Life in Germany. You are advised to submit your application for a Schengen Visa to the representative of the country which is your main destination – considering length and purpose of your intended stay. In this case it is Germany.
Are you planning to come to Germany for a short period to visit relatives, attend a meeting or seminar, or simply for holidays? If yes, you can apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa.
A Schengen Visa entitles the holder to an accumulated stay of up to 90 days within a period of 6 months for 26 European Countries.
• One completed visa application form (which you can download from the website of Germany Embassy in your home country)
- Two recent photos. Taken within the last three months, in compliance with the Schengen visa photo criteria.
• Passport valid for at least 90 days after expiry of requested visa
• 2 copies of pages containing personal information
• Copies of pages with recent Schengen visa(s)
• One recent biometric passport picture
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Document confirming employment
• Self-employed: Company registration/letter from accountant
• Students: Proof of school/university attendance, confirming that student is exempt from attending lectures during requested travel period
Documents reflecting the nature of the trip
• Signed letter of invitation from private person + passport copy, or
• Legalised letter of invitation or concert/sport event tickets, or
• Package Tour/Cruises/Individual Trips (proof of accommodation for every day) or
Documents confirming sufficient funds are available for the trip
• Current 3 months stamped bank statement of private bank account, or
• Current 3 months stamped bank statement of business account, or
• Legalised letter of obligation + written statement explaining the relationship between the inviting party and the applicant.
- Verpflichtungserklärung. If your host is covering all your expenses, they need to sign this document, also known as a letter of commitment. The form can be obtained from the German immigration authorities at the place of residence of your host, whose solvency will be verified by these authorities.
Flight-ticket and hotel reservation
• Flight reservation and travel itinerary
• Hotel reservation with full address for the entire time of stay in Schengen State(s)
• Signed Invitation letter from a host/company in Germany with full address
• Medical insurance valid for the duration of the requested Visa
• Minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 and repatriation
For accompanying minors (younger than 18 years of age)
• Unabridged birth certificate (displaying father’s and mother’s name )
• Guardian’s declaration of consent signed by both guardians/parents
• Copy of first page of the minor’s passport
€80 for adults. Children aged 6-12 are required to pay €40. Nationals of countries that have visa-facilitation agreements with the EU will have to pay €35.
Where and how to apply?
To apply for the Germany tourist/visitor visa, simply follow the steps listed below:
- Initially, keep in mind to apply early. At least 3 weeks before your travel date.
- Locate the nearest German embassy/consulate in your country. This is where you should go to set up an appointment. If there is no German embassy/consulate in your country, you should locate the German embassy in a neighbouring country. Depending on the embassy, you may also set up an appointment online.
- Fill in the application form with precision and sincerity. Print two copies and sign both of them.
- Pay the visa fee and take the payment confirmation with you.
- Make sure you have all the necessary documents before submitting the application.
- Prepare for the interview by searching online for common questions asked in such cases. Additionally, make sure you are on time, not too late and not too early either.
After completing the application form, you have to take it to the German Embassy in your home country.
You are advised to apply for a visa at least 3 weeks before your travel date to meet any processing delays.
Germany Visa Required Documents for Minors
In addition, to the commonly required documents, you will have to submit some extra documents for a Visa for Germany for your underage children:
- Original birth certificate. If it is in neither German nor English, a certified translation must be attached to it.
- Application form signed by both parents. Minors have to complete the same application form as all travellers, except that both parents, instead of the visa candidate, should sign it.
- Consent of both parents. If the minor will be travelling alone the consent of both parents represented by a signature in the application form and a formal letter is requested.
- Consent of one parent. If the minor is travelling with one of the parents, the consent of the other parent is still required.
- Custody court order. Required only in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
Germany Visa Required Documents Based on Employment Status
You need to submit additional documents depending on your employment status, as explained below.
If you are employed, you will have to submit the following documents:
- Employment contract. The document must state your position and the date you started working there.
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Leave permission from the employer. The permission must state that the company permits you to take the annual leave during that period.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
If you are self-employed, you will have to submit the following documents:
- A copy of your business license.
- Company bank statement for the latest 6 months.
- Income Tax Return (ITR).
If you are unemployed but married to an EU citizen, you will have to submit the following documents:
- Confirmation of Employment letter. If the spouse is an employed citizen of Germany, you should submit proof on that. This confirmation must be no older than three months and must state the position held within the company as well as the starting date.
- Spouse’s valid passport.
- An official marriage certificate.
If you are retired, you will have to submit the following documents:
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
If you are a student, you will have to submit the following documents:
- Proof of enrolment. A document issued by a tertiary educational institution that confirms your enrolment there.
- No objection letter from school or university. This is a formal letter from your educational institution, which confirms you are permitted to be absent during the time of the trip.
Important for information for applicants for the Germany Tourist Visa
• Only complete applications can be accepted; Non-submission of necessary documentation may lead to a refusal
• False or falsified documents will lead to refusal of visa and/or further consequences
• The German missions reserve the right to ask for further supporting documents/information
• Visa extensions within Germany are generally not possible
• Applicants may NOT apply for permanent residence in Germany while on this Visa
• The German Mission may shorten the validity of the Visa without prior consultation
• Have you already had your fingerprints taken at an earlier application for a C-Schengen visa? If so, it may not be necessary for you to apply in person.
The above article has been prepared using information provided by the German Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa and Schengen Visa info website.