Schengen visas allow people to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every six-month period.
As a German Embassy, we are responsible for processing your application if Germany, Italy, Estonia, Finland or Iceland is your main destination.
Airport Transit Visa
International passport holders - unless listed below* - do not require a Schengen visa for airport transits through Germany, if:
- their connecting flight is within 24 hours,
- they arrive and depart from the same airport in Germany
- they do not leave the international transit area (for example Terminals 1 and 2 in Frankfurt)
International passport holders are only required to have a Schengen visa for transiting through German airports if these pre-requisites do not apply.
* Nationals of the following countries always require a visa to transit through German airports:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan (only in specific cases), Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Turkey.
Preparing your application
Please prepare your application as follows:
- Please fill out the visa application form.
- Please compile the documents you need to submit with your application. If documents or supporting documentation are missing, your application may be rejected. We have prepared a checklist for each type of visa.
- Please make an appointment to submit your application. You may submit your application three months before the start of your planned trip at the earliest, but should not be scheduled later than 15 days prior to your travel date to ensure sufficient time to process your application.
Please do not send the Visa Section any documents unless requested to do so, particularly not before you have applied for a visa. We are not able to store such documents and will not know to which application they belong. Please always bring all the necessary documents with you to your appointment.
Submitting your application
In order to submit your application, please attend your appointment at the Embassy in person. During this appointment, we kindly ask you to submit all of your application documents, pay the fee and answer questions about your planned trip. Your fingerprints will also be taken on this occasion.
What happens during processing?
The Embassy will review your application and make a decision on whether or not to grant you a visa. To this end, it will assess whether your application meets the legal requirements. Processing generally takes from five (5) up to thirty (30) working days in individual cases. We hope you will understand that we are not able to answer any questions on the status of your application during this processing period. After that, enquiries can only be answered if they are made by the applicant, his/her legal representative or another person authorized in writing by the applicant.
Return of your passport
As soon as the Embassy has decided on your application, you can collect your passport during the opening hours oft he visa section. You should collect your passport in person. If you are not able to collect it yourself, you can authorize another person to collect it for you.
There are various reasons why your visa application may be rejected. The reasons will be stated in the letter notifying you that your application has been rejected.
You are welcome to submit a new application at any time with complete, informative and verifiable documentation.
Have a good trip! Information for visa holders
If all the information on your visa label is correct, you are free to travel. Please check the information on the label as soon as your passport is returned to you. You should let us know immediately if there are any mistakes so that we can issue you a new visa.
Your visa will state your full name and passport number and include your photo. It will also state the period of validity. This is the time period in which you can travel. In addition, it will state the maximum number of days you can stay in the Schengen area during the period of validity of your visa. Our aim is to give you a certain amount of flexibility in planning your trip. In order to allow you to change your travel dates at short notice, visas are usually valid for 15 days longer than the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area.
Please note that being granted a Schengen visa does not guarantee that you will be allowed to enter the Schengen area. The final decision on whether or not you will be allowed to enter the Schengen area will be made by the border police on your arrival. When you arrive, the border police may ask you to present additional documentation alongside your passport and valid visa with information on your financial means, the length and purpose of your stay, and your health insurance cover. You should therefore take a copy of