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The visa is a stand-alone residence title for the purpose of entering the Federal Republic of Germany and for the initial period of your stay.

This Residence Act draws a distinction between:

  • the Schengen visa for short stays of up to three months, and
  • the national visa for longer stays for one of the purposes of residence defined in the Residence Act.

A visa can also be granted before entry into Germany by a German Embassy/Consulate for stays of short or longer duration. It can also be issued by an Embassy/Consulate of another Schengen state for short-term stays.

N.B. Whoever tries to enter without a visa will be sent back at the border. Whoever tries to enter by violating the provisions of the visa or by making false statements, will generally not get a residence title. Whoever enters the country as a foreigner without permission, will be expelled from the Federal Republic of German back into his/her country of origin.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 17.01.2019. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.