Germany Visa - Definitive Guide

Deutschland, also known today as the Federal Republic of Germany is a country in central-western Europe. Being the 3rd largest exporter of goods in the world, it is one of the most technologically innovative and advanced countries. From Adidas to Siemens, to Mercedes-Benz, the Deutsch sure have their brands stamped all over the globe. Apart from this, the country is also a visual spectacle with several tourist attractions. A large number of people visit the country for multiple purposes every year. However, to enter the country, most people require a Germany Visa.

What is Germany Visa?

If you are not a part of the Schengen countries and are not among the German visa-exempt countries, you will need a permit to visit Germany. The permit comes in the form of a sticker in your passport. Indian nationals will have to apply for the Germany Visa from India or apply from a country they are living on a temporary resident permit. The visa is usually issued for short term (90 days), and long term ( more than 90 days). 

Germany Visa Types

The permits to enter Germany are of two main categories - 

  • Short term - Germany Schengen Visa: This type of permit allows you to stay in the country for a period of maximum 90 days in a 180-day period. These also allow you to move freely through any Schengen country as per certain rules.  There are several types of short term permit. The most sought after Schengen Germany Visa types from India are for -
    1. Airport transit
    2. Business
    3. Tourist
    4. Visitor
    5. Trade fair
    6. Guest scientist/study/research
    7. Training/internship
    8. Groups - Cultural, sports, religious events, film crews, etc.
    9. Medical Treatment
  • Long term - German National Visa: This is issued for applicants who require a stay of more than 90 days in the country. The applications for this type almost always involves a personal interview at one of the German Missions in India. The visa of this type is issued for the following categories-
    1. Student
    2. Employment
    3. Guest scientist/research
    4. Job-seeker
    5. Training/Internship
    6. Au pair
    7. Speciality cook
    8. Family reunion
    9. Intended marriage/establishment of a civil union

How to apply a visa for Germany from India?

The process of applying to the German permit is quite complicated. The forms can basically be filled online. However, the submission of the forms and documents has to be made offline at either a German Mission in India or at an outsourced Visa Application Center (VAC) depending on your choice and German visa category.  The procedure can be described as follows -

  • Obtain the necessary documents as per the requirements under each category.
  • Visit the German Missions website, and fill in the Germany Visa form online. Take a print out of the form, as well as sign any required declarations. 
  • Proceed to schedule your German visa appointment at a VAC or one of the German Missions. You can do this online, or by contacting them via call. Please note that, for German National Visa, there will be a mandatory interview at a German Embassy or Consulate, and as a result, the appointments have to be made at the same. However, in certain special cases of the long term visa, you can submit the documents at a VAC. Even in this scenario, the interview is mandatory at an embassy/consulate
  • You should then attend the Germany Visa appointment with the application form, fees, and the documents required. You will be subjected to a biometric if you have not submitted a biometric for a Germany Schengen visa in the past 5 years. Keep in mind that if your appointment is at a German Mission, you will have to pay the fees in the form of a demand draft. 

Upon the submission, your German visa application will begin processing. You will be contacted if they require any additional documents, and may be asked to submit to an interview if they do not have sufficient proof to verify the applications. 

It is extremely important to complete the process with extreme care. Correct details have to be filled, and original and genuine documents must be submitted. Any errors in the application or fake documents can cause in your visa being denied. A visa rejection is taken seriously for your future visa applications.

Note:- While selecting a German Mission, you must select the embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over your state of residence. However, if you are applying at a VAC, you can choose any of them regardless of the jurisdiction. 

Documents required Germany visa

The documents required for the German visa vary depending upon the type. However, there are certain standard documents required for all the types. The list of the documents required for Schengen visa Germany are as follows - 

  • Original Valid passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel
  • 2 passport size photographs 
  • Covering letter stating the details of the journey
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Confirmed flight tickets
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Leave letter or NOC from relevant authorities
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of finance-

Germany Visa fees

Alon The Germany Visa fees for Indian passport holders depend on several factors such as the type of permit, the duration, the number of entries, any express/premium processing, and delivery fees, biometric charges, as well as additional service charges.  It is important to check the exchange rate shortly before you pay your fees to ensure that you pay the right Germany visa fees in Indian Rupees.

Where to apply for a German Visa?

The submission of applications is to be made either at a VAC authorized by the German government to accept visa applications or at one of the German Missions in the country. The VACs are located across the country and can accept the application without considering the jurisdiction. The Germany Visa appointment can also be at the either the German Embassy New Delhi or one of the German Consulates in Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai. However, keep in mind to apply only to the one which has the authority of your jurisdiction. The visa interviews are mandated to be conducted at one of the consulates or the embassy.

Processing time

Upon successful submission, your visa will be processed in about 15 days. However, depending upon the Germany Visa types, additional processing, workloads, etc, this may take longer. It is therefore advised to apply well in advance. If approved, you can either pick it up from the VAC or embassy/consulate or have it delivered at a certain charge.

How to track German visa status?

If you have applied at a VAC, once they receive the decision, you will receive your Germany Visa status updates via email or SMS. Alternately, you can do the Germany Visa tracking online by visiting the website of the VAC and entering your reference number present on the fees receipt. If you have applied through a German Mission, you can do your German visa tracking using passport number by emailing the respective centre. However, this might have a delayed response due to the high workloads.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the normal questions that are asked in a German visa interview?

A visa interview is only mandatory in case you are applying for the Germany national visa. The Germany Schengen visa usually does not require an interview unless they contact you for one. The usual interview questions are based on your purpose of visit, the source of your funds, your future plans, your background, your knowledge about Germany, and so on. 

Can I apply for Germany visa after my Schengen visa has been rejected previously?

Yes, you can apply for a German visa again. However, the chances of you being granted with the permit are very slim. Since Germany is a part of the Schengen countries, information regarding your past visa applications is shared. Unless the reason behind your rejections were technical mistakes, you will most likely be denied again. Although, if you submit a stronger application, you may be granted with one.

Can I convert my German Schengen visa into a national visa?

No, it is not advised to apply for a German National Visa while you are on a Schengen Visa. The short term visas require that you exit the country as soon as the visa expires. However, you can apply for a long term national visa once you are back in your home country.


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