Germany Visa Requirements
EU nationals - EU nationals do not require a visa to
enter the Federal Reca-public of Germany.
Non-EU nationals - Generally speaking, all other foreigners require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to 90 days for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.
Time required to process a visa application
As a rule, missions require between two and ten
working days to decide on an application for a short stay visa.
Applications for visas entitling the holder to a longer stay or to take
up gainful employment may take several months to process.
During the peak travel season there may be a waiting period for making an application to a German mission. Persons requiring a visa to enter Germanyshould therefore submit their applications in good time.
As a rule, applicants must submit visa applications, together with all necessary documents, in person at the German mission responsible for their place of residence. In order to avoid time-consuming requests for additional information or documentation, applicants should consult the website of the respective mission well in advance of their departure date to find out about the visa procedure and about the documentation which has to be submitted.
Visa application forms can be obtained from the
mission free of charge (in the local language). Applicants may also
download the forms here (see right). The forms submitted must be
original versions in the appropriate language of the mission in
question. Application forms may also be downloaded free of charge from
the website of the competent mission.
Requirements for the issue of short stay (Schengen) visas
Since 5 April 2010, Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) forms the statutory basis under European law in all Schengen states for the issuing of visas for transit through the Schengen area or for short-term stays in the Schengen area not exceeding 90 days in any six-month period.
The Visa Code standardizes the visa requirements which must be
examined by the mission in the course of the visa procedure. The
respective mission makes a decision on the visa application at its own
discretion, taking into account all the circumstances in any given
There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen visa.
The mission must ensure that the following requirements have been met in each individual case:
- The purpose of the trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible.
- The applicant must be in a position to finance his/her living and travel costs from his/her own funds or income.
- The visa holder must be prepared to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
- Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euro valid for the entire Schengen area.
- Should an applicant be unable to prove that he/she can finance the journey and stay from his/her own funds, a third person may undertake to cover all costs associated with the trip in accordance with sections 66 and 68 of the Residence Act. This undertaking is normally to be made to the foreigners authority in the place of residence of the person making the undertaking.
Persons whose entry into the Schengen area would jeopardize security
or ca-public order in the Schengen states or who do not fulfil one or
more of the above-mentioned requirements, cannot be granted a visa.
Should a visa application be rejected, the applicant will be informed of the main reasons for the rejection. Every applicant is entitled to take legal recourse against the mission’s decision.
Requirements for the issue of visas for longer stays and/or stays entitling the holder to take up gainful employment
As a rule, all foreigners require visas for stays of more than three months or stays leading to gainful employment. Exemptions apply to EU and EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and Swiss nationals.
Furthermore, citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Reca-public of Korea and the United States of America may obtain any residence permit that may be required after entering Germany. Citizens of all other countries planning a longer stay in Germany must apply for visas at the competent mission before arriving in the country. Such visa applications must be approved by the relevant foreigners authority in Germany, i.e. the foreigners authority in the place where the applicant intends to take up residence. If the approval of the foreigners authority is necessary before a visa can be issued, the procedure can take up to three months, in some cases longer, since the foreigners authority will often consult other authorities (e.g. the Federal Employment Agency). Missions may only issue visas once they have obtained the approval of the foreigners authority.
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 here (German, English, French, Italian). The
forms submitted must be original versions (at least two sets) in the
appropriate language of the mission in question. Please contact the
mission beforehand to find out exactly which forms are required.
The foreigners authorities are also responsible for measures and decisions pertaining to residence law for foreigners already residing in Germany. Foreigners 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 Länder (federal states).
As a result of Regulation 265/2010 it is now possible for anyone in possession of a national visa (D visa) and a valid travel document to move freely in the Schengen area up to three months in any six-month period.
Disclaimer: The contents on this webpage is provided as an information guide only. The use of this website is at the viewer/user’s sole risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners to this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.
Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:
– Federal Foreign Office, Berlin – URL: www.auswaertiges-amt.de
All the above information is a guideline only. You should always contact the German Embassy in your country of residence for the most up-to-date information before you plan to travel to Germany.