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Entry for a short stay

Frühling am Brandenburger Tor
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Do you wish to enter Germany for a short stay of no more than 90 days, e.g. for a visit, business trip or holiday?

Visa exemption for certain countries

Nationals of certain countries do not need a visa for a short stay of no more than 90 days.

You can obtain an overview of the countries with no visa obligation on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

As a rule, a residence permit cannot be issued after entry without a visa. More information

Visa obligation for most countries

For nationals of most countries, a visa is required even for short stays.

You can obtain an overview of these countries on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

For short stays, nationals of these countries must apply for a Schengen visa (Visa Category C).

Where can you obtain a Schengen visa?

The diplomatic missions (embassy or consulate general) of the Federal Republic of Germany in your country of origin, or in the country where you are normally legally resident, are responsible for receiving and processing your visa application and issuing your visa.

How do you apply for a visa?

You must complete the application forms issued at the diplomatic mission and submit them there.
In particular, in your application, you must state your precise purpose of entry and purpose of stay, as well as the location and duration of your intended stay. Depending on the purpose of your stay, further information will be required.

The information that you provide must be truthful and complete. If you give any inaccurate or vague information, your visa application may be rejected.

You can find further information at the website of the relevant diplomatic mission at www.[city of embassy].diplo.de, e.g. www.istanbul.diplo.de

Secured means of subsistence

For short stays, you must prove to the diplomatic mission that you have secured means of subsistence, including health insurance. If a referee who is resident in the federal territory is paying for this, a declaration of commitment [Verpflichtungserklärung] must be attached to the visa application.

Is the Foreigners’ Registration Office involved in the Schengen visa procedure?

Only the diplomatic mission decides whether or not to issue a Schengen visa for a short stay.
However, if you are banned from entry because you have been expelled, deported or removed, you must apply to have the entry ban lifted before applying for a visa.
Your application to have your entry ban lifted must be submitted to the foreigners’ registration office that imposed the ban.

If you make several business trips during the year, what do you need to bear in mind?

It is possible for business travelers to obtain visas that are valid for up to five years. To this end, these travelers must not stay for longer than three months at a time within a six-month period.
In these cases, the diplomatic mission will involve the Foreigners’ Registration Office in the process if necessary. After examining the visa application, the Foreigners’ Registration Office will send its opinion to the diplomatic mission, which will then make a conclusive decision regarding the visa application.

Issuance of a residence permit

As a rule, a residence permit cannot be issued to you if you entered Germany with a Schengen visa. More information