What Is a German Schengen Visa?
A German Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa entitling you to enter Germany and other Schengen countries for a complete stay of no more than 90 days within a 180-day period.
The key targets of a German Schengen Visa are foreign tourists and visitors. However, there’s a wide range of reasons and intentions for which you may be issued this visa.
What Are The Purposes for Which a Schengen Visa for Germany Can Be Granted?
The complete list of the reasons upon which you may apply for a German Schengen Visa is presented below:
- Sightseeing Germany and Other Schengen States.
- Visiting Family and Friends.
- Marrying a German Citizen.
- Visiting a German Citizen Spouse.
- Visiting an EU Family Member.
- Completing Initial Business Establishment Dealings.
- Partaking in a Business Meeting or Business Event.
- Visiting or exhibiting at a Trade Fair Exhibition.
- Contributing in a Cultural, Sports, Film-Shooting, Religious, Political/Official, Scientific Event.
- Completing a Short-Term Study Course.
- Participating a Short-Term Internship (Practicum).
Who Needs a Germany Schengen visa?
You can enter Germany and other Schengen Visas for a maximum 90-day visit only on the grounds of a German Schengen Visa obtained beforehand your travel, if the country whose nationality you hold doesn’t enjoy a visa-free regime from the country of Germany.
Where to Apply for a Germany Schengen Visa?
The application for a German Schengen visa is to be submitted at the Embassy or Consulate of Germany in the country of your existing residence. If otherwise, you may be eligible for a visa application at an intermediary application center, but the final visa decision is to be obtained from the German consular service.
Germany visa application is, above all, same as for any visa, a bureaucratic process where you have to compile a list of visa application requirements and be on time for the interview.
This means that you have to provide the application supporting documents in the form and quality required, which complement the information you have provided in the Schengen application form.
Required Documents for German Schengen Visa Application
The required documents to support your German Schengen visa application are listed below:
- Schengen Visa Form. Duly completed and signed by you. If you’re a minor, your parents are entitled to sign the form on your behalf.
- Declaration Form “Provision of True Data”. It must be completed in English or German, signed and dated by you.
- Your valid passport. It should be issued no earlier than 10 years before, with the remaining validity period of minimum 3 months beyond the visa period, with at least 2 remaining blank pages.
- Copies of Your Passport. Photo page, pages containing previous Schengen visa stamps, as well as entry and exit stamps.
- 2 Passport-Size Photographs.
- Travel Itinerary. It must confirm that you have a round-trip ticket reservation.
- Proof of Accommodation. Hotel/hostel reservation or a prepaid apartment rent. If someone else will cover costs of your accommodation and living during your stay, you have to prove that through a Letter of Guarantee “Declaration D’Accueil”.
- Schengen Visa Insurance. It must cover the medical treatment costs in the amount of not less than €30,000 and should be valid for the entire period of your visit, for all the Schengen states.
German Schengen Visa Types
The German Schengen Visas are grouped based on the number of times they entitle you to enter the Germany and the number of Schengen countries you may visit with it:
- German Schengen Uniform Visa. With it, you can visit Germany and any other Schengen state for up to 90 days within any 180 day period. Depending the number of entries you can perform within your visa validity period, these are 2 Schengen Uniform Visas for Germany:
- German Schengen “Single-Entry” Visa. You can enter Germany and move across the Schengen states, for no more than 1 time during the entire visa validity period. Once leaving the Schengen territory, returning to it isn’t impossible with the same visa.
- German Schengen “Multiple-Entry” Visa. If you’ll be issued this visa, you can enter and leave the Schengen territory for as many times as you need to.
- German Schengen Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV). When this visa is granted to you, this means that you are not entitled to move across other Schengen states despite Germany.
German Schengen Visa Types Based on the Purpose of Travel
German Airport Transit Visa
You will need a Germany Airport Transit visa if you’re a traveler who has a connecting flight in Germany, on the way of traveling to another final non-Schengen destination. With it, you can stopover in a German Airport’s International Transit Area for up to 24 hours. Depending on the internal policies of the German airports, such allowed period of stay can sometimes be shorter.
