National visa / long-term stay in Germany
If you want to stay longer than 3 months in Germany, you have to apply for a National Visa. Compared to the Schengen Visa there are different requirements for these National Visas. Most long-term visas cannot be issued without the approval of the responsible Aliens' Office in Germany (§31 AufenthVO); the visa can therefore only be issued when the Consulate General has received the approval. A processing time of several months must be expected.
Please note: The Consulate General generally issues residence titles for specific purposes in the form of a visa with a maximum validity of 90 days, allowing multiple entries. Shortly after entering Germany, the visa holder must contact the responsible Aliens' Office (Ausländerbehörde) in Germany, which then issues the final residence permit.
1. Marriage in Germany
All persons who wish to get married in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in Germany.
2. Family reunion visa (spouse / minor child)
Foreign nationals who want to move to Germany to be with their spouse have to apply for a family reunion visa.
Parents of minor children who want their child to move to Germany to be with their parent(s) have to apply for a family reunion visa for their child.
3. Student visa / student exchange visa / language course as preparation to studies
All persons who wish to study at a university in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit. In order to enter Germany, a student visa has to be issued. Applicants who have not yet been accepted at a certain university can apply for a study applicant's visa or language course visa as preparation to studies.
For further advice on studying in Germany, please contact the DAAD Information Centre Hong Kong & Macau:
4. Student's internship visa
All foreign students who are only matriculated at their home university (not at a German university) and wish to absolve a study-related internship in Germany are required to obtain a residence and work permit in the form of a visa. A work permit will be included in the visa issued for this purpose.
5. Language course in Germany
All persons who wish to absolve a language course in Germany for longer than 3 months are required to obtain a residence permit in Germany.
6. Research in Germany
All persons who wish to work as a researcher at or for an institution in Germany (including their spouses and minor children) are required to obtain a residence permit in Germany. In order to enter Germany, a research visa has to be issued.
Application requirements for a research visa
To apply for a visa to conduct research or post-doctoral studies in Germany for more than 90 days, please submit the following documents in original and 2 photocopies:
- Completed application form Application form for long-term visas (students, seamen, work visas and long-term stays in Germany) [pdf, 621.91k]
- 3 recent passport photographs that can support biometric check
- Passport or travel document, valid for at least 6 months
- Invitation letter from the German university or research organisation with details regarding length of stay and activity to be pursued
- Accompanying letter of the Hong Kong organisation/employer or academic qualifications
- Scholarship/fellowship award letter (if applicable) or financial proof in the past 3 months for your entire stay in Germany, such as your scholarship award, a recent bank passbook, a recent bank statement or a fixed deposit statement (please reckon a total amount of € 8,640)
- If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 12 months, you will be requested to provide a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction issued by the Hong Kong Police. This Consulate General will support your application for such a Certificate by issuing a request to the Hong Kong Police.
All documents must be presented in English or German. Further documents may be requested in individual cases.
Applicants will have to apply in person.
If your family is accompanying you, the same requirements will be applicable to them. Proof of family relation (birth or marriage certificate) must be submitted.
7. Employment visa
All persons who wish to seek gainful employment in Germany are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa. A work permit will be included in the visa issued for this purpose.
8. Jobseeker's visa
This is a visa for university graduates from countries outside the EU, which enables them to go to Germany for up to six months for the purpose of seeking employment commensurate with their qualifications.
9. Permanent residence
All persons who wish to seek gainful permanent residence in Germany (or staying in Germany longer than 3 months) are required to obtain a residence permit.
10. Entry visa for EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card allows third-country nationals with a university degree to take up employment in Germany commensurate with their qualifications.
A FAQ section on the EU Blue Card is available on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: