Germany Unveils 21 Visa categories to Work, Live or Study in the Country


Germany unveils 21 pathways/categories to work, live or study in the country. This guide equips you with the knowledge to explore diverse pathways into Germany for work, study, family reunification, or visits.

Understanding requirements and following the application process is crucial to successfully move to Germany.

Embarking on a journey to Germany has diverse opportunities whether you aspire to study, work, reunite with family, or explore.

Germany Unveils 21 Visa categories to Work, Live or Study in the Country

In this guide, we will learn 21 pathways to study, work or live in Germany.

  • Tourist Visa

This type of visa is ideal for short-term visits for tourism, business, or family reunions. The Schengen Visa grants access for up to 90 days (3 months) within 180 days.

  • Student Visa

For this type of visa, applicants have to secure admission to a German university, demonstrate financial stability, and obtain health insurance.

The processing time for a Germany long-stay study visa may take from 6-12 weeks from the application day. While Germany short-stay study visas are usually decided within 15-30 days by the German missions abroad.

  • Business Visa

A Germany Business visa is a short-stay Schengen visa, which permits its holder to enter and remain in Germany for up to 90 days within 6 months unless it is not specified differently in the visa sticker.

It is issued to people who come to Germany to perform business making, attend meetings, sign contracts, etc. This visa requires an invitation letter, proof of financial means, and health insurance.

  • Work Visa

The German Work Visa allows you to work in regular employment in Germany. The visa can be applied for once you have received a formal job offer from an employer based in Germany.

It is often called the Employment Visa or Residence Permit for Employment. The applicant has to secure a job offer and meet the necessary qualifications.

  • Job Seeker Visa

A German job seeker visa is a work visa issued to anyone who wants to find work in Germany. If you are granted this visa, you are allowed to stay in the country for several months, usually six, and find employment and afterwards apply for a work permit and remain in Germany long-term.

Please note that if you already have found employment and have a valid contract, you do not need to apply for a job seeker visa; you can apply for a work visa directly.

Explore career opportunities with this visa, by showcasing your qualifications and seeking potential employment.

  • Family Reunification Visa

The German Family Reunion visa is a German long stay visa that is issued for the purpose of bringing family members of German residents to Germany. Reunite with family by providing proof of relationship and financial stability.

  • EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is the main residence permit for university graduates from abroad. It is a simple and unbureaucratic procedure geared to third-country nationals keen to put their talents to use in Germany.

Designed for highly skilled workers outside the EU, this card requires a job offer, recognized degree, and passion for your field.

You cannot use the German Blue Card to work somewhere else in Europe. You will have to apply for the EU Blue Card for that other country, provided that you find a job and meet the criteria.

You can apply for an EU Blue Card in another country after you have already worked for 18 months in Germany.

  • Au Pair Visa

This visa enabled you to immerse yourself in German life, providing childcare and cultural exchange with a host family.


The duration of the au pair placement must be for at least 6 months. As soon as the visa has been issued, the au pair may travel to Germany. The processing time required for the visa application can vary from 6 weeks up to 3 months time.

  • Freelance Visa

The freelance visa enables one to pursue entrepreneurial ventures or freelance work by crafting a detailed business plan and highlighting your skills.

In order to get a German freelance visa, you must prove that there is an economic interest or a regional need for your services. In your business plan, you must highlight how you plan to find work and grow your business.

You must typically submit the application for a freelance visa at the German Embassy or Consulate in the country where you currently live.

  • Visa for Medical Treatment

You can access healthcare by presenting medical certificates and proof of financial means when applying at the embassy.

  • Guest Scientist Visa

Contribute to research projects with an invitation, proof of qualifications, and financial means.

  • Language Course Visa

To promote the German language, Germany is offering this visa category to enhance German language skills through enrollment in a language school, accommodation arrangements, and financial stability.

  • Blue Card for IT Specialists

For IT specialists, this pathway requires a job offer, a recognized degree, and technological expertise.

  • Cultural/Artist Visa

You can demonstrate your artistic talents by applying for a visa under this category with an invitation, proof of artistic activities, and financial stability.

  • Job Seeker Visa for Graduate

Recent graduates can extend their stay, transitioning from academia to the professional world.

  • Training/Internship Visa

You can gain hands-on experience with an Ausbildung contract, internship agreement, and proof of accommodation.

  • Visa for Visiting Family Members of EU/EEA Citizens

Visa applicants who wish to visit their families can do so with evidence of their relationship to them and the EU/EEA citizen’s residence.

  • Visa for Fellowship

This visa enables applicants to attend academic fellowships with a short-term visa based on fellowship type.

  • Ausbildung or Apprenticeship Visa

This visa is popular for non-EU nationals seeking vocational training.

  • Investor Visa

This visa highlights special privileges for investors.

  • FSJ (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) or Voluntary Work Visa 

A transformative experience for young individuals contributing to social causes.

General Requirements

  • Valid Passport and Photos: Ensure a valid passport for at least six months beyond the planned departure date with passport-sized photos.
  • Complete Application Form: Accurately fill out the visa application form, providing all requested information.
  • Travel Health Insurance: Obtain coverage for unexpected medical expenses during your stay.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Provide evidence of accommodation arrangements in Germany.
  • Financial Stability: Submit recent bank statements or financial documents demonstrating the ability to support yourself.
  • Travel Itinerary: Include a detailed plan of activities and destinations in Germany.
  • Flight Reservations: Present confirmed flight reservations indicating intent to travel and return within the specified visa period.
  • Consulate Interview: Be prepared for a consulate interview if required.

Disclaimer: This site is not owned by any German Government Agency or an Immigration attorney. The contents in the site is for informational purpose only, collected from various public domains. You may need to contact an Immigration Attorney for your specific immigration needs.

I hope this guide has been helpful to you. Thanks.