When applying for this visa you must have an original and a copy of your travel ticket to the final destination, as well as the full travel itinerary.
German Tourist Visa
You have to get the German Tourist visa in order to complete a touristic tour in Germany and other Schengen states. You can make an individual or tourist group expedition with visa.
When applying for this visa you’re expected to provide a booked round-trip ticket as well as the entire travel itinerary of the visits you plan to make.
German Short Stay Family and Friends Visa
When you have friends or family members living in Germany and other Schengen states which you want to visit, then you have to obtain this German Schengen Visa type.
To apply for this visa you’ll be asked to provide a personal letter of invitation by your friend/relative and evidence of your relationship with the inviting person.
German Schengen Visa to Marry a German Citizen
If you’re in the situation where you have to formalize marriage/civil partnership procedures with a German citizen fiancé in Germany, you have to obtain this type of visa.
This visa only entitles you for a visit up to 90 days within 180-day period, or to apply for a German residence permit. To do so, you have to return to your home country and apply for the Long-Stay German Spouse Visa.
To apply for this visa you have to provide a written confirmation about the date where the marriage/civil partnership as well as proof of residence title of your fiancé in Germany, as well proof of basic German skills.
German Visa for a Spouse of a German Citizen
If you are the spouse of a German citizen whom you wish to visit, you may do so only upon getting this visa.
Spouse Schengen Visa, however, doesn’t make you eligible to apply for a German residence permit, or to remain in Germany for longer than 90 days within any 180-day period. For a family reunion with your spouse, you have to return home and apply for a National German Spouse Visa.
The application for this visa includes providing marriage/civil partnership certificate as well as proof of residence title of your fiancé in Germany.
German Schengen Visa for a Family Member of an EU Citizen
With a visa of this type you can visit your EU family member which can be your spouse or your parent.
The application process includes providing proof of EU citizenship of your EU relative as well as proof of relationship with them, i.e. Birth certificate.
German Visa for Business/Trade Fair Exhibition
If you’re a business person who wants to complete initial dealings of establishing a business in Germany you have to get the German Visa for Business/Trade Fair Exhibition.
To apply for this visa in such case you’re expected to provide a cover letter from the partner company in Germany, as well as business license of the same company, together with your detailed business meetings/activities during the entire visit.
You can enter the country for the purpose of visiting or exhibiting at a trade fair exhibition in Germany and other Schengen countries.
To apply for this visa in such case you have to provide the entry ticket, the invitation from the organizer, and proof of your affiliation with the inviting organizer.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in Cultural Events
If you’re an artist or a different cultural professional having been officially invited by a German partner organization to contribute in their cultural event in Germany you can get the German Cultural visa.
You’re expected to provide an official invitation for participation in the respective cultural event from the organizer as well as the confirmation that you belong to a cultural local organisation.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in Sports Events
You need to get this visa beforehand your travel, if you’re a professional and amateur sportsperson, member of a sports organizations, clubs, or associations, or a sports trainer/adjudicator, having been invited to contribute in an event organized by a partner sport organisation in Germany.
You’re expected to provide proof of your affiliation with a local sports body, and the official invitation from the sports organisation organizing the event.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in a Film Making Activity
If you’re a film crew in a movie or documentary whose shootings will take place in Germany and other Schengen states, you have to get this visa beforehand traveling to such destinations.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in Religious Event
You’ll have to get this visa beforehand your travel, if you’re a priest, nun, minister of religion of denominational religion or other confessions, having been invited to contribute with their knowledge and expertise in relevant religion in an event organized by partner religious institutions in Germany and other Schengen states.
To apply for this visa you have to provide proof of your affiliation with a local religious institution/organisation as well as the official invitation from the religious institution in Germany and other Schengen states.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in an Official/Political Event
You’ll be issued this visa if you have been invited as a part of an official delegation having been invited to contribute within an event hosted in Germany and other Schengen states.
To get a visa of this type you have to provide a formal letter from your local governmental authority and the official letter of invitation from an intergovernmental organisation in Germany hosting the event.
