Visa What are the different types of visa available for a stay in Germany?
- Schengen Visa “C” (< 90 days)
- This short term visa allows travel in all Schengen countries. It usually precludes any employment in Germany and may be used for tourist reasons only. Limited business travel is permitted.
- Schengen Visa “C” + work permit (< 90 days)
- This short term visa allows travel in all Schengen countries. It allows the specific work characterized in the application.
- National Entry Visa “D” (< 365 days)
- This visa will be issued to enter Germany. It allows the specific work characterized in the application or may be used for family reunion. It can be exchanged for a long-term permit after arrival.
Germany allows certain nationals to enter the country without a visa: EU citizens may visit and work in Germany. Other nationals may only travel under the visa waiver for tourist or limited business travel.
What activities are allowed as a business visitor?
- attend meetings and briefings (unless they are service delivery)
- contract negotiations
- act as CEO / CFO
- buy goods or services
- attend trade shows
- intra-group trainings (max. 90days in 12months)
- preparatory language courses
- (de-)installation of machinery (max. 90days in 12months)
- (de-)installation of stand-alone, non-generic software applications (max. 90days in 12months)
- research at a registered research institution (max. 90days in 12months)
- knowledge – transfer to non-group employees (outsourcing)
- service delivery
- sales agent activities
If in doubt...ask a lawyer or get a national “D” visa.
The basic temporary permit that is issued whenever no other permit category applies. Employment may be limited.
A special permit aimed to the intra company transferee. provides (limited) mobility within the EU between affiliates. Max. 3 years
Unlimited permit that allows all legal occupations.
The permit for the locally employed highly qualified employee. Employment is limited to sponsor within the first 2 years.
German immigration law – a category based system
German immigration law requires most employment migrants to have a sponsor/employer.
For the intended employment, one of the many available categories may apply:
Categories are not subject to quotas.