Temporary Residence with a National Visa


Are you the citizen of a state from which you can only enter Germany with a visa? Then you must initially apply for this at the German diplomatic mission (embassies, consulates) stating the intended purpose of your stay.

A national visa is needed if

  • you will stay in Germany for longer than three months and
  • if you want to reside in Germany for a purpose of stay specified in the German Residence Act.

Note: You require a Schengen visa for stays of less than three months.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of American can also enter the Federal Republic for a longer stay without a visa and must apply for a residence permit no later than 3 months after entry in such cases.

Note: You are only permitted to engage in employment once the residence permit has been issued.



  • Your identity has been established and you meet the passport requirement,
  • you can provide for yourself,
  • there is no reason to deport you and
  • there is no entitlement to a residence permit so far,
  • your stay does not disrupt or jeopardise the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Additional conditions may arise as a result of the respective purpose of stay that is intended.

Note: The issue of a visa will not be considered if you have been expelled, deported or repatriated. Inaccurate or incomplete information in the visa process usually result in the refusal of a residence permit after entry. This can also give rise to you being deported.



  • Passport or replacement passport
  • Proof of the above-mentioned conditions (e.g. letter of commitment from a third party confirming that you can provide for yourself)
  • Proof that the special conditions for the intended residence permit exist.

Processing time

The processing time is several months. Delays may occur especially during the peak tourist season.

Legal bases

  • §§ 5.6 German Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • Schengen borders code
  • EU visa regulation
  • Visa code