Before you start
If you need basic general information or in-depth guidance about the types of longterm visa for Germany as well as the surrounding process, then we recommend using our VISA NAVIGATOR first.
After having accessed the information compiled in the VISA NAVIGATOR, please continue with the country-specific information for your application on this Website.
You should start preparing your application as soon as you have plans for a long-term stay in Germany. The whole visa application process can take several months. Prepare your application in the following three steps:
- Fill in the application form
- Compile the required documents according to the purpose of your stay in Germany by using the following checklists.
- Blue Card
Employment (qualified professionals)
- Skilled workers holding university degree
- IT specialists with professional experience
- Skilled workers with vocational training qualification
- Work in case of partial recognition of qualification
- Crew Members of River Cruise Vessels
- General Studies
- Doctorate Studies
- Language Course
- Au Pair
Job seeker, vocational training, voluntary service
- Seeking employment as skilled worker
- Vocational training
- Seekers of vocational training places
- Voluntary service
- Parent to German child
- Child to foreign parent
- Family members of non-German EU citizens
- Schedule an appointment online (see below) at the German Mission which is responsible for you to hand in your application.
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete upon submission. Incomplete applications cannot be processed and you may be asked to return at another time.
To lodge your application, please appear in person for your appointment at the TLScontact Visa Application Center in Ebène. Submit your complete application with the requested documentation, pay the fees and answer questions about the planned stay in Germany. In addition, your biometrics will be captured.
TLScontact will then securely transfer your data and supporting documents to the German Embassy in Pretoria for processing and making a decision.
The German Embassy in Pretoria checks your application and ensures that it meets the legal requirements. Depending on your intended stay in Germany either the German Embassy or the Embassy in collaboration with the competent authorities in Germany decides on the outcome of your application. Depending on the purpose of your stay in Germany this can take up to three months.
Please understand that no questions about the processing status can be answered during the processing time, neither by TLScontact nor by the German Embassy.
As soon as the decision is made, your passport will be returned by the German Embassy to TLScontact in Ebène, which will then inform you when your passport is ready for collection.
If you have retained your passport and your visa application has been approved by the German Embassy, you will be requested to send the flight itinerary and either health or travel insurance. You will be informed as soon as the passport is ready for collection by TLScontact.
Should your visa have been declined, you will receive a refusal letter from the German Embassy through TLSContact notifying you about the reasons for the refusal and the legal remedies. It is possible to submit a new application at any time with complete, verifiable documents.
If your visa has been issued, please check all the visa data for possible mistakes as soon as you receive your passport! Pay particular attention to
- the visa’s validity (start and end dates)
- check the correct spelling of your name
- check the number of entries you were granted
The visa section must be informed of possible mistakes immediately and cannot be held responsible for any problems that occur as a result of incorrect data or a missing signature in the travel document.
Once all the information on your visa is correct, nothing will stand in the way of your trip.
Please register yourself at the city/town hall (Einwohnermeldeamt) within the first two weeks of arrival in Germany.
After registration you have to schedule an appointment at the relevant Foreigners Authority to apply for your Residence Title.
Details regarding biometric specifications for photographs can be found here.
Information concerning data protection with regard to a visa application can be found .