Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration
Whether you are subject to the visa requirement depends on your nationality. Visas are issued for short-term visits or long-term stays in Germany.
Visa - Hamburg Welcome Portal
If you don’t have the nationality of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you need a visa for your entry and a residence permit for your long term stay in Germany. This visa must be applied for in the German Mission Abroad in your home country before the entry.
The following visa categories are distinguished:
Schengen Visa (for short-term visits)
The Schengen Visa is valid for short stays (up to 90 days per any 180 days). With this visa you are allowed to stay within the whole Schengen area.
A visa for short-term stays is not required for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement. You can find an overview of countries whose citizens require / do not require visas to enter Germany at the website of the Federal Foreign Office.
National Visa (for long-term stays)
The National Visa is valid for entry to Germany in order to apply for permanent residence (over 90 days) in Germany. It is valid for three up to six months. In accordance with the purpose of residence, then a long-term residence permit will be issued by the responsible foreign authorities in Hamburg.
You can apply for a national visa e.g. for the following reasons:
- Studies / Conferral of a doctorate
- Job search
- Family reunification
The national visa is valid only for Germany, but also entitles to stays of up to 90 days in a period of 180 days in the other Schengen states without taking up local employment.
Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand or USA can travel without a visa to Germany. You may stay here 90 days to apply for your residence permit locally. The same applies to nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not want to start work.
Air passengers with transit visas are entitled only to enter the international transit area at airports but not the Schengen area itself.
Further information on obtaining a visa is available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.