One of the wealthiest and largest countries in the European Union, and one of the countries with the most financially stable economy in the world, the Federal Republic of Germany is a magnet for internationals, and not only in terms of tourism and employment.
Parallel with the economical development Germany has developed the other sectors of life too, as education system and health care. When it comes to health care, a large number of people from abroad enter Germany every year in search for a better medical treatment for their health condition, because of the very high medical and health care standards in German clinics and hospitals.
There are over two thousand hospitals and clinics in Germany, that offer the full range of up to date treatments: orthopedic, ophthalmological, cardiologic, urological, gynaecological, aesthetic and similar. There are different hospitals in Germany as small country hospitals, wide-range maximum care facilities, specialized private clinics, etc. They are all strictly supervised by the government regarding hygiene, safety, quality and prices.
Who Can Obtain the Medical Treatment Visa?
Every international with health issues is able to seek medical treatment in Germany. But depending on your country of origin you might or might not need a visa. If you need a tourist visa to enter Germany, then you definitely need a visa to enter Germany for medical treatment which is a long stay visa.
- Applicants who are nationals of one of the member states of the European Union, of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein do not need any visa in order to be able to enter Germany and seek medical treatment.
- Applicants who are citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, United States of America and South Korea also do not need a visa. However, within two weeks of arrival in Germany, citizens of these countries must register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office.
- Applicants who are coming from the rest of the countries of the world, not mentioned above, must apply for a visa, and obtain one in order to be able to enter, and seek medical treatment in Germany.
The number of people from abroad seeking medical treatment in Germany is so large that hospitals have developed policies for internationals, trying to make it easier for them to reach the right medical treatment. Many hospitals will help you with the visa procedures, will wait for you at the airport / train station / bus station when you arrive, etc.
The German Immigration Authorities have also established a visa, particularly for people who seek medical help in Germany, and have to stay in for more than six months in order to get the adequate treatment. While those who need less than three months in order to receive their medical treatment can enter Germany with a Short Term Medical Treatment, the German long stay Medical Treatment Visa is for those who need a longer period of treatment.
If you are considering Germany for medical treatment for your health condition, the first step to take is to choose the hospital. You cannot receive a visa if you have not organized everything regarding the treatment, in advance.
First of all, find the hospital or clinic you want to be treated at, and contact them. Send them the medical diagnosis from the doctor in your country of residence and every other document you have regarding your condition. The medical team of the hospital you have contacted might ask you for some extra documents regarding your health condition. Take care to provide them all.
If they agree to treat your medical condition, they will come up with a treatment plan and provide an estimated cost of treatment. After you establish the method of payment the hospital / clinic will send you out a letter of invitation. Only then you can start your visa application.
The Immigration Authorities in Germany require some extra documents, aside of the usual documents, for the German Long Stay Medical Treatment Visa, as follows.
- Application form & declaration duly signed – completed in English or German. If the applicant is underage (under 18) the application form and the declaration must be signed by both parents (or by the legal guardian/s).
- Two passport photographs not older that six months, according to the strict biometric requirements – 35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background and contrast-color clothing.
- National passport which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the length of stay applied for, not older than 10 years, and with at least two blank pages for the visa.
- A copy of your passport’s data page (A4 size copy)
- A confirmation letter from your health insurance stating coverage for medical emergencies or hospitalization with a minimum of 30,000 euros.
- Flight reservation, rail tickets or tickets for other means of travel, which show the dates you plan to enter and leave the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Proof of accommodation for the entire period of stay in Germany. If you are staying at a hotel, you must show hotel booking. If you are staying at relatives or friends, they must submit proof that they have enough room for you. If you have rented a room or apartment you must submit the contract. If you are planning to rent one after you arrive in Germany then you must show you have enough funds to do so. If you will be staying at a hospital / clinic during your whole stay, then the hospital or the clinic must submit a letter confirming that.
- Proof of financial status: If you are employed, you must submit payslips of the past three months or the employment contract. If you are self-employed you must submit proof of ownership.
- 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 (Since 14 May 2008, the fee for all types of visas has been 60 euro).
Proof concerning the purpose of travel
- Travel Itinerary – you will have to submit a personal covering letter with the entire travel plan from the moment you leave your country until you return back.
- Leave letter of your company (if employed), which is a confirmation of your employer that after the end of your medical treatment in Germany you will return to your job in your country of residence.
- A certificate from a medical doctor confirming the need of specific medical treatment
- A certificate from a medical doctor confirming that necessary treatment can be provided and an appointment is made.
- Proof of advance payment of the treatment / financial arrangements with the medical doctor in Germany.
- Correspondence between the sending medical doctor and the receiving medical doctor.
*Note that all documents need to be presented in the original, with two A4 size copies. Do not staple any of the documents.
Visa Application Procedures
After you have gathered all of the required documents make an appointment through the website of the German mission in your country, embassy or consulate. It is recommended to apply for a visa at least 3 weeks before your scheduled travel in order to avoid any processing delays.
On the day of your appointment show there on time with all of the required documents arranged in order. In general, the submission process takes around 10 minutes to complete. Please make sure that the official person at the application center will check and verify all of your documents.
After you pay the visa fee, you will be issued a receipt which you have to keep in order to collect your processed application.
When you receive your visa check visa data for possible mistakes. Pay particular attention to the visa start and end dates, the correct spelling of your name, as well as the number of entries you were granted.
Can I extend my Medical Treatment Visa?
If your health has not improved and you need to receive medical treatment for a longer period than foreseen, then you can apply for Medical Treatment Visa extension. The hospital you are receiving treatment at, can help you a lot in this aspect.
Appoint a meeting at the foreigners’ registration office of the city where you are receiving medical treatment in Germany. On the day of the appointment brig all the documents you have with you.
A letter or a document from the hospital showing that you need to stay in Germany for a longer period in order for your conditions to improve, is vital.
Can I bring family members with me?
If the person who wishes to receive medical treatment in Germany is underage then his legal guardian/s will be allowed to accompany him or her. Contact the German embassy or consulate in your country and ask them for further details. The same might apply to cases when the person who needs medical treatment is so ill, that he or she needs a family member (or other depending on the case) to stay next to them to complete procedures and take care of other stuff.
Please note that if you are only planning to travel to Germany for a health check-up, and you do not have any diagnosis regarding your health condition, then you are not eligible for this type of visa. You will have to apply for different type of visa depending on your situation.