Re-entry into Germany: Obtaining a Return Visa

Re-entry into Germany: Obtaining a Return Visa

Germany is a beautiful country known for its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and top-notch education system. Many people come to Germany for work, education, medical treatment, or to reunite with family members. After being in Germany for a while, one may need to leave the country for reasons such as urgent business meetings, family emergencies, or personal reasons. In such cases, a return visa is required to re-enter Germany. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at obtaining a return visa for re-entry into Germany.

What is a Return Visa?

A return visa is a type of visa that allows an individual who has already been in Germany to re-enter the country after leaving. It is valid for a limited period, depending on the reasons for leaving Germany. A return visa can be issued for multiple entries, meaning you can leave and return to Germany as many times as you require within the stipulated period. It is important to note that a return visa cannot be issued to an individual who has overstayed their visa in Germany.

Reasons for Obtaining a Return Visa

As previously mentioned, obtaining a return visa is necessary when someone has already been in Germany and needs to leave before their visa expires. The common scenarios where a return visa may be required by foreign nationals residing in Germany include:

– International students traveling back home for holidays or family emergencies
– Individuals who need to attend business meetings or conferences outside of Germany
– Medical patients who need to travel to their home countries for treatment and come back to Germany for follow-up visits
– People who need to attend to family emergencies in their home countries
– Tourists who want to visit other countries during their stay in Germany before returning

How to Apply for a Return Visa

The process of applying for a return visa in Germany is quite similar to the initial visa application process. However, there are a few differences to note.

Step 1: Gather Required Documents

To begin the return visa application process, you will need to collect all of the necessary documents. The following documents are generally required:

– A valid passport that has enough blank pages for stamps and visas
– A completed visa application form
– Your current German residence permit (valid for a minimum of six months)
– A covering letter explaining the reason for requesting a return visa
– Proof of your previous stay in Germany (such as a copy of your expired visa or an Aufenthaltstitel)
– Appropriate payment for the visa application fee (the fee varies based on your citizenship, visa type, and duration of stay)
– Additional documents that may be required based on the reason for leaving Germany

Step 2: Submit the Documents

After gathering all the necessary documents, you need to submit them to your local German consulate or embassy in your home country. You can also find out if you can apply for the visa online.

Step 3: Wait for Processing

The processing time for a return visa application can vary depending on the consulate or embassy. Generally, it can take anywhere from one to four weeks. It is advisable to apply for the visa well in advance of your intended travel date to ensure that you receive it on time.

Step 4: Collect Your Visa

If your application is approved, you will receive your return visa via mail or pick it up in person at the consulate or embassy. Upon receiving your return visa, double-check that the information is correct and that the visa meets your needs before traveling.

FAQs About Obtaining a Return Visa

1. Do I need a return visa if I have a residence permit in Germany?

No, if you have a valid residence permit in Germany, you can travel outside of Germany and return without the need for a return visa.

2. How long is a return visa valid?

The validity of a return visa depends on the reason for leaving Germany. Generally, it is valid for up to six months.

3. Can I apply for a return visa in person at a German consulate or embassy in Germany?

No, you must apply for a return visa at a German consulate or embassy in your home country. However, you can check the availability of an online application process.

4. Is it possible to extend a return visa?

No, it is not possible to extend a return visa. If you need to stay in Germany longer than the validity of your return visa, you will need to apply for a new visa.


Obtaining a return visa is necessary if you are a foreign national in Germany and need to leave the country temporarily. The process involves gathering the necessary documents, submitting them to the consulate or embassy in your home country, waiting for processing, and collecting the visa when it is approved. Remember to apply for the visa well in advance of your travel date to ensure you receive it on time. For any further information or assistance, it is recommended to get in touch with a legal counselor or immigration attorney.

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