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

If you are a citizen 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 in any 180-day period in the Schengen area. In the Legal bases 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 the visa at a diplomatic mission of the Federal Republic of Germany (embassies and consulates); the same applies if there is no main destination, but they intend to enter the Schengen area via Germany's external borders.

The German diplomatic mission to which 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 to travel to Germany from another Schengen partner.

In principle, the visa 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 between the EU and individual third countries make it easier for their nationals to submit applications. Information on this can be found on the list of countries with visa facilitation.

If you are a citizen of a country listed in Annex II of the Visa Regulation of the European Union (Regulation (EU) 2018/1806) and you do not wish to pursue 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 mission abroad at your place of residence you will find the application form and detailed information on which documents you need to attach to the application.
  • Please book an appointment for the application in good time.
  • You can submit the complete application form and the required supporting documents either directly to the diplomatic mission or to an external service provider.
  • When you submit your first application, your fingerprints will be taken (these must be re-stored every 5 years).
  • The visa will be pasted into your passport in the form of a label.
  • Only if you cannot be granted a visa will you receive a written notice informing 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 diplomatic missions of the Federal Republic of Germany (embassies, consulates general) designated by the Federal Foreign Office are responsible for visa matters abroad. On the website of the Federal Foreign Office you will find all the necessary information about your local German representation.


  • You will need a valid travel document.
  • You will need to 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 are leaving the Schengen area before your visa becomes invalid.
  • You must not have an alert for refusal of entry in the Schengen Information System (SIS).
  • They shall not constitute a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more Member States of the Schengen area.

Regulation (EC) No 810/2009

Which documents are required?

  • Application for a Schengen visa, category C
  • a valid travel document, e.g. passport
  • biometric photograph
  • a completed and signed application form
  • Proof of adequate and valid travel health insurance
  • Proof of the purpose of the trip and the conditions of your stay in Germany
  • Proof that you can pay for your stay and return journey
  • Details on the documents required for a visa application can be found on the website of the responsible 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


  • Remonstration (to be submitted to the German diplomatic mission abroad, which decides 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 (e.g. holders of diplomatic passports, civilian flight or ship personnel) are exempt from the visa requirement.

Technically approved by

Foreign Office

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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