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Germany Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines

Germany Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines

Depending on the purpose of your travel to Germany, there are different types of visas that will apply to the occasion.

Whether you are planning to go on a visit, study, business or work and reside in Germany permanently, you will have to apply for a different Germany Visa, accordingly.

You can apply for the German Schengen Visa since 1995 when Germany as an EU Member State also became a member state of the Schengen Area.

Stat: As per 2017, Germany has issued a total of 1,857,770 uniform Schengen visas from 2,049,055 visa applications received at German consulates and embassies around the world. The Visa rejection rate was 7.63%.

What documents are needed for a German Schengen visa application?

The following documents are required for any short term German visa application:

  • Download the application form, fill it completely and with sincerity. You can also fill the Schengen Visa application form electronically and then print a hard-copy.
  • 2 photos must be attached; the photo should be of passport format – a recent whole-face capture with a light background. Learn more about photo requirements and specifications.
  • Your passport and copies of your previous visas – valid for at least 3 months beyond return date – are required. Your passport must have at least two blank pages.
  • Travel health insurance confirmation of minimum 30,000 € coverage within Germany and the entire Schengen area.
  • A cover letter stating the purpose of a visit to Germany and itinerary
  • Flight Itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Germany
  • Hotel Booking for the whole duration of the intended stay in Germany. Find and Book Cheap Hotels in Germany!
  • Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable)
  • Means of subsistence – Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay. According to the European Commission information, a foreign applicant applying for a German Visa, must be able to attest possessing 45€/day to the German Embassy or Consulate for the period of stay in German territory.

If employed:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Leave approval letter from employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

If self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

If a student:

If retired:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If applicable:

  • Regular income generated by property proof of the latest 6 months

*Note: The signed application form must be accompanied the rest of the above-mentioned mandatory documents and handed personally at the appropriate embassy/consulate or its representative in your home country.


Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the purpose of your German Visa application.

Additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of the German Visa Application:

German Tourist Schengen Visa additional requirements:

  • Invitation letter with the address and phone number from family member or sponsor – if applicable
  • Bank statement of the last 6 months
  • Passport copies

German Schengen Visa for Business Purposes:

  • Invitation letter from the German company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit
  • A certificate from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
  • If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
  • Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
  • Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.

German Schengen Visa for Medical Purposes:

  • A local medical report
  • A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Germany, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation
  • Payment receipt of medical fees

German Schengen Visa for Culture, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes:

  • Invitation letter from the above-mentioned authorities with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit , expense coverage
  • Names of the applicants (crew members)
  • Duration of stay
  • Travel itinerary

German Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations:

  • The official invitation copy
  • Identity of applicant
  • Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
  • Duration of stay
  • Place of accommodation 

German Schengen Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other type of Internship Purposes:

  • An enrollment certificate allowing attendance of courses
  • Certificate of completion or courses attended
  • Proof of financial funds

German Schengen Visa For The Wife/Husband of a German citizen:

  • Proof of German citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of German nationality or naturalization order)
  • German marriage certificate
  • German family record book

German Airport Transit Visa:

  • Visa or other type of entry permit in the transit country
  • Copy of your valid visa for your final destination 

German Schengen Visa for Underage Children:

  • Proof of parent’s regular income (work contract with specified monthly income or a bank statement or business license)
  • Notarized travel permission from parent (parental travel consent)
  • If one parent lives in another country – their notarized parental travel consent

*Note: When applying at the German embassy/consulate in home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their under-age children.

How to Extend a German Visa while being in Germany

Do you need to Extend your Germany Short-stay Visa? Find out in what circumstances and what are the conditions you must fulfill in order to be eligible to Extend your Germany Short-stay Visa.

Attention! Please consult with the Germany Embassy in your country for the updated Germany Visa requirements!

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”. For more information about Germany long stay visas, please go to Germany Visa website.

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. Health insurance in Germany (by Krankenkassen-Zentrale) explains different scenarios for people entering the country.

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