Schengen Visa Requirements

The Schengen visa allows visa-required individuals to travel and stay in Germany or any of the other Schengen regions for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Depending on the reasons for travel, different requirements apply.

If you or a loved one are planning to apply for a Schengen visa, it is important that you understand the application process and required documents. You can call us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to receive immediate help with any stage of your visa application.

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    Understanding the Schengen Visa

    The Schengen visa is a short-stay (type C) visa that allows foreign, visa-required individuals to visit and stay in any of the Schengen member states for up to 90 days. This stay is usually limited to the cumulative amount within a 180-day period; however, you should note that certain circumstances will be limited to 90 days within a 12-month period. This includes visas for volunteers, academics and researchers, trainees and interns, as well as individuals engaging in sports, cultural or entertainment activities.

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    Schengen Visa Application Requirements

    Overview

    Depending on your reasons for travel, you will need to meet different requirements and show evidence of your eligibility by providing supporting documents at the point of your application.

    Categories for obtaining this visa include:

    Airport Transit Visa

    The Schengen visa for transit is a special type A visa under the Schengen visa umbrella which will allow you to travel through a Schengen region while on the way to a non-Schengen territory as long as you don’t leave the airport.

    When applying, you will need to complete the application form for a Schengen ‘A’ visa and provide your travel itinerary which shows your dates and times of entry and exit of the Schengen area.

    You will also need to write a letter to the embassy, explaining your travel plans, including duration, accommodation, and reasons.

    As this visa is intended for those who are visiting a third location, you will need to show your visa or other entry permission for your final destination.

    Visiting Relatives or Friends

    When applying for a visitor Schengen visa, you will need to provide a recent informal but signed invitation from your host, as well as a copy of their passport and proof of residence permission.

    Alternatively, you may provide a formal letter of sponsorship (‘Verpflichtungserklärung’) which has been issued by the authority for foreigners (‘Ausländerbehörde’) in Germany.

    If you are visiting a family member, you will also need to provide details and evidence of your relationship. This may be a marriage or birth certificate.

    You must provide original documents and one copy each.

    Tourist Visa

    Tourists who are applying for a Schengen visa will need to submit evidence of their booked accommodation, as well as one copy. If you are planning to stay in multiple places, you will need to submit evidence of all your booked accommodations. Tourists who are attending a cruise will need to provide detailed information or the cruise itinerary.

    You should note that your application will need to be submitted to the consulate general of the main area within the Schengen region that you are planning to stay in. If you are obtaining the visa to visit several locations, this will be the area that you will be in for the longest time.

    Business Visa

    If you are applying for the Schengen visa for business purposes, you will need to provide a business letter from your employer, confirming your employment details and duration, connection to the business in Germany, purpose of your stay, and the intended duration. This letter must be recent and signed and might also need to confirm that your employer is covering all your expenses (if applicable).

    You will also need a formal invitation from the German party, confirming the purpose of your business exchange, business relations, and duration of your trip. Again, this invitation might also need to confirm that the German business is covering your expenses, if this is the case.

    Finally, you must show details of your booked accommodation, such as hotel reservations, which state your name and the hotel’s contact information and address.

    Training Visa

    If you are visiting Germany for an internship or other training opportunity that requires a stay of under 90 days, you will need to apply for the Schengen Training visa.

    Applicants must provide a letter of approval that shows their acceptance into the specific training programme, as well as proof of their qualifications and CV.

    If applicable, you will need to provide details of your employment contract.

    Medical Visa

    When travelling to Germany for any type of medical treatment, you will need to provide a letter from your medical institution or practitioner that confirms the treatment you will be receiving as well as the dates of any procedures.

    You must also show that you have the financial means to pay for your medical treatment or that you have already paid upfront.

    Student, Academic, or Researcher Visa

    If you are travelling to the Schengen region for the purpose of education, you will need to provide evidence of your enrollment in a recognised educational institution.
    Academics or Researchers will need to provide evidence of their associated institutions and the purpose of travel.

