Information for EU and Swiss nationals
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Information for EU and Swiss nationals

Nationals of Member States of the European Union* and their family members enjoy the right to free movement, and are granted the right of entry and residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. These rights are also enjoyed by EEA** nationals.


* Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary , Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

** Norway, Iceland und Liechtenstein

The right to free movement applies especially to

  • workers
  • jobseekers
  • trainees and apprentices
  • students
  • the self-employed
  • persons who are not gainfully employed, provided they have sufficient health insurance coverage and sufficient means of subsistence
  • their family members

Entry and residence

  • For entry and stay in the Federal Republic of Germany a valid identity document (a national passport or an identity card) is required. No visa is required for entry.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss nationals are required to register their residence at a citizens’ office in person, within two weeks after arrival.
  • In accordance with the Freedom of Movement Act/EU (Freizügigkeitsgesetz-EU), EU and EEA nationals enjoy freedom of movement throughout the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Under the amended Freedom of Movement Act/EU, a Freedom of Movement Certificate (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung) is no longer required.
  • Non-EU/EEA family members of EU/EEA nationals require a national passport and, if applicable, a visa to enter into the Federal Republic of Germany. Family members will be issued a residence card. The residence card can only be issued by the Foreigners’ Authority. Applications for a residence card should be submitted in person at the Foreigners’ Authority.
  • Proof of family relationship with an EU/EEA national is required (an original international/multilingual certificate or an original certificate and its translation into German).
  • In exceptional cases, the Residence act may grant a more favourable legal status.

Information for Swiss nationals

The Bilateral Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons concluded by Switzerland and the EU and its Member States on 21 June 1999 establishes special regulations for Swiss nationals. Swiss nationals must apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners’ Authority.

General information

  • register your residence at the Citizens’ Office within two weeks after arrival
  • apply for a residence permit and a work permit at the Foreigners’ Authority
  • residence permit application for family members – family members who need a visa to enter into the Federal Republic of Germany (non-EU nationals) are required to submit an application at the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad

Swiss nationals will be issued a residence permit, optionally an electronic residence permit eAT.

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