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Long-term visa for Germany

Visa sticker

Visa sticker, © Thomas Köhler/photothek.de

08.04.2022 - Article

If you plan to stay in Germany for more than 90 days because you intend to study, work or join your spouse, you have to apply for a long-term or national visa.

Citizens of the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.

Service partner TLS

The German Embassy works together with the service partner TLScontactTLScontact assists with the acceptance of the following categories for national visas:

  • employment visa for professionals with an academic degree (e.g. Blue Card Visa)
  • employment visa for professionals with vocational training
  • family reunion to these two categories of employment visas
  • researchers/ guest scientists
  • study with unconditional acceptance letter from a German university
  • working holiday (Please note for applications under Covid-19 restrictions: First-time entry by citizens of non-EU countries is only permitted if they demonstrate that one of the exceptions to the entry restrictions applies to them, that is, if they are residents of a country who are allowed unrestricted entry into Germany, or if they are fully vaccinated or if there is an urgent need for the entry. More information can be found here.)

TLScontact will forward the complete application documents to the visa office and handles the return of your passport. The application is processed exclusively by the German Embassy. Applications for a national visa for one of the above mentioned categories can be submitted at the visa center of TLScontact.

Further information and assistance via TLScontact.

All other categories for a national visa have to submit their applications at the Embassy.

In this case, please contact the Embassy at to arrange an appointment via visa@dubl.diplo.de. Please prepare your visa file according to our checklists.

If you wish to apply for employment visa for professionals with an academic degree (e.g. Blue Card Visa) or employment visa for professionals with a vocational training please contact our service provider TLScontact.

All persons who wish to seek gainful employment in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. A work permit will be included in this visa issued for this purpose.

A national visa entitles you to enter the other Schengen countries for the duration for up to 90 days.

After submitting your visa application, your visa file might be forwarded to the competent German authorities. Therefore, it can take several weeks up to months to process your national visa applications. After the application has been approved, the German Embassy will issue a national visa with the duration for up to one year. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany by the Immigration Office if you intent to stay in Germany permanently.

Before you can take up a job in Germany, it might be necessary to get your professional qualifications recognised and certified in Germany. All information leaflets will state if your professional qualifications have to be recognised accordingly.

You can check if your professional qualification is listed on Anabin as “equivalent” or “comparable”. If your degree is not listed on Anabin or does not get the above mentioned assessment, you might be asked to get it assessed by the ZAV (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen & Cental Office for Foreign Education). An assessment might also be necessary if Anabin lists your degree as equivalent with conditions.

PDF checklists:

Family reunion with German spouse or child

If you wish to apply for a family reunion visa when your spouse applies for an employment visa for professionals with an academic degree (e.g. Blue Card Visa) or employment visa for professionals with an vocational Training, please contact our service provider TLScontact.

If you are married or will get married to a German citizen, or if you are a parent of a minor German child and wish to seek permanent residency in Germany (or staying in Germany longer than 3 months), it is required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. A visa in order to live in Germany is a national visa and does also entitle you to enter the other Schengen countries for the duration for up to 90 days.

After submitting your visa application, your visa file might be forwarded to the competent German authorities. Therefore, it can take several weeks up to months to process your national visa applications. After the application has been approved, the German Embassy will issue a national visa with the duration for up to one year. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany by the Immigration Office if you intend to stay in Germany permanently.

Exception: If you hold a Stamp4EUFam card from the Irish authorities, you will not require a visa if you travel with your German spouse or child to Germany and you can apply for a residence permit on the basis family reunion directly at the Foreigners Authority. We would recommend to get in touch with the Foreigners Authority beforehand.

German language skills

In order to facilitate integration, applicants must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa. This means that the applicant has the ability to communicate in German on at least a basic level, e.g. holds a certificate of successful completion of a German language course level A1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Certificates issued by an institution which performs testing in accordance with the standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) are accepted.

The information leaflet provided by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees gives more detailed information on the topic of basic knowledge of the German language and all exemptions to this requirement.

Family reunion with Foreign spouse or child

If you are married or get married to a foreign citizen (non EU), or if you are a parent of a minor child living in Germany and wish to seek permanent residency in Germany (or staying in Germany longer than 3 months) in order to live with your family, it is required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa.

A visa in order to live in Germany is a national visa and does also entitle you to enter the other Schengen countries for the duration for up to 90 days.

After submitting your visa application, your visa file might be forwarded to the competent German authorities. Therefore, it can take several weeks up to months to process your national visa application. After the application has been approved, the German Embassy will issue a national visa with the duration for up to one year. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany by the Immigration Office if you intend to stay in Germany permanently.

