European Union nationals can come and go into Germany without the requirement of a visa. For non-EU citizen, for entry into Germany you will need a visa, unless you are a national of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America. In this case you can enter the country and stay for up to 90 days without the requirement of a visa. Most other nationalities must have a passport and valid visa. Some might also be required to show proof of onward passage.
A uniform type of visa, the Schengen visa, is issued for tourist, business and private visits as either a Short-term or Travel, Airport Transit or Transit visa. Visa prices are dependent on type, length of validity of visa and exchange rate. Spouses and children of EU nationals (providing spouse’s passport and the original marriage certificate is produced) and nationals of some other countries receive their visas free of charge (enquire at your local Germany Embassy for details).
A short-stay (single and multiple-entry) visa is valid for six months from date of issue for stays of maximum 90 days per entry or for one year from date of entry for stays of maximum 90 days in one half year. A transit (single and multiple-entry) visa is valid for a maximum of five days per entry, including the day of arrival. Visas cannot be extended and a new application must be made each time.
Application for your visa must be done in person at your local German Embassy. You will require the following documents for you application:
- two fully completed visa application forms.
- two recent passport photographs (35 x 45 mm, front facial view).
- your national passport (valid at least three months longer than your intended stay).
- a copy of your flight itinerary with confirmed reservation.
- an invitation letter from your friends and relatives in Germany OR a hotel/tour booking.
- proof of sufficient funds (bank statement or proof of income) OR a Formal Obligation (“ Verpflichtungserklärung”) from your inviting party; forms for a “Verpflichtungserklärung” are available at the local foreigners’ authority (“Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany.
- proof of medical insurance (travel health insurance) with a minimum coverage of € 30,000 and including emergency and hospital treatment as well as repatriation, valid for the entire Schengen area for the duration of your stay.
- the visa fee.
Most embassies say that applications should take approximately 3 weeks, but for certain nationals and depending on demand it could take up to 8 weeks. Most embassies do not issue Schengen visas on the same day.
For more information, check out this website: http://www.schengenvisa.cc/