How To Get A German Visa

Germany is one of the Schengen member countries. Citizens from these countries can travel without a visa to other countries in the territory. Unlike Citizens from countries out of this region. These Citizens MUST obtain a Schengen Visa (German visa in this case) to travel to any of these countries.

Due to the Schengen Agreement holders of a German Visa can travel to a lot of countries in Europe. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. The Agreement stopped border control between member countries. It also permits equal access to citizens of the member countries. This freedom and equality encourage business and other relations between these countries. The map below shows the various Schengen countries. The Area is a mix of European and non-European Union countries.


There are various types of Schengen visas. The short-stay visa is valid for 90 days within a 180-day period. The Schengen law called Schengen Acquis established the 90/180 days rule. The visitor with a short-stay visa can travel freely within this zone. The bearer MUST leave the Schengen territory within or on the 90th day. Consequently, the bearer of a short-stay visa cannot work in Germany.

What we cover in this article

We dig deep into all the necessary information on obtaining a visa to Germany, visa processing time and visa requirements at My German Visa. In addition to these, we have a German visa application form template you can check.

German Visa Application Process

Visit the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country or its website to learn how to start the process. Get in contact with the German embassy in your home country to know the specific requirements for a German visa. However, here is a detailed guide of the German visa application process.

  1. Get a checklist of the required documents needed for the particular visa type. Get this list from the German Embassy in your home country.
  2. Fill the German visa application form with correct and truthful information. The information musts match with the other documents. Thereafter, download the form and print out two copies. Lastly, sign both forms.
  3. Book an appointment for an interview at the German embassy in your home country. Save the date for the interview. Endeavour to get this done 3 months early to your planned travel date. Booking is online. Get the exact information from the German consulate in your region.
  4. Pay the outstanding German Visa Fee. Keep the receipt in a secure location. The consular officer checks the receipt during the interview.
  5. Interview day: Arrange all your documents in the given order. The interview is less than 15 minutes. The consular officer goes through your submitted documents and asks questions. The officer will ask personal questions and will want to know your reason for travelling to Germany. Provide honest answers to these questions.


The German embassy website for countries always follows this format: “” format. ‘country’ is the name of the home country of the city in the home country where the embassy is located. For instance, this is the German embassy in Canada. You can use the German Consulate Finder on the German official website to find the German embassy in your region.

Required documents for a German Visa

It is important to submit every required document for a Germany Visa. The consular officers are always keen and strict on the issue. The German embassies in every country have a customized checklist of German visa requirements for citizens of the country. Usually, there are requirements for obtaining a German visa which is expected from most non-Schengen nationals. The goal is to obtain a Schengen visa, but every Schengen country has it’s own requirements.

Here is a curated list of the general requirements which were gathered by My German Visa team:

  1. Valid Passport: The individual must have a valid passport during the application period. The passport must be valid for 90 days beyond your planned stay in the Schengen area. The passport must be less than 10 years old. It is important to get a passport before commencing the application process. Obtaining a passport is a lengthy process in some countries.
  2. Passport-sized Photographs: This photos must be recent (taken within the last 90 days). Check the German Embassy website in your country for other set photo standards.
  3. Application Form: All the information on the form must be completed where applicable with all honesty. The information provided in the form must be inline with other submitted documents. This is a sample German Visa Application Form.
  4. Travel/Hotel Reservation or Flight Itinerary: It is important to provide a document showing your flight, and hotel reservation and/or receipt. If possible, provide a hotel reservation, and a document which proves your intention for the trip.
  5. Health Insurance: Provide travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of € 30.000 (set by the Schengen area). This travel health insurance will cover unforeseen accidents, illnesses, and repatriation.
  6. Proof of Finance or Financial backing: This is a recent bank statement (in most cases) that shows you have enough money for the trip. The traveller can submit a formal declaration from a third party, stating their willingness to finance the trip to Germany. For instance, your employer or sponsor can finance the trip. A bank statement must accompany this declaration. In addition to this, the bank statement must show that the traveller is able to spend at least €45 each day for the period in Germany.

The list above contains the general requirements for citizens in non-Schengen countries. Getting a passport and submitting the documents 90 days before your intended travel date is most noteworthy. Check the German embassy in your home country to get the complete list.

Getting a passport and submitting the documents 90 days before your intended travel date is most noteworthy. Check the German embassy in your home country to get the complete list.

Type of German Visas

People travel to Germany and other Schengen countries for various reasons. There are different types of German visas, one can apply for depending on the intention of the trip.

Here is a list of some of the German visa type:

