German Visitor Visa
German Tourist/Visit visa
A Schengen Tourism / Visitor visa to Germany is a visa established by the Schengen states, which gives the opportunity to its holder to visit not only Germany, but also all of the 26 Schengen member countries. It is issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport of the traveler.
The Schengen visa for tourism purposes or visiting friends and family members, limits you to only traveling and sightseeing throughout the Schengen area.
Please note that with a Schengen visa you are not allowed to work or study, thus it is mandatory that you apply for a student visa or work visa (national visa), or other visa types according to your purpose of entry, if you wish to enter Germany for other than tourism.
Who needs a Tourism/Visitor Visa to Germany?
Depending on the rules and policies established by the Schengen states, whether you need a short-stay visa to Germany or not, it all depends on your nationality / citizenship. Therefore, before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to Germany, make sure to check whether you need a visa to Germany or not.
Visitors that do not need a visa to Germany
The travelers who do not need a visa to enter Germany for either sightseeing or visiting family members or friends, should belong to one of the following categories:
- Citizens of the Schengen Area
- Citizens of one of the countries that have established visa-free regime with the Schengen states*
- Citizens of a third-world country that doesn’t have a visa-free regime with the Schengen states, but is currently in the Schengen Zone under a:
- Schengen Visa valid for the whole Schengen territory
- National Visa issued by one of the member states
- Permanent residency of one of the member states
*Starting January 1, 2021, all travelers from this category will need to apply for an ETIAS prior to their travel towards any of the Schengen member states, in order to be allowed to enter the territory.
If you would like to ascertain your eligibility for German visitor visa, you can book an appointment for initial consultation with our Germany Immigration experts. Call us on +91 9633 746454 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors that need a visa to Germany
On the other hands, travelers will need to obtain a Schengen visa before traveling towards Germany if they are the citizens of third world countries that:
- Do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states
- Have a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen countries but the traveler was rejected from entering visa-free by border guards
When can file your visa application?
The earliest you can file your Schengen visa application is at most six months before your intended trip towards Germany. Whereas, the latest you can do so, is two weeks prior to your trip to Germany.
However, you are highly recommended to apply for a tourist visa at least 3 weeks before your travel date in order to avoid any processing delays.
Visa fees for a Tourist/Visitor Visa
You will need to pay a visa fee in order for your application to be processed. The cost of a Schengen visa as of 2020 is €80. However, there are categories that are exempt from paying the visa fee or have to pay a reduced fee. Please note the visa fees will not be reimbursed in case of visa rejection and the price is subject to change at any time.
Visa Processing Time
The processing of short-stay visas to Germany takes around ten days to be processed. However, at times when the embassy is processing a lot of visa applications, tourism visas may take a bit longer, since business visas or others are treated with more priority. This is the main reason why you are suggested to file your application for a German tourism/visitor visa as soon as possible.
Tourist/Visitor Schengen Visa Validity
The longest time you can remain in Germany with a tourist Schengen visa is three months. However, the German embassy in your home country is the one that decides how many days you can spend in Germany, and within which dates. Please understand that there is a slight difference between visa validity and the duration of stay.
Visa validity is the first date you can enter the Schengen Area, and the last day you must leave. Whereas, duration of stay is the number of days you can spend in the Schengen, within the validity of your visa. Therefore, the validity of a visa has been always longer than the duration of stay. Do not violate the validity of your visa nor the duration of stay; otherwise you may face a ban or deportation.