German temporary visa extension

Temporary visa extension for foreigners in Germany

As a non-EU Citizen you can apply for a temporary visa extension (up to 3 months) to remain in Germany whilst your residence visa application is being processed, or simply because you want to spend additional time in Germany after your Schengen visa expires (90 days in every 180 days).

Tip: If you are visiting Hamburg, Germany or other EU-member states on a Schengen visitor visa and wish to stay in Germany for an additional 90 days after the end of your Schengen visa consider applying for a temporary visa extension from Welcome Center Hamburg.

You can pick up this short-term visa extension paper without appointment at the Welcome Center Hamburg. Bring your passport and the filled application form Application for the issue / renewal of a residence permit (available from > Application forms), there are also blank applications available from the information desk.

The general requirement for this temporary visa extension is that you have submitted your residence visa application before requesting a temporary visa, this makes sense except where you are yet to submit your residence visa application and need to travel abroad; in this case an extension can be approved in exceptional cases.

Update: You cannot travel outside of Germany, in any circumstance if your temporary visa extension has ‘Gilt nicht für Auslandsreisen’ (Not valid for travel abroad) printed on it. Mine did and because of this applied for a Working-Holiday visa (available to ‘best-friend’ nations of Germany for under 30 year olds) which allows for immediate international travel.

This visa extension doesn’t allow international travel unless stated otherwise so there may be issues at immigration when leaving or returning to Germany when traveling with this visa extension paper, therefore you are discouraged to travel outside of Germany unless absolutely necessary.

Update: See notice above, you cannot re-enter Germany after your Schengen visa has expired with this paper. You could leave Germany a day before your last Shengen visa calendar day and may be able to re-enter on the last calendar day. I’m not putting this one to the test… 😉

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Michael Visser

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56 thoughts on “Temporary visa extension for foreigners in Germany”

  1. Hi Visser. Is there a way to extend a 10 day Business Schengen Visa in Germany? I was granted a 10 day stay only but it might not be enough for the training that I will attend. What are the documents I need to provide in case? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi CJ, if you have a valid reason to extend your stay it’s worth a shot; exceptional circumstances out of your control (e.g. training took longer than expected and will be detrimental to your business). Take all documentation any any references (e.g. from the training college) and bank statements you can prepare to justify this exception and it will be up to the immigration case officer to decide.

      I wish you all the best, alternatively can you visit a nearby country (within the EU or outside) and then worst case return on another visa?

  2. Hi! I got admission in a private University for the October intake but that’s unaffordable which is why i want to apply in some public universities (as they are affordable) for the April intake. I have a good profile and certainly will secure an admission in a public university. Problem is that I already have my 3-month D category student visa which will be expiring in December. Can i get a visa extension of additional 3 months from my home country so that i can join my preferred university in April? Because starting the visa process again is a big hassle considering that we get visa appointment on a rolling basis and takes ages!

    1. Hi Ali, the issuing of temporary visa extensions is not made by your home country but by German immigration directly. Since you’re in Germany already visit your local immigration office and explain the circumstance, take along your resume, list of skills as well as any supporting financial details (e.g. bank account in Germany and/or funds in your home country).

      1. No, I am currently not in Germany and still in my home country. Is it possible to get the extension from here or woud i have to re-apply for the visa?

        1. Unfortunately temporary visa extensions can only be issued in-country (within Germany). If you can enter Germany as a tourist you could apply for a temporary visa extension and if issued then transition to another residence visa to continue residing in Germany.

  3. Hi..I’m Sri Lankan and I married Sri lankan women who has a german passport.this is my third year.I have to renew my visa this november…but now we have problems..hope to getting divorced.this case can problem for my viza renew?

    1. Hi Rasika, thanks for asking and I’m sorry to hear your circumstances. In your situation I would strongly recommend you to urgently speak to a lawyer specialising in immigration and your suitability for applying for Niederlassungserlaubnis (settlment visa, aka “NE permit”) or explore other residence visas that allow you to continue residing in Germany. You can always excercise a request for a temporary visa extension come November so you can prepare a new residence visa application, you just have to visit your local immigration office and speak to them.

      The easiest resolution would be your spouse waiting until you get a NE permit before proceeding with a divorse, let us know how you go.

  4. Hello!

    I’m hoping you can shed some light on my situation!

    I am a US passport holder and I have been living in Greece with my Greek husband for 2 years now. I have a visa and work here n greece legally as well. My husband will be traveling to Germany for 6 months due to work.

    Since we recently had baby, I planned to use my maternity leave to be with him during those 6 months. However, my paperwork (which allows me to stay here legally) is Greek. Will I have a problem entering and then leaving Germany?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Monica, thanks for asking. You and your partner chose a very easy country to get a residence visa as a married spouse. Germany has a simple rule allowing married spouses to join their partner (EU or otherwise) who is working in Germany.

