British citizens may apply to the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for their residence permits after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. Please note that you need to register your new residence (Anmeldung) with the authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply to the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your residence permit within the first 90 days of your stay in Germany. This privilege is also extended to citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea (Republic), Monaco, San Marino and the United States of America.
Please note that you may only take up employment once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorising such employment.
All other nationalities require a visa prior to travelling to Germany.
German law provides for both mixed-sex and same-sex marriages.
Under German law, all residents must have sufficient health insurance cover. Please read our additional information on health insurance requirements.
How to apply for your visa:
1. Complete the VIDEX online application form, print one copy of the form including the barcode page (page 7) and sign the form on pages 5 and 6. Separate application forms are required for each applicant; all children also require separate forms.
2. Compile your supporting documentation to bring to your appointment:
- Printout of the online application form including barcodes (as under #1)
- Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least six months. The passport needs to have at least 2 consecutive blank pages (i.e. a blank double page spread).
Plus 1 photocopy of the passport biodata page
- Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (non-British applicants only).
Plus 1 photocopy of the permit/ visa
- 2 fully biometric passport photos, size 35 x 45 mm. Consult our FAQs for detailed requirements.
- Confirmation by German marriage registrar (Standesamt) that application for registration of marriage has been completed (Bestätigung der Anmeldung der Eheschließung) and wedding date has been set (Terminbestätigung).
Plus 1 photocopy of the confirmation.
- Original or certified copy of passport of future spouse/ partner (biodata page only)
Plus 1 photocopy of the passport biodata page
- If future spouse/ partner is already resident in Germany: confirmation of spouse’s/ partner’s registration (Anmeldebestätigung or Meldebescheinigung)
- Evidence of basic German language proficiency - Certificates issued by any institution testing in accordance with the standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) are accepted. The test may not be older than one year. There are a number of exemptions from the language proficiency requirement
Confirmation of travel health insurance for the time up to the wedding date.
- Prepaid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery return envelope (up to 500g) in order to return your passport after processing (not applicable for applications submitted to a Visa Application Centre run by our external service provider, TLScontact).
- Visa fees apply
Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) or the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision has been made on your application, we will contact you.
In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 3 months.
Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.
3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.
Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:
If your application is successful, you will be issued with a limited-validity entry visa - similar to a UK entry clearance. Once you have arrived in Germany please register your new residence with the local authorities (Meldebehörde) within 2 weeks of having moved in and (once the marriage has taken place) apply to your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your Electronic Residence Permit.
Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.