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. We strongly recommend contacting the local immigration office as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany in order to secure a timely appointment.
Please note that you may only take up employment once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorising such employment. You may also choose to apply for a visa prior to travel, effectively permitting employment from the first day of visa validity.
All other nationalities require a visa prior to travelling to Germany.
A parent of a minor, unmarried German child may join their child in Germany for the purpose of custody and care of the child. The parent in question must hold custody for the child under German law (Personensorge). A visa may only be issued if the parent indeed intends to actively contribute to the custody and care of the child.
A visa may also be issued to a parent of a yet unborn child, that will acquire German citizenship at birth. The parent in question must hold custody for the child under German law (Personensorge) as of the birth of the child.
It makes no difference if the person you are joining is already in Germany or if you will be moving together.
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 (if applicable), 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.
Original birth certificate of the child
“Unabridged” or “full” birth certificate required: must contain the full names of the child and the child’s parent/s. Any original will be returned to you during your appointment. Any document in a language other than German, English or French needs to be translated into one of these languages by a certified or sworn translator. If issued outside Germany, the EU or the UK, documents need to be legalized or apostilled as applicable.
Plus 1 photocopy of the certificate and (if applicable) the translation.
Original or certified copies of the German passport of the child (biodata page only), if available (if the child does not have a passport yet, please contact us for alternative evidence that the child does hold German citizenship).
Plus 1 photocopy each of the passport biodata pages.
If the child is already resident in Germany: confirmation of child’s registration (Anmeldebestätigung or Meldebescheinigung)
Evidence of custody under German law (Personensorge)
such as a Sorgeerklärung (declaration of parents as to joint custody), if available
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 issued free of charge.
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 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 apply to your local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for your Electronic Residence Permit.
Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.