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WARNING: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, visa applications for your destination country may not have started yet. Please consult the relevant official authorities for up-to-date information.

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Federal Republic of Germany is located on a vast territory extending over the Western and Central Europe. It neighbors the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The southern frontiers of Germany include Switzerland, France and Austria whereas the western parts are close to the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Eastern European countries of Czech Republic and Poland are reached within short distances from Germany. Located at the very heart of Europe, Germany is indeed a great travel destination to explore the wider region with great ease. Moreover, the stunning landscape of the country as well as the buzzing urban areas make it a popular tourist attraction.

If you would like to discover about cheap travel opportunities to Germany, do not hesitate to check out our guide on “Germany Flight Ticket” where a bunch of practical information is compiled.

 

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Germany Visa

Your guide to visa application procedure for travelling to Germany provides practical information on general requirements for citizens from different countries. You can learn about the country specific visa rules which will be very useful throughout the process. Before preparing for your application make sure to buy your Germany flight ticket online as the first step!

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Germany?

Federal Republic of Germany is a member state of the European Union. Therefore, visa regulations of Germany are broadly categorized for EU/Non-EU citizens. While nationals of EU/EEA/EFTA countries are exempt from visa requirements.

Germany Visa Types

Germany Schengen Visa (Category C visa - For Short Stay Visits)

Schengen area refers to the free travel area established by most European Union member states in which freedom of movement in granted. Schengen visa enables visitors to travel in the Schengen area for stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

Therefore, passengers who wish to travel to Germany either for business-related or touristic visits are obliged to obtain Schengen visa for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. It is also required in the case of airport transits. Schengen visa enables free movement of people within the official boundaries of the member states which are included in the Schengen zone.

  • Airport Transit Visa: under Schengen visa category, airport transit visas are required when nationals of some countries are landing at one of the German airports for transit purposes.
  • Business Visa: is applicable to those who would like to apply for the Schengen visa with the purpose of doing business in the Schengen area. It is usually valid for stays up to 90 days.
  • Tourist Visa: is granted to third country citizens who seek to visit the Schengen states for entertainment and for stays not exceeding 90 days.
  • Visitor Visa: is required for the third country citizens who would like to travel to the Schengen area in order to visit family members, relatives or friends. In this case, a letter of invitation by the person you’ll be visiting is mandatory. Visitor visa is valid for 90 days within 6 months.
  • Cultural Visa: is obtained for short term cultural visits allowing the holder to attend culture, sports and religion events. The terms of stay are restricted to 90 days within 6 months period.
  • Schengen Medical Treatment Visa: enables the holder to receive medical treatment for healthcare reasons in one of the Schengen states and for stays up to 90 days.

Germany National Visa (Category D visa - For Long Stay Visits)

  • Student Visa: are granted to third country citizens who seek to stay in Germany for study purposes. Admission to a study program is among the prerequisites for applying a student visa. Holders of this type of visa are entitled to apply for residence permits for stays exceeding 90 days.
  • Internship Visa: are requested for third country citizens who would like to do an internship in Germany. Therefore, an approval letter from your prospective employer and permission to work in Germany are among the documents to attach to your application file.
  • Employment Visa: are granted to non-EU citizens who fulfill the specific conditions to be eligible for working in Germany. An employment contract or binding offer and approval from the Federal Employment Agency are essential for the processing your application.
  • Job Seeker Visa: entails a long term residence permit which allows the holder to stay in Germany and look for a job within the period of 6 months. The eligibility conditions include demonstration of qualifications, a cover letter explaining your career plans and proof of financial as well as personal status. However, having a job seeker visa does not grant long term work permit in Germany.
  • Researcher Visa: refers to guest scientist or visiting scholar visas granted to non-EU citizens who wish to engage in research activities in an established research institution for a designated time.
  • Freelancer Visa: is granted to third country nationals who seek to go to Germany and work as a freelancer. It is granted for three months whereby the visa holder may convert it into a residence permit. Portfolio including previous works, professional authorization, evidence of a freelance plan and letters of commitments from future customers are among the required documents to get a freelancer visa. Moreover, the freelance activities shall be registered to the tax office.
  • Language Course Visa: is an educational visa given to non-EU citizens who intend to enroll in a language course for a period of 3-12 months. Confirmed registration to the course along with other documents is required to obtain the visa.
  • Germany Family Reunion Visa: is the type of visa for German residents’ family members who would like to visit Germany.
  • Germany Partnership Visa: spouse of a German citizen holding his/her own country’s passport which does not have any bilateral visa free agreements with Germany are entitled to apply for an entry visa.
  • Germany Work Permit Visa: shall be obtained by people who are eligible to work in Germany.
  • Germany Relative Visa: relatives of a German citizen are required to apply for an entry visa if they do not obtain EU/Schengen passport, residence permit or the passport of a country which has visa bilateral free agreements with Germany.

