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Travel Insurance is mandatory for travelling to Germany. You may get your travel insurance from any authorized insurance company or click here to get it now

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Schengen visa?

    The Schengen Visa is a short stay visa (up to 90 days for any 180 days period as well as airport transit through Schengen member states) for travel in the European Schengen Area. The Schengen area includes 27 counties (or ‘Schengen Member States’) that have agreed to a common visa policy for the purpose of travel without border controls.

  • What countries are in Schengen area?

    The 27 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

  • What are the types of Schengen visas?
    • Single-entry visa (This visa allows only 1 entrance into a Schengen country where you can stay until the visa expiration, no re-entry permitted).
    • Double-entry visa (This allows you to enter a Schengen country twice within the time that the visa is valid.)
    • Multiple-entry visa (This allows for multiple entries to Schengen countries as long as you have a valid visa).
  • What means of payment are accepted in the BLS Germany Visa Application Center?
    How can I pay for my German Visa Application?

    You may pay for the application submission by cash/DEBIT card or E-wallet, sorry, no CREDIT cards are accepted.

  • Do US citizens need Schengen visa to travel to Europe?

    US citizens do not need to obtain an EU visa prior to their travel to Schengen, they still need to have some documents with them in order to be allowed to enter the Schengen area (ex. US passport, proof of purpose of trip, proof of financial funds, proof of health insurance).

  • What should I do if my German Schengen visa application was rejected?

    The German Consulate will provide a rejection letter outlining the reason why your visa application was rejected.

    Within 30 days after you received the refusal form, you can appeal the rejection of your visa application by providing a letter of appeal alongside documentation that prove that the grounds for the rejection of the visa are not valid in your case. For example, if your visa application was refused because you had an insufficient explanation for the purpose of your trip, provide proof of accomodation, travel itinerary details, a letter of invitation from a friend or family member, etc.

    Alternatively, you can reapply. Please make sure that you include the missing documentation that led to the refusal of your visa application. If you reapply for a visa, the consular and service fees need to be paid again.

  • My visa has been issued by the German Consulate, could I use this visa to make a sidetrip to other European countries (for example to France or Austria)?

    Yes, you can. According to the Schengen agreement, visas are also valid for Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

    Please note, however, that you always have to apply at the consulate of the country which is your primary destination.

    If you intend to visit several of the above-mentioned countries but do not have a primary destination, you should apply at the consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.

  • I have already made a trip to Germany with a visa (“Schengener Staaten” is mentioned on the visa sticker) issued by the German Consulate. I think the visa is still valid and I am planning now a business trip to Italy for example. Can I use this visa?

    Yes, you can. Please check your visa's validity, its number of entries and the maximum duration of stay (both are mentioned on your visa sticker) carefully.

  • My flight itinerary requires an overnight stay at a German airport. Do I have to apply for an airport transit visa or a regular visa?

    Airport transit visa are only good for short stopovers while you are waiting a few hours for your onward flight in the airport's international transit area. However, hotel accommodation is only available outside the transit area. Please apply for a regular tourist visa if you want to stay at the airport overnight.

  • My flight itinerary requires airport transit in Germany, however I do not have a confirmed onward flight (e.g. Buddy Pass) from Germany. Do I have to apply for an airport transit visa or a regular visa?

    If you do not have a confirmed onward flight from Germany you have to apply for a regular tourist visa.

  • I am planning to apply for a visa at the German Consulate, how long should my passport be valid?

    Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months upon conclusion of your trip.

  • This website tells me that I have to show my bank statement when applying for a visa. I do not have a bank account / my balance is low and the trip will be paid by my friends/relatives in Germany. What do I have to submit?

    Ask your friends/relatives to sign an official affidavit of support (called “Verpflichtungserklärung” in German).

  • I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin but I do hold a U.S. “Permit to Re-Enter”. Can I use this permit to travel to Germany?

    We expect you to submit your national passport. However, in rare instances, a U.S. “Permit to Re-Enter” can be accepted if it is evident that you cannot get a national passport from your country of origin. Please be informed that visa applications of “Permit to Re-Enter”-holders may take up to two weeks to be processed.

  • I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin but I do hold a “Travel Document for Refugees”. Can I use this document to travel to Germany?

    Holders of the “Refugee Travel Document” (Form I-571) which is issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are not required to obtain a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany for purposes of business, tourism, or to visit friends if they stay no longer than 90 days. The Travel Document must be valid for at least four months after entering Germany.

    Please be advised that this regulation applies to Germany only. If you plan to transit or travel to other Schengen countries you have to contact the responsible consular mission of the respective countries to find out about their visa regulations. Please also note that holders of the very similar document called “Permit to Re-Enter” (Form I-327) do not fall under this rule. Holders of a “Permit to Re-Enter” must apply for a visa.

    If you are in doubt whether you are a holder of a “Permit to Re-Enter” or a “Refugee Travel Document” please refer to the data page of the document in your possession issued by DHS. More information on the type of document issued to you can be found above and below the photo in your document.

  • How can my friends/relatives in Germany get an official affidavit of support (so-called “Verpflichtungserklärung”)?

    Your friends can get this document at the local Aliens' office at their place of residence in Germany. Please bring the original of this affidavit when applying for your visa.

  • I want to visit my friends/relatives. My own funds are sufficient so I am paying for the trip myself. What kind of invitation should I submit?

