Most foreign citizen need a visa to enter Germany. Visa-free are citizen of the European Union and tourists of states mentioned in the Council Regulation on Visa.

Only the following citizen can apply for a long-term residence title after entry: Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and USA. Citizen of the following countries can apply for a long-term residence title after entry if the purpose of residence is not employment: Andorra, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco a San Marino.

A visa has to be applied at the German mission before entering Germany. Considering the purpose of the stay, the mission decides with participation of the Foreigners Authority, the employment authority, the National Security Agency and other authorities. If an authority in Germany has to agree, the procedure of consultation can take several weeks or months.

National visas for long-term stays, so-called D-visas (for example, for study, employment or family reunification) generally require the approval of the local immigration office. The foreigners authority agrees if, after entry, you are entitled to a longer-term residence permit. The requirements depend on the desired purpose of residence. The decision on a application for longer stays may take from a few days (for example, for issuing a Blue Card-EU) to several months (for example, for a family reunion).

A visa will be issued for a maximum of three months, if a longer stay is intended, the foreigner has to apply a residence permit after entering Germany at the responsible Foreigners Authority within that time. The residence permit has to be refused, if the foreigner has not entered the country with the visa according to the specific purpose of stay .

A business-visa without work allowance can be granted for multiple short-term entries of not more than three months within a period of six months. The maximum possible -period of validity is five years .

If the issuing of a visa is denied, the mission does not tell the reasons of the denial. The decision can be appealed at the mission with a “remonstration”. The application will be examined again and the embassy encloses the grounds of the decision. This decision can be appealed to at the Administrative Court in Berlin (Verwaltungsgericht Berlin) within one month after receiving. The process can take one year or more.

Important information about Schengen-visa applications (short term visa): An appeal against the refusal of a Schengen-visa is usually not successful. The European Court of justice allows the Consulate to use wide margin of discretion. We do not work with these cases.

Our licensed specialist (Fachanwalt) in Immigration Law is Sven Hasse.

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