      You just need to arrive in Germany with your partner and visit your nearest immigration office and register your residence at the same time or after your partner has done so. That’s it. Have fun in Germany! 🙂

      1. Hi, Michael!
        I just want to know if there is a way for me to extend my visa here in Germany. I only have 3 months Schengen visa, class C. Our marriage was not yet registered since we did not have NSO marriage certificate. It takes 6 months until 1 year after our wedding. We got married on April 20, 2018.We just found out that I am nearly 4 months pregnant. My husband is a German national. My visa is just a tourist visa since our marriage was not yet registered. We considered of giving birth here. So, I need my visa to be extended. Is there such a way of extending it without leaving Germany?

        1. Hi Betche, thanks for asking, just a heads up right away that I’m not a visa expert in any capacity so any advice is generalised.

          With that out of the way you are married just don’t have the NSO marriage certificate. I would visit your closest immigration office with your husband – a native German speaker I assume which helps – and meet with a case officer to ask what proof of marriage is required as immigration may not need that exact NSO marriage certificate document but something else you can easily obtain. Alternatively they issue you a temporary visa extension to allow you to stay in Germany until you can submit the NSO marriage certificate.

          Temporary visa extensions can be issued on the spot by case officers and it does not matter how you arrived to Germany. Good luck, you’re married, you just need to convince German immigration! Go get em’! 🙂

  5. Hi, Michael. Good day and top of the day. i am holding a Nigerian passport as a Nigerian. I have a German tourist visa and after the 90 days in Germany, I WANT TO EXTEND MY STAY because I would like to relocate and stay in Germany to work.How possible is this?

    1. Hi Samuel, how old are you? If your home country has a Working Holiday agreement with Germany you may be able to apply for that visa to stay for a year. In any case I’d visit the local immigration office and have a chat to them as they can give you advice on how to proceed.

      Traditonal work visa’s are prepared in your home country.

  6. Hi, I am currently living in Canada. I have a Schengen visa and I have recently offered a position in Germany. Would it possible to enter Germany via Schengen visa and then apply for a work permit at the visa office in Germany? Thank you

    1. Hi Pammu, since you’re currently living in Canada I’d reach out to the German Embassy/Consulate there and ask if you can apply for your work permit on arrival to Germany.

      If you are allowed to apply in-country then yes you can arrive in any EU country exercising your Schengen visa right and when you’re ready show up to a German immigration office in your future town of residence and submit your employment visa (known as a General employment permit”) which entitles you to live and work in Germany.

      You will need to show evidence of any qualification(s) and an employment contract or letter of intent in your application. I’d submit these to the Embassy/Consultate in Canada too just so they can tell you if you need anything else before embarking on your travels to Germany! Have a great trip! 🙂

  7. Hello Vissen!

    I’m looking for help with my situation. My visa ends in July 31 but I need to stay until mid-September. I’m currently a post-doc researcher in Essen, but I’m living in Bochum (and registered there). What should I do to get an extension on my visa?

    1. Hi Francisco, what visa are you currently holding in Germany and what country do you hold a passport for? If you have reasonable grounds to stay in Germany then get your employer’s/university’s support in writing and take it to the immigration office or prepare a short letter explaining why you need to stay in Germany; do keep in mind that you will not be allowed to leave and re-enter Germany on a temporary visa, it simply let’s you continue to stay in Germany until the expiry date of the certificate.

      There’s a bunch of tips and suggestions buried here in the comments so go prepared and if need be visit different immigration offices until you get the extension. Good luck!

      1. Hello!

        I’m here under a D Visa right now, and I have a brazilian passport. I’ve been reading on the comments and a lot of my questions were answered, but I’m still not sure where to go to ask for this, and if I should bring someone with me who’s more fluent in German, for example.

        1. Good idea about taking a German speaker with you, I didn’t need one in Hamburg (Altona immigration office) but that might have just been lucky. It doesn’t matter what visa you are on, just have a good, clear reason for staying and any evidence/paperwork that may support it.

          As for where to go, you can visit the Welcome Center in your city of you choose otherwise visit a normal German immigration office that can be easily found on Google Maps, “walk-ins” without an appointment are allowed only in certain opening hours so visit them directly and ask. Go get em’! 🙂

  8. Hello Visser, thank you so much for posting this!! Really helpful!
    I’m brazilian married to an american, we both under the age of 30 and we have decided to move here more permanently. As we both qualified for job seekers visa, we have just found out about this option so we’re gathering our docs together. Our 90 days visa are about to end and I was wondering if we could apply for a renew of our visas while we wait for our diplomas to arrive. Also, do you know if they also do it at the “welcome center” in berlin?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jamily, you are both under the age of 31 so go to German immigration with two options:

      a) request a temporary visa which allows you to stay in Germany until your diplomas arrive then change to your permanent visa (temporary visa’s can be prepared on the spot)
      b) consider if the Working Holiday visa is available to either or both of you (easiest solution, switch to your permanent visa when you’re ready)

      Dealing with German immigration case officers is on a first-come basis, explain your situation and have your documentation ready and see if they’ll play ball. If they don’t try again at the same office the next day with another case officer or look at other local immigration offices.

