Schengen Visa Germany (Short Term)

If you want to take a short trip to Germany, you will likely require a Schengen visa. This will allow you to freely explore Europe for up to 90 days.

If you want help when you decide to apply for a Schengen visa in Germany, please contact Total Law at (+44)333 305 9375 or visit us online to find out more about the services we offer.

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    What is the Schengen Visa?

    Your Schengen visa is a key that unlocks access to the entire Schengen area. It acts as a short-stay visa with a validity period of up to 90 days. You can use it for a range of purposes, including tourism, business, and visiting friends and family members.

    Due to the extensive benefits that a Schengen visa comes with, you will find that it has a stringent application process. Furthermore, there are some key restrictions on what you can do in Germany, and you will need to get a Germany National visa instead if you want to live permanently in the country.

    Please read this article to learn more about how the Schengen visa works and how you can create the best application possible.

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    Schengen Area Countries

    The Schengen area currently covers 26 nations within the EU. There are no border controls between the nations, so you will have near unlimited abilities to travel between them when you get the Schengen visa.

    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • Sweden.

    As you can see, not all EU members are part of the Schengen area. Furthermore, some Schengen countries like Iceland and Switzerland are part of the Schengen area despite not being part of the EU.

    There are also some defacto Schengen area states which are not officially tied to the agreement but do not prevent travellers from the Schengen area from entering. This includes the microstates Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City, and the island states of Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

    Who Needs a Schengen Visa Germany?

    Some nations have visa waiver arrangements with the Schengen area. This means that you will be able to visit for up to 90 days without requiring a Schengen visa, although you will still require a visa if you want to visit for longer.

    However, the majority of nations don’t have visa waivers for the Schengen area. These nations are those without close diplomatic ties to the EU or those that pose security risks to the EU. It is up to you to find out if your nation is waived or not before you apply for a Schengen visa from Germany.

    You will need a Germany Schengen visa if Germany will be the Schengen nation that you will come into first. However, you will need a visa from a different country if you are entering the Schengen area outside of Germany and merely plan to visit Germany while travelling.

    Required Documents for Germany Schengen Visa

    The first stage of completing any application is basic requirements and all the documents that will be required during the application. The main documents include the following:

    • A valid passport that has two empty pages minimum for the visa has been issued in the last ten years and is valid for at least three months after you are due to leave the Schengen area.
    • A completed Schengen visa Germany application form.
    • Evidence you will return to your home country before your visa expires. For example, this can include a return ticket or evidence you have enough money to buy one.
    • Two recent passport-style photographs.
    • A receipt to show that you paid the application fee.
    • Travel insurance that is valid throughout your stay. It should cover medical and repatriation expenses with a minimum value of 30,000 euros.
    • Complete documentation for your trip, showing you have booked accommodation and travel within the Schengen area.
    • Evidence you have enough money to support your trip without relying on state assistance.

    Our team of legal experts can help you obtain a visa to schengen visa Germany. Contact Us

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      Application Process for the Schengen Visa


      Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you will be ready to begin your Schengen visa applications. This will need to be submitted to the German embassy or consulate general in your country. Please note that in some cases, you will only be able to apply to the German consulate in the country where you are a citizen, so you may not be able to apply straight away if you are resident in a foreign country.

      The first step is to book and attend a visa interview at the embassy or consulate, where you will submit your visa application form and further documentation to a consular officer. Here, you will pay the application fee.

      After paying the fee, you can expect a decision to come within 15 days. In some cases, the German consulate or embassy will require you to submit additional documentation, which can extend the waiting period to up to 60 days.

      Application Fee

      Your application will only be processed if you pay the application fee. At the time of writing in November 2023, the fee is 80 euros, which applies to anybody over 12 years old. Meanwhile, the fee is cut in half to 40 euros for children aged 6-12, and there is no application fee for children under 6.

      There are also a number of exemptions that apply, which will mean you are not expected to pay an application fee for a Schengen visa. These include the following:

      • Family members of EU and EEA nationals.
      • Researchers travelling to assist with scientific research activities.
      • Diplomatic, official, and service passport holders.
      • Students and teachers who will travel to Germany for a school trip.

      Visa Interview

      Another key aspect of your visa application is the visa interview, where a visa service provider, such as a consular officer, will ask you to submit your documentation and answer a range of questions about your application. Common questions in the visa interview include the following:

      • Do you have family members in any EU member state?
      • What is the purpose of your trip?
      • How will you pay for the trip?
      • What countries in the Schengen area do you plan on visiting?
      • Are you married? You may also be asked further questions about your spouse.
      • When will you be going back to your home country?
      • Where will you stay in Germany during the trip?
      • What do you do for work, and who is your employer?

      Make sure that you answer all of these questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. Any issues with your answers to the questions can result in your application being delayed or refused.

      Entry Restrictions

      When you enter the Schengen area, you will need to show your visa and passport to border officials. The authorities will stamp your passport to show the date that you entered the Schengen area, and a failure to acquire this stamp may result in you being fined or detained later.

      However, there are more layers of complexity to the entry restrictions associated with the Schengen visa, which you will have to make sure you follow.

      Firstly, your 90 days of travel within the Schengen area must occur within a 180-day period. If more than 180 days have elapsed from when you first entered the Schengen area, you will need to apply for a new Schengen visa.

      Furthermore, there are three subcategories of the Uniform Schengen visa, which will change your travel rights within the area. This includes the following:

      • Single entry visa: you can only enter once. Once you leave, your visa will be invalid.
      • Double entry visa: You can enter and leave the Schengen area twice and will have to apply for a new visa if you want to enter for a third time.
      • Multiple entry visa: you can enter and leave as many times as you like within the 180-day period.

