Long Stay National Visa Germany (Type D)

Foreign nationals coming to Germany for more than 90 days to work, study or join family members may have to apply for a long stay visa.

German immigration rules are complex, with the visa requirements varying depending on your circumstances. Please consider consulting an immigration lawyer if you are planning to apply for a D visa in Germany from the UK. Call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online today, to receive expert advice from our legal team.

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    What Is a Germany Long Stay Visa?

    A German long stay visa, also known as a national visa or a D visa, is an immigration permission to foreign nationals who wish to stay in the country for more than 90 days for a specific purpose, such as to work, study or live with family members settled in Germany.

    A D visa is usually issued for 90 days. In certain cases, it may be issued for up to one year. Depending on their purposes of staying in Germany on a long term, foreign nationals are required to apply for their residence permits within the validity period of their long stay visas in Germany.

    A long stay visa is typically issued for a specific purpose. We will be discussing later in this article the various D visa options available to foreign nationals in Germany depending on their immigration purposes.

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    Who Needs a Germany Long Stay D Visa?

    EEA and Swiss nationals do not require any type of visas or permits to stay in Germany. Citizens from visa-exempt countries will not need a long stay visa to enter Germany, but they will need to obtain a resident permit for their relevant purposes after arrival.

    British citizens wishing to stay in Germany for more than 90 days may enter the country without a visa. They will, however, be required to present documents otherwise required for a D visa to the German immigration officers at the port of entry.

    If you are, on the other hand, a visa-required country national coming to Germany for more than 90 days from the UK, you will have to apply for a national visa to enter the country.

    In both scenarios, you must register your German residential address with the relevant authorities within two weeks, and then apply for a German residence permit for your specific immigration purposes within 90 days from the date of arrival.

    Moreover, you will be allowed to work in Germany only after receiving a permit for work purposes. So, if you are a British citizen coming for work and would like to start immediately, you should apply for a long stay work visa as it allows you to work in Germany from the first day of your visa validity.

    Germany Visa for Long Term Employment

    Germany attracts skilled foreign nationals in large numbers every year given its economic strength and high-standard public infrastructure. A new Skilled Immigration Act has been introduced recently to facilitate the immigration process for qualified overseas professionals.

    Foreign skilled workers holding an eligible job offer from a Germany-based employer, which is pre-approved by the Federal Employment Agency, must apply for a long stay work visa in Germany. Overseas employees coming to work in Germany for more than three months on behalf of their employers based abroad will also need to apply for a national visa for work purposes.

    Train next to brown concrete buildings, in Berlin, Germany

    Germany Long Stay Visa for Job Seekers

    There is a jobseeker visa in Germany for eligible foreign citizens who wish to come to the country to search for suitable employment opportunities. If you have an academic degree or professional qualification recognised in Germany, you can apply for a German jobseeker visa.

    However, please note that a jobseeker visa or permit in Germany is valid for a maximum of six months, and cannot be renewed or extended.

    Long Stay Visa for Self-employment in Germany

    Self-employed foreign nationals can come to set up a new business in Germany or work as a freelancer on a long stay visa for self-employment.

    Such a visa or permit is usually issued for up to three years. It may be renewed after three years if you can prove that your business/profession has been successful in Germany, and you earn enough to cover your and your family members’ living expenses in the country.

    Please keep in mind that you will have to obtain a practice licence from the regulatory authorities in Germany if you want to work in one of the regulated professions (e.g. doctors).

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      Long Stay Visa to Study in Germany

      International students from visa-required countries for Germany, who have already received an acceptance letter from a German educational institution, will need to apply for a long stay visa for study purposes if their course duration is longer than three months.

      Foreign nationals holding a long stay study visa/permit in Germany are allowed to work part-time up to 120 days or 240 half-days per year. After completing their course successfully from a German university, foreign students may apply for a residence permit for searching jobs, which will be valid for up to 18 months.

      International students wishing to pursue a language course in Germany for longer than three months will also have to apply for a long stay visa in Germany. A D visa for such purposes is issued for a maximum validity period of one year.

      Moreover, if you are seeking to study in Germany but have not yet been admitted to a German university, you can apply for a study applicant visa, which will be valid for up to nine months.

      Long Stay Visa for Student Internship in Germany

      Foreign students and fresh graduates can also apply for a German national visa to do an internship with a German company or educational institution, if the duration of such an internship is more than three months.

      You must find and secure an internship related to the area of your studies or skills in Germany before you can apply for a D visa for internship purposes. If it is not a paid internship, you must be able to show proof of sufficient financial means to cover your expenses in Germany during the internship period.

      Germany Long Stay Visa for Researchers

      International researchers wishing to carry out their research projects in Germany for longer than three months will need to apply for a long stay visa for research purposes. Please note that as per the German immigration regulations, you must hold a specific hosting agreement, called ‘Aufnahmevereinbarung’, with a research institute in the country.

      If the research position is a paid one, the actual amount will have to be mentioned on the hosting agreement. For self-funded or scholarship-funded foreign researchers, submitting proof of sufficient financial means is mandatory while applying for a D visa.

      Long Stay Visa for Joining Family in Germany

      Foreign nationals coming to live in Germany for more than three months with their family members settled in the country, may apply for a Family Reunion visa.

