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All About The German Visa Policy

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Written by Shreya Berry

Shreya has expertise in writing engaging content for the readers and has a deep interest in unique applications of technology in various domains. She has worked closely on projects with Neil Patel Digital, Hindustan Times, News 18 and Shiksha.

October 29, 2020

In Germany, visas include both short-term and long-term visits. A visa is still required for certain nationalities to enter Germany, irrespective of whether you plan a short or long term stay. The type of German visa appointment you are applying for depends on your visit’s intention.

Do You Need a Visa to Enter Germany?

Whether you need a visa to enter Germany or not is determined by your nationality and how long you expect to stay.

German Visa is Not Required if:

To enter Germany, citizens of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Sweden do not require a visa, regardless of their stay duration. You can enter Germany without a permit and stay for up to 90 days if your country has been removed from visa requirements. You may need to apply for a long-stay visa before leaving and a residency permit while you are in Germany if you want to stay longer or to work.

German Visa is Required When:

You should apply for a Schengen (short stay) visa if your country is not excluded from visa requirements, and your stay in Germany will be 90 days or less.

Even if your country is excluded from the visa requirements, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa from your home country before moving to Germany if you intend to stay more than 90 days. Nationals from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America are exceptions. 

Conditions for German Visa Appointment

You must fulfill these conditions, even though you do not need a visa:

  • Your travel to Germany must have a logical and understandable reason.
  • For at least six months after your stay in Germany, your passport should be valid.
  • You must be able to finance your own cost of living and traveling.
  • Before the visa expires, you must be prepared to leave Germany (for example, to have a return flight booked).
  • You must be having health insurance for traveling.
  • You do not pose a security or public order threat.

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Types of German Visas

There are three different kinds of visa:

1. Schengen visa (in case of short-stay visits)

You would need to apply for a Schengen visa if your country does not have a visa exemption agreement with Germany, and you are going to Germany for a brief stay. This short-stay visa (category C visa) is valid for up to 90 days in Germany and the whole of the Schengen region over 180 days. The day on which you enter Germany or another Schengen country marks the beginning of a span of 180 days.

Entry single, double or multiple

The Schengen visa comes in three distinct forms: it may be used for one, two, or several entries to the Schengen region for stays not exceeding 90 days. It is also possible to stretch the validity to 90 days within one, three, or five years for regular travelers.

2. Is Transit Visa Required For Germany?

Suppose you are making a stopover at an airport in Germany, and your final destination is a country outside the Schengen region. In that case, you will require an airport transit visa (category A visa). The transit visa for the airport does not allow you to exit the airport. You must visit the official website of the German immigration to find out about the Germany transit visa requirements.

3. National visa (for visits for extended stays)

You are required to apply for a national visa (category D visa) before you fly if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days according to Germany visa policy. Your nationality allows you to receive a Schengen visa. A national visa allows entry to Germany because you are filing for a residency permit. 

Types of National Visa: Types of German Visas

The German national visa is issued for the following purposes:

  • Joining a friend, partner, or member of a family in Germany.
  • To take up a job to become a freelancer as an employee.
  • To conduct studies in academia or technology.
  • To hunt for a job.
  • To enroll at a university or another higher education institution in Germany.
  • For training purposes.
  • In preparation to serve as an au pair.
  • To launch a venture as an entrepreneur.
  • To seek refuge.

It should be remembered that the national visa is related to the particular intent of your stay in Germany and can only be translated into a residency permit of the corresponding form.

Where to Request a German Visa Appointment?

You must apply in person to your home country’s German mission for both short-stay visas and long-stay visas. If there is no German mission in your region, you should contact a neighboring country’s German mission. 

What documents are required?

It is advisable to review before your visa appointment with your local mission to precisely know what you need to prepare.

  • Valid passport
  • Form for applying for a visa, entirely completed and signed.
  • Pictures of the passport (minimum of two) taken during the last three months.
  • Legal, medical benefits for flying, with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000.
  • Proof of lodging in the Schengen area for your whole visit.

Processing time 

It roughly takes 10 to 15 working days for German embassies to process a German visa application. Depending on the number of applicants, or in certain situations, depending on the applicant’s particular condition, there could be delays.

No matter your trip’s intention, traveling to Germany has never been more organized and stress-free.

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