What you need to know about German Visas
A visa for Germany is a document that allows a non-European national to enter the Federal Republic of Germany for a specific purpose. There are different types of Germany visas, each with its requirements. The type of visa you need depends on the reason for your visit and how long you plan to stay in Germany.
The application process for a Germany visa can be complicated, so it’s important to ensure you have all the required documents before beginning. You will also need to pay a visa fee and schedule an appointment at a German embassy or consulate.
If you are granted a visa, you must follow the rules and regulations during your stay. This includes registering with the local authorities if you plan to stay for more than 90 days. Failure to meet the terms of your visa can result in deportation and a ban from re-entering Germany.
Types of German Visas
There are many types of German visas, each with its specific requirements. The most common type of visa is the Schengen visa, which allows for travel within the Schengen area (comprising 26 European countries). Other types of Germany visas include business, work, student, and family visas.
The Schengen visa allows for travel within the Schengen area, which comprises 26 European countries. It is the most common type of visa and is valid for 90 days.
A German business visa allows you to travel to Germany for business purposes, such as attending meetings, conferences, or trade fairs. This kind of visa is also valid for 90 days.
A work visa allows you to work in Germany for a specified time. It is valid for one year, but it can also be renewed.
A student visa permits students to study at a German institution of higher education. It is valid for one year, but fortunately, it can be renewed.
A family visa allows you to travel to Germany to visit family or friends. It is valid for 90 days.
How to Apply for a German Family Visa
Here’s what you need to do:
- Complete a visa application form.
- Create an appointment at the German embassy or at the German consulate in your country.
- Submit the required documents, which include proof of financial means, travel insurance, and your passport.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Attend your appointment and submit your biometrics (fingerprints and photos).
- Wait for a decision from the German authorities.
How to Book an Appointment
The first step in booking a visa appointment is to visit the German Embassy or Consulate website in your home country. You will find a link to the online appointment system on the website.
The online appointment system will ask you to create an account and fill in some personal information. After completing the needed fields, you will be able to see a list of available appointment times.
Pick a time that works for you and book your appointment. You will need to pay a fee when you book your appointment, but you can do this online with a credit card. Once your appointment is booked, arrive at the German Embassy or Consulate on time. Bring all required documents, including your passport, application form, and photos.
After the isa interview, the officer will tell you whether or not your visa has been approved. If approved, they will give you instructions on picking up your visa and paying any remaining fees.
Germany Visa Requirements
If you are a United States, Canadian, Australian, or New Zealand citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Germany for tourist or business purposes. However, you will still require a valid passport for at least three months beyond your planned departure from Germany.
If you want to be in Germany for more than 90 days, you must apply for a long-stay visa (known as a D-visa) before your trip. To apply for a D-visa, you will need to submit the following documents:
- A completed application forms
- Your passport or other travel documents
- Two passport photographs
- Proof of health insurance coverage for your stay in Germany
- A flight itinerary or other proof of travel plans
- Proof of financial capabilities that will sustain your stay in Germany (e.g., bank statements, scholarship letter, etc.)
Additional official documents will be required depending on your stay and nationality. For example, you must submit proof of admission to a German university if you are applying for a student visa. Please consult the official German embassy or consulate website responsible for your jurisdiction for more information on specific requirements.
Health Insurance for German Visa
Health insurance is a critical aspect of your visa application, especially if you're applying for a long-term or permanent stay (known as a category D visa). Here's what you need to know:
- Minimum Benefits: Applicants for category D visas must have health insurance coverage meeting the minimum standards of the German statutory health insurance system (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung). These standards are outlined in sec. 11 (1) to (3) SGB V (Social Insurance Code, Vol. 5).
- Travel Insurance Not Accepted: Travel insurance policies are not accepted when applying for a residence permit. You must obtain health insurance that complies with German statutory requirements.
- If you're employed in Germany, your employer's declaration included in your visa application should indicate whether you'll be covered by the German statutory health insurance.
