Learn step by step how to apply for a German visa (schedule an appointment and compile the necessary documents).
Foreigners need a residence title for entering and residing in Germany as long as no other ordinances apply. Visas are the residence title needed for entering from a foreign county. There are residence permits, as well, which you first receive when you are in Germany. Every visa application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. The German embassy or consulate processes your application and sends it to the immigration authority responsible for you in Germany. The immigration authority must give a positive reply before the embassy can approve your visa application. Immigration authorities in Germany are usually located in every county or bigger city. Your future place of residence determines which immigration authority is responsible for you. If you do not specify a place of residence, the immigration authority at your chosen FIA course location is responsible for you.
It is our concern to ensure that the content of our information is always correct and up-to-date. However, since circumstances at individual embassies or consulates differ in detail it is essential that you either verify and complete the information needed for your situation by using the website of the embassy responsible for you or by personally requesting information from them.
Due to Covid-19, restrictions on visa processing are in effect in many countries. Irrespective of whether a visa has been issued the following applies: decisions on who can ultimately enter Germany are not made by the German embassy but rather by the German federal police at the border checkpoint. Before traveling please inform yourself about current developments for example by visiting the website of the German Ministry of the Interior
or the information portal of the German government for skilled workers from abroad.
What documents do I need and what do I have to pay attention to when filling out the application form?
In the video "Visa – required documents" Dr. Ben explains which attachments must be included in your visa application.
In the video "Visa – application form" Dr. Ben explains what you should pay attention to when filling out the application form.
Steps to apply for a visa
Visa application and required documents
Prepare the visa application. Important and current information is available in the leaflets "Language Courses" (§16f) and "Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications" (§16d) on the German embassy’s website. Here you will also find general information on national visas for long-term stays (over 90 days). Be sure to inform yourself in depth!
- Fill in visa application form. The form can be found on the German embassy’s web page in the category "national visa" (or "D visa" or "long-term visa").
- Be sure not select a study visa but rather the visa §16f or the visa §16d.
- Do not tick: "I intend to stay no longer than 12 months in German federal territory".
- Apply for professional licensing (Approbation) in Germany (state license and requirement to practice as a physician, dentist or pharmacist in Germany). After 3 to 4 weeks you will receive a confirmation of receipt, which you should attach to your visa application.
- Apply for a certificate of good standing in your home country.
- Not every embassy requires one for a visa application, however you will definitely need one for your licensing application.
- It must not be older than six months at the time of submission.
- Supply proof of sufficient funds for your entire stay: Open a blocked account or get a letter of commitment (guarantee) from a sponsor (e.g. relatives in Germany) to prove that all running costs are covered (see infobox "Proof of financial resources" at the end of the article).
- Plan your accommodation in Germany (e.g. a hotel for the first one to four weeks, a room in a shared flat or an apartment of your own) and inquire about travel health insurance which is valid in Germany. Proof of both must be given at the latest when you pick up your visa.
- Write your letter of motivation including details about your planned job search and your recognition process (employment sector, region, qualification plan for professional recognition, planned place of residence/accommodation, etc.; do not exceed one page).
- Contact potential employers in Germany. Inquire about your hiring options after you have received professional recognition (expression of interest or job offer). Attach correspondences (email printouts) to your visa application.
- Assemble copies of these documents: passport, CV of your professional career, course registration confirmation from FIA, university degree and language certificates. You will also need several biometric and recent passport photos as well as a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.
Certificate of good standing, curriculum vitae, university degree certificates and language certificates
- Translation: an officially certified translator must translate these documents into German. Translators in Germany can be found in this database of translators and interpreters
- Certification & Legalization: the translations must then be certified and / or legalized by the German embassy.
Prior language skills
If you have a recognized language certificate (German according to CEFR), enclose it. If the certificate is not available in German, it must be translated into German by a recognized translator and certified and / or legalized by the embassy. Existing and verifiable German language proficiency is in any case advantageous for visa approval. Even if you are learning German at the time of your visa application, but do not yet have a certificate, you should mention this in your letter of motivation.
Qualification plan (course registration with FIA)
After you register for a qualification program with FIA and pay or pay a deposit you will receive a confirmation of registration and a confirmation of payment. These documents contain your individual qualification plan and must be attached to the visa application.
Recognition procedure (application for professional licensing)
Before you apply for a visa, you should apply for professional licensing (Approbation). In Germany, you are only allowed to work in an academic health care profession if you have an Approbation (= state license). As a physician, dentist or pharmacist with a foreign degree you must apply for this license at a German licensing authority.
We recommend that you submit a confirmation of receipt from the German state health authority when you apply for a visa in order to credibly demonstrate that you intend to work in your profession in Germany.
Proof of financial resources
There are several options for proving your livelihood:
In this procedure, a so-called blocked account is opened at a German financial institution. A total of at least €10,332 (for 1 year) plus applicable bank charges must be paid into the blocked account in Germany. A maximum of €861 can be used monthly.
In addition, qualification program costs must be covered (e.g. proof of advanced payment or instalment agreement with FIA).
With FIA-Insurance, FIA has created an attractive offer in cooperation with experienced and renowned experts, through which international health care professionals can easily set up a blocked account already from abroad.
Letter of commitment (guarantee)
In this procedure, a sponsor residing in Germany (e.g. a relative) must submit a letter of commitment to the foreigners’ authority at his or her place of residence. The sponsor’s creditworthiness (ability to pay) is checked by the foreigners’ authority (over a timespan of 5 years, with proof of employed earnings and rental agreement).
If you have a scholarship, you can attach the receipt to the application as proof of funding.