Travelling to Germany

EU nationals
EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany.

Non-EU nationals
Generally speaking, all other foreigners require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for visits of up to 90 days in an 180day period for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.

Please find out if you need a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany before you leave your home country. Under German law (section 71 (2) of the Residence Act), responsibility for issuing visas lies with the missions of the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. its embassies and consulates general. 

Visa fees
Since 14 May 2008, the fee for all types of visas has been 60 EUR.
Exemptions may be possible. Please refer to the fees page for information:
Information on visa fees (PDF, 231 KB)

Time required to process a visa application
As a rule, missions require between two and ten working days to decide on an application for a short stay visa. Applications for visas entitling the holder to a longer stay or to take up gainful employment may take several months to process.
During the peak travel season there may be a waiting period for making an application to a German mission. Persons requiring a visa to enter Germany should therefore submit their applications in good time.

Application procedure
As a rule, applicants must submit visa applications, together with all necessary documents, in person at the German mission responsible for their place of residence. In order to avoid timeconsuming requests for additional information or documentation, applicants should consult the website of the respective mission well in advance of their departure date to find out about the visa procedure and about the documentation which has to be submitted.
Visa application forms can be obtained from the mission free of charge (in the local language). The forms can be downloaded from the homepage of the Federal Foreign Office. The forms submitted must be original versions in the appropriate language of the mission in question. Application forms may also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the competent mission.

Requirements for the issue of short stay (Schengen) visas
Since 5 April 2010, Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) forms the statutory basis under European law in all Schengen states for the issuing of visas for transit through the Schengen area or for shortterm stays in the Schengen area not exceeding 90 days in any 180day period.
The Visa Code standardises the visa requirements which must be examined by the mission in the course of the visa procedure. The respective mission makes a decision on the visa application at its own discretion, taking into account all the circumstances in any given individual case.
There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen visa.

The mission must ensure that the following requirements have been met in each individual case:

  • The purpose of the trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible.
  • The applicant must be in a position to finance his/her living and travel costs from his/her own
    funds or income.
  • The visa holder must be prepared to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
  • Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR valid for the entire Schengen area.

Should an applicant be unable to prove that he/she can finance the journey and stay from his/her own funds, a third person may undertake to cover all costs associated with the trip in accordance with sections 66 and 68 of the Residence Act. This undertaking is normally to be made to the foreigners authority in the place of residence of the person making the undertaking.
Persons whose entry into the Schengen area would jeopardise security or public order in the Schengen states or who do not fulfil one or more of the abovementioned requirements, cannot be granted a visa.
Should a visa application be rejected, the applicant will be informed of the main reasons for the rejection. Every applicant is entitled to take legal recourse against the mission’s decision.

Source: www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/EinreiseUndAufenthalt/Visabestimmungen_node.html