Document preparation for official authorities in Germany
Do it correctly!
There are certain rules when it comes to document preparation to apply for visas, permits etc. at official authorities. Some of them are unspoken rules that seem quite obvious. However in practice it turns out that in the haste of getting the application documents ready many people neglect some of the rules. This leads to longer processing times, the authorities having to request additional documents or explanations and even to rejection of the application whatsoever.
In this article, we will go over some of those obvious rules that one should always keep in mind when preparing official documents such as visa documents etc. If you want to brush up your knowledge of how to prepare documents, our article and video are at your disposal.
Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, assists foreigners in establishing a successful business in Germany or getting settled in Germany through obtaining a residence permit. We are happy to assist you with business immigration to Germany, obtaining a Blue Card or establishing an own business in Germany. We manage complex projects from start to finish to make doing business in Germany as comformable as possible for you. Our experts always pay close attention to all the nuances of correct document preparation to avoid unnecessary complications. Contact us for an individual solution.
How to prepare documents for authorities
Let’s talk about the rules that one needs to follow during document preparation and submission.
1. Quality of photos or scans
When you apply remotely, you are required to send scans or photos of the needed documents for visa, permits etc. First of all, remember that those need to be of high quality. The documents should be absolutely readable and not have any creases or wrinkles. Secondly, there should be no foreign objects in the picture, such as your fingers or even shadows. Nowadays, you can make high-quality scans even with your smartphone.
Watch this video to learn how to prepare documents for the German authorities correctly:
2. Photos of your face for documents for visa etc.
If you’re required to provide a photo along with the application, usually it is requested that it is recent and not used for other applications before. The photo needs to meet the requirements of the authority it will be provided to. Please check on the website of the respective authority what exact size, background etc. the photo needs to have. Checking the exact requirements on the website always helps to answer the question how to prepare documents.
Some of the documents issued in other countries need to be apostilled before they can be used in Germany. Please make sure during document preparation that the apostille is bound together with the original document, so it is absolutely clear that it belongs to it.
4. Translation of the documents
For some authorities or, for example, notaries all documents that are not in German need to be translated in German. When it comes to visa documents, translations made by the applicant are often accepted. However in some cases, the translation has to be done by a German sworn translator, certified with their signature and bound with the original. You should check if that’s required in your case.
5. File names of visa documents etc.
When applying remotely, you’ll send several files per email or special forms on the website. It is important that at the stage of document preparation all the files are properly named. They need to include the applicant’s name as well as the name of each corresponding document, so it is clear what each document is. If you provide a numbered list along with the application, please make sure that each file name has a respective number in it.
6. Full list of documents
It might seem obvious, but it is important that the full list of documents is provided. That is true for visa documents as well as other official documents you might be preparing. Please check with the authority what documents you need to provide and prepare everything according to the list. Once you think all is ready, check if you have everything that’s on the list before submitting the documents.
When you hire Nexus-Europe GmbH to assist you with, for example, application for a residence permit, we monitor the process of document preparation in order not to miss anything.
7. Full and true information
When preparing, for example, documents for visa etc. and filling out application forms, you need to write full information that is requested and it has to be true. All details are checked and providing false information might have bad consequences. For example, you might be refused a visa in the future.
One more obvious thing that’s often forgotten. Your signature in the application forms and other documents has to match the one in your passport. It’s that simple.
9. Valid passport
Usually, when you apply, for example, for a visa your passport has to be valid for at least 3 or 6 more months. Otherwise your application might be declined. Please check with the respective authority how long your passport has to be valid from the moment of application and keep that in mind during document preparation.
10. Preparing documents in advance
Make sure to prepare all the documents in advance, so it doesn’t turn out at the very last moment that something is missing. Incomplete documents (visa documents etc.) are often the reason for rejection.
11. Submitting in due time
If you have a specific date set for submitting the documents for visa, residence permit etc., make sure not to miss it. Submitting the documents after the set deadline could result in rejection without the documents even being considered.
12. Providing valid contacts
You need to provide valid contact details such as email and phone or cell phone numbers for the case if the authority needs to contact you. That is indeed an important part of document preparation. Checking the email and answering the calls is also very important. You need to be reachable at the contacts you provided. If there is a problem with your visa documents (or any other documents) or the authority needs some additional information, they would get in touch with you. If you don’t answer calls and emails and react to the authority’s requests, your application might get stuck forever.
When you hire Nexus-Europe GmbH to assist you with, for example, application for a residence permit or opening an own business in Germany, we make sure that the process goes smoothly and effectively, be it document preparation or other steps of the procedure. We guide you through the whole process, checking that all the nuances of how to prepare documents, certify and submit them as well as many other aspects are taken care of. Please get in touch with us if you need professional advice and effective results.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.