Types of Visas for Expats in Berlin

Short Stay in Berlin

For entry into Germany you will need a visa, unless you are a national of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America. In this case you can enter the country and stay for up to 90 days without the requirement of a visa.

Staying Long Term in Berlin – Looking for work/Have work/Internship

If you are a European Union citizen, under the European Union Regulations, you are not required to obtain a visa or work-permit to live, study or work in Berlin. The only requirement is for you to register at your local Residence Registrations Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within one week of obtaining permanent accommodation, this must be completed within your first three months. To register, you will need to present your passport, a copy of your rental agreement and a completed registration form, which you can acquire from the office. The Residence Registrations Office will be located at the town hall in your neighbourhood.

Non-Working Residents / Retirees

Non-working residents have to prove sufficient health insurance coverage and evidence of their financial situation. Students and other residents in formation only have to substantiate those two requirements, special written proof is not required.

Studying in Berlin

There are three different visas for students:

  1. Study Applicant’s Visa – for those who have applied for a course at a university (or equivalent) in Germany and have the confirmation letter.
  2. Student Visa – for those who have applied for a course at a university and have received the admission letter.
  3. Language Course Visa – for those only wanting to do a language course in Germany.

A Language Course Visa cannot be converted into a Study Applicant’s Visa or Student Visa in Germany. If you want to do a course at a German university immediately after your language course, you will need to apply now for a Study Applicant’s Visa or a Student Visa, these cover both the language course and the university course.