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How to apply for a German visa and the required documents in 2023

Life in Germany. If you are thinking of coming to Germany, depending on what you want to do, then you might need a visa. Here are some answers to some important questions on how to apply for a visa in Germany in 2023:

Do I need a visa to come to Germany in 2023?

When coming to Germany it depends on where you are coming from and for how long. EU nationals do not require a visa or permit to enter Germany but they will need to carry documentation identifying them as members of an EU state such as a passport or ID card. Non-EU nationals will universally require a visa in order to stay in Germany, but might not need a visa to enter the country.

Citizens from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Korea – and many more – do not need a tourist visa to enter Germany, but will need a visa from the German Consulate in order to stay for longer than 90 days. These visas are issued most commonly for students with a foreign exchange scholarship or people who have already acquired employment in Germany.

Which visa is best for me?

Germany offers many visas depending on what one wants to do in Germany. The most common types of visa many Africans in Germany attain is the Tourist Visa and Visitors visa, the Job seeker visa (which allows you to seek employment in Germany), working visa (if you already have employment in Germany), and the Studying and Language Learning Visa (for foreigners wanting to study at an educational institution in Germany).

READ ALSO: How to apply for a Tourist Visa for Germany and the required documents

Do I need to be able to speak Germany to get a visa in 2023?

No. You do not need to speak Germany in order to get a starter visa but you might need to show some interest in learning the language to attain a visa. Should you want to progress any further than a short stay in Germany or obtaining a entry visa, then you might be challenged to learn the language.

For permanent residency in Germany (which means your residence only has to be renewed when your passport expires), a minimum B1 language level is required and must be proven by a certified language school. We wrote about it: German citizenship: how to prove adequate knowledge of the German language

However, you are only eligible for permanent residency when you have spent years in Germany and earned sufficient income in the country. We wrote about this here: How to get German citizenship for African refugees as they approach their sixth year.

German citizenship you will also need a minimum B1 level of proficiency in the language. As a German citizen you will no longer need a visa for Germany at all, and will have an official German passport. 

READ ALSO: Very important information on German visas, temporary and permanent residence permits

Coming to Germany for studies – How to get the visa and residence permit

How will I know how long my visa is going to take?

Visa application status tracking is not available, and you are not permitted to send questions regarding the status of your application when it is ongoing. You will be given an indication of how long it might take when you submit the relevant documentation, and you will be contacted when a decision has been made. 

Can I come to Germany with a visa from another Schengen state?

This depends on what brings you to Germany should it be; work, travel or studying. You can come to Germany using a Shengen visa from another country which allows you to stay for 90 days (also works for UK and US too).

If you want to work or study in Germany you will have to apply for a visa even if you have a visa issued by another Schengen state already.

Can I travel to other Schengen states with a German visa?

Yes, if you are travelling for the purpose of tourism.

What do I need in order to apply for my visa?

You need different documentation in order to apply for different types of German visa:

  • Health insurance issued by a licensed provider
  • Visa application form
  • Passport photos
  • Physical passport
  • Copies of previous visas
  • Proof of intended travel (with a relevant ticket if relevant)
  • Financial means to travel
  • Authorities may also ask for a cover letter and proof of civil status.

You will be informed of other required documentation when you begin the application process, but this will vary based on your purpose in applying for the visa.

Those applying for a study visa will require proof of enrolment, whilst those who are employed by a German company will require an employment contract, bank statements and tax returns.

Source: The