Procedure descriptions


Schengen visa - application

You require a Schengen visa

  • in category “A” (airport transit visa) for transit by air (this visa only entitles you to stay in the airport’s transit area and not to leave it via a border control point)
  • in category “C” (short-stay visa) for
    • overland transit through Schengen territory to a third country that is not a Schengen state
    • a short stay of up to three months within a period of six months from the date of your initial entry. This visa entitles you to short stays in
      • Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
      • Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

N.B. A category “C” visa does not entitle you to take up gainful employment unless this is marked in the visa.

You can also have a visa issued for several stays within a period of up to five years. This is conditional on each short stay not exceeding a period of up to three months within a period of six months from the date of your initial entry.
Please note that the immigration authority only has a very limited scope to extend your visa after your arrival.

For longer stays, you need a national visa.

Tip: On the website of the Federal Foreign Office, you will find a list of countries whose citizens require visas/are visa-exempt when entering the Federal Republic of Germany.

Note: No entry visa or residence permit is required for citizens of European Union (EU) member states or citizens of the EEA countries Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The same applies to Swiss citizens. You will find further information in the procedure “Application for residence permit for citizens of Switzerland".

Responsible authority

For issuing a visa: The German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)

Useful tip: You can find a Directory of Diplomatic Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany Abroad on the internet pages of the Federal Foreign Office.

Note: You can also apply for a visa for short-term stays to the diplomatic mission abroad of a different Schengen state. However, you should apply for the visa to the diplomatic mission of the Schengen state where the principal destination for your short stay is located.




  • Your identity has been established and you satisfy the passport obligation.
  • Your subsistence is assured.
  • There are no grounds for your expulsion and
  • if there is no claim to a residence title:
    Your stay does not endanger or prejudice the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Note: Granting of a visa will not be considered if you have been expelled, removed or repatriated.


You must apply for the visa in writing and state the purpose of the stay. You apply to a German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate).

Note: Incorrect or incomplete information will normally result in the refusal of a residence title after entry. It may also give rise to expulsion.

Required documents

  • Passport or travel document issued in lieu of a passport
  • Proof of the prerequisites listed (for example, declaration of formal obligation from a third party as assurance for the foreigner's livelihood)


In good time before the planned entry


60 euros (partial exemption possible)

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released the full description on 02.12.2014. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

Die hier dargestellten Informationen werden von service-bw übernommen und regelmäßig aktualisiert.