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Long Stays

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Citizens who wish to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or wish to work have to apply for a residence permit.

National visas are issued for long-term stays for a particular purpose. Usually issued for 90 days, such visas may be issued for up to a year in certain cases. After entering Germany, visa holders must apply for a residence permit as a general rule.

All applications for a national visa have to be submitted in person at the German Consulate General in Toronto.

Impacts of COVID-19 on visa holders or persons wishing to travel to Germany (with or without visa):

Your visa has been issued for a certain period of time (90+ days). If you are not able to leave before the expiry date of your visa, you must submit a new visa application. A processing fee will be charged. We recommend booking an appointment with the local aliens authority in Germany prior to leaving Canada. This way, your residence permit can be issued shortly upon arrival. Please note that the processing fee of your original visa application cannot be reimbursed.

Please note that common-law partnership is not recognized by German law. For that reason, only married couples are allowed to be reunited with their spouses as long as the travel ban is in place. However, if you are married, you must already hold a valid national visa for family reunion purposes or your own German residence permit in order to be exempted from the travel ban and join your spouse at this point.

Please note that new visa applications are currently not accepted.

As a general rule, the EU-wide travel restrictions intend to ban all non-essential travel into the EU. Border control authorities have been instructed to apply a very strict benchmark when deciding on entry to the EU. It is a case-by-case-decision so that there is no possibility for pre-approval by German border police.

The situation of the traveler must be highly exceptional (i.e. passing of a family member etc.). There are exemptions for persons taking up work in the health sector and persons transiting through Germany/ an EU member state for the sole purpose of returning to their home country or to their country of permanent residence.

For more information:

You may only enter if you already have a permanent residence in Germany. Persons entering Germany for the first time (except persons working in the health sector) can currently not enter due to the EU-wide travel ban.

All applications are currently suspended; only applications submitted by persons who would be exempt from the travel ban (i.e. persons working in the health sector) can be processed at this stage.

In case you have been issued a national visa for the purpose of family reunion and have the visa sticker in your passport, you may travel to join your German / EU spouse in Germany. If the visa has not yet been issued, you may only travel in case you are travelling either together with your German/ EU spouse or with your children (provided that they are German citizens).

Preparing your application

You should start preparing your application as soon as you have plans to stay long term in Germany. The entire visa application process can take several months.

Canadian citizens can submit their application at the competent aliens authority after arrival in Germany. There is no obligation to apply for a German visa before leaving Canada. Only in cases where an employment is intended to begin directly after arrival in Germany (e.g. work, study, internship), we recommend that a visa (which includes the work permit) is being issued in advance. Employment cannot be started before having the obligatory permit.

We highly recommend to check availability of appointments with the competent aliens authority in Germany prior to departure.

Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States may also apply for the necessary permit after arrival in Germany. The same applies for nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino who do not intend to take up employment. All other applicants have to apply for their residence permit before leaving Canada.

Please prepare your application as follows:

Important information 

Please do not send any documents to the Visa Section unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. We are not able to store such documents and will not know to which application they belong. Please always bring the complete documentation with you to your appointment.

Submitting your application

In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at the German Consulate General Toronto in person. Please hand in your complete documentation and pay the fee. The German Consulate General will ask you questions about your planned trip and take your fingerprints. 

What happens during processing?

The German Consulate General in Toronto will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will check whether your application meets the legal requirements. Depending on the purpose of your trip, it can take up to three months to check your application. The German Consulate General will contact you as soon as it has made a decision on your application. We hope you will understand that we are not able to answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. After that, enquiries are only answered if they are made by email by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorized in writing by the applicant.

Return of your passport

As soon as the German Consulate General has reached a decision on your application, your passport will be mailed to you by using the Canada Xpresspost envelope provided by you.
There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected. You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.

Have a good trip! Information for visa holders

If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the number of days you can stay and the period of validity, that is, the time by which you must have received your residence permit for Germany.
Therefore, please do not forget to register at the registration office (“Einwohnermeldeamt”) shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the aliens authority. Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area.

Additional content

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about moving to, and taking up employment in, Germany as a skilled worker.
The information reflects the legal situation as of 1 March 2020.

Moving to Germany as a skilled worker

The EU Blue Card is a residence permit issued by an EU member state in accordance with the EU guidelines on highly qualified workers from abroad. The Blue Card especially benefits professionals planning to take up work in Germany. They will gain easier access to the labour market.

Germany's 'Blue Card'

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