What is a tourist visa

Immigration law, naturalization, visas, family reunification, right of residence

Foreigners generally require a visa for stays of more than three months or for stays that lead to employment.

Exceptions to this are citizens of the EU and EEA countries as well as Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America, who can obtain any required residence permit even after entry.

Visa relief for Russian citizens (pdf file).

The following applies to all other citizens: the visa must be applied for at the responsible diplomatic mission before entering the country. As a rule, the approval of the responsible immigration authority in Germany is required. Responsible is the immigration authority of the place where the foreigner will take up residence. Applicants can obtain the visa application form for a long-term stay (over 3 months) free of charge from the respective diplomatic mission.

The form available here for a long-term stay (German, English, French, Italian) can also be submitted to the relevant diplomatic mission, but must always be submitted in the original (at least in duplicate) and only in the language version used by the diplomatic mission abroad!

Approval procedures usually take up to three months, sometimes longer, as the immigration authorities usually also involve other authorities (e.g. the Federal Employment Agency). In cases that require approval, the diplomatic mission abroad may only issue the requested visa once it has received approval from the immigration authorities.

The immigration authorities are responsible for measures relating to the right of residence and decisions under the Residence Act for foreigners who are already in Germany.