German language skills

In order to facilitate integration, applicants must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa. This means that the applicant has the ability to communicate in German on at least a basic level, e.g. holds a certificate of successful completion of a German language course level A1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Certificates issued by an institution which performs testing in accordance with the standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) are accepted.

The information leaflet provided by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees gives more detailed information on the topic of basic knowledge of the German language and all exemptions to this requirement:

PDF checklists


If you wish to apply for study in Germany and you already have an unconditional acceptance letter (e.g. Bachelor, Masters, PHD or exchange studies) please contact our service provider TLScontact.

If you have a conditional letter of acceptance from a university or are searching for a place to study, you will need to apply with the German Embassy.

All persons who wish to travel to Germany searching for a place at a college or university in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit. In order to enter Germany, a visa has to be issued that allows you to apply for studies.

This visa is a national visa but does also entitle you to enter the other Schengen countries for a stay up to 90 days.

After submitting your visa application, your visa file might be forwarded to the competent German authorities. Therefore, it can take several weeks up to months to process your national visa applications. After the application has been approved, the German Embassy will issue a national visa with the duration for up to one year. A final residence permit will be granted in Germany by the Immigration Office if you intend to stay in Germany permanently.

PDF checklists:

How to open a blocked account before entering Germany

If you want to study in Germany it might be necessary to open a blocked account at a German bank. You can find more information on this topic here.

Please note the following:

Please note that the processing time of your application can take up to several months depending on the purpose of your intended stay in Germany.

All and check lists are free of charge.

The visa fee for a national visa is 75, - Euros.

In order to apply for a visa

  • Your passport must have at least two empty pages for visas.
  • Your passport must have been issued within the last ten years.
  • Furthermore, you must hold a valid IRP card.

Visa applicants will have their fingerprints taken. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the requirement to give Fingerprints.

Application form and documents

Please fill in the Videx form before you attend your appointment and prepare all necessary documents. This will ensure a smooth application process.

You have to submit your application in person. Please bring your with passport pictures, your passport, documents for your purpose of your stay listed in the information leaflets above and the visa fee to your appointment. If you fail to bring all required documents, this may result in your application not being processed and you may be required to make a follow up appointment.

All documents submitted must be genuine and correct in content. Your application will be refused if documents are falsified or untrue. The deception about the purpose of travel will also lead to the refusal of your application.
Submitting all documents will not automatically justify a right to a visa. It might be possible that you have to hand in additional documents.

Please do not send in documents before you applied for your visa. Once you submitted your application, please do not send in additional documents without being asked to do so. Hosts should send their documents to the applicants and not to the visa section.

If you are asked to send in additional documents, please state your name and your file number.

Pick up of your passport

If all legal requirements are met and the automated security check came back negative, your visa will be granted. The visa sticker will be printed and attached to your passport.

If the visa cannot be granted, you will receive a written letter stating the reasons of the refusal. Please note that this letter will be in German. However, you can find a courtesy translation of this refusal notice . 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 related restrictions it is currently not possible to collect your passport. Please bring a self-addressed envelope, pre-stamped with €8,30 to your appointment and your passport will be posted to you by registered post. Alternatively you can book the postal service at your appointment for an additional charge of €10.

Safe travels:

Your visa includes your full name, your passport number and your photo. Furthermore, it includes the number of days and the time period within which you are allowed to travel to Germany.

Please check all data on your visa immediately after picking up or receiving your passport. Please contact TLS or us immediately if you notice any mistakes.

We will correct your visa at once.

Please register with the registry office immediately after taking up residence in Germany. Furthermore, please book an appointment with the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) in your new home town. Depending on where you take up residence, there might be some waiting time before appointments are available.

It is possible to travel to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days in 180 days with your valid passport and your national visa.

You can find more useful information on settling in Germany at the Website “Make it in Germany”.

If your application was not approved, you will receive a refusal letter explaining the reasons why your visa was denied.

Find the Embassy:

German Embassy Dublin                                                

31 Trimleston Avenue                                                      

Booterstown / Blackrock                                                   

Co. Dublin

A94 TX94

By BUS

From the city centre: Take the bus route 4, 7 or 7a southbound and alight at stop number 425 (“Merrion Road/Bellevue Avenue”), across from the Tara Towers Hotel and an Applegreen petrol station. Cross the road at the traffic lights and continue into Trimleston Avenue. At the fork, keep left. The Embassy is situated on the right hand side of Trimleston Avenue approx. 150 m from the Junction.

By DART

From the city centre: Take the DART (destination Bray or Greystones) and alight at Booterstown station. At the exit of the car park, turn right into Rock Road and walk as far as the next set of traffic lights. Cross here and continue into Trimleston Avenue. At the fork, keep left. The Embassy is situated on the right hand side of Trimleston Avenue approx. 150 m from the junction.


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