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National visas

Application for a long-term visa

Application for a long-term visa, © Colourbox


For long-term stays of more than 90 days

Long term visas (also called "national visas") allow you to stay in Germany for more than 90 days in order to work, to study or to join a family member. Such a visa will be issued for 90 days, during which you can enter Germany. Most long-term visas can later be transformed into a residence permit. A long-term visa also allows you to travel to other member states of the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within each 180 days.

Processing a national visa involves the aliens' authority of the town in which you will be studying, working or living. This makes the processing of national visas long and complex. The local aliens' authority might request additional documents after checking your application.

If you consider moving to the European Union or Germany for good, please click here for further information.

Important information for Eritrean citizens whose family members in Germany obtained the subsidiary protection: 

As of 1 August 2018, close family members (spouses,  unmarried minor children and parents of minor children) of a person eligible for subsidiary protection in Germany will be able to apply for a visa for the purpose of family reunion. Eligible family members may use the following link to register for an appointment to submit their visa application:


Prepare your application

You should start preparing your applcation for a national visa as soon as you plan your long-term stay in Germany. The procedures takes several months. Please prepare your application in three steps:

Submit your application

In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at the German Embassy Tel Aviv in person. During this appointment, we kindly ask you to submit all of your application documents, pay the fee and answer questions about your planned trip. Your fingerprints will also be taken on this occasion. Your passport, not the supporting documents, will be returned to you.

What happens during processing?

The German Embassy Tel Aviv will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will assess whether your application meets the legal requirements. Processing might take up to 3 months. We will not answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. We will contact you as soon as your application has been processed. After that, enquiries can only be answered if they are made by the applicant, his or her legal representative or another person authorised in writing by the applicant.

Even after submitting your visa application and the supporting documents, you might be requested to submit additional documents as the local aliens' authority in Germany decides on a case-by-case basis.

Return of your passport

As soon as decision has been taken on your visa application, we will contact you and set an appointment for applying the visa label onto your passport. You can collect your passport in person. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorise another person to collect it for you. In order to do so, please fill out a power of attorney.

Rejection of your visa application

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. These reasons are explained in the FAQ
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 visa sticker as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately (e-mail: visa@tela.diplo.de) if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa. You can also come to the embassy without appointment to have your incorrect visa sticker replaced.

Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the period of validity and the number of days. This is the time period in which you can travel to Germany and during which you need to replace your long-term visa with a residence permit.

After entering Germany on your long-term visa, you have to report to local authorities and register your personal data and residence. You also need to set an appointment with the local aliens' authority to have your long-term visa changed into a residence permit. With your long-term visa, you can travel to other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days with each 180 days until the validity period ends.

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