Germany is among world’s top visited countries. The number of those interested to visit the country, either for tourism, business, or other purposes is on the rise. With its high-quality education system, excellent employment prospects, rich cultural heritage and much more, Germany has lured many from all accords the globe.

However, the Federal Republic of Germany has strict policies when it comes to foreigners entering its territory. Depending on several factors, as their nationality, purpose of entry and length of stay, travelers may need or not need a visa.

Who Needs a German Airport Transit Visa?

Nationals of several world countries, who need to land at one of the German airports in order to take another flight to their non-Schengen destination, must hold an Airport transit visa. These countries are as follows:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • India
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Mali
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkey

Still, there are some categories of citizens from these countries, who are exempt from holding this visa. Check the list of categories exempt from the German airport transit visa requirement for more information in this regard.

Note that if you need to stop at more than only one airport within the Schengen area, you will then need to apply for a regular Schengen visa. Whereas, if your destination country is one of the Schengen countries, to which you hold a short-stay visa, you will not need an airport visa to transit through an airport in Germany.

Who Needs a German Short-Stay Visa?

A German short-stay visa permits its holder to enter and remain in Germany for up to 90 days within a six-month period. It also permits the traveler to visit the rest of the Schengen countries within this period, except in cases when the visa has Limited Territorial Validity (LTV).

Several countries are exempt from the German visa requirement, allowing their nationals to freely enter Germany and remain within the permitted period.

Since Germany is part of the Schengen area, those who are exempt from the you should check the list of Schengen visa-exempt countries to figure out if you need a short-stay visa to Germany or not.

Who Needs a German National Visa?

Only the nationals of a few world countries are exempt from the requirement for a long-stay visa to Germany. These visas, also known as the Germany National Visas, permit its holder to stay in Germany for periods longer than 6 months, and usually can be extended for longer periods.

Nationals of the following are exempt from the Germany long-stay visa requirement:

  • EU / EEA / EFTA countries
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of South Korea
  • the United States of America

Nationals of the rest of the world countries will need to apply for and obtain a long-stay visa prior to traveling to Germany.

Note: All those who need to apply for a German visa, must show proof of purchased health insurance plan for their entire stay in Germany.