Germany Visa - Regulations and requirements

Information guide about German visas, their types, requirements and details

//Germany Visa
Germany Visa 2018-11-29T15:59:12+00:00

Located in the heart of Europe, Germany compelled by 16 states stands as one of the top destinations for many world travelers. There are many places to visit and the old-fashioned architecture revealing a rich history of the country makes the Germany a top destination for travel.

Regardless of that, people from all over the world consider Germany to be a perfect place for studies, for work, for job seeking and living.

There are also those who go to Germany to visit or join their family members, participate in professional events there, run scientific projects there, or seek for medical help. Some others might just need to pass Germany as a transitory place towards another final destination, while some others might want to start a business in Germany. Most of them need to hold a visa or other residence document to enter and stay there.

A German visa is the authorizing document needed for a great number of foreign nationalities wishing to travel and stay in Germany.

Do I Need a Visa for Germany?

Citizens of certain countries do not require having a visa for traveling to Germany and staying there, while there are many remaining nationalities who still are required to get e visa prior of traveling to Germany.

How to Apply for a German Visa?

Once you have determined that you need a visa for Germany, it is time to begin the application process. Germany has strict procedures you must follow in order to obtain a visa. Besides collecting the required documents there are some steps that should be followed in order for your application to turn out successful. You should keep in mind that if you do not comply to the German authorities’ requirements your application will be denied. The application is handled by the Consulate or Embassy of Germany in the country that you are resident in.

Here are steps that you should take to apply for a Germany visa:

  1. Choose the visa type based on the purpose of your travel and fill in the application form – The application form you need can be found online and you can apply by filling the required information.
  2. Collect the required documents for visa application – All documents need to be submitted in two copies.
  3. Schedule an appointment with the German Embassy or Consulate or a visa application center in your country of residence
  4. Attend the interview – Make sure you arrive on time because this may cost you your visa
  5. Submit your visa application – The submission process takes usually around 10 minutes to complete
  6. Pay the Visa Fee – You will be issued a receipt after paying the fee as a confirmation
  7. Submit fingerprints – Fingerprints are biometric data that are collected from the Embassy and is the final step of your visa application.

After completing all these steps you can wait for the confirmation of your application. The application processing usually takes about 2 weeks if you applied for a Schengen visa and a few months for long stay visas.

Germany Visa Requirements

Depending on your purpose of application and nationality, and also the purpose of visit, the embassy or consulate will ask you to submit some certain documents, which will help the consular officer decide whether you should be issued a visa or not.

In general, the commonly required documents for a German visa application are as follows:

  • A completed application form
  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 more months
  • 2 photographs that comply to the photograph requirements
  • Proof of financial subsistence
  • Travel itinerary of the purpose of a visit to Germany
  • Proof of accomodation
  • No objection letter from the employer or the educational institute if travelling for these purposes
  • Travel health insurance confirmation of minimum 30,000 € coverage within Germany and the entire Schengen area.
  • Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable, etc.)
  • Proof of paid visa fee – 60 Euro
  • Proof of previous visas – if applicable.

These are the standard required documents for any type of visa application. Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you will have to submit some extra supporting documents, in addition to those mentioned above to prove the purpose behind your travel.

Types of German visa

There are two main categories of Germany visas:

German short-stay visas

The short stay visas are also known as Germany Schengen visas and are under the C-category of visas. They are issued for stays that do not exceed 90 days. The following visas are the subtypes of Germany Schengen visa based on the purpose of travel to Germany:

Purpose of Visa

The Airport Transit Visa is issued to those who have to land at a German airport to change their flight on their way to another country.

Purpose of Visa

The Business Visa is issued to foreigners who want to travel to Germany and the Schengen area to attend business meetings or exhibit in a trade fair exhibition.

Purpose of Visa

The Visitor Visa is issued for tourism purposes or to visit family members or friends in Germany.

Purpose of Visa

The visa for cultural purposes is for persons who travel for  cultural, sport, religious events or as staff members in a film making inside the territory of Germany.

German long-stay visas

The long stay visas, contrary to short stay visas are issued for stays that exceed 90 days and under completely different purpose of travel than the purpose of short stay visas. They are also called National visas or D-visas and are the following:

Purpose of Visa

The Student Visa is issued to prospective students in Germany or those that have already been admitted in a German university.

