Citizens from the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Principality of Liechtenstein do not need a visa for Germany. Also, for three month sojourns, citizens from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel, Switzerland and New Zealand do not need a visa either. However, foreigners from Latin American, African and Asian countries who seek to live, work or study in Germany must obtain a visa or residence/work permit.
German immigration laws are quite complex, so in the next paragraphs we will explain the implications of the application processes and the legal aspects all foreigners who want to migrate legally to Germany should know
Foreign citizens who wish to migrate into Germany must apply for a visa quite beforehand, as it takes longer than usual.
A visa to Germany must be requested at the migrant’s home country at least six weeks before the expected travel date.
The visa must be very carefully chosen, as the residence rights vary according to the selected type of visa. It depends on the reason for travelling to Germany: tourist visa, student visa, business visa, etc.
The residence permit is requested after the migrant has settled in Germany and will be granted depending on the visa. The reason given for the visa or the stay in Germany cannot be changed once in German territory. To apply for a change in the residence status, the migrant must leave Germany and apply for a new type of visa.
Documents to be presented when applying for the visa include:
– A valid passport with a blank page for the German visa.
– An application form, according to the applicant migrant’s nationality.
– 2 passport sized photographs
– Proof of the migrant’s sufficient funds to get by during their stay in Germany.
– Proof that the migrant has a health insurance.
– Proof of the reason to travel. For instance, in the case of a tourist trip, hotel bookings or round trip tickets must be verified.
– In the case of a student or work visa, a letter from the educational institution or the hiring company must be presented.
Once settled in Germany, migrants must register with the local residents’ registration office ((Einwohnermeldeamt) where they must indicate the addresses where they are staying. All migrants who want to stay in Germany for more than three months must apply for a residence permit with the local foreigners’ registration office (Ausländeramt).
Finally, those who want to work in this country must request a work permit at the local employment office (Arbeitsamt).
Lastly, it is advisable to bring to Germany birth certificates, health insurance documentations, secondary school degree or other academic degrees, and international driving licenses, all in both the originals and the certified translations.