FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Visa and Stay in Germany

  • Do I need a visa for Germany?
  • Where can I get a visa for Germany?
  • What documents do I need to apply for an entry visa?
  • How do I know which visa is right for me?
  • When and where do I need to register as a resident of Frankfurt after my arrival?
  • When should I extend my visa in Germany?
  • Where do I go to extend my visa and how do I get an appointment?
  • Which documents do I need in order to extend my visa?
  • How much does it cost to extend a visa?
  • What is an electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT) and what is it used for?
  • When should I apply for my electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT)?
  • How do I find out that my electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT) has been issued and is ready for collection?
  • What is a provisional residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung) and when do I get one?
  • Can I travel with a provisional residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung)?
  • How do I terminate my registration with the City of Frankfurt before I leave Germany?
  • What do I need to do if my husband/wife would like to follow me to Germany?
  • What do I need to do if I would like to invite visitors from abroad to Germany?

 

Do I need a visa for Germany?

Citizens from EU member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland usually do not require an entry visa. This also applies to the citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the USA. Citizens of all other non-EU member States need to apply for a visa to enter Germany. You can find more information on our website: Visa. For a detailed overview of each country, please visit the Federal Foreign Office homepage.

Where can I get a visa for Germany?

If you would like to apply for a visa for Germany, please refer to the German diplomatic mission (embassy/consulate) in your home country. You will either receive an initial entry visa, which you will be able to extend after your arrival in Germany, or you will receive a one-year visa up front. You can find more information and a checklist of the required documents on our website: Visa

What documents do I need to apply for an entry visa?

You can find a checklist of the documents that you need in order to apply for a visa on our website: Visa.

How do I know which visa is right for me?

There are many different types of visa and residence permit that an international researcher in Germany could apply for. You can take a look at our list of the different types of visa to find the one that suits your needs: Types of Visa.

When and where do I need to register as a resident of Frankfurt after my arrival?

If you will be staying in Germany for more than three months, you need to register as a resident of Frankfurt with the Residents' Registration Office. You can do this at one of the several offices (Bürgeramt) all over town. You only need to take your passport and state your current address in Frankfurt. 

When should I extend my visa in Germany?

You usually come to Germany with a visa that is valid for 3 months/90 days. Therefore, if you are planning to stay longer than this period of time, you should apply to extend your visa as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany. If you arrived without a visa, you are also only allowed to stay for 3 months unless you apply for a residence permit. You can find all of the important information about this on our website: Extending a visa.

 

Where do I go to extend my visa and how do I get an appointment?

In order to extend your visa, you need to go to the Aliens Department responsible for the city in which you are registered. The Aliens Department (Ausländerbehörde) for the city of Frankfurt is located in Rebstöcker Straße 4. Office hours are as follows:

Mon.

08:00 am - 1:00 pm

Tue.

closed

Wed.

07:30 am - 03:00 pm

Thur.

01:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Fr.

07:30 am - 12:00 am

If you would like to be accompanied to the Aliens Department, please contact the Goethe Welcome Centre in advance and we will be happy to make an appointment for you.

Which documents do I need in order to extend my visa?

You can find a list of all the documents you need to apply for a residence permit on our website: Extending a visa.

How much does it cost to extend a visa?

It costs a maximum of €110 for the visa to be issued initially, and €80 to extend it (children only pay half of the normal price).

What is an electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT) and what is it used for?

The electronic residence permit is issued in card format. It replaces the former sticky label on your passport. You can find everything you need to know about the electronic residence permit in this guide.

When should I apply for my electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT)?

Since it takes about 4-8 weeks for the card to be issued, we recommend that you apply to extend your current visa or residence permit 8-10 weeks before it is due to expire.

How do I find out that my electronic residence permit (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel, eAT) has been issued and is ready for collection?

As soon as your electronic residence permit is ready and on its way to Frankfurt by post, you will receive a letter from Berlin with your PIN and PUK code. Once the electronic residence permit has arrived in Frankfurt and been double-checked, you will receive a second letter from the Foreign Citizens’ Office informing you that you are able to pick up your card.

What is a provisional residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung) and when do I get one?

A provisional residence permit is a temporary document, which you will receive if your visa or residence permit is due to expire before the new electronic residence permit has been issued. You can find more information on our website:  Temporary Residence Permit.

Can I travel with a provisional residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung)?

If possible, you should avoid travelling outside of Germany with the provisional residence permit. Indeed, the type of provisional residence permit that you have will determine whether travel outside of Germany is at all possible. You can find more detailed information on our website: Temporary Residence Permit.

How do I terminate my registration with the City of Frankfurt before I leave Germany?

If you wish to permanently leave Frankfurt and will no longer be residing here, you need to go the Residents' Registration Office (Bürgeramt) where you registered as a resident of Frankfurt and terminate your registration. You can do this 14 days before your departure at the earliest. To terminate you registration, simply fill out the form entitled “Abmeldung bei der Stadt Frankfurt” and hand it in at the Residents' Registration Office.

What do I need to do if my husband/wife would like to follow me to Germany?

If your spouse, and also maybe your children, would like to follow you to Germany, the first thing you need to do is file an application for all family members with the German diplomatic mission (embassy/consulate) in your home country. You can find more information about the required documents and the procedure on our website: Subsequent Arrival of Family Members.

What do I need to do if I would like to invite visitors from abroad to Germany?

If you would like to invite visitors from abroad who require a visa for Germany, you need to submit an official invitation via the Aliens Department. You can find all preconditions and the necessary forms on our website: Inviting Visitors.