These visas are also known as “Schengen Visas” or “C-category visas” (excluding Airport transit visas), and are given to foreigners who wish to enter and stay in Germany for not more than 3 months.
These visas allow the holder to equally travel and stay throughout the entire Schengen Area within the visa period (stays up to 3 months only).
The application for these visas should be done early enough before the planned trip, as the visa procession time is done in 15 calendar days after the application is sent. However, there can be added 30 – up to 60 additional calendar days (in special cases) for the procession.
The submission of the visa documents is done only after a booked visa appointment. Nearly all visa candidates are obliged to be present personally in the visa appointment.
Exempt from the above rule make foreigners who have used properly in the last 2 years minimum two Schengen visas or C- Visas of any Schengen country, and those who properly used a Schengen visa issued for one or multi years in the last 2 years.
Who needs and who does not need a Schengen visa for Germany?
Certain foreign nationalities do not require having a visa for traveling to Germany and staying there for a short period of time, while there are many remaining nationalities who still are required to get e visa prior of traveling to Germany. For more information, please check Do I need a Visa to enter Germany?
Types of German short-stay visas – “Schengen visa” or “C-Visa”
- Airport Transit Visa
- Business / Trade Fair & Exhibitions Visa
- Tourist/Visitor Visa
- Visas for the foreign staff participating in a cultural, sport, religion or film making activities
General Required Documents to Apply for a German short-stay Visa
The following documents are commonly essential for each application for any type of the German short-stay visas, despite of the reason for traveling.
These all-purpose documents have to be submitted in original version plus a photocopy in an A4 size paper. They, at any occasion should not be stapled, as they have to be detached from each other. An original document usually is given back to the candidate after the officer reviews and matches it with the photocopy provided.
The application fee is usually paid after the candidate submits the visa application.
General required documents for any German short-stay visa:
- A passport or travel document (recognized by the German authorities, not older than 10 years, with a validity not less than 3 months of the visa validity, undamaged, and with at least 2 empty pages) + a photocopy of passport data page
- A duly completed a German short-stay visa application form. You can fill the visa application online here!
- A document showing a reserved accommodation (place to stay) for the entire period of stay
- A reserved hotel, hostel
- The rental contract
- Two recently made passport sized photos (biometric)
- A round-trip flight, rail or road ticket reservation
- A covered health insurance of not less than 30,000 Euros valid not only for Germany, but for the entire Schengen Area.
- Earlier Schengen, Canada, US or UK visa (photocopies)
- Third country nationals living in the country from where the application for the German visa is done must have a document which confirms their right to stay in that country:
- Visa of that country
- Residence permit
- Documents to confirm financial sustainability of the candidate
- For an employed candidate
- Personal bank statements of the past 3 months showing enough money
- Personal national tax number certificate of the past 2 years
- A certificate showing that taxes were taken based on the candidate’s salary level
- Salary slips for the past 3 months
- For a candidate who owns a business
- Company’s bank statements of the past 6 months
- Company’s national tax number certificate of the past 2 years
- A document confirming paying income taxes
- Certificate of ownership of the business
- For an employed candidate
- A letter of consent by a parent (s) or a legal guardian to confirm their approval for their child to travel – if the candidate is a minor
- A cover letter stating the purpose of visit to Germany and itinerary
- A copy of the email with a confirmed visa appointment, with a booking code included – if applying through the German embassy or consulate.
How to Extend a Short-stay German Visa
Generally, a German short-stay visa cannot be extended, as it is intentionally intended for short stays only.
Yet, there are cases when this is possible, such as when the holder, after having entered Germany faces an unexpected case of medical-care need, or a sudden inability to travel, rapid sickness, a sudden difficulty of their relative living in Germany, or an unforeseen urgent professional or business matter.
Extension of the short-stay visa can happen also in cases the entrance of the holder into Germany or the Schengen Area is belated, and in such case the extended period is given up to the dismissed period of such delay.
The application for short-stay visa extension of such cases, same as for long-stay visas is done at the Foreigners’ Office “Ausländerbehörde” of the respective location where the visa holder lives in Germany.
There is no fee applying to extend this visa for foreigners applying as special cases and children under the age of 6, while is a fee of 30 Euro for foreigners applying for extension after a delayed entrance in Germany or Schengen zone.
Requirements to extend a German short-stay visa
- The national passport with a valid short-stay visa
- One recent biometric photo
- A duly completed and signed application form for extension of the Schengen visa “Antrag auf Verlängerung eines Visums”
- Power of Attorney (POA) with passport or with ID – when represented by someone else due to impossibility to attend themselves the visa extension interview
- Documents to show their residence in Germany
- Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt”)
- Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
- Documents showing enough money to live and accommodate
- A duly completed and signed letter of commitment for short-stay visa “Angaben Zur Verpflichtungserklärung” + bank statements of inviting person, their salary slips of last 3 months, their income tax statement (issued by a tax advisor) – if invited by someone in Germany who is self-employed
- Bank statements of the past 3 months of the candidate + a letter of promise issued by the German embassy/consulate in the foreign country with the expected costs of the candidate during their stay – if a self-supporting candidate
- A covered health insurance of minimum 30,000 Euros
- Documents confirming that the business, or the job-related activities for which the extension is required are of a public interest to the state of Germany (if applying for an extension for an urgent professional or business case)