The Schengen area covers 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them. These countries are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are members of the EU but currently do not apply the Schengen agreement.
The Schengen Visa Code standardises the visa requirements that the mission has to use for visa processing. The mission takes a decision on the visa application at its own discretion, taking into account all the circumstances in any given individual case. There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen visa. The mission must ensure that the following requirements have been met in each individual case:
- The purpose of your trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible.
- You must be in a position to finance your living and travel expenses from your own funds and/or income. This includes a travel health insurance policy with minimum cover of 30,000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area
- You must demonstrate that you intend to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
The Schengen Visa Code also stipulates with which Member State you need to file your visa application:
- the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of your visit(s).
- if your visit includes more than one destination, or if there are several separate visits within 2 months, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of your visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay.
- if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border you intend to cross first in order to enter the territory of the Member States.
Please note that you may not pursue any economic activity in Germany unless such activity is explicitly authorised by a visa or a residence permit issued in Germany.
The Schengen Visa Code requires you to file your visa application no later than 15 calendar days before your intended travel.
For C visas involving an economic activity, we may require approval from other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). Once a decision has been taken on your application, we will contact you.
Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.
You may apply up to six months before the start of the intended visit.
If you are unsure how many days you have left on your current visa, check the Short-stay Visa Calculator.