Frequently asked questions on visas  (FAQ)



  • What is a Schengen-Visa and what is the Schengen-area?


    • A Schengen-Visa is a Residence permit with which you can stay a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days in the Schengen-area. The accurate validity is mentioned in the visa. 
    • The Schengen-area contains the following countries:
    • Belgium, Denmark, GERMANY, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, and Hungary.


  • Who requires a Schengen-Visa?


    • Citizens of EU-Countries do not require a visa to enter Germany. All other foreigners in general require a visa for a stay in Germany. For visitors visit up to 90 days within a period of 180 days citizens of the countries that according to EU regulation no longer require a visa for entering a member state do not need a Schengen-Visa.
    • A summary of the countries whose citizens still require a Schengen-Visa can be found here:
    • https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/-/231148
  • When do I need to apply for my Schengen-visa? How long is the general processing time?
    • Please prepare your application, as soon as you are making travel plans and apply as soon as possible.
    • The appointment for applying the required visa can be made earliest 3 months prior to the trip.
    • The general processing time is 14 days. Please keep in mind dot not undermine this processing time since it cannot be assure that you will be able to make your trip as planned.
  • Where do I have to apply for my Schengen-visa?
  • If you wish to travel to several destinations your main destination needs to be determined first in order to determine which mission is the competent one.
    • Main destination is the country where you are going to stay most of the time or where your key travel purpose takes place. If according to these components a main destination cannot be determined you have to apply with the mission of the country through which you are going to enter the Schengen-area.
  • The competent foreign mission is the one in which’s competence district you are residing and where you are not only temporarily. You should be living there for at least 6 months or wish to stay there for at least 6 months.
  • Which documents do I need to present for a Schengen-visa?
  • Purpose of your visit (Why do you wish to travel to Germany?)
  • Proof of financial capability including health insurance (Are the travel costs that are to be expected covered?)
  • Your willingness to return to your home country (Are you personally and economically rooted in your home country and do you not wish to stay in Germany permanently?)
    • The purpose of your trip determines by what documents you may proof the above mentioned points. Checklists can be found here.
    • The presented documents have to be correct and genuine. Falsified or untrue documents will lead to the application being denied. Also if you try to misguide the Embassy (e.g. applying for a tourism visa when you really are planning to go on a business trip) will lead to your application being denied.
    • The presentation of the documents does not mean for the visa being issued. In individual cases the presentation of additional documents might be necessary.
  • What can I do if I am travelling to the Schengen-area on a regular basis?
    • If you are travelling to the Schengen-area on a regular basis you should ask for a one- or multi-year visa. You do not require to present special documents for this. Your old passport needs to show that you are travelling to the Schengen-area on a regular basis.
  • How much is a Schengen-Visa?
    • The processing fee for a Schengen-visa is 80,- Euro, the reduced fee for children between 6 and 12 years of age is 35,- Euro (payable in Tanzanian Shilling according to the Embassy’s exchange rate); children under the age of 6 do not have to pay a processing fee.


  • Do I have to fill in a VIDEX form or can I fill in a form handwritten  VIDEX form
    • You also have the opportunity to print out the form and fill it in by hand. However this may result in a longer processing time since your data needs to be put into the system by hand through a visa officer. You can print out the form here.



  • What are the most common reasons for the denial of a visa?
    • Most commonly a visa is being denied because of the following reasons:
    • Doubts in terms of the purpose of the visit
    • Doubts in terms of the willingness to return to the home country
    • Missing proof of the purpose of the visit
    • Missing purpose of the stay
  • How can I file a complaint about the Embassy’s employees or the process of my visa application?

    Applicants of Schengen visa have the right to file a complaint about the Embassy’s employees or the entire visa process through a contact form. Please choose in the form the recipient “Complaints in Schengen visa cases). Please make sure that complaints can only be filed in German or English language. Complaints in other languages cannot be followed up on. Please enter on of the following references in the Contact Form

  • a. Complaints about the behavior of the Embassy’s employees
  • b. Complaint about the process of the visa application                                              
  • We will follow up on your complaint after receiving it.
  • Important information: You cannot file a remonstrance or other legal measures against a visa denial that you might have received through the complaint form.

  • National visa
  • What is a national visa?
    • A national visa is a residence permit whit a validity of 90 days. The visa allows you to enter Germany and to take residence there. In some cases the validity might also exceed 90 days.
  • Who requires a national visa?
  • Anybody who wishes to stay in Germany for more than 90 days requires a so called national visa. Especially if you want to work, take residence with your spouse or get married in Germany, you will need to apply for a national visa beforehand.
  • When do I need to apply for my national visa?
    • You should apply for your visa as soon as you compiled all the necessary documents. The entire application process may take several months. Therefore it is important that you apply for your visa on time to allow the proper processing of the application.
  • Formal requirements
  • Which requirements apply to the passport?
    • The passport should not be valid for more than 10 years, it should still have at least 2 empty pages available and in case of a Schengen-application it should still be valid 3 months after your return.


  • Which requirements apply to the picture?
    • The picture needs to have a bright/white background. Passport pictures with a blue background will no longer be accepted, applications will not be taken in.
  • Which requirements apply to the travel health insurance for the Schengen-visa?
    • The travel health insurance should have a coverage of at least 30.000,- Euro and should be valid for all Schengen-countries.
  • Which requirements apply to the health insurance for the national visa?
    • To the health insurance for the first entry the same requirements as for the travel health insurance for a Schengen-visa apply. The insurance for a long term stay should meet the same requirements as a statutory health insurance.
  • Which requirements apply to the invitation letter?
    • The invitation can either be a formal obligation letter (Verpflichtungserklärung) or it can be an invitation issued by a person or a company. If a personal invitation is being presented, further documentation is required (see checklists).



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