    Just ask your friends/relatives to send you an informal invitation. Name, address and a copy of the friend's/relative's passport. A copy of the residence permit is an additional requirement if your friend/relative in Germany is not a German national. If your friends/relatives pay for your travel expenses you will need to submit an official affidavit of support.

  • I have my own business and therefore cannot bring an employment letter. What documents should I submit?

    Please include your business registration, your tax returns and your latest bank statement to complete your Application.

  • Why am I required to have a health insurance coverage for Germany?

    Imagine you have an accident during your stay in Germany. Please check carefully whether your medical insurance will also cover costs for medical treatment abroad. If yours does not, you need to submit a health insurance covering your stay in Europe when applying for the visa.

    In general all major US medical insurance companies cover costs for emergency medical treatment abroad.

  • My U.S. Resident Alien Card/U.S. visa has expired and has to be renewed/extended. How can I apply for a visa to Germany?

    We can only accept applicants holding a vaild U.S. Resident Alien Card/U.S. visa. If yours has expired, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service first for renewal/Extension.

    US Immigration and Naturalization Service

  • My passport has no signature, shall I sign it before submission to the Consulate/Embassy?

    Each passport must be signed. If the client cannot write, fingerprints must be used instead.

  • My German (Schengen visa) is still valid in my passport, but I need to extend the duration of the visa. Do I need to wait until the current one is expired?

    No, there is no need to wait for the visa expiration, you may reapply again. But the new application and visa fees need to be paid.

  • My husband is in Germany with a tourism Schengen visa. Can he invite me to Germany to see him?

    No. In order to invite a person to Germany, the inviting side needs to provide the proof of residency (address in Germany) and the proof of legal status - valid passport or resident permit.

  • The travel dates in my flight itinerary, my hotel reservation and my application do not match. Do I need to correct the application?

    Yes. All dates in the provided documents should match.

  • I am entering Schengen area via Germany, but do not spend most of my travel days in Germany (travel by train to other Schengen countries). Can I apply for a German visa in such a case?

    No. You need to apply with the Schengen country where you will spend the most number of days, even if your port of entry is Germany.

  • I am a US citizen (US passport holder). I need to go to Germany for work up to 90 days. Do I need the visa?

    You are strongly recommended to e-mail BLS first. In some cases, for business visa (with work purposes) it is required to apply for a visa. BLS will contact the respective Consulate/Embassy location for your case individually.

  • I do not have a residential address in the U.S. But I am on a L visa in the US and work for cruises. Where should I apply for my German visa?

    In such case you need to apply as per the ship’s port location.

  • Can I apply for my visa at the nearest Consulate location?

    No. The process of documents’ submission is strictly jurisdictional. Please check your state of residency in the jurisdictional list and then apply at the corresponding Consulate/Embassy location.

  • I never had Schengen visa before. Can I apply for multiple visa?

    Every applicant can to apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa. Whether it can be issued is decided on a case-to-case basis by the responsible consular officer. The validity of your passport, the validity of your US residence permit or US visa and your previous travel history will be taken into consideration.

    In general, a Schengen visa with one year validity can be issued, if an applicant has obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years.

  • I do not have a hotel booking covering all days of my travel. Do I need to book a hotel for the whole period of my stay in Germany (Schengen area)?

    Yes. Your hotel booking should cover the whole period of stay in Germany. The dates must match the flight confirmation.

  • I have an exhibitor pass for a trade fair in Germany. Am I exempted from the visa fee?

    Yes. But it is not sufficient just to show an invitation. You must provide an actual exhibitor pass.

  • I am a citizen of Ukraine with an Ukrainian non-biometric passport. Can I enter Germany for a short period of time (up to 90 days) without a visa?

    Citizens of Ukraine, who had permanent residence in Ukraine prior to 24 February 2022, can enter Germany with a non-biometric passport and without a visa.

    People who lived in the U.S. with a residence permit or visa in February 2022 will need a visa for Germany.

  • How early can I apply for my Germany Schengen visa?

    Please apply not earlier than six months prior to your planned trip.

  • For postal application can I use the certification done online?

    No. The Germany Missions does not accept certifications that were done online. You need to get certifications done in person.

  • My child is under 12 years old. Is a visa fee applicable?

    Yes. Children from six to under 12 years of age must pay a the equivalent 35 Euros in US Dollars as visa fee. Certain nationals under the age of 12 years (e.g. Armenian passport holders) are exempted from the visa fee.

  • I am the holder of REFUGEE TRAVEL DOCUMENT (Form I-571) issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the U.S. Do I need to get a visa to enter Germany up to 90 business days trip?

    No. You can enter Germany for up to 90 days for business, tourism, or to family visit without a visa. Your document must be valid for at least three months after entering Germany. This regulation applies to Germany only.

  • I am a model (US passport holder) and go to Germany for the period up to 90 days, do I need to apply for Schengen visa?

    US citizens who want to work as a model in Germany do not need a visa, if they work less than 90 days within 12 months in Germany.

    This rule is stipulated in section 30 number 2 and section 22 number 6 of the Ordinance on the Employment of Foreigners.

  • I am the employee of the company and travelling to Germany to attend the Trade Show event, am I exempt from the vise fee?

    The visa fee waiver for German Trade Show Exhibitors applies only to the Exhibitor upon proof of a paid booth and a Trade Show ID Card in his or her name.

    It does not apply to the employees of the company who are traveling on behalf of their employer to attend a Trade Show. They have to pay the regular fee.