National Visas

Passports with different visa

Pässe mit verschiedenen Visa, © Colourbox

30.05.2023 - Article

For long-term stays of more than 90 days (e.g. to attend university, work or join a family member IN Germany)

General information

  1. National visas are issued for long-term stays for a particular purpose. Usually issued for 90 days. After entering Germany, visa holders must apply for a residence permit as a general rule.

  2. It is advised to apply well in advance (3 months before your intended arrival in Germany)!
  3. Processing time is as a rule ca. 8-10 weeks but can take longer in individual cases.
  4. Please do not send the Visa Section any documents unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. 
  5. The passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the end of the proposed journey and must be recognized by all parties to the Schengen Agreement.
  6. Flight reservations are not required to apply for a visa – please only book when you have received your visa.
  7. Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa section and can thus not be answered.
  8. General information sheet as a print out form here.

Preparing your application

Preparation steps:

  1. Please fill out and print the visa application form here.
  2. Please compile the documents as stated on the relevant checklist in two (2) identical piles of copies and a third (3.) pile consisting of the required originals. Your original documents will be returned to you once your application has been processed.
  3. Book punctually (3 months before intended departure) an appointment with the Embassy.


Click here to see the checklists.

Submitting your application

  1. You can only submit your application with an appointment. Please book your appointment online.
  2. Bring the printed checklist of your visa type which you can find here.
  3. Please hand in your complete documentation. Every application needs to consist of two identical sets (one for the Embassy and one for the local immigration authorities in Germany). Therefore you need to provide two identical piles of documents according to the checklist.
  4. The Embassy will ask you questions about your planned trip and take your photograph and fingerprints. Therefore all applications have to be submitted in person!
  5. Children/minors under the age of 16 whose parents can not come personally must submit the notarized written consent of their parents or guardian (with notarized copy of the guardianship document) as well as the birth certificate.
  6. You need to sign a declaration at the Embassy when applications are not complete. It will state that you have been informed that your application is not complete and you are aware that submitting an incomplete application can lead to the application being rejected. Nevertheless, you would like to submit your application.

Further information

  • We advise you to print the relevant checklist before the appointment. Make sure all documents are complete by ticking the checklist. 
  • Documents not in the English, German or French language must be submitted with a certified translation. A translation of the personal data page of the passport is, however, not required.

  • LEGALIZATION: For Family Reunification Visas you  often need legalized documents. Please find more information  here.

  • Certificates, diplomas, etc. must be presented in the original  eventually with apostille/legalization. Please contact the German Embassy of the country where the certificate has been issued.  Your original documents will be returned to you once your application has been processed.

  • LANGUAGE SKILLS: In some cases, you must demonstrate that you possess a simple knowledge of German before you enter the country. Please find information about German Language Courses on the website of the Goethe Institut Kigali.

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.
  • The Embassy reserves the right to request additional documents.

  • In most cases, visa applications must be approved by the relevant local immigration authority (Ausländerbehörde) and/or by the Federal Employment in Germany. Therefore, the processing time for a long-term-visa depends on both the complexity of the case and the individual processing times of the local immigration authority in Germany.

  • The Embassy will contact you as soon as it has made a decision on your application.
  • After the normal processing time, enquiries are only answered if they are made by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorised in writing by the applicant.

Return of your passport

  • As soon as the Embassy has reached a decision on your application, you should collect your passport in person. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorise another person to do so for you. In order to do so, please fill out the following power of attorney.
  • There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected.
  • You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.

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.
  • 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.
  • Have a good trip!

Additional content

Please fill this form out till the end.

application form for a national visa (category D)

Information in accordance with art. 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679,


As of 25 June 2018

General Data Protection Regulation

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