Tourist Visa Requirements
You're not sure, if you need a tourist visa for Germany?
There are some simple rules, who needs one and who doesn't.
Click here to find out.
A tourist visa is usually valid for up to 90 days and will not allow you to either study or
work during your stay. Request a work or student visa if you plan to do either one.
What are the visa requirements for a short-term (tourist or business) visa?
- evidence that you have enough money to cover the costs of your stay in Germany
- if you don't have proof of sufficient funds, you'll need an invitation from someone based in Germany pledging to cover all your costs
- travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000, which is valid in all Schengen countries
- demonstrate the willingness and ability to return to your own country
Where can you get your German tourist visa?
Generally you will have to request your short stay visa in the German embassy or consulate, which is nearest to your residence. Only in exceptions you can request a German visa in a country where you're not resident.
How long does it take to issue your tourist visa?
According to the German Foreign Office it usually takes between two and ten working days to issue your Schengen visa.
Nevertheless, during peak travel season, it might take longer. To be on the safe side, request your visa at least one month before your planned travel date.
What do you need to request a visa?
The procedure is quite straightforward: you must submit your visa application, together with all necessary documents, personally at the German embassy or consulate nearest to your residence.
Even though you can download the visa application here, I'd strongly recommend calling or visiting the website of the German embassy/consulate in your country in order to inquire about any special local requirements pertaining to visa formalities. That way you avoid multiple visits to the embassy.
How long can you stay?
I already mentioned that the maximum stay allowed for tourist or business purposes is 90 days. But this doesn't mean, you will always get the maximum.
On your visa it will show the exact amount of days given to you. If you are planning to visit Germany for one week, you might be given exactly 7 days. In this case, it's rather difficult to extend your stay for another week, if you change your plans.
Therefore plan the length of your trip generously. When given 3 weeks you can always leave the country after two weeks.
Keep in mind that you cannot stay longer than 90 days in any given 6-months period. Once you've used them up, you have to wait six months (calculated from the day on which you left Germany or another Schengen state for the last time) before traveling to Germany or another Schengen state again.
How long does your passport have to be valid?
On the planned date of departure from Germany, your passport should be valid at least four months. It should also contain at least two empty pages where the visa can be inserted.
For detailed questions, ask a lawyer and get expert advice.