Before you start
If you need basic general information or in-depth guidance about the types of shorterm visa for Germany as well as the surrounding process, then we recommend using our VISA NAVIGATOR first.
After having accessed the information compiled in the VISA NAVIGATOR, please continue with the country-specific information for your application on this Website.
Please prepare your application in the following three steps:
- Fill in the application form in English or German
- Compile the required documents according to your travel purpose/category:
- Schedule an appointment to hand in your application at one of the Visa Application Centres of the external service Provider TLScontact .
To lodge your application, please appear in person for your appointment with our external service provider. Should you have already had a visa during the past 59 months you may authorize someone in your stead for your appointment. Submit your complete application with the requested documentation, pay the fee and answer questions about the planned trip. In addition, your Biometrics will be captured.
The German Embassy checks your application and makes a decision. They ensure that your application meets the legal requirements. As a rule, this takes up to 15 days. Please understand that no questions about the processing status can be or will be answered during this processing time.
Thereafter, the following applies: Only inquiries in writing from the applicant himself, his legal representative or a person authorized can be answered. Authorizations need to be signed by the applicant.
During the processing of your application your passport has to remain with the German Embassy and cannot be withdrawn. You will under no circumstances be able to retrieve it at the German Embassy.
Once the German Embassy has made a decision regarding your application your passport will be returned to the external service provider where you can collect it.
Should your visa have been declined, you will receive a refusal letter from the competent German Embassy notifying you about the reasons for the refusal and the legal remedies. You will receive a refusal notification along with your passport. It is possible to submit a new application at any time with complete, verifiable documents.
If your visa has been issued, please check all the visa data for possible mistakes as soon as you receive your passport! Pay particular attention to
- the visa’s validity (start and end dates)
- the number of days of stay
(this is the maximum number of days you can stay in the Schengen area during the validity period)
- the correct spelling of your name
- the number of entries you were granted
The external service provider and the visa section must be informed of possible mistakes immediately and cannot be held responsible for any problems that occur as a result of incorrect data or a missing signature in the travel document.
Once all the information on your visa is correct, nothing will stand in the way of your trip.
For annual or multi-year visas, please note that you cannot exceed the maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days.
Issuing a Schengen visa does not entitle you to entry. Border police when checking entry into the Schengen area make the final decision. Even though you a have your passport with a valid visa it is possible that the border police will ask you to provide further documentation, information about your financial means, the duration and purpose of your stay, as well as health insurance coverage. You should therefore take a set of your visa documents (including an invitation from Germany, hotel reservation, and travel health insurance) with you on the trip.
Please consult the following Website regarding visa and service fees:
- External service Provider TLScontact
More questions? Please consult our FAQ-list
Details regarding biometric specifications for photographs can be found here