Germany: Application process streamlined for employment and family reunion visas

The Federal Government has amended visa application procedures for work and family reunion entry visas in an effort to streamline applications for foreign workers and their families and to minimize the discrepancy in processing times between work and family reunion visas. The amended rules became effective December 29, 2015.

The Elimination of Local Approval Step

The new rules eliminate a local immigration authority approval step that has in the past increased processing times by many weeks.  Therefore, the following benefits should occur:

  • Principal visa applicants and their dependants with previous long-term stays in Germany can enter Germany based solely on consular approval (if the consular post does not receive a denial or notification from the local immigration authority within ten days of the submission of the application, the local authorities’ consent will be assumed); and
  • Eligible dependants who have not previously resided in Germany who have filed their applications together with or close in time to the principal applicant should see processing times reduced to two to three weeks (from up to twelve weeks).

What This Means For Employers and Foreign Nationals

The elimination of the local approval step should benefit foreign nationals and their eligible dependants since visa processing times should be significantly reduced.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK