If you would like to visit Germany for less than three months whether you intend to visit friends or family members or just for sightseeing, you may be required to get a Schengen visa.

Schengen Visa

A Schengen Tourist/Visitor visa to go to Germany is a visa that’s been established by Schengen member countries. It offers the chance of the holder to visit any of the 26 Schengen member countries as well as Germany. The Schengen Visa does have limitations, as you can only visit the Schengen area. You aren’t permitted to study or work in Germany with a Schengen visa.

Who Doesn’t Need a Visa to Visit Germany?

People from some countries don’t need a Schengen Visa to visit Germany and these include:

● Citizens of the Schengen Area & country that has established a visa-free arrangement with Schengen states.

Citizens of other Countries that do not have a Visa-free Arrangement with the Schengen States but are in the Schengen Zone with a

● Schengen Visa that’s valid for the Schengen territory

● National visa that’s been issued by a Schengen member state

● Permanent residence entitlement in one of the Schengen member states

From January 1st 2021 all travellers in the category above will be required to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before they travel to any of the Schengen member states and that includes Germany.

Visitors that Require a Schengen Visa to Enter Germany

Travellers will be required to get a Schengen visa before entering Germany if they are a citizen of a country that doesn’t have visa-free access to Schengen member countries, or their country has a visa-free arrangement with Germany, but they were refused entry at the border.

How to Get a German Schengen Tourist Visa

There are certain steps that need to be followed. The first is finding out where your nearest German embassy or consulate is in your country. You will then have to arrange an interview, which you can do online. The next thing you need to do is pay the visa fee. When you arrive for the interview you can expect it to take around twenty minutes. The official will want to see all the required documents to back up your visa application.

The Documents are as Follows:

● An application form filled out in either German or English which you need to sign and declare the information provided is accurate.

● 2 identical passport photographs which match the requirements as determined by the Schengen states,

● Valid passport no older than ten years with at least a blank page available for the visa sticker

● Last 3 months of personal bank statements

● Schengen Travel Insurance including health insurance with coverage for a minimum of 30000 euros of emergency medical treatment

● Proof of where you intend to stay which could be hotel bookings that cover your whole period in the Schengen states. Alternatively, you may have a letter from a member of your family ore a friend who you will be staying within one of the Schengen member states.

● Evidence of your flight booking

● A letter of from someone who is sponsoring your stay which is called a Declaration of Commitment (“Verpflichtungserklärungen.”)

● Leave letter from your company (if you’re employed)

● A no-objection certificate which if you are a student is issued by your university or school you usually attend

● A personal cover letter explaining why you would like to pay a visit to Germany, how long you intend to stay and the reasons for your visit.

● A letter of invitation written by the individual you are visiting while in Germany who should include the name and address of the host

● Evidence of civil status such as a marriage certificate, children’s birth certificate, spouse’s death certificate

● Your driving license and/or a utility bill written in your name. This provides proof of your residency for the consular where you intend to file your visa application.

For Minors Travelling to Germany Unaccompanied should have in their Possession:

● A form (consent letter) signed by the two parents

● A copy of the data page of the parent(s)’ passports.

When is it Necessary to Apply for a Visa to Germany?

The earliest date is 3 months before your intended travel date while the latest is 2 weeks before your travel date. Never leave it too late to file your application, just in case, there is a processing delay.

Visa Fees

It costs €60 for a visa, but it’s refunded if your application is rejected.

Processing Time for a Schengen Visa

It takes around 10 days to process a short stay visa. There are busy times which could cause a delay as business visas have priority over visitor visas. You should allow plenty of time so that you have your visa sticker in your passport well before your travel date.

Validity of a Schengen Visa

A tourist Schengen visa has three months validity, but your home country’s German embassy makes the final decision. Your visa period starts on the date you enter the Schengen area and finishes on the day stated on your visa. If you overstay the last date of your visa you could face deportation which could influence any visa applications you may make to enter Germany in the future.