A German Tourist Visa is a short-stay Schengen Visa for Germany. It permits its holder to travel to Germany for tourism purposes, as sightseeing and experiencing the country. It can be granted with a maximum validity of 90 days within a 180 days period.

How to Apply for a Germany Tourist Visa?

To get a Germany Tourist Visa you should complete several procedures. This includes:

Find out whether you need a Tourist visa for Germany

You will need a Germany Tourist Visa if your country has not reached a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen Countries.

Currently, 62 countries are exempt from the Germany Tourist Visa requirement. If you are a national of any of these 62 countries, you do not need a visa to Germany for tourism purposes.

Completing the Germany Tourist Visa application form

You can find the Germany tourist visa application form online.

Gathering the required documents for a Germany Tourist Visa

A very important part of the application process for a Germany tourist visa, is gathering the required documents. According to these documents, the German visa officers will take a decision on your application.

The required documents to apply for a Germany Tourist Visa are as follows:

  • Germany tourist visa Application Form.
  • Your passport that is valid for at least six months.
  • Two photographs in line with the Schengen guidelines.
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany.
  • No-objection certificate. If you are a student, your school or university should issue this certificate to you. If you are an employee, your employer or the company where you work at should issue this letter to you. However, if you are not a student and you do not work either, this certificate is not required.
  • A Cover Letter. This personal cover letter should explain the reason why you wish to visit Germany, how long you intend to remain and what you will be doing there, amongst others.
  • Your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name. This is required as proof of residence in the country where you plan to apply for a visa.
  • Travel Health Insurance for Germany. It must be valid for the entire period of your visit, and should be available amongst entire Schengen Area countries.
  • Proof of a Booked Round-Trip Ticket Reservation(if applicable). It must show the entire program of the tour and the related dates of the visits you plan to make.
  • Reserved Tour Package (if applicable).
  • Proof of sufficient financial means.

If you are visiting a family member or friend in Germany, you should also submit the following:

  • Formal Obligation Declaration. The document is obtained at the Aliens’ Authority in Germany by the hosting family member in Germany. By this letter the host has to undertake the costs of living and accommodation during your visit.
  • Identity card of the host person. Or otherwise, a registration card of the host.
  • Letter of Invitation by the host. The letter has to show the reason for inviting you, their relationship with you, the period of your stay, and their home address in Germany.
  • Evidence of your relationship with the host.

Making an appointment for a visa interview

The application for a German Tourist Visa has to be lodged at the Embassy or Consulate of Germany in the country where you live. In some countries, Germany has outsourced visa admission to private visa application centers.

Moreover, if you are planning to visit other Schengen countries during your trip, apply at the German authorities, only if Germany is your main destination. This means:

  • You will spend more days in Germany than in other countries.
  • You will spend an equal amount of days in every country, but you will enter the Schengen Area through Germany.

Paying the German Tourist visa fee

The fee of applying for a German Tourist Visa is 80€, while for children of age 6-12 you have to pay 40€, while it is free for those aged 0-6 of age.

Yet, according to your nationality, you may need to pay a lower fee. Check our list of categories that need to pay lower German tourist visa fees.

Wait for processing

It takes up to 15 days for a German Tourist visa application to be processed by the relevant authorities. This period can be extended further, up to 30 days, if additional examination of the application is required.

When is the Best Time to Apply for a Germany Tourist Visa?

The best time to apply for a German tourist visa is about a month before the date you plan to travel to Germany.  However, the earliest you can apply is six months before and the latest is two weeks before your intended trip.

In Case of Visa Application Rejection

If your application for a Germany tourist visa is rejected, you will receive a reason for that when you collect your passport. If you think that the embassy has rejected your application wrongfully, you can always appeal this decision.

Do so by writing a visa refusal appeal letter and submitting it to the embassy. Usually, the embassy gives you a valid period to appeal the visa rejection. If you do not appeal the decision within this period, you can no longer do so after it ends.

Can I Work in Germany with a Germany Tourist Visa?

No, you are not permitted to work in Germany with a Germany tourist visa or with any other Schengen visa. To be eligible to work in Germany apply for a Germany work visa.

Can I Establish a Business in Germany with a Tourist Visa?

The German tourist visa does not entitle you to perform establish a business in Germany. To do so, you should instead get a German long-stay visa for self-employed.