Requirements for the issue of german visas for longer stays and/or stays which entitle the holder to take up gainful employment
(Taken from auswaertiges amt page)
As a rule, all foreigners require visas for stays of more than three months or stays leading to the holder taking up gainful employment.
Not subject to this requirement are citizens of the EU, the EEC countries and of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the United States of America, who may obtain any residence permit that may be required after entering Germany. Citizens of all other countries who intend to come to Germany for such a stay must apply for visas at the competent mission before arriving in the country. Visa applications must be approved by the relevant aliens authority in Germany, i.e. the aliens authority in the place where the applicant intends to take up residence. Visa application forms for a long-term stay (longer than three months) can be obtained from the relevant mission free of charge. They can also be downloaded from our website and are available in the following language versions: German, English, French and Italian. You must fill in at least two original application forms and then submit these to the competent mission; in any case, the mission will only accept a specific language version. Please contact the mission beforehand to find out exactly which forms are required.
The approval procedure usually takes up to three months, in some cases longer, since the aliens authority will normally consult with other authorities (e.g. the Federal Employment Agency). In cases where visa applications must be approved by the relevant aliens authority, missions may only issue visas once they have obtained this approval.
The aliens authorities are also the competent authorities with regard to measures and decisions pertaining to residence law for foreigners who already reside in Germany. Aliens authorities are not subordinate agencies of the Federal Foreign Office, and the Federal Foreign Office cannot influence their decisions. They are in fact accountable to and operate under the supervision of the respective interior ministries and senators of the Federal States.
Visa requirements and application form
As a rule, you must submit your visa application, together with all necessary documents, in person at the German mission responsible for your place of residence. In order to avoid time-consuming requests for additional information or documentation, you should contact the respective mission well in advance of your travel dates to inquire about any special local requirements pertaining to visa formalities