German Schengen Visa for Involvement in Scientific Event
If you’re a person with a scientific research background with an opportunity to complete a short-term scientific research project in Germany and other Schengen states, you have to get this visa beforehand your visit.
You have to provide proof of your affiliation with a local research body and evidence of the project you’re expecting to run, i.e. Formal invitation from a host research institution in Germany and other Schengen states.
German Schengen Visa for Attending a Short-Term Study Course
If you’re already affiliated with a foreign educational institution through this visa you’ll be allowed to participate in a study-course lasting not more than 90 days in Germany and other Schengen states with visa.
The application for this visa includes presenting documents which show your affiliation with a local educational institution as well as proof of admission into a study course in Germany and other Schengen states.
German Schengen Visa for Attending a Short-Term Internship
You’ll need this visa type beforehand traveling, if you’re affiliated in a foreign educational institution, having been offered the opportunity to complete an internship program within a business in Germany and other Schengen states, for as long as it doesn’t last more than 90 days.
The application for this visa requires providing documents which show your affiliation with a local educational institution as well as the official invitation from the host business in Germany and other Schengen states.
German Schengen Visa Interview
If you’re of age beyond 12 you’ll have to book an interview at the German consular service premises, or an application center in your country of residence.
On the interview day, you’ll have to be on time as any delay may lead to the interview appointment cancelation.
The interview day is the day where you’re expected to submit the Schengen visa application form completed and signed by you. You have to support the application with a set of required visa documents which should be in originals, accompanied by the required number of their copies.
As a part of the visa application process is also sitting a 10-minute interview, where you’ll be answering questions of the German consular service’s staff related to the purpose of your travel and of personal circumstances.
The application process also includes paying the German Schengen Visa fee and submitting your biometric data. Biometric data are not required if you traveled before in the Schengen Area recently.
German Schengen Visa Processing Time
The standard time for a decision on a German Schengen Visa to be declared is 15 calendar days. In other cases, when a further documentation or treating of your application is necessary this may take up to 60 calendar days.
Can a German Schengen Visa Be Extended?
As a rule a German Schengen Visa’s period cannot be extended. The rule, however, disregards the cases when there’re serious grounds upon which you cannot leave Germany, as follows:
- Force Majeure. When there’re strong reasons beyond your control which prevent your return in the home country, i.e. natural disasters, no air traffic due to bad weather, etc.
- Humanitarian Reasons. When you’re incapable of traveling, a disastrous event of your family member living in Germany, and similar.
- Serious Personal Reasons. In case of an unforeseen crucial business or professional event that cannot wait.
- Late Entry in the Schengen Area. When you have been late in entering Germany, and you didn’t fully used your visa period.
Even in the aforementioned cases, the extension will not be granted if you fail to apply for an extension within your 90 days of stay.
Requirements to Apply for Extension of a German Schengen Visa (special cases only):
- Your Valid Passport. It must have a German valid Schengen Visa affixed within its page.
- Attending a Personal Interview. If you cannot attend the interview you have to provide a Power of Attorney.
- Application Form for the Extension of a Schengen Visa. It must be duly completed and signed by you.
- Proof of Financial Means (original and a copy).
- Proof of personal financial means (if you will cover your costs of living and accommodation on your own).
- Your bank statements of the past 3 months.
- Formal Obligation (if someone living in Germany will cover your costs of accommodation and living). This must be accompanied by documents showing financial capacity of the inviting person (their bank statements, their 3 latest salary slips, income tax statements – if self-employed).
- Covering Letter from the Embassy of Your country in Germany (when relevant). It must state that they’ll be covering your costs of accommodation and stay.
- Health Insurance Coverage. This should either be covered by you or the embassy of your country. It should cover accidents and acute illnesses.
It costs €30 to apply for a German Schengen Visa extension when there’re personal reasons upon which you’re requiring the extension of your visa period. You’ll exempt from any application fee if you are demanding the extension due to a force majeure or a humanitarian grounds.
In case of application for a further extension of your German Schengen visa as an adult you have to pay €60 and €30 as a minor.