Purpose of Visa

The Researcher visa is issued to international scholars and researchers who will participate in a scientific event in Germany.

Purpose of Visa

The Employment Visa is issued to persons that have a job offer in Germany and can be used to work on a paid job.

Purpose of Visa

The Job Seeker Visa is issued to those seeking attractive job opportunities in Germany but do not have a job offer yet.

Purpose of Visa

The Freelancer Visa is issued to foreign freelancers of different fields to enter Germany and work there as a Freelancer.

Purpose of Visa

The Student Internship Visa has been established for students who want to participate in a training program or internship in Germany that lasts longer than 90 days.

Purpose of Visa

The Family Reunion Visa has been established under the purpose of bringing specifically spouses and children of those who have already settled in Germany

Purpose of Visa

Prospective students in Germany may need to attend a langue course before being fully admitted in a university. For this purpose the must obtain a Language Course Visa

Purpose of Visa

Every international with health issues is able to seek medical treatment in Germany can obtain a Medical Treatment Visa

Germany Residence Permits

A residence permit allows holders to stay in Germany for a longer period than the one stated in the visa. It can be issued for various purposes such as studying, working and partake in other activities.

The application for a residence permit is done at the Foreigners Authority within Germany. There are three categories of German residence permits:

  • Temporary residence permit
  • EU Blue Card
  • Permanent residence permit

Find below the types of residence permits that fall within the above mentioned categories:


A Student Residence Permit is issued to student who participate in a training program, study at a university and is issued for the length of the course.


An Employment Residence Permit is issued to those who get a job offer in Germany after actively seeking work under a Job Seeker visa.


Those already living in Germany as protected persons can apply for Residence Permit Issued on Humanitarian Grounds.


The Family Reunion Residence Permit is issued to family members of German residents under the purpose of a family reunification.


Residence Permit for Ex-German citizens and EU/EEA residents is issued for these groups of people who want to reside in Germany temporarily or permanently.


The EU Blue Card is a residence permit for highly skilled workers and want to work in their area of expertise in Germany.


Permanent Residence Permits are issued to settle in Germany and have the following types:

  • The settlement permit “Niederlassungserlaubnis”
  • The EU long-term residence permit

Germany Visa Extension

You can extend your German visa but only under a strong reason. In the case of a German Schengen visa that is extended for humanitarian reasons, the applicant is exempt from the fee. On the other hand when such visa is extended for important personal reasons or due to late entry, there is a fee of of 30.00 Euro to pay. The German long stay visas can also be extended when the applicant has strong reasons to do so.

Germany Visa Fees

Based on the purpose of travel to Germany, candidates will be required to pay the following fees after submitting the application:

  • Airport transit visa (ATV) – 60 Euros
  • Tourist Schengen Visa – 60 Euros
  • Germany Long-term Visa – 75 Euros
  • Children up to 17 years old – 35 Euros
  • Spouse/children of the EU nationals – Free of charge

Germany Visa Fee Exemptions

The following groups of people are exempt of visa fee when applying for a German Schengen visa:

  • Children younger than 6
  • Persons of a school level, student level, postgraduate student level and their teachers traveling with them for a trip to Germany and Schengen to pursue a training programme
  • Persons aged up to 25 on behalf of non-profit organizations about to take part in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events of non-profit organizations in Germany and Schengen
  • Third country researchers about to travel to the Schengen to run a scientific in accordance with EU recommendations for short-stay visas for this category
  • Persons applying to replace the old valid visa into a new passport or travel document because of lacking to have empty pages in the old document

The following persons are exempt from visa fee requirements when applying for a long stay visa

  • Persons holding a valid public scholarship while being in Germany
  • Persons working in Germany diplomatic missions, consular roles and international organizations
  • Persons benefiting from bilateral or multilateral agreements of their home country with Germany

The following categories benefit from the Germany visa application fee deduction and only have to pay 35 Euro:

  • Nationals of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • Nationals of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Albania, Ukraine and Georgia who hold non-biometric passports
  • Persons aged between 6 to 12 applying for a short-stay visa