Schengen visas allow people to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every six-month period.
As a German Embassy, we are responsible for processing your application if Germany is your main destination.
(Where do I apply for a Schengen visa? What is the Schengen area? Who needs a Schengen visa? See FAQ).
Preparing your application
Please prepare your application as follows:
- Please fill out the visa application form.
- Please compile the documents you need to submit with your application. If documents or supporting documentation are missing, your application may be rejected. We have prepared a checklist for each type of visa.
Business visa checklist
Visitors of exibitors of fairs visa checklist
Family / friends visit visa checklist
Tourist visa checklist
- Seafarers, who are to join their ship in a German harbour (e.g. Hamburg, Bremerhaven), require a Schengen-Visa for the entry into the Schengen-Area (e.g. through airport in Frankfurt). The visa is generally issued as a transit visa: Seamen transit visa checklist
- Please only hand in complete documents. Do not forget health insurance, Information provided to applicants pursuant to Section 54 Residence Act, biometrical photo.
- Please make an appointment to submit your application. Visa applications can be accepted in the Visa Section only if an appointment for the submission of the application was scheduled. You may submit your application three months before the start of your planned trip at the earliest.
Please do not send the Visa Section any documents unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. We are not able to store such documents and will not know to which application they belong. Please always bring all the necessary documents with you to your appointment.
Submitting your application
In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at the Embassy in person. During this appointment, we kindly ask you to submit all of your application documents, pay the fee and answer questions about your planned trip. Your photograph and fingerprints will also be taken on this occasion.
What happens during processing?
The Embassy will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will assess whether your application meets the legal requirements. Processing generally takes one week. We hope you will understand that we are not able to answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. After that, enquiries can only be answered if they are made by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorised in writing by the applicant.
Return of your passport
As soon as the Embassy has decided on your application, you can collect your passport in person. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorise another person to collect it for you. It is also possible to return your passport by courier service. The Embassy only accepts the courier service 2Go.
There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected. These reasons are explained in the FAQ.
If your visa application was rejected and you do not agree with the decision, you can remonstrate against the refusal of your visa.
You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.
Have a good trip! Information for visa holders
If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the period of validity. This is the time period in which you can travel. In addition, it will state the maximum number of days you can stay in the Schengen area during the period of validity of your visa.
Please note that being granted a Schengen visa does not guarantee that you will be allowed to enter the Schengen area. The final decision on whether or not you will be allowed to enter the Schengen area will be made by the border police on your arrival. When you arrive, the border police may ask you to present additional documentation alongside your passport and valid visa with information on your financial means, the length and purpose of your stay, and your health insurance cover. You should therefore take a copy of your visa documents (including an invitation from Germany, hotel reservation and travel health insurance) with you on your trip.