Depending on the purpose of your travel to Germany, you can apply for different types of visas. You are planning to visit Germany to study or work or even to settle there. However, you have to apply for a visa according to your requirements.
Tourist and Visitor: This visa is ideal if you are going to enter Germany to visit friends or relatives. Also if you have the plan to sightsee and experience the country and its culture this visa can be used.
How to get a tourist visa for Germany?
You have to show some unified documents to get a German Visa. Documents requirements differ from one Schengen country to another. It is recommendable to fulfill each request asked by the embassy. The German embassy keeps updating the checklist of the Germany Visa requirements. You can check it on the official website of the German embassy.
List of documents that are mandatory for any Germany visa application:
- Application Form –The application form must be filled with correct and honest answers. The information filled in should match the information in the other required documents. You can download the Germany Visa Application form by clicking on the Application Form.
- Passport – The passport validity should be three months beyond your planned stay in the Schengen.
- Photo – The photo you provide should be recent. Clicked within the last three months. The photo should follow the other photo standards set by the German embassy.
- Health Insurance – You must have your health insurance documents. The insurance should cover travel health insurance which includes illnesses and accidents. The insurance should even have repatriation in case of death. It should cover the whole Schengen area with a minimum coverage of € 30.000.
- Travel Itinerary – The travel itinerary includes proof of your round-trip flight tickets. The other documents show the intended transport. You must have proof of what you have to plan to do in Germany within the period that you wish to remain.
Visa Application Process
Applying for the Schengen visa may be hectic. You can take help from the designated Embassy in your home country.
- You can ask for a checklist from the embassy of the required documents for the type of visa you wish to apply for.
- Fill the application form with the correct information.
- You should schedule an interview at the German embassy in your country of residence. You can schedule the appointment three months before your trip.
- Save the receipt after paying the visa fee. You may have to show it at the time of the appointment.
What Documents are Required when Applying for a German Visa?
The following list of documents are required for any short-term German Schengen visa application:
- A visa application form. Complete the form with correct information in compliance with the information in the rest of the documents. Here you can learn easily how to fulfill the German visa form without any mistakes!
- Declaration. Which is a form issued by the German authorities in your country of residence that you need to sign. Through this paper, you confirm that you have provided all the required information to the best of your knowledge and belief.
- Two passport photos. These photos must be identical and taken within the last three months.
- Your passport/Travel document:
- Valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned date of departure from Germany.
- No older than 10 years.
- And it should contain at least two blank pages.
- Copies of your previous visas (if you have any).
- Round-trip Flight Itinerary. A copy of the round trip airline reservation with passenger details and dates that prove the stay in Schengen does not exceed 90 days.
- Proof of accommodation. A document through which you prove to the German embassy/consulate where you will be staying during your trip to Germany, i.e. A hotel booking. Find and Book Hotels in Germany!
- Germany Travel Health Insurance. Before your application, you should obtain travel health insurance for the whole territory of Germany and all the other Schengen states. Your insurance must cover medical emergencies with a minimum of 30,000€.
- Proof financial funds for your trip to Germany. According to the European Commission information, a foreign applicant applying for a German visa must be able to attest possessing 45€/day to the German Embassy or Consulate for the period of stay in German territory.
- A cover letter. Explain in this letter the reason why you are applying to visit Germany, how long you wish to stay, and other details regarding your trip.
- Proof of civil status. This could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
Additional Germany Visa Requirements for Minors
The additional Germany visa requirements for children applying to get a short-stay visa are as follows:
- Birth certificate of the minor traveling to Germany.
- Germany’s application form was signed by both parents.
- Family court order. In cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of the ID/passport of both parents.
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Germany, signed by both parents/guardians if the minor will be traveling alone.
How to Apply for a German Short-Stay Visa?
To complete the application process to obtain a short-stay visa to Germany, you must follow these steps:
- Find out what kind of Germany visa you need.
- Check where you need to apply.
- Fulfill the German short-stay visa application form.
- Collect the statutory Germany visa requirements. Do not forget to:
- Schedule a visa interview.
- Attend the interview at the appropriate German Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
- Wait for a response to your application.
Where to Apply for a German Short-Stay Visa?
Submit your German visa application to visit Germany at the competent German representative body in your country of residence. This representative body could be as follows:
- The German Embassy
- A German Consulate
- A Visa Application Center to which Germany has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Germany has outsourced visa submission
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the German Embassy / Consulate / VAC?
If you are planning to visit only the Federal Republic of Germany, and no other Schengen country during this trip, submit your Schengen visa application at the German Embassy / Consulate / VAC.
On the other hand, the Schengen states have created rules on where to apply, in case you are planning to visit more than one country. If Germany is not your only destination in the Schengen territory, submit your application at the German Embassy / Consulate / VAC only if:
- You will be spending more days in Germany, than in the other countries.
- You will be spending an equal amount of days in each country, but you will enter the Schengen Zone through Germany.
Please note that you cannot apply for a short-stay German visa from a country in which you are currently on a visa. You need to be a citizen of that country or on a residence permit there, to be eligible to file your Germany Visa application.
How Long Does It Take to Get a German Visa?
The processing time for your Germany short-stay visa may take up to 15 days. If you file your visa application during peak seasons when the German embassies receive too many applications you may have to wait up to 30 days for the processing of your visa, or even up to 60 days in extraordinary cases.
That is why you should submit your application for a German visa as soon as possible to avoid any delay in the issuance of your German short-stay visa. The earliest you can apply is three months before your trip, and the latest is 15 days.
How Long Can We Stay in Germany Without a Visa?
All nationals of the EU / EEA member countries can enter and remain in Germany up to 90 days, within a 180-day period. If they wish to stay longer, they have to register at the relevant German authorities.
Passport holders of Germany visa-exempt countries are allowed to remain in Germany and the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days, within a six-month period. If they wish to stay longer, again depending on their nationality, they will need to take some further steps, as follows:
- Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of South Korea, and the United States of America need to obtain a residence permit at the relevant German authorities, within three months of arrival in Germany.
- Nationals of the rest of the German visa-exempt countries will have to apply for a Germany National visa for long stays from their country of residence.
Whereas, the nationals of countries that still have not signed a visa-free agreement with Germany and the other Schengen members, must obtain a visa before heading to Germany, or any other Schengen member country.