Formalities for Visas
This page will introduce you to the formalities of applying for a tourist / Schengen. We will be answering questions concerning How to apply? How much money? Who is a frequent traveler? Visa fees? and a lot more but we will not be discussing any requirements of residence permit.
Can I bring friends and family with me, if I am to be interviewed?
This is not possible. German administration would consider that as an extension of your living room and will not want it! You are generally expected to come alone and maybe with your lawyer. However, minors or elders may be accompanied. Spouses and fiancés are generally welcomed / accepted – especially when both are to be interviewed.
Do I need to provide translations for all documents?
Yes. You are expected to bring translations of all documents best into German or secondarily into English. If the case deciders do not play "hard ball" with you, they will normally accept English translations. If they want to pick on you, they will stubbornly demand German translations. Please consider that the official language of the German administration is German.
Can I apply by post?
Unfortunately not, you have to apply in person. However, in some countries, where accredited agents exist, you may use their services. It is also worth a consideration to hire a German immigration lawyer. Your application will treated more carefully when a German lawyer has consulted you and streamlined the application and documents to be submitted.
How much money do I need to have to obtain a visa?
You are expected to show at least € 50 per intended day of stay. Your funds are to cover all travel, accommodation and living costs. Please bring as much evidence as possible on your finances, that the authority can better form a picture of your financial standing. The more evidence you bring, the easier it is for the consulate visa staff to make a positive decision. Best when you can show a summary of the last three years. You show it best by bank statements, tax returns. We would also expect to see the historical provenance of large deposits.
For my visa application, I need a formal obligation from a relative/acquaintance living in Germany. Where do I get the form?
Not you are to obtain the form but your relative or acquaintance is to obtain and submit it. Typically your relative / acquaintance can usually get the required form for a formal obligation at the German foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) of their hometown or from the local agency for public order (Ordnungsamt). Forms are available at the consulate as well.
What will this person be obliged for? Is this requirement easy to get?
This obligation is nothing to be neglected. Your host is to show to the authority that he can afford to come for the costs of your stay and eventually deportation. If your host does not have enough income then you will receive the visa.
Who is responsible for the decision on the granting of a visa?
The competent German consulate decides on the application of any visa. However, a long-term visa or visa to pick up gainful employment will only be issued with the approval of the local foreigners authority in Germany.
What do I do if my passport and visa are lost or stolen at home?
You must first apply for a new passport and then with the new passport reapply to the consulate for another visa. You will have to pay the fee again as well as again produce all supporting documents.
What are the fees to obtain a visa?
The visa fee for Schengen visa is € 60 (Art. 16 no. 1 Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL, Community Code on Visas). The visa for minors costs half as much. The fee has to be paid in Euro or the equivalent amount of the local currency. The most important exemptions are for children under six, students at school or a university and accompanying teachers on educational trips, as well as researchers.
Do I have to come to the interview in person?
Yes. Every applicant, including the elderly and children, have to take the interview in person.
I have to travel to Germany several times a year for business. Do I really have to go through this process every time?
Frequent travelers with record of previous travels can apply for multiple entry visa which is issued with a validity for one year. You will be allowed to stay in Germany / Schengen for up to 90 days within 6 months. You will be generally exempted from an interview.
Who is a frequent traveler?
Frequent travelers, are persons who have applied for a visa and have traveled at least twice to Schengen area or stayed at least once in the Schengen area and once in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, or U.S.A. within the last two years.
I will travel to Germany first on business and afterwards as tourist after my business visit. For which visa do I apply?
Business and tourist purposes are generally just as legitimate. Both can be considered in your application. When doing so, you have to give proof for both reasons. Do tell a plausible story and if you do not then do not reckon to ever to receive a visa.
I heard that some European countries have a special visa facilitation agreements, can this be?
Indeed such agreements exist. They are between Germany and:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Republic Moldavia
- Russian Federation
What are these facilitations about?
These facilitations are about:
- less stricter testing the reason for traveling for official delegations, business persons, truck drivers, journalist, students, and close relatives,
- reduction of the visa fee to € 35, if the visa fee is not waived in full.
- quicker processing of your visa: within 10 calendar days after submitting your application.