    Additionally, you will need to provide a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from your school, University, or associated institution, declaring that you will return to your main country of residence after the purpose for your travel has concluded.

    This visa is limited to a 90-day stay within a 12-month period.

    Charity Work or Volunteering Visa

    Individuals who are applying for a short-term visa in a Schengen member state to participate in volunteering work or charity will need to provide evidence of any employment by, or association with the charitable organisation they are planning to work for.

    You may only stay a total of 90 days within 12 months.

    Employment Visa

    If you are travelling to Germany for short-term employment, you will need to provide a letter from your employer detailing your employment details, duration, and the purpose of your time in Germany.

    If you are a service provider, you must present:

    • Your employer’s declaration (‘Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis’)
    • Details of your contract stating the work or services you have been hired to do
    • Your pre-approval confirmation (‘Vorabzustimmung’) which has been issued by the Federal Employment Agency (‘Bundesamt für Arbeit), as well as one copy

    If you are Seconded staff, you need to provide:

    • Your Employer’s declaration (‘Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis’)
    • Annex B (‘Zusatzblatt B’) which needs to be filled out by your employer
    • Your pre-approval confirmation (‘Vorabzustimmung’) which has been issued by the Federal Employment Agency (‘Bundesamt für Arbeit), and one copy.

    If you are self-employed you will need to provide details of the contract for work or services you are set to carry out in Germany.

    You should note that this visa will not be appropriate for long-term employment. If you would like advice on how to find a suitable visa or immigration path that meets your specific requirements, you can call Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375 today. Our experts will be happy to help you with any step of this process.

    Spousal Visa

    If you are joining your spouse in a Schengen region, you will need to show evidence of your relationship when applying for your visa, such as your marriage certificate.
    You will also need to provide details of your spouse’s status in Germany, such as their passport or residential permission, as well as evidence of their address.
    If you are financially dependent on your spouse, you will also need to submit a letter of obligation (‘Verpflichtungserklärung’).

    Cultural, Sports, or Religious Events Visa

    When travelling to the Schengen region to participate in cultural, sports, or religious activities, you should provide a personal cover letter where you explain the purpose of your visit, the activities you plan to participate in, as well as the planned duration of your stay.

    You will need to provide details of the event you are attending and show your permission to do so (invitation, tickets, or enrollment), as well as any evidence of your previous participation or performances, if any.

    Where applicable, you will also be asked to provide details of your company or group associations, including crew or team members, as well as all relevant permissions to carry out the planned activities.

    Schengen Visa Requirements for Minors

    Applications for underage children who require a Schengen visa require evidence of parental approval, including all parents who hold custody. In the case of a parent with sole custody, this will need to be proven by providing evidence such as the birth certificate, adoption papers, or court rulings.

    Each minor child will need to have a filled-out application form which will need to be signed by all parents with custody. Additionally, birth certificates must be provided for all children, as well as the parents’ passports. You will need to provide the originals and copies of any official documents.

    One or both parents should usually try to attend their child’s visa application interview. If they are unable to do so for any reason, the child will need a letter of travel consent that is signed by all legal parents and has been notarized.

    Schengen Visa Photo Requirements

    The Schengen visa requires biometric passport-style photos measuring 35mm in width and 45mm in height. Ideally, these should be taken by a professional photographer or self-service machine. If you decide to take your own photos you will need to make sure to follow the guidance exactly and use a high-resolution camera in good lighting. It is advisable to use the services of a qualified photographer to adjust your photographs to fit the measurement and border requirements, though you should note that no further editing may be done on eligible pictures.

    Biometric passport photos must:

    • Be taken in frontal view, showing your full face
    • Be taken in front of a white or light, neutral background with no shadows
    • Show a neutral expression: eyes open, not smiling
    • Not include a head or face covering that obscures any part of the face or hair, or casts a shadow. Religious face coverings are permitted. Glasses must not cover any part of the eyes

    Your face must take up between 70% and 80% of the photograph.

