National visas are issued for long-term stays for a particular purpose. Usually issued for 90 days, such visas may be issued for up to a year in certain cases. After entering Germany, visa holders must apply for a residence permit as a general rule.
Preparing your application
You should start preparing your application as soon as you have plans to stay long term in Germany. The entire visa application process can take several months.
Please prepare your application as follows:
- Fill in and print the application form for national visa category D (please click on the arrow at the top left next to the word "German" to get to the English Version) and take it along when applying at the Embassy.
- Compile the documents you need to submit with your application by consulting the below checklists. If documents or supporting documents are missing your application may be rejected.
Submitting your application
You must arrange for an appointment in order to be able to submit your application to the Embassy. On the day of your appointment you will personally hand in your complete documentation and pay the fee. The Embassy will ask you questions about your planned trip and take your photograph and fingerprints.
What happens during processing?
The Embassy will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will check whether your application meets the legal requirements. For some visa categories, we will require approval from other entities beyond our control, such as the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) or the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).
Depending on the purpose of your intended stay in Germany, it can take up to several months to reach a decision on your application. The following are the approximate processing times after you have submitted a complete application :
|Purpose of stay
|1-3 weeks (significantly longer if you have previously resided in Germany)
The Embassy will contact you as soon as it has made a decision on your application. Please understand that we do not offer appliation status tracking and are not able to answer questions on the status of your application during the a.m. processing times. After that, enquiries are only answered if they are made by email by the applicant, his/her legal representative or by another person authorised in writing by the applicant. The Embassy cannot answer enquiries made over the phone.
Blocked bank accounts for student visas
You can prove in the visa application procedure that you have sufficient financial means, for example in order to demonstrate that you are able to meet your living costs, with a blocked bank account (Sperrkonto). You can choose yourself where to set up your blocked account. Feel free to carry out a search on the internet using the keywords "Blocked account" or "Sperrkonto".
Have a good trip! Information for visa holders
If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the number of days you can stay and the period of validity, that is, the time by which you must have received your residence permit for Germany.
Therefore, please do not forget to register at the residents registration office shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority. Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area.
Information in accordance with Art. 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation)
1. Who is responsible for processing my data and how can I contact the Data Protection Commissioner?
Responsibility for processing the data lies with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Valletta, Whitehall Mansions, 3rd Floor, Ta’Xbiex, XBX 1026, Malta; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +356 2260 4000 and the Federal Foreign Office (postal address: Federal Foreign Office, 11013 Berlin, Germany).
The Federal Foreign Office Data Protection Commissioner can be contacted as follows:
Werderscher Markt 1
Tel: + 49 30 5000 2711
Fax: + 49 30 5000 51733
2. What data does the Embassy process when I apply for a visa and where do the data come from?
The categories of personal data processed cover the data requested on the visa application form. Generally these include in particular your surname, name at birth, forename, date and place (including the country) of birth, gender, nationality/nationalities, civil status, current address, telephone number, email address, occupation, details of your travel document (type of document, serial number, issuing state and authority, date of issue, expiry date), your photograph and fingerprints.
The data in these categories derive from the information you provide in the course of the visa application process.
3. What data does the Embassy process when I issue a letter of invitation for someone to use to apply for a visa, and where do the data come from?
The categories of personal data processed cover the data requested on the visa application form about the person issuing the invitation. This includes in particular your surname and forename, your address, fax number and email address.
The data in these categories derive from the information you provide in the letter of invitation and the applicant provides in the course of the visa application process.
4. Why are my data collected, and what happens if they are not?
Your data are collected because it is necessary and legally required for the proper conduct of the visa application procedure. If you apply for a visa, you are required under Section 82 of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) to provide the data required for the processing of the application and to make available the necessary evidence. If your data are not provided, it may be that your application is rejected and the fee retained.
5. For what purposes and on what legal basis are my data processed?
Your personal data are processed solely in order to ensure the correct handling of the visa application.
The legal basis is provided by Art. 6 (1) (c) and (e) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) in combination with Regulation (EC) No. 767/2008 (VIS Regulation) and Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 (Visa Code) including its Annexes, and Sections 72a ff. of the Residence Act and Section 69 of the Ordinance on residence, as well as the Central Register of Foreigners implementing regulation (AZRG-DV), the Visa Warning File Act (VWDG) and further special regulations as appropriate or Section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG 2018).
6. How long will my data be kept?
Your data are deleted as soon as they are no longer required for completion of the visa procedure. Generally they are deleted two years after the visa procedure has been completed, but at the latest five years after the final decision on the visa application.
7. Who receives my data?
Your data are transferred to third parties only where necessary for the proper conduct of the visa procedure. As part of this procedure, it may be that your personal data are passed to the competent authorities in Germany, to the responsible visa offices of other Schengen member states or to the responsible authorities in your place of habitual residence. If an external service provider is charged with carrying out individual stages of the visa application procedure, your data will be collected by or transferred to this provider as far as necessary for the completion of the application procedure. Your data are only transferred to recipients outside the European Union to the extent permissible under Chapter V of the General Data Protection Regulation.
8. What data protection rights can I exercise?
You can request information about the personal data stored about you from the abovementioned entities responsible for data processing. In addition, under certain conditions, you can request that your data are corrected, erased or that processing is restricted. Further, under certain conditions you can object to the processing of your data.
9. Where can I file a complaint?
You have the right to file a complaint about the processing of your personal data with a data protection authority, particularly in the member state in which you have your place of residence, your place of employment or the place where the alleged breach of data privacy occurred.