      The requirements for a Family Reunion visa will vary depending on the residence status of the applicant’s family member settled in Germany, as well as the type of relationship that exists between them, e.g. spouse, child, parent, sibling etc.

      For tailored assistance with securing a visa to Germany, speak with our immigration lawyers today. Contact Us

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        Long Stay Visa for Medical Treatment in Germany

        High-standard healthcare infrastructure in Germany attracts a large number of foreign patients wishing to receive medical treatment in the country. German immigration authorities may grant a long stay Medical Treatment visa to patients whose course of treatment will require staying in Germany for more than three months.

        Such patients and their accompanying caregivers may also be issued with a residence permit on a temporary basis if their medical treatment in Germany lasts longer than the validity period of their D visa issued for treatment. The permit cannot be extended once the treatment is over.

        How to Apply for a German Long Stay National Visa from the UK?

        To apply for a long stay German visa from the UK, an applicant must get in touch with the external service provider TLScontact, who have been commissioned by German immigration authorities to take care of parts of visa application formalities.

        They will have to first fill in the relevant online German D visa application form with required information, and then take a printout of the same including the barcode page (i.e. page 7) and sign on pages 5 and 6.

        The next step would be to book a visa interview appointment at the TLScontact visa application centre in London or Manchester (serving the German Embassy in London) or Edinburgh (serving the German Consulate General in Edinburgh), depending on the applicant’s location in the UK.

        They will have to submit the completed and signed German visa application form along with supporting documents at the visa application centre on the day of their appointment, and pay the applicable visa processing fees.

        Documents Required for Germany Long Stay Visas

        The documentation requirements for national visas in Germany will vary depending on your immigration purposes and circumstances. It is advisable to get in touch with the German embassy/consulate in the UK or your local TLScontact centre to get a comprehensive list of supporting documents required in your case.

        We have provided here a list of general documents required for all German D visa applications:

        • Printout of the online application form including barcodes
        • Passport issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least six months, with at least one blank double page spread
        • Copy of the passport biometrics page
        • Current UK residence permit (BRP)/visa and photocopies, if you are residing in the UK but not a British citizen
        • Two passport photos
        • Health insurance
        • Proof of subsistence
        • Any specific documents required depending on your immigration purposes, such as:
          • A German employment contract offer for skilled workers
          • Acceptance letter from a German university for international students
          • Hosting agreement for foreign researchers
          • Marriage certificate, birth certificates or any other proof of relationship with your family member in Germany if applying for a Family Reunion visa etc.

        German immigration authorities may also ask you to submit further documentary evidence depending on your situation.

        Processing Time for Long Stay Visa Germany

        The processing time for a national visa in Germany may take from a few weeks to several months, and will vary depending on the purpose of your stay. For example, a D visa for work purposes usually takes up to two weeks for employees, but the processing time may increase up to six months for self-employed professionals.

        The countdown for receiving a visa decision starts only when your documents are received by the German embassy/consulate. In case they ask you for additional documents, the calculation of your visa processing time will start from the date of the pending document(s) submission.

        a woman applying for a visa

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          Germany Long Stay Visa Fees

          You will have to pay a visa processing fee of €75 per adult applicant and €37.50 for every child applicant below 18, for D visas in Germany. Although the visa fee is fixed in Euro, it is only collectable in GBP in the UK, at an exchange rate decided by the German embassy/consulate at the time of your application.

          You will also need to pay a service charge to TLScontact, the amount of which is as agreed with the German immigration authorities, to cover the different services provided, such as receiving visa applications, appointment booking, information collection and processing etc.

          Germany Residence Permits

          After arriving in Germany on a long stay visa, you will have to apply for a German residence permit. The temporary residence permits in Germany come with several benefits, such as entering and exiting the country freely, bringing your eligible family members to the country, accessing the country’s high-quality education and healthcare infrastructure, being eligible for social security benefits etc.

          Temporary resident permit holders, except those on a student permit, become eligible to apply for permanent residency in Germany after lawfully living and working in the country for a certain period of time, which will vary depending on their permit types.

          After living and working in Germany for eight consecutive years on a permanent residence permit, you may also be eligible for applying for German citizenship.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          German immigration rules are complex and varied in nature. All visa applications are subject to stringent checks by German consular authorities to rule out immigration abuse. German authorities will thoroughly check your immigration history as well, particularly if you have been in the country previously on a different category of visa/permit.

          So, even if you meet all eligibility requirements, you must pay due diligence while filling up the relevant form(s) as well as arranging for supporting documentation, for your D visa application to be successful.

          Speak to Total Law. Our team of immigration advisers have the required expertise and empathy to understand your case and assist you, irrespective of how complicated your immigration circumstances might be.

          To find out more about the bespoke services we provide to the German D visa applicants and how we can help you, call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online today, to speak with our immigration advisers.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    You will be permitted to take up paid work in Germany only if it is explicitly allowed on your long stay visa or subsequent residence permit.

                    No. Your time spent in Germany on a temporary residence permit for study purposes will not be counted while calculating your duration of stay for permanent residency. You must obtain a job offer in the country once your course is over, and change into a residence permit for work, to eventually apply for permanent residency.