      Due to the volume of immigration cases being processed by “Welcome Center [City]” offices I would recommend trying your local immigration office instead of Welcome Center Berlin. You’re welcome to try them anyway but expect very short interviews, long queues and/or required appointments which can be set months in advance. I got burnt at Welcome Center Hamburg so stay clear of them based on that experience, the local immigration offices always have a laugh at foreigners expense when you come from a Welcome Center with a poor outcome and will do their best to help you. I hope this helps! 🙂

      1. Hello Michael, thank you so much for responding!! It does help!
        We’re not qualified for working holiday visa (USA and Brazil didn’t make to the list).
        We’re going tomorrow to the immigration office and I’ll leave a comment here to tell people how it went, it might help others too!

  9. Hello
    My visiting visa is valid from 10th June till 8th July but I have a 14days stay written on it. I came to Germany on the 11th June and want to attend a conference in Barcelona Spain from 29th June till 5th July. I will come to Germany on the 6th July from Spain and then leave Germany on the 7th july. Is it possible to get an extension for my stay till visa expires.


    1. Hi Uju, is that visiting visa for just Germany (did you apply to Germany or for all of EU)? Also, what country is your passport from?

      You can visit the immigration center in your closest German city and ask for a re-entry visa if you currently have a single entry visa (this is default). Explain it is for business purposes so you can attend your conference. You may need to apply for a visiting visa for Spain too if you cannot use the schengen visa program. Good luck! 🙂

    2. Hi Michael,
      My visa is Schengen visa for all EU but was issued by German Embassy in my country Nigeria. It is a single entry visa. Kindly advise the best way to about it. I have a return tickets to Barcelona from 29th June to 5TH July and also a return to Nigeria for 7th July.
      Warm regards

      1. Hi Uju, if you can adjust your flight to leave from Barcelona for Nigeria then you don’t need to speak to German immigration.

        I’d still go visit your nearest immigration office in Germany and ask for them to allow you to re-enter Germany on July 6 for your departing flight and that the conference in Barcelona is for business purposes. Take photocopies of all documents, tickets, etc. so they have everything on hand.

  10. Hi
    My company has asked me to travel to Germany for 1 year. I will be getting my National Visa as well. I have a small kid who will be travelling with me, hence i want to take my kid’s care taker also to travel with me. Please suggest the best visa type i can apply for care-taker. If it’s not for 1 year then can the other visa be extended in Germany without hassles.

    1. Hi Shilpa, what country do you hold a Passport for? As an employee in Germany you can generally bring your partner without any questions, that doesn’t automatically extend to child minders as Germany has child care services. Reach out to German immigration in your country and ask them how your care-taker can support your work while you are in Germany and let us know how you go 🙂

  11. Hello I am currently in Germany on a 1 year residence permit as I am participating in fellowship. I have been accepted to a summer school program in Portugal but my residence permit expires in July but the summer program ends in August. Can I apply for an extension of my Schengen Visa in Germany or do I have to apply to the Portugese consulate?

    1. Hi Ness, since the summer school is in Portugal you will likely need to contact immigration in Portugal for a resident visa for that period. While you’re in Germany go visit immigration and see if they’ll issue you a bridging visa valid for travel to Portugal but typically bridging visa’s are not valid outside of their country.

  12. Hi, I am a graduate student in Hamburg, originally from Russia. Currently on D Visa, which expires on June 31. I was able to secure an appointment at the Aliens Office for September the earliest, so I wonder if I can stay legally in Germany after my D visa expires and I still wait for my appointment to apply for a job-seeking residence permit?

    1. Hi Nikolai, first off go visit the Immigration office and request a temporary visa valid up to your appointment as you will be overstaying if you stay without a valid visa.

      You can request an earlier meeting by attend any cancellations which are common, it’s short notice but will suit your needs. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Amir, yes you can request a temporary visa extension to finalise finding a job, you won’t be able to leave Germany though on this temporary visa; if you leave you will not be able to re-enter on the same temporary visa. Please keep in mind that after six months of looking for work your immigration case officer may feel that you have had enough time so you will need to justify your circumstance for staying. Good luck!

  13. hello .i have student visa and i am student phillips university marburg but i want to move bielefeld applied science university bielefeld .my question is thats may i move to bielefeld and can apply from bielefeld Auslanderbehörde for the extension of my visa.thanks in advance

    1. Hi Muhammad, thanks for asking. I recommend you speak to your new university as well as closest Auslanderbehörde (immigration department in Germany) before moving as they may be able to transfer your university registration.

