Do I need a visa to enter Germany or not?

Do I need a visa to enter Germany or not? This is one the most important questions when wanting to visit Germany. Generally, every non-German and non-European needs a visa, i.e. a permission, to enter Germany. For correct understanding, understand as "visa" the permission to enter the country – for only an interim period. "Residence permit" is the permission to enter and live in a country – for an indefinite period. Please keep this in your mind because this is essential legalese! Well knowing, that some countries do not distinguish between both in their legalese but here it is virtually important.

Citizens of member states of the European Economic Area enjoy the right of freedom of movement and do not need residence permits and do not need (anymore) to obtain a formal “residence card” . All they have to do is report their physical address at the competent registration office (Meldebehörde). Some accession states still have some restrictions. Spouses and family members of European citizens generally have the same right but might need an Entry Visa.

Third countries generally must have a visa to enter – but some do not (so called "visa waiver countries"). This differentiation is related with paragraph 5 of the preamble to the Council Regulation ( Glossary Link EC) No EC 539/2001of 15 March 2001 "listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement".

Click below on the initial of your citizenship to find if you require a visa or not.

A B C D E F G H I J K L N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z