      Meanwhile, the most restrictive type of Schengen visa sits outside of this uniform category. The Limited Territorial Validity visa (LTV) only allows you to travel within Germany and is not valid for travel outside of Germany in the Schengen area.

      Types of Schengen Visa

      Although the application process will usually be the same, there are multiple types of Schengen visa and you will need to apply for the correct one.

      The most common type is the Tourist Schengen visa which gives you the right to visit for pleasure or to see friends and family. During your stay, limited to 90 days, you cannot participate in any “gainful activity” such as work.

      Another visa type is the Business Schengen visa which permits you to conduct limited business activities in Germany. Restrictions will be clearly defined on your visa. Those travelling to the Schengen area for journalistic purposes will have to make sure their Schengen visa allows for this.

      Meanwhile, the Student Schengen visa which allows for short-term study in an institution you have enrolled at. This does not allow for permanent residency.

      The Official Visit Schengen visa applies to those travelling into the area as part of an official duty. This applies commonly for diplomats.

      The Medical Reasons Schengen visa permits you to travel into the area to get healthcare they would not be able to access otherwise.

      The Cultural, Sports and Film Crews Schengen visa applies to those travelling in the area to record or participate in a cultural or sporting event. Note that you must have an audience for your event.

      The subcategory of the Schengen visa that most travellers transiting through Germany need to be aware of is the Airport Transfer Schengen visa. This was introduced in 2010 to allow travellers to transfer flights within the Schengen area.

      In Germany, the Airport Transfer Schengen visa will only apply if you are travelling through one of the following airports:

      • Frankfurt International Airport (valid 24 hours a day)
      • Munich International Airport (valid 24 hours a day)
      • Berlin Airport (valid 6am to 11pm)
      • Hamburg Airport (valid 4:30am to 11:30pm)
      • Düsseldorf Airport (valid 6am to 9pm and only if pre-arranged by the airline)

      If none of these categories apply, you can select “Other” when applying for the visa. You will then have to explain the purpose of your visit on the application.

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        What Are the Common Reasons for Refusal of a Schengen Visa Application?

        Germany is one of the strictest countries to make an application for a Schengen visa to, with just over 10% of all applications being rejected. The most common reasons that you might see your visa application being rejected include the following:

        • You are a threat to public security because of past or present criminal activity. There is a particular focus on terrorism, drug abuse, child abuse, and serious crimes.)
        • Your application uses false documents or a false identity. It is particularly problematic if there are discrepancies between the documents.
        • You cannot properly explain the purpose and circumstances of your stay, or the circumstances of your application are different to the circumstances of your trip.
        • Issues with your itinerary, such as not having booked flight tickets, not knowing the main destination nation of your visit, or not having pre-booked accommodation.
        • Your passport is in a poor condition physically or is invalid.
        • Lacking finances to sustain yourself during the trip or attempting to show you have enough money with invalid documents.
        • Invalid or insufficient travel insurance.
        • Previous overstays or visa oversteps in the Schengen area.

        Please note that this list has two distinct categories: issues with your applications and issues with yourself as an applicant. If you have issues with your application, it will be relatively easy to apply again to get a Schengen visa, having solved the issues. However, if the issue lies with yourself, you will find it near impossible to get a short-stay visa and should consider alternative visas or travelling to a different country that is not in the Schengen area.

        Appealing a Schengen Visa Rejection

        Under Article (32)3 of the Schengen Visa Code, you have the right to an appeal if your application is rejected. You will need to lodge your appeal to Germany directly. Your notice of refusal will let you know where to make your appeal and the issues that you must address.

        To make an appeal, you will need to write an appeal letter that has your name, date of birth, refusal reference number, signature, and further information that addresses the reason stated for your refusal.

        You are allowed to have a legal representative file an appeal on your behalf. However, you will need to write and sign a letter that gives the representative the ability to appeal on your behalf.

        Before you make your appeal, you should consider that an appeal will usually take several weeks, normally up to 12 weeks. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. If you urgently need to travel to the Schengen area, you should consider a different way to legally come to Germany, such as by filing a new application.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        A Schengen visa Germany unlocks your options to travel in Germany and around vast swathes of Europe and is certainly one of the strongest short-term visas in the world. However, with a denial rate of just over 10%, a poorly completed application will mean that you won’t be able to go on the trip of your dreams.

        Total Law can help you to get this vital visa for travel in Germany and beyond. Our expert team of immigration lawyers can help you to complete and submit your visa application and then can keep you updated on the progress of your application as it passes through the hands of German visa authorities.

        To learn more about the services our team offers and commission our help, please phone us at (+44)333 305 9375.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  Before you travel to Germany, you must prove that you can financially support yourself during your trip so that you won’t need the support of any Schengen area state.

                  Two documents are most commonly used as evidence of this financial capacity:

                  • Bank account statements. These must be less than three months old and show that the money for your trip is already available to you.
                  • A sponsorship letter that confirms another person is going to financially support you during your trip. Your sponsor will also need to provide bank statements.

                  Most of the time, a valid Schengen visa alone will be enough to enter Germany for short-term travel. However, you can increase your chances of success by accompanying it with a No Objection Letter, sometimes called a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

                  A NOC can be given to you by an employer or educational institution in your home country. It confirms that you have strong ties to your home country and have no immigrant intent in coming to the Schengen area.

                  Providing an NOC is optional but will support your application and will speed up the application process.