Entry and visa

Entry and visa
Do I need a visa?

If you are an EU national or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you can live and work in Thuringia without any restrictions. That means, you do not need a visa or a residence permit if you want to live or work in Thuringia. Once you arrive in Germany, you need to register with your local residents' registration office. 

Citizens of other countries, of so-called third countries, require a visa to enter Germany. You have to personally apply for a visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country. All necessary information on how to get a visa is available on the website of your local embassy or consulate. Make sure to enter Germany with a visa that corresponds to the actual purpose of your stay.  Otherwise, it might be harder for your local immigration office to extend or convert your visa.

The above rules do not apply to citizens of Australia, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States.  If you are from one of those countries, you can enter Germany without a visa.  However, please contact your local immigration office before you start to work in Thuringia – even if you already live in Germany.

Who can help me with the formalities?

Apart from the integration courses there are also specific information and advice centres for migrants. If you need help applying for jobs, looking for apartments or language classes, you can contact the migration advisory services. They will be able to support you, give you individual advice and even accompany you if need be. This service is organised by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). You can find out on the homepage, which institution is responsible for your region.

In Thuringia, the Welcome Center Thuringia (WCT) can also offer support. The WCT staff can help you if you have questions about living and working in Thuringia and can refer you to relevant contact points.