in Germany as a foreign investor;
• working as au pair or seeking refuge or asylum.

Visa issuance statistics in Germany

Our immigration lawyer in Germany can help you obtain one of the visas issued in Germany. This country has one of the highest demands for visas and residence permits at a European level and those interested in Germany immigration must know that a short-term visa can be processed in a period of approximately 10 days. In the last years, the following trends are observed:

• in 2019, Germany issued 1,959,401 short-term Schengen visas;
• compared to 2018, this marked an increase in demand, as in that year the consular missions issued 1,870,822 visas;
• in 2019, the number of national visas issued in Germany was of 324,636;
• in 2018, Germany issued 300,945 national visas, generally required for employment purposes;
• in 2019, Germany rejected a total of 268,856 visa applications, while in 2018, 241,796 applications were refused.

We invite you to contact our immigration lawyer in Germany for additional information on the types of visas issued in this country. Our lawyer can provide you with legal representation and tailored advice on the visa application procedure and can also offer step-to-step information on the process of obtaining a residence permit, a document used for relocation to Germany.