    Need help applying for a schengen visa? Reach out to us today. Contact Us

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      Documents Required for Schengen Visa

      In addition to the specific documents that show your eligibility for the specific ground of application that match your circumstances, you will usually need to provide the following documents:

      • Your completed visa application form (including a declaration of accuracy for the information you have provided
      • Two biometric passport-style photos (taken within the last 3 months)
      • Your current passport (must have been issued within the last 10 years and be valid for 3 months longer than the intended visa duration)
      • A copy of your passport’s data page
      • Proof of your permanent place of residence
      • Travel details for your planned round trip (such as flight, ferry, or train details) that show your date of entry and exit
      • Proof of financial means to cover your travel
      • Evidence of living arrangements (confirmation of hotel bookings, a rental agreement, or a letter of invitation from your host)
      • Marriage certificate or proof of relationship as well as a copy of the other person’s passport page (if financially dependent)
      • Evidence of your employment status, student status, or retired status
      • Evidence of adequate health insurance cover (must cover at least €30,000 and be valid for the Schengen regions)
      • Proof of paid fees

      In general, you will need to present original documents as well as one copy at the point of application. The official will usually look over and approve the original and return it to you while filing the copy for your application.

      You should keep in mind that any documents not originally issued in German may need to be accompanied by certified translations.

      Schengen Visa Travel Insurance Requirements

      When travelling under a Schengen visa you will need to have adequate travel medical insurance which will cover at least €30,000, including accidents, treatment, and hospital stays. This insurance must be valid within all member regions of the Schengen agreement.

      How Much Money Do I Have to Own to Get the Schengen Visa?

      When applying for a Schengen visa you will usually need to show evidence that you have the financial means to support yourself for the time of your travels, including payment for all transit and accommodation.

      In case of financial dependency, you will need to provide adequate documentation showing your financial support.

      The No Objection Certificate

      As this is a limited short-stay visa, you will need to show sufficient evidence of your intentions to return to your country of permanent residence after visiting Germany. In some cases, you might need to submit a No Objection Certificate or No Objection Letter (NOC) stating that you will not overstay your permitted time in the Schengen region.

      How to Apply

      When applying for a Schengen visa you will need to fill out the online application form which you can find on the VIDEX diplo website. You will need to provide personal and employment details, as well as your reasons for travel.

      After completion, you must print this form and make an appointment to file your application in person with your local consul, embassy, or visa centre.
      You will need to pay your €80 visa fee and bring all the required documents to your visa interview.

      You should note that this visa requires your biometric data, so your fingerprints will be taken at the time of your interview. This usually entails you placing your fingers on a digital scanner.

      We can assist with all areas of the schengen visa application process. Contact Us

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        Timeline

        When applying for your Schengen visa you will need to allow sufficient time for processing before your intended entry into Germany. You should apply no later than 15 days before you are planning to enter the Schengen region.

        Processing for this visa generally takes 15 days.

        Fees

        When applying for a Category A or C Schengen visa, you will need to pay the associated fee of €80. This fee is payable at the time of application and may be paid with a valid Master Card, Visa credit card, or debit card. Cash or digital payments are not usually available.

        You should make sure that the card you are paying with is legally in your name or that the person whose card it is is present at the time of application.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        While the Schengen visa offers a versatile opportunity to visit Germany and other regions of the Schengen agreement, it is important that you understand the requirements when applying for your visa.

        Contacting a visa specialist can make your application process easier and save you unnecessary problems or delays. You can call us today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online, and we will be happy to help you.

        To ensure your application has been filled in properly, along with the submission of necessary documents, speak with our immigration lawyers today. Contact Us

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The Schengen visa is a type C visa which allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days in the Schengen regions. This stay is applied to an overall duration of 180 days. Should you need to stay longer than this you will need to apply for a Category D national visa.