Entry

Depending on what country you come from, applying for a visa is the first important step on the way to coming to Germany and the Stuttgart Region.

It is best to get information at an early stage from the pertinent German representative body abroad regarding the documents you need for the application.

Visa?

Do you need a visa to travel to Germany and to work here? It depends!

If you come from within the EU, from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a visa or a residence permit to enter or work in Germany.
You only need a valid passport or personal identity card.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA can also enter Germany without a visa. If you wish to stay here for longer than three months, you must apply for a residence permit.

Citizens from all other countries need a visa to enter and reside in Germany. For

short stays of up to three months, a Schengen Visa is sufficient. For longer stays, you need a national visa for the Federal Republic of Germany.

Helpful hint: If you wish to work in Germany, you always have to apply for a visa. The only exceptions to this rule apply to EU citizens and to citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Applying for a visa

You must apply for your visa in your home country before travelling to Germany. You submit your application to the German embassy or consulate general, i.e. the German representative body abroad responsible for your place of residence.

It is best to get information at an early stage from the pertinent German representative body abroad regarding the documents you need for the application. You can find a list of the representative bodies abroad here.

Helpful hint: The visa application process can take a few weeks or even months. Start your preparations early!

Student visa

If you do not come from one of the countries listed under "Visa?", you need a national visa for study purposes for the Federal Republic of Germany in order to travel to Germany to study or complete a doctorate.

Applicants who have not yet been admitted to a German university can apply for a study applicant visa. It is valid for three months and can be converted into a residence permit for study purposes after admission to the university.

You can work during your studies, subject to certain restrictions. You can find out more under Studying.

Helpful hint: A language course visa cannot be converted into a visa for study purposes. If a language course is to be completed in connection with studying, this must be stated when applying for the visa.

 

Helpful hint: Make sure that you enter Germany with a visa that corresponds to the actual purpose of your stay. That is the only way to ensure that your visa can be extended or converted by the immigration authorities responsible for your place of residence here in Germany without any difficulties. A visa that has been issued for a short stay, for example a tourist visa, cannot be used for a long stay and cannot be converted.

The Quick Check by the German government's campaign to attract skilled specialists is a helpful tool to start with.

You can find further information on the websites listed as links in the right-hand column on this page. You can also search there for the immigration authorities responsible for your place of residence in the Stuttgart Region or for the German embassy in your home country.

The team at the Stuttgart Region Welcome Center will also be happy to provide further assistance.

The Stuttgart Region Welcome Service is an offering by Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH) for Stuttgart Region Skilled Specialists Alliance (Fachkräfteallianz Region Stuttgart), funded by Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Finance.