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Apply for a visa for a short stay in Germany and the Schengen area


If you are a national of a country listed in Annex I of the Visa Regulation of the European Union (Regulation (EU) 2018/1806), you need a visa for short stays of up to 90 days per period of 180 days in the Schengen area. In the Legal basis section you will find the regulation including Annex I.

If Germany is your only destination or main destination (in the Schengen area), you can apply for a visa at a German mission abroad (embassies and consulates); the same applies if you do not have a main destination but intend to enter the Schengen area via the German external borders.

At which German mission abroad you have to submit the application depends on your place of residence. In many countries, the application can also be submitted to a service provider. In countries where Germany does not have a diplomatic mission, it may be possible to apply for a visa for travel to Germany at another Schengen partner.

The visa generally entitles the holder to stays of up to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days, for example for visits, business and tourist stays.

Agreements of the EU with individual third countries enable their nationals to apply more easily. Information on this can be found on the list of countries with visa facilitation.

If you are a national of a country listed in Annex II of the Visa Regulation of the European Union (Regulation (EU) 2018/1806) and you do not intend to engage in gainful employment, you do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area.

Process flow

As a rule, you must submit the application documents in person:

  • On the website of the German diplomatic mission in your place of residence you will find the application form and detailed information on which documents you need to enclose with the application.
  • Please book an appointment for the application in due time.
  • You can hand in the complete application form and the required supporting documents either directly to the German mission abroad or to an external service provider.
  • When you hand in your first application, your fingerprints will be taken (they have to be stored again every 5 years).
  • The visa will be affixed to your passport in the form of a label.
  • Only if you cannot be granted a visa will you receive a written decision, which will also inform you of the legal remedies available to you against this decision.

Who should I contact?

The contact persons for Schengen visas are the visa offices of the German missions abroad.

Competent authority

The missions of the Federal Republic of Germany (embassies, consulates general) designated by the Federal Foreign Office are responsible for visa matters abroad. You can find all the necessary information about your responsible German representation on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Requirements

  • You need a valid travel document.
  • You must submit a completed and signed application form.
  • You must be able to credibly demonstrate the purpose of your trip and the conditions of your stay.
  • You must be able to credibly demonstrate that you will leave the Schengen area before your visa becomes invalid.
  • You must not be the subject of an alert for refusal of entry in the Schengen Information System (SIS).
  • You must not pose a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more member states of the Schengen area.

Which documents are required?

  • Application for a Schengen visa, category C
  • a valid travel document, for example passport
  • biometric photograph
  • a completed and signed application form
  • proof of adequate and valid travel health insurance
  • proof of the purpose of your trip and the conditions of your stay in Germany
  • Proof that you will be able to pay for your stay and your return journey
  • Details of the documents required for a visa application can be found on the website of the relevant German mission abroad and in the information sheets posted there

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: Yes

Online services available: Yes

Appeal

  • Remonstration (to be filed with the German mission abroad deciding on the Schengen visa application)
  • Lawsuit (to the Administrative Court of Berlin)

What else should I know?

Persons listed in Article 6 of the EU Visa Regulation (for example, holders of diplomatic passports, civilian air or sea crew) are exempt from the visa requirement.

Technically approved by

Foreign Office

Professionally released on

03.02.2022

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)