      Looking briefly at the rules you already have a valid student visa so changing university shouldn’t be difficult but confirm this before approaching the Auslanderbehörde in the town of your university. The worst case is you have to return to your home country and re-apply for a student visa at your new university, avoid that at all costs by speaking to the above resources.

  14. Hi, I just got VISA from German Embassy Addis Ababa just today. I ma going to Bonn for one month training. my plan was to attend the training and then travel to Norway and Sweden to visit my fiends and relatives. Since my get one month visa, can i extend my visa and visit other countries i mentioned. I thank you in advance for your cooperation .

  15. Hi there. I come from Malaysia and am currently doing an internship in Hamburg for 3 months. My boss has recently asked me to extend my internship for another month. Can you advise me on my next steps? I currently hold a 3-month internship visa. Your reply will be super helpful to me!

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for asking. I’m not up to speed on the Internship visa for Germany but from a quick look it seems you will need to contact your local immigration department in Germany and with your employers co-operation your residence visa may be extended. Find out more from the immigration department and let us know how you go!

    1. Hi Alfred, if you are still in Germany on a tourist/temporary residence visa then visit your local immigration authority (Ausländerbehörde) and explain your circumstances as some long-term residence visa’s can be issued on the spot (e.g. Jobseeker, Youth Mobility visa, etc.).

  16. Hi sir, i am currently on a business visa but i want to stay here in Germany and start work. i am 25 years. what are the process. please help me…..

  17. Hi,

    I am an American who is approaching 90 days. I want to extend the tourist visa simply because I am still enjoying traveling Germany and I have also been interviewing at start ups in Berlin.

    Wondering what I need to say or do just to get the extension. I am aware of the job seekers visa but do not want that or have the qualifications to obtain. Simply want to extend tourist visa. ANY help would be so useful. I plan on trying to apply for it monday!

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Britt, you could give the temporary visa extension a go on the basis that you will be shortly applying for another residence visa and need time to work it out but it will come down to who you meet at the visa department.

      If you are under the age of 30 or up to 35 I’d seriously consider applying for a Working Holiday/Youth Mobility visa either in Germany or other neighbouring countries (Czech Republic is up to 35 years old, Germany is up to 30 years old) and use that residence visa to then find a job and apply for a work residence visa.

    2. Hey Britt, I was wondering.. did it work out for you? Me and my american husband are in kinda of the same situation.


  18. Hi. I am from India. My husband is in Germany on a work permit. I am in Germany currently. I am on a family visit visa. My visa is issued from October 2017 to December 2017. As per my earlier travel itinerary I was supposed to go back to India on November 26 2017. So my visa mentions duration of travel as 47 days. But now I wish to extend my stay in Germany till my visa expires. Can I do it & extend my stay by few days?

    1. Hi Amruta, visit your local immigration office and explain your circumstance, inform them of the date you intend to leave Germany and your reason for extending and they can issue a temporary residence visa up until your date of departure; please note you will be not be able to travel freely around Europe on a temporary visa, it is just for Germany. I recommend bringing a copy of your flight receipt for your departure flight as evidence of your intention to leave at that date, this can only help you when you are explaining your circumstance. Hope this helps! 🙂

  19. Hi my name is agnieszka from poland and my husband from India we are now in husband coming in schengun visa one month .I want to stay permanent with my husband what I do ? Is possible I extand 3month visa in german plz help me

    1. Hi Agnieszka, since you are a Polish national and member of the EU your husband can receive a residence permit for as long as you stay in Germany together. My understanding is he will need a valid visitor visa (Schengen Area) to enter Germany and you will need a registered residential address in Germany, once you are together then go to the immigration office and request a spouse visa. It can be issued on the day! 🙂

      Check the rules for Indian nationals as there are exceptions for some countries, I found a resource with more information:

      Regarding requesting a 3 month extension, you could suggest to the immigration department that you need more time to prepare visa documentation but give the above spouse visa a go first! Again, the visa extension if issued can be made no the spot aswell.

      1. Hi sir or madam , actually we already in german .today we already visit immigration office early morning but they not extand any visa they said for my husband go back country because they have tourist schengen visa .but I do plz help me what I do next

        1. Hi Agnieszka, that sucks! Best advice is to visit another immigration office (preferably one closest to you) and tell them the immigration office you went to wasn’t helping you. Ask for their help!

          They need to explain why your spouse cannot be given a Spouse Visa in writing and in-country. As above, review the resource I provided, it contains alot of information and is worth printing out and taking with you to the immigration office. You should consider contacting an immigration lawyer now; I’ve been in your shoes.

          1. Hi sir or madam , thanku for reply . I have house contract everything and now I m try to find job also . For my husband get this 3 month temporary visa Is possible because I never want to send back my husband.

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