General Requirements to Apply for German Visa

An overview of German touristic visa requirements and application procedures are explained for specific categories below. In general, applicants must submit their applications comprising of the requested documents to the German Diplomatic Mission or authorized visa application centers. Please bear in mind that the necessary documents may differ depending on the term of your stay, hence the category of your visa. Short-term stays are included in the category C of Schengen visa rules.

Germany Visa Applications

  1. A passport with at minimum two blank pages and is valid for at least 90 days. Copy of the first page including personal data and previous Schengen visas if obtained.
  2. Completed and signed visa application form along with two recent biometric photos.
  3. Proof of travel with confirmed both-way tickets.
  4. Bank account details proving that the passenger can sufficiently fund his/her travel.
  5. Evidence of occupation in the form of certified documents through employer letter, student certificate, document of registration or demonstration of pension funds.
  6. Accommodation details through an invitation letter or proof of your hotel reservation throughout your stay.
  7. Documentation of travel health insurance that will cover up to 30.000 euros throughout the period of travel and is valid within the entire Schengen area.
  8. Students or unemployed/retired people who are not in a position to cover their travel expenses will need to demonstrate support from a sponsor who will borne the full costs. The sponsor is entitled to certain requirements. Hence, only first grade relatives can fulfill this position. You can find further details online.

Moreover, there are specific documents to attach to your application dossier depending on your status of employment.

Employed:

  • Employment contract
  • Bank account statement of the past 6 months
  • Approval letter of leave from employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

Self-employed:

  • Proof of business license
  • Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

 

Student:

  • Documentation of University enrollment
  • No-objection certificate from school management

 

Retired:

  • Pension statement documenting the past 6 months

What is visa sponsorship for Germany?

If applicable a sponsor is required to demonstrate the main motive of your visit to Germany and support your application procedure.

Germany Visa Rules

  • As a rule, applicants shall personally submit their visa applications in due time, with all the necessary documents, at the German Diplomatic Mission authorized in their place of residence.
  • Your passport must have at least two blank pages left, and it shouldn’t be older than 10 years.
  • It is generally required to have a passport valid for a minimum of 3 months after the expected date of departure from the Schengen area.
  • Travelers, irrespective of their visa status, may be asked to pass through additional controls upon arrival due to reintroduced internal border checks for security reasons.

Germany Visa Requirements

 

German Visa Requirements for Non-Europeans

  • The general requirements for non-Europeans wishing to enter the EU conform to above mentioned procedure. You can find further details online.
  • German Visa Requirements for European countries
  • Citizens of European countries can benefit from visa-free travel opportunities within the borders of the EU.

German Visa requirement for US, UK, and Canadian citizens

  • US citizens holding US passports valid for at least 3 months from intended return date from Germany are not obliged to obtain a visa for touristic or business purposes as well as airport transits for stays up to 90 days.
  • UK is not included in the Schengen area. Moreover, the UK citizens won’t have the right to freedom of movement in the European Union when the UK officially leaves the EU on 31 January 2020. The details will be formalized following a possible post-Brexit transition period.
  • Canadian citizens are not obliged to get a visa to travel to Schengen countries for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.

German Visa Requirements for Russians

The additional requirements besides the general rules are:

  • Evidence of motives to return back to Russia demonstrated in the form of property registrations, marriage certificates etc. You can find further details online.

Germany Visa Fees

You can find below fees for different types of German visas determined as of February 2020.  However, please keep in mind that under specific conditions some applicants may be exempt from visa fees or benefit from reduced prices.

Short-Stay Visa (Adults) 80€
National Visa 75€
Airport Transit Visa 80€
Children Between 6-12 Years of Age 40€
Children Younger Than 6 Years of Age Free of Charge
Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan And Russia 35€

NOTE: This article was prepared in March 2020. Please check up-to-date information published by official sources.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a multiple entry tourist visa for Germany?

May my German visa get rejected?

How can I check my German visa status online?

How long does it take to get a German visa?

Does my previous nationality matter for getting a German visa?

How much does the German visa cost?

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