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Do I require a visa in order to enter or stay in Germany?
- A visa is not required for citizens of the European Union who wish to travel, stay or work in the Federal Republic of Germany. This rule also applies for nationals of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. However, these citizens have to be able to identify themselves at all times during their stay in Germany with the aid of a valid passport. Please note that the yellow Danish health insurance card (“Sygesikringsbevis”), ID-cards issued by banks, the post or other Danish institutions as well as Danish driving licenses do not meet the national requirements and will therefore not be accepted as means of identification.
- Special rules exist for citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the US. These citizens may travel and stay in Germany without the necessity of a visa. If they intend to work in Germany, they can apply for a residence permit from within Germany. The request has to be submitted within 90 days after the entry and before the employment is taken up.
- Third-country nationals who are in possession of a national residence permit issued by a Schengen country are allowed to travel to Germany for up to 90 days per 180-day period, as long as the duration of the stay does not exceed the permit’s validity period. This rule also applies to the holders of a national visa (category “D” visa) issued by a Schengen country. However, if these citizens aim to work in Germany, they need to apply for a visa in advance at the competent German mission.
- For all other third-country nationals who wish to enter Germany and who are not in possession of a national residence permit issued by a Schengen country or who would like to stay in Germany for more than 90 days (e.g. family reunion, employment, studies etc.) a visa is mandatory.
How do I apply for a visa?
In order to apply for a national visa for Germany or a letter of guarantee you will need an appointment at the German Embassy in Copenhagen. You have to come in person and bring with you all relevant documents.
Before booking an appointment please read all the information concerning the procedure of application, which is stated on our website. For more information regarding visa and letters of guarantee, please use our contact form.
Subsequent entry of spouses: language skills required before entering Germany.
Table of countries whose citizens require/do not require a visa to enter Germany.
For more information please visit the website of the German Foreign Ministry.
At the time of issue of a national visa, a valid health insurance must be documented.
The insurance (either a single or group insurance) must be completed by the traveller in his country of residence or by the host in Germany.
You must be able to prove that you are actually insured, which can only be documented by the original policy. Should you wish to submit a printout, please include the payment receipt.
Normal travel health insurances are usually insufficient. Many travel health insurances valid for more than 90 days contain a clause limiting the coverage to a maximum of 92 days per trip as such and/or do not offer sufficient cover when taking up residence in Germany. Please note that the payments of regular travel health insurances do not correspond to the coverage of the German statutory health insurance, so these policies will usually not be considered as sufficient health insurance coverage by German authorities. Please ask the insurance company directly for policies suitable for a long-term stay. Such policies can be easily obtained before entering Germany.
The authorities will usually issue the visa for the entire period at once if you plan to stay for up to a year. In this case you must provide documentation of insurance for your entire stay.
Documentation of insurance coverage for the first 15 days upon entering the country is usually sufficient if you apply for a visa to study (without a previous language course) or to work (also for your accompanying spouse and children). In all other cases, the visa will usually be issued for 6 months, or 3 months in the case of subsequent immigration of family members, and a documentation of insurance for this time period will be sufficient.
You must sign up for continuous (private) health insurance coverage comparable to the requirements of SGB V immediately upon entering the country, if there is no requirement for statutory health insurance.
This text is based on information given to and experiences made by the German Embassy in Copenhagen at this particular time. We assume no liability whatsoever for the content provided.
Family reunion for people eligible for subsidiary protection
As of 1 August 2018, close family members (spouses, unmarried minor children and parents of minor children) of a person eligible for subsidiary protection in Germany will be able to apply for a visa for the purpose of family reunion.
Eligible family members may already use the following link to register for an appointment to submit their visa application:
All relevant information about family reunion of Syrian refugees in Germany can be found here.