It’s not a simple matter getting a visa for Germany. You have to go through the application process first.
Preparing your Visa Application
Not everyone wishing to visit Germany needs to apply for a visa first. For example, if you are a citizen of a Schengen or European Union country you can visit Germany and even work without having to apply for a visa. There are also some countries like Australia, New Zealand and the USA that are exempt from requiring a visa in advance. With the exempt countries, visitors do have a 3-month time limit for a stay in Germany.
If you aren’t a citizen of one of these countries you will need to apply for a visa for whatever purpose before booking your ticket and flying to Germany. The general procedure to follow with this application is first checking the German government website to find out what visa you need to get, making sure you have the money to pay the visa fees, gathering together all the documents you are asked to provide, completing the application form and then arranging an appointment with your nearest German embassy or consulate. You will be sent an appointment letter.
Types of Visas
● Study visa
● Job seeker visa
● Family Reunion Visa
● Medical treatment visa
● Guest Scientist/Visiting Scholar
● Freelance visa
● Working (Employment) Visa
● Visa for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications
Schengen / Short-Stay VISAS
● Business VISAS
● Airport Transit VISAS
● Training/Internship Visa
● Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals
● Visa for Cultural, Film Crew, Sports and Religious Event Purpose
● Tourist / Visitor VISAS
● Trade Fair and Exhibitions Visa
Arriving at the Application Centre at the Embassy or Consulate
On arrival at the Application Centre, a staff member will verify your appointment letter and a token will be issued to you. It’s important to arrive at the embassy or consulate on time. If you are 10 minutes late you are likely to lose your appointment thus delaying your departure date for Germany. When you arrive at your appointment your visa application and documents will be checked. You must ensure the application form has been signed and all supporting documents are arranged in the correct order.
As long as your application has been done correctly your passport, application form and supporting documents will be temporarily held by the application centre. This means you want to be able to access your passport until the application process has been completed.
As soon as your German visa application has been verified the information you have provided on the form will be entered into the German Embassy’s or Consulate’s online system. You will be given a printout of the application which you should check through carefully to make sure all the information you have provided is correct. You then sign the form. This process will take between 10 and 15 minutes. If you have minors accompanying you will need to fill in a form for each one and both parents are required to sign.
All visas attract a fee so once you have paid yours you will be given a receipt which you must keep until your visa application has been fully processed as you will need to show it when your passport is ready to collect.
Before you leave the embassy or consulate you will need to provide your biometrics. This typically takes between 7 and 8 minutes and it basically involves capturing a ten digit scan of your fingerprints using a digital finger scanner.
How Many Days Does it Take to Get a Schengen Visa for Germany?
How long it takes depends on your country of origin. This means you should allow at least 6weeks before your travel date. Typically you can expect the processing time to be between 24 and 48 hours. On occasions, it’s been known to take up between 14 and 21 days and even longer for applicants from certain countries.
Australian Citizens and German Visas
If you are an Australian citizen there are special arrangements between Australia and Germany. You don’t need a visa for up to 90 days but after the 90 day period is up to you only need to leave Germany for one day and return the next day you will be able to stay a further 90 days visa-free.
How can I Check My Visa Status for Germany?
If you wish to check the status of your German visa application you can go online to do so using the tracking service. You simply enter the reference number given to you and your last name. You will enter the tracking service and will be told the status of your application and when your passport will be returned to you.