Different Types of Visa
With the exception of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, foreign students need to obtain a Student Visa before they begin their studies. To gain this visa, individuals need already to have been accepted onto a course and will also need proof of healthcare insurance and proof of funds, ideally via a deposit in a blocked account (see our Blocked Account page). Those who have not yet had confirmation of acceptance or haven’t decided on a course can apply for a Student Applicant Visa, and then apply for a Student Visa after acceptance.
You can learn more about student visas and how we can help on our German Student Visa page. Please use the page navigation and search menu on our site to find additional information.
Language Student Visa
Foreign (non-EU, EEA, or Swiss) students undertaking a language course that lasts between 3 and 12 months can apply for a Language Student Visa. Again, you will need proof that you enrolled in the course and proof that you have health insurance. You will also have to show proof of funds in a blocked account that covers the duration of your course -- these funds should allow you €720 a month to spend.
You can find out more about this visa on our German Visa for Language Students page.
Those who wish to enter Germany to work as an Au-Pair can apply for a specialist visa. This does not apply to EU, EEA, or Swiss individuals who can work as an Au-Pair without visas.
To apply for an Au-Pair Visa at the German mission, you must be ages between 18 and 26, and you will need to have proof of healthcare insurance (this should be covered by your host family, but you will have to provide evidence of it), a contract with a host family, proof of basic German language skills, and, typically, a motivation letter as well.
You do not need to have proof of finances as most costs of living are largely covered by the host family, but you will have to prove you have enough money to get there and to pay for the visa.
Job Seeker Visa
Those seeking to move to Germany to work but have not yet found employment can apply for a Job Seeker Visa. Those who have not found employment after six months will need to return home. Those who do find work will then have to apply for a Working Visa.
The requirements for a Job Seeker Visa are quite strict and include having a Bachelor Degree, five years work experience in your field, proof of funds to cover living costs, and either travel or healthcare insurance. Note that EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens do not need to apply for a Job Seeker visa to move to and find work in Germany. You can find out more about this visa on our German Job Seeker Visa page.
Germany has an agreement with 62 countries, (including all EU states, Australia, and the United States) which allows visitors from those states to come to Germany for up to 90 days without a visa. Those arriving from a country not on that list will need a tourist visa for stays of up to 90 days. You will have to apply for a so-called “Schengen visa” if you/your country of residence is not a member of the Schengen area.
Tip: You can most likely apply for the Schengen visa at the German mission in your country.
Those who have already found a job in Germany may need a Long Stay Working Visa. Individuals from the following countries do not need visas in order to enter Germany and work there (but may need to apply for a Residence Permit): EU, EEA, Switzerland, the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.
Those who would like to stay longer than 90 days to conduct business should apply for a Business Visa.
Tip: Are you looking for content on this search term? Please take a look at the site of the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt). Enter a search term, e.g. “How to stay in Germany on business” and the website/search menu will provide you with relevant information. You can now proceed with the page navigation or select another navigation level.
Guests Scientist Visa
Apply for this visa if you want to take up a role as a Guest Scientist or Researcher.
What is the Schengen area?
The 26 countries in the Schengen area are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days in any member state of the Schengen area.