Citizens of Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a residence permit prior to entry (an option also open to Japanese citizens) at the German Embassy or the German Consulate.
Once all required documents have been submitted, the application and supporting documents will be forwarded to the appropriate German authorities at the applicant’s intended place of residence and employment during his/her stay in Germany. The processing can take up to 12 weeks. As soon as the application has been approved by the German authority, the Embassy/Consulate will issue a national visa for the first 90 days of the intended stay. A final residence permit for a longer period will be issued upon arrival by the Aliens’ Authority.
Although the family reunion visa is called a “national visa”, please note that it does also entitle its holder to enter other Schengen countries for a stay of up to 90 days for tourism purposes.
Please prepare two identical application sets with all of the following documents in the given order.
Incomplete documentation may result in the rejection of your application.
- Valid national passport with at least two blank visa-pages and two copies
- Application form – duly and fully completed
- Declaration of accuracy of Information
- two passport sized photos – no older than three months, must meet biometric standards
- Residence Permit in Japan (for non-Japanese citizens)
- original marriage certificate, when applying for a spouse reunion visa, with apostille or legalization. Please enquire on the website of the respective German representation in the country of issue of the document.
- original birth certificate of your child, when applying for family or spouse reunion visa, certificate with apostille or legalization. Please enquire on the website of the respective German representation in the country of issue of the document.
- passport copy of the spouse/child
- copy of the spouse's/child's German residence permit/visa if not applying at the same time
- Proof of German language skills level A1 depending on the nationality of your spouse (please check 1 below)
If your spouse already moved to Germany:
- Proof of housing in Germany incl. full address (e.g. rental agreement, hotel reservation or invitation letter in case of private accommodation with name, full address and passport copy of the inviting person)
- Letter of invitation issued by the spouse/other parent/fiancé(e)
return-envelope with your address
- For applicants at the Germany Embassy in Tokyo: Letterpack Plus (520 yen) for the return of the passport. Currently, only the return of the passport by post is possible.
- For applicants at the German Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe: If you wish to receive your passport in return by mail, you can return it by takkyubin cash on delivery. In this case, please enclose a self-addressed return DIN A4 envelope.
Please note: In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.
1) German language skills:
In order to facilitate integration, applicants must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa.
Competency in the German language in this case means that the applicant has the ability to communicate in German on at least a basic level, i.e. holds a certificate of successful completion of a German language course level A1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Certificates issued by an institution which performs testing in accordance with the standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) are accepted.
For information on language tests at the Goethe-Institute, please visit their Webpage.
- If the applicant shows sufficient German language skills by the time of the visa application at the consulate, no further proof would be required.
- If the applicant seeks a family reunion with a German child
- If the applicant joins spouse in Germany temporarily (please submit documents proving that only a temporary stay is intended)
Other exceptions may apply. This can only be determined after reviewing all documents during your appointment.
The Visa fee is 75 EUR, payable in Japanese Yen according to the official Exchange rate on the date of application.
This page has been prepared with utmost care. It is intended to provide a point of reference to our clients but may not be fully applicable to every individual case. If you have further, more specific questions which are not answered by the information contained here nor on our website, please contact the German Embassy / the Consulate General serving your prefecture.