Germany Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines
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Required Documents for a German Schengen Visa for the Wife/Husband of a German Citizen
When applying to get a German visa as the spouse of a German national/citizen, you must provide the following additional documents:
- Proof of German citizenship of your spouse (ID card or consular card or certification of German nationality or naturalization order).
- German marriage certificate.
- German family record book.
German Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations
When applying to get a German visa as a member of an official delegation, you must provide the following additional documents:
- The official invitation copy.
- Evidence about the purpose of the journey (negotiations, meetings, events by intergovernmental organizations, consultations).
How to Apply for a German Short-Stay Visa?
In order to complete the application process to obtain a short-stay visa to Germany, you must follow these steps:
- Find out what kind of German visa you need.
- Check where you need to apply.
- Fulfil the German short-stay visa application form.
- Collect the statutory Germany visa requirements. Do not forget to:
- Schedule a visa interview.
- Attend the interview at the appropriate German Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
- Wait for a response to your application.
Where to Apply for a German Short-Stay Visa?
Submit your German visa application to visit Germany at the competent German representative body in your country of residence. This representative body could be as follows:
- The German Embassy
- A German Consulate
- A Visa Application Center to which Germany has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Germany has outsourced visa submission
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the German Embassy/Consulate/VAC?
If you are planning to visit only the Federal Republic of Germany, and no other Schengen country during this trip, submit your Schengen visa application at the German Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
On the other hand, the Schengen states have created rules on where to apply, in case you are planning to visit more than one country. If Germany is not your only destination in the Schengen territory, submit your application at the German Embassy / Consulate / VAC only if:
- You will be spending more days in Germany, than in the other countries.
- You will be spending an equal amount of days in each country, but you will enter the Schengen Zone through Germany.
Please note that you cannot apply for a short-stay German visa from a country in which you are currently on a visa. You need to be a citizen of that country or on a residence permit there, in order to be eligible to file your Germany Visa application.
How Long Does It Take to Get a German Visa?
The processing time for your Germany short-stay visa may take up to 15 days. If you file your visa application during peak seasons when the German embassies receive too many applications you may have to wait up to 30 days for the processing of your visa, or even up to 60 days in extraordinary cases.
That is why you should submit your application for a German visa as soon as possible in order to avoid any delay in the issuance of your German short-stay visa. The earliest you can apply is three months before your trip, and the latest is 15 days.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a German Visa?
The German Schengen Visa fees are as follows:
- €80 for adults applying for a short-stay visa
- €75 for adults applying for a long-stay visa
- €40 for children under the age of 12
- Free of charge for children under 6
In addition, there are some categories of applicants exempt from paying the fee and others that need to pay a lower amount as well.
Check the list of the German Schengen Visa fees, to see if you belong to any of these categories!
How Long Can We Stay in Germany Without a Visa?
All nationals of the EU / EEA member countries can enter and remain in Germany for up to 90 days, within a 180-day period. If they wish to stay longer, they have to register at the relevant German authorities.
Passport holders of Germany visa-exempt countries are allowed to remain in Germany and the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days, within a six-month period. If they wish to stay longer, again depending on their nationality, they will need to take some further steps, as follows:
- Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of South Korea and the United States of America need to obtain a residence permit at the relevant German authorities, within three months of arrival in Germany.
- Nationals of the rest of the German visa-exempt countries will have to apply for a Germany National visa for long stays from their country of residence.
Whereas, the nationals of countries that still have not signed a visa-free agreement with Germany and the other Schengen members, must obtain a visa before heading to Germany, or any other Schengen member country.
Please, make sure you understand the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule. Do not violate this rule, not even for one day, since you may face consequences for overstaying in the Schengen territory.
Can I Extend My Schengen Visa in Germany?
Yes, you can extend your German Schengen visa, but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry in Germany, i.e. Humanitarian reasons or force majeure.
Please read How to Extend a Schengen Visa in Germany to understand in what circumstances and under what conditions you can extend your German Schengen Visa.
Can My German Schengen Visa Be Revoked?
Yes, your German visa can be revoked, in case the competent German authorities conclude that the conditions for issuing the visa are no longer met.
If the decision on the revocation of your visa happens while you are still in the German territory or in another Schengen member state, you will be given a deadline to leave. If you do not leave the territory of Schengen within this period, you will then be considered an illegal resident.
Please note that the failure of the visa holder to provide the border officer, with the entry requirements, may also lead to a decision to annul or revoke the visa, though not automatically.
Long Term Stays in Germany
If you want to stay in Germany for more than 3 months, then you have to apply for a “Long stay visa” also known as a “D-Visa”:
- Visa to Study in Germany. Apply for this visa if you wish to attend a course of study at a German university.
- Germany Family Reunion Visa. A visa for family members of German residents, who wish to join them in Germany.
- Germany Employment Visa. This visa is issued to persons that have a job offer in Germany.
- Germany Job Seeker Visa. Apply for this visa if you want to visit Germany for the purpose of seeking a job.
- Germany Visa for Guest Scientists & Researchers. Scientists or researchers who have been invited by a German institution to carry out a study or research must apply for this visa.
Health Insurance for Long Term Stays in Germany
Persons with a mandatory visa requirement to enter the Schengen area must take out statutory or private health insurance if they plan to reside in Germany. Health insurance regulations are very different for students, guest workers and immigrants. For more information about health insurance in Germany visit Krankenkassen-Zentrale or Germany-Visa.
Fun fact about Germany: Its capital Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.
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