How to get residence permit in Germany: step-by-step instructions

Residence permit


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

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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.

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.

Legal advice - Igor Usyk, Head of Legal at Visit World

Many Ukrainians in Germany currently have a legal basis for long-term stay in the country on the basis of temporary protection status obtained in accordance with § 24 AufenthG. However, this status should not be confused with other residence permits.

Currently, the maximum period of stay in Germany under Section 24 is limited to three years and is valid until 2025. It is important to keep in mind that there is currently no legal possibility to switch from Paragraph 24 to any other type of residence permit (residence permit) while you are already in Germany.

It is also worth noting that there is no legal basis for applying for permanent residence, as Paragraph 24 provides for a maximum three-year stay, while a permanent residence permit requires at least 5 years of residence in Germany.

In addition, payment of 60 pension contributions is a prerequisite for obtaining a residence permit. You do not have to pay pension contributions if you are receiving benefits from the Jobcenter/Sozialamt and are not working. However, if you are working, the pension contributions will be taken into account and may become the basis for obtaining a residence permit or refunding them when you return to Ukraine.

Therefore, paragraph 24 provides temporary protection in Germany, and other legal grounds are required for long-term residence in this country, which will allow you to stay after three years.

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;

Travel and health insurance for foreigners in Germany;

Insurance for foreign students 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.

Find 8 common mistakes when applying for a residence permit here.

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