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Coming to Germany: Visa and Entry Regulations

Germany distinguishes between different kinds of residence titles for specific purposes subject to the length of stay and the intended (business) activity in Germany.

Residence titles include Schengen and national visas, residence and settlement permits.

A Schengen visa is sufficient for conducting most business and administrative activities that need to be organized prior to locating to Germany. It authorizes the holder to enter and stay in Germany for a temporary period (up to 90 days in any 180-day period).

A residence or settlement permit authorizes the holder to stay for the long term (i.e. more than 90 days in any 180-day period) or to work on a self-employed basis or as an employee in Germany. 

Germany Trade & Invest provides general information for foreign companies wishing to expand to Germany. We are not able to answer visa requirement queries from private individuals or support individual visa applications. Please refer to the German Federal Foreign Office and German Missions Abroad for individual visa application support.  For qualified professionals interested in moving to Germany, the Federal Government’s official information portal Make it in Germany offers detailed information on visa regulations as well as working and living in Germany.

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