Who needs a visa?

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

EU citizens and those from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not require a visa if they enter Germany.

Citizens of third countries

Citizens of non-EU countries always require a visa for the intended purpose of their stay.

Citizens of the states for which the European Community has lifted visa requirement require no visa for visits up to a maximum stay of 90 days (for each period of 180 days). 

A change in the purpose of the stay after entry into Germany is usually not possible. 

Who issues the visa?

Visitor's visas are issued by the embassies and consulates of the Schengen countries; so-called Schengen visas.

The embassies and consulates general (diplomatic missions) of the Federal Republic of Germany issue Schengen visas for short visit stays as well as national visas for longer stays.
You can find the addresses of the diplomatic missions on this interactive world map