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Entry with a Schengen visa

Brandenburger Tor in spring

Schengen visas (Visa Category C) can be issued for short-term stays of up to 90 days in countries in the Schengen area, e.g. for visits, tourism or business purposes, or medical treatment.
The consulates of the signatory countries of the Schengen Agreement are responsible for issuing Schengen visas.


Schengen visas can be extended only in exceptional cases, if new facts and special reasons have emerged after entry.

A Schengen visa can also be extended by a period amounting to the unused duration of stay if you entered the Federal Republic of Germany or another Schengen country late.

A Schengen visa that has already expired cannot be extended..

Please note:

Can it be converted into a residence permit?

A Schengen visa can be converted into a residence permit only if the following three requirements are fulfilled:

  1. You have a legal right to a residence permit pursuant to the German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz), and
  2. This right came into existence after your entry and
  3. in the federal territory.

For example, this would be the case if you became the father or mother of a child with German citizenship who was born in Germany during your stay with a Schengen visa.

In particular, you do not have a right in the following cases:

  • You get married in another EU member state (e.g. in Denmark)
  • You plan to start education or training or an economic activity
  • A child is born but does not have German citizenship

Economic activity

As a rule, you are not permitted to work with a Schengen visa.

Otherwise, your visa states whether and to what extent you are permitted to work.

Traveling in the Schengen area

As a rule, with a valid Schengen visa, you can travel to all the following countries in the Schengen area for no more than 90 days within a period of 180 days (after first entry):

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

(Please be careful, if individual states are excluded in your visa. For example, a limited visa is indicated by “Schengener Staaten (- E, F)”. This means in the example, that the visa is vaild for all Schengen states with the exception of Spain and France.)