The Western European country of Germany is a beautiful tourist destination attracting millions of visitors every year. With its rich history, majestic castles, and picturesque landscapes, Germany has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations worldwide.
In addition, depending where you come from, there are certain procedures you need to go through in order to enter and visit Germany. So if you are planning to enter Germany for a short period of time as a tourist or a visitor, you will need a German short-stay visa, also known as a tourist or visitor visa.
Let’s go through everything you need to know about the German tourist/visitor visa requirements and application process
German authorities follow certain (strict) rules and requirements when it comes to issuing a visa. Subsequently, it is important to be aware of all the requirements before submitting an application.
Here are the required documents you need to apply for a visitor/tourist visa to Germany:
Visa application form. Fully completed with the correct information, printed and signed at the end.
Two recent photos. Taken within the last three months, in compliance with the Schengen visa photo criteria.
Valid passport. No older than ten years and with a minimum validity of three months beyond your planned stay in Schengen. It must have at least two blank pages in order to be able to affix the visa sticker.
Roundtrip reservation or itinerary. A document that includes dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
Travel Health Insurance. Evidence that you have purchased health insurance that covers medical emergencies with a minimum of €30,000, for your whole period of stay. The insurance policy can easily be purchased online from Europe Assistance, AXA Schengen or DR-WALTER.
Proof of accommodation. Evidence that shows where you will be staying throughout your time in Schengen.
This could be a: Hotel/hostel booking. With name, complete address, phone and e-mail, for the entire time you will be in the Schengen area. Rent agreement. If you have rented a place, in the country you will be staying. Letter of tour organizer. If you will be travelling with a tour agency.
Proof of financial means. Evidence that shows you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay in Schengen. This could be a: Bank account statement. Sponsorship Letter. When another person will be financially sponsoring your trip to the Schengen Zone. It is also often called as an Affidavit of Support. A combination of both.
Invitation letter from your host in Germany with a copy of their passport and/or residence permit for Germany. Proof of relationship with the host residing in Germany.
In case your host will be covering all your expenses, they need to sign this document, also known as a letter of commitment.
To apply for the Germany tourist/visitor visa, simply follow the steps listed below:
Initially, keep in mind to apply early. At least 3 weeks before your travel date.
Locate the nearest German embassy/consulate in your country. This is where you should go to set up an appointment.
If there is no German embassy/consulate in your country, you should locate the German embassy in a neighboring country.
Depending on the embassy, you may also set up an appointment online.
Fill in the application form with precision and sincerity. Print two copies and sign both of them.
Pay the visa fee and take the payment confirmation with you.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents before submitting the application.
Prepare for the interview by searching online for common questions asked in such cases.
Additionally, make sure you are on time, not too late and not too early either.
The processing time for the Germany tourist/visitor visa highly depends on the application centre and their workload at the time.
Generally, the waiting time around the world for a Schengen visitor/tourist visa is two weeks, but one can never be too sure, that is why it is important to apply as early as possible.
In some cases, the waiting time for the German tourist/visitor visa is 30 days, but depending on different circumstances, it may take up to 60 calendar days. As said, it largely depends on the workload.
It is advised that you apply as early as possible. Up until recently, you could submit an application 3 months prior to your travel date.
However, according to the new Schengen visa rules starting February 2020, you can now submit an application 6 months before you’re set to travel.
The Germany tourist/visitor fee is €80 for adults. Children aged 6-12 are required to pay €40.
Nationals of countries that have visa-facilitation agreements with the EU will have to pay €35.
The short-stay Schengen visa is generally valid for a maximum of 90 days within six months.
The validity of your visa, on the other hand, depends on the embassy that issued the visa.