- If you won't be insured under the German statutory system, you must provide evidence of alternative health insurance that meets the minimum requirements. This evidence typically takes the form of a letter or insurance certificate from the insurer, clearly naming you as the beneficiary and outlining the coverage scope. Ensure it explicitly mentions coverage during your secondment to Germany, the level of coverage, and any limitations or deductibles.
Joining Family/Relocating with a Family Member:
- If you're joining family or relocating with a family member already insured in the German statutory health insurance system, you'll usually be covered through family insurance based on the family member's employment.
Temporary Stays (e.g., Workers Temporarily Posted or Students Abroad):
- Workers temporarily posted to Germany by their employers and students participating in a year abroad or an internship can use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to access healthcare in Germany. These cards should be valid for the entire duration of your visa.
- If EHIC/GHIC is not applicable, you must provide evidence of alternative health insurance meeting the minimum requirements, as mentioned earlier.
Please note that your visa's validity can only commence on the day for which you can prove sufficient health insurance coverage in Germany.
Germany Visa Process
If you’re submitting a visa application, the processing time will depend on whether you apply in your home country or abroad. If you submit your application domestically, it should take at least two days to get your passport back. If you submit from abroad, it should take at least two weeks.
If you have a Schengen visa, it will expire within three months of being issued (the exact date depends on how long ago your passport expired). Before 30 days after its expiration date, you can go to the immigration office and apply to extend your stay. The cost will vary depending on the duration of your stay in Germany. If this is something that interests you, make sure to check with local authorities beforehand about costs and timing.
Generally speaking, people from a country outside of Europe will not be eligible if they don’t have any other ties to that country. But someone traveling around European countries for up to three months on business is not required to reapply at every entry into a country to renew their visa.
Extension of stay in Germany on a national visa
Suppose you want to be in Germany for an extended duration on a national visa. In that case, you must apply for an extension at the German embassy or consulate responsible for your place of residence before your visa expires.
You will need the following documents:
- A completed and signed application form
- Your passport or other travel documents
- Two passport photos
- Proof of financial means (e.g., bank statements, scholarship letter)
- A health insurance policy. You can contact www.bprotected.de for more Information
- Evidence of accommodation in Germany (e.g., lease contract, hotel reservation)
- A detailed justification for why you want to extend your stay (e.g., a job offer, an invitation from relatives)
Please note that the extension of a national visa can take up to two months to process. If the visa application is approved, you will be issued a new visa to stay in Germany for the duration specified on the visa.
What happens if my visa application is rejected?
You must reapply for a new visa if your German visa application is rejected. You will need to submit additional official documentation and may be required to attend an interview. If your visa is still rejected, you can appeal the decision or try to apply for a different type of visa.
What are the requirements for a visa?
To apply for a Germany visa, you must submit your passport, a completed visa application form, two passport-sized photos, proof of health insurance, and proof of financial means. You may also need additional documentation, such as proof of employment or an invitation letter.
Here is a step-by-step visa application
If you’re looking to apply for a visa, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps.
1. First, gather all of the required documentation. This includes your passport, birth certificate, proof of employment, and health insurance.
2. You need two recent passport-sized photos (2”X2”) for your application. You’ll send one photo with a white background and one that includes your full head and shoulders in an in-focus color picture against any backdrop of your choosing as long as both photos are submitted within six months before you submit the necessary documents. Alternatively, you can submit two photos taken two years before the submission date. They only accept jpeg files in black and white or color formats (.jpg,.gif,.png), but not pdf files containing logos.
3. Next, fill out the visa application form and submit it to the German consulate or embassy. Once your application has been properly processed, you’ll be asked to attend an interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked about your travel plans and why you’re interested in visiting Germany. Finally, if your application is approved, you’ll be issued a visa and can begin making travel plans!
You have now learned the basics of German visas and how to go about getting one. We can help you with the visa application process from start to finish, so don’t hesitate to contact us. We also offer various other services like airport transfers and accommodation bookings. Contact us today for more information!