Stays for up to 90 days (Schengen visa)

02.06.2024 - Article

If you want to travel to Germany for a period of up to 90 days – for a visit, as a tourist, on business, or for medical treatment – you will need a Schengen visa.

The Schengen area covers 27 countries („Schengen States“) without border controls between them. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, 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, 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:

  1. the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of your visit(s).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Some professional activities such as standard business travel and a variety of cultural, academic and sports activities may be carried out without a corresponding visa or residence permit as they are not classed as an economic activity. For details, please click

The visa application center VFS Global is handling Schengen Visa applications for the German Embassy if your main destination is Germany, Finland, Austria or Slovenia.

The European Council has completely suspended the visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and the Russian Federation as of 12 September 2022. For details, please click here.

On 29 April 2024, the Council adopted Council Implementing Decision EU 2024/1341 on the suspension of certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Visa Code) with respect to Ethiopia.

- Processing time (Article 23(1))
The Decision suspends the general 15 calendar days processing period referred to in Article 23(1) of the Visa Code. Consequently, the standard processing time should be 45 days in all cases falling within the scope of the measures.
- Validity of the visa to be granted
The Decision suspends the issuing of multiple entry visas (MEVs) in accordance with Article 24(2) and (2c) of the Visa Code. This means that only single-entry visas should be issued to applicants covered by the measures. The validity of the single-entry visas should correspond to the length of the intended visit to which the period of grace of 15 days is added (Article 24(1), third sub-paragraph of the Visa Code).

Please click on the purpose of your trip to read more about the application process:

Business Visa (less than 90 days)

Medical Purpose Visa (less than 90 days)

Your reason to travel for less than 90 days is not listed above? Please check our FAQs or contact us.

Do you intend to stay for more than 90 days? Please read here.

If you are unsure how many days you have left on your current visa, check the Short-stay Visa Calculator.

List of recognized Travel Insurance

Complaints about the Schengen visa application process

Please use our contact form if you want to file a complaint (in German or English only) about the conduct of the consulate staff, the staff of the service provider VFS Global or the visa application process. Please enter one of the following options in the „Subject“ field of the contact form:

  • Complaint about the conduct of consulate staff
  • Complaint about the external service provider VFS Global
  • Complaint about the visa application process

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