Schengen visas allow people to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every six-month period.
The German Embassy is responsible for processing your application if your main Destination is Germany, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Sweden or Switzerland.
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.
Tourist/visitor's visa checklist
Business visa checklist
Checklist for Family members of EU citizens
Checklist for Government officials/BDF
- Please make an appointment to submit your application. You may submit your application three months before the start of your planned trip at the earliest. Appointment system
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 VAC 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 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 a few days. 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 will be notified by the VAC to collect your passport within a period of several days.
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.
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. Our aim is to give you a certain amount of flexibility in planning your trip. In order to allow you to change your travel dates at short notice, visas are usually valid for 15 days longer than the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area.
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.
Complaints about the Schengen visa application process
Schengen visa applicants may submit complaints about the conduct of the consulate staff or the visa application process via the contact form contact SchengenVisaComplaints. In the contact form, please select the option “Beschwerde zum Schengen-Visum-Verfahren”. Please note that complaints may only be submitted in German or English. We are unable to follow up on complaints in languages other than German or English. Please enter one of the following two options in the “Subject” field of the contact form:
- Complaint about the conduct of consulate staff
- Complaint about the Visa Application Centre
- Complaint about the visa application process
We will follow up on your complaint once it has been received.
Important information: No legal remedies against decisions to refuse, annul or revoke a visa – in particular no remonstrations – may be submitted via the complaints contact form.