  1. Work Visa: This is for an individual who has been employed in Germany. The bearer must provide a document to prove his/her employment.
  2. Job Seeking Visa: The bearer travels to Germany with the aim of searching for a job.
  3. Business Visa: This is for business people who want to do transactions or other businesses in Germany.
  4. Study and Language Learning Visa: This type of visa is for individuals who want to further their education or learn a language. An admission letter is necessary for obtaining this type of visa. There are three types of German Study visas. That is Student Visa, Student applicant Visa and Language course visa. Admitted students have to create a German Bank Blocked Account before arriving in Germany.
  5. Research or Guest Scientist Visa: Institutions in Germany can invite a researcher to carry out a study or research. The concerned will obtain this type of visa.
  6. Training or Internship Visa: Nationals from developing countries can obtain this type of visa to attend internships or training in Germany.
  7. Visitor and Tourist Visa: This type is for individuals visiting the country’s touristic sites. It also for individuals who want to visit relatives or friends who are living in Germany.
  8. Trade Fair and Exhibitions Visa: This sort concerns individuals who mean to take an interest in presentations and exchange fairs.
  9. Cultural, Sports, Religious Event Purpose Visa: This sort is for individuals entering Germany, with interest at a Sports, Cultural, and Religious occasion or as a Film Crew.
  10. Family Reunion Visa: This type is for individuals seeking to join their family members who are German residents.
  11. German Airport Transit Visa: Citizens from a predetermined number of third-world countries need this type of visa to transit in a German airport. Therefore, these third-world citizens must obtain this visa while passing through a German airport to their final destination. For instance, a third-world citizen whose flight to Belgium transits in Germany, then the individual must obtain this visa.
  12. Medical Treatment Visa: Non-Schengen members can travel to Germany for ailments and restorative treatments with this visa.
  13. Visa for the spouse/relatives of German/EU nationals: If you are a spouse to a German or EU national, then you need a German visa to travel to Germany if you do not belong to any of these 62 countries.

Visa Fee

The above visa types have different fees. In addition, German visa fees are relatively cheap when compared to other countries. This is the same for most Schengen countries. It is important to note that there are some exemptions for the German visa fee. German visa fee ranges from Free to €75 for most visa types. Find out if you’re eligible for a German visa fee waiver.

The German visa fee is non-refundable and must be paid when it is required. Applicants will not get a refund of the visa fee no matter the reason. For instance, you will not get a refund if you are denied a visa or fall sick and cannot attend the interview or even if you decide to withdraw your application.

Processing time for a German visa

The applicant’s information or a submitted document can cause delays. Consequently, processing a German visa may take more than the normal 15 working days. Also, a high number of applications may also delay the process. The consular officers deal with applications accordingly. Applicants should be honest when submitting documents to avoid these delays during processing.

We have covered most of the general information in this write-up. It is necessary to know whether you need a German visa.

When should I apply for a German Visa?

Whether you are planning to study, visit, do business, work or stay in Germany, you have to apply for the appropriate visa type. The various types of German Visas have been listed herein. Also, depending on your desired travel date, it is important to submit an application for a German Visa as early as possible.

We recommend that you submit your visa application as early as 3 months before your intended travel date. This enables you to know your travel status early. Also, it saves you from delays. Delays may arise as a result of so many applications being treated by the German Embassy. Delays may also arise from an issue with your documents. Therefore, if you apply early, then you will enough time to correct any mistakes and reapply.

However, you can submit your application 2 or 3 weeks before your planned travel date. This is not very good timing because the processing time for a German visa is usually 10 to 15 days. You will not have time to correct your application documents if there was any omission or misunderstanding.

German Visa Appointment

The appointment is an important step in the application process for a German Visa. Booking an appointment lets you know when you will go for the interview. Also, it lets you know the deadline to gather all the required documents. Note the following before booking a German Visa appointment.

  • Prepare all the required documents in advance. Submit these documents on the appointment day.
  • You can submit an application for a German Visa no earlier than ninety days before your planned travel date.

How to book a German visa appointment?

Fill, download, print and sign the application form online before attending the German visa interview. The best way to book an appointment is online via the Online Appointment System for the application of a visa, a passport or identification card. All German Embassies require that you book an appointment prior to visiting their office. Find the German Embassy in your country and ask for information on how to book an appointment. Also, you can find German Embassies here, and follow the corresponding link for your home country. Thereafter you can book the appointment online.

How to reschedule a German Visa appointment?

Find out with the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country if you can reschedule an appointment for a visa. Some Visa Application Centres permit applicants to reschedule their appointments once for free. Subsequently, the applicant will have to restart the process.

Who needs a German visa?

Citizens from these 62 nations are qualified to head out to Germany without a visa on account of tourism, visiting and business. Notwithstanding, this is a “90 days inside a 180 days” kind of trip. You should get a German visa to move to Germany on the off chance that you are not a resident of these 62 nations. Moreover, on the off chance that you need to remain for over 90 days within a 180-day time frame, you should acquire a visa. Similarly, in the event that your reason for movement isn’t tourism, visiting or business, at that point you should get a visa before entry.

How do I get a visa to study in Germany?

Education in Germany is free for most, if not all schools. As a result, many foreign students prefer studying in Germany. Also, Germany has some of the best Universities in the world. For example;

  1. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, LMU
  2. Technische Universität München, TUM
  3. Humboldt University of Berlin
  4. Heidelberg University

The German government and other organizations and foundation also offer scholarships to international students in Germany. Most of these scholarships can be found in our list of Fully funded German Scholarships for International students.

All foreign students MUST obtain the following before travelling to Germany:

  1. Admission at a German University
  2. German Bank Blocked account
  3. German Student Visa
  4. Health Insurance

You can also get a German Student Applicant Visa to travel to Germany and apply for admission in person.

How to extend my German Visa while in Germany?

You can extend your German visa while in Germany. You must have a good reason for the extension. However, there are certain visa types that cannot be extended. Some can be extended to a limited extent. For instance, the Language course visa can be extended for up to a year. That is to say, you can stay in Germany for a maximum of 1 year when you are on a Language Course Visa.

On the other hand, the German Work Visa can be extended for as long as the holder remains employed.

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