How to get residence permit in Germany: step-by-step instructions
A German residence permit is a document intended for citizens of non-EU countries who wish to reside in Germany. It allows its holder to stay in Germany for a limited period of time. Learn more about the steps to obtain a visa and residence permit in Germany
Every year, 1 million foreigners move to Germany for permanent residence, the vast majority are citizens of India, China and Syria. Expats are attracted by Germany's stable economy, high standard of living and career prospects.
For legal residence in Germany, a foreigner must obtain a long-term visa or residence permit. The document registration procedure has certain features. However, overcoming the German bureaucracy is quite possible. We have prepared a step-by-step guide for you that will help you easily obtain permits in Germany.
Read here how to find a job for English-speaking foreigners in Germany.
Temporary protection status in Germany: benefits and legal advice - more details here.
Jobs in Germany: the most popular vacancies for expats - find here.
The Jobcenter for refugees in Germany: what help Ukrainians can get - read here.
How to apply for a visa to Germany? Detailed instructions
1. Fill out the application form for a German visa.
In general, there are two main types of German visa application forms:
- the short-term visa form (C visa) is an application for a tourist visa that allows you to enter Germany for up to 90 days within 180 days.
- a form for a long-term residence visa (visa D) – this type of permit is issued for various purposes: work, family reunification, study. The validity period of the D visa depends on the purpose of the trip to Germany.
2. Prepare the documents: visa application form, foreign passport, visa photo, health insurance policy. Also, depending on the type of visa you wish to apply for and the purpose of entering the Schengen area, the embassy requires you to provide special documents:
- tourism – travel route, confirmation of financial capabilities;
- employment - employment contract, current bank account statement for the last 6 months, permission from the employer;
- study - confirmation of enrollment at a university.
3. Make an appointment at the embassy/consulate.
Find the nearest consulate, embassy or other official visa office that is responsible for issuing German visas for your country and make an appointment. You can sign up online or come in person. The procedure depends on the representative office located in your country.
4. Come to the visa interview.
During the interview, you will be asked about the purpose of your trip to Germany and your personal information. The duration of the meeting is no more than 10 minutes.
5. Provide biometric information.
During the visa interview, your fingerprints will be taken and a corresponding photo will be taken.
6. Pay the visa application fee.
In most cases, you must pay the visa fee before the interview. However, this requirement depends on the country of issuance of the permit.
7. Get a German visa.
Once your application has been accepted, you will need to wait 10 to 15 working days to receive a response to your visa application. If the documents were accepted, you will receive a visa. If your visa is refused, the refusal letter will give you details of why your visa was refused and how you can appeal the decision.
The procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Germany
Residence permit is a document issued by foreigners who wish to stay in Germany for a long time. Residence permits in Germany differ depending on the purpose of entry (for work, study, reunification with family, etc.) and the expected length of stay (short-term and long-term).
● How to apply for a residence permit in Germany?
1. Come to Germany on the basis of an appropriate visa.
If you need a visa to enter Germany, make sure you enter with the right one. You cannot apply for a residence permit on a tourist or business visa. For your application to be accepted, you will need a visa for work, study, etc.
2. Register your German address.
Upon arrival, find a place to live and register your address with the German authorities.
3. Will take out a health insurance policy.
You probably bought temporary health insurance in your home country before you moved. However, upon arrival in Germany, it is necessary to take out a health insurance policy for the entire period of the planned stay in the country.
4. Open a bank account.
This is a mandatory step for applying for a residence permit in Germany. You must have a bank account through which you will confirm your own financial stability.
5. Fill out the application form and make an appointment at the nearest immigration office.
6. Prepare the necessary package of documents.
You prepare most of the documents while you are still in your country for the visa application. Before visiting the immigration center, check the availability of all documents and include your German address, health insurance and bank account details.
7. Come to an appointment at the immigration center.
On the appointed day, visit the center with all the documents. Complete a short interview and then wait for your application to be processed. Usually, the residence permit fee must be paid on this day.
The time for processing an application for a residence permit in Germany is about two to three weeks.
Moving to Germany and preparing documents for legal residence in the country is a rather complicated procedure. Visas and permits vary depending on the purpose of travel, future activities, length of stay, etc. A team of highly qualified lawyers will help you choose the most successful option of permit documents and prepare the necessary package of documents. Order a consultation via the link.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Germany;
Legal advice for business in Germany;
Immigration lawyer services in Germany;
Insurance for foreign students in Germany.
We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.
Over the past decade, some countries have become priority destinations for medical tourism. This type of travel involves traveling to receive highly specialized medical care that is also relatively cost-effective. Find out about the 8 best countries for medical tourism in 2023
07 Aug. 2023More details
Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. It is in this country that the demand for qualified specialists is quite high. Find out more about how to obtain a work permit in Germany for Ukrainian refugees, what to do after finding a job or obtaining a work permit for Ukrainians from a German employer
08 Aug. 2023More details
2 minFor refugees
Upon arrival in Germany, refugees from Ukraine must apply for temporary protection. This process is regulated by § 24 of the German Foreigners' Legal Status Act. It is on the basis of this section that refugees receive a temporary residence permit "Aufenthaltstitel". Find out how to obtain a temporary residence permit in Germany and the cost
09 Aug. 2023More details
The Greek island of Crete has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here travelers will find a wealth of natural beauty, sandy beaches for relaxation and many attractions. Crete is an island with a rich culture and a long history. Find out more about what to do and where to go in Crete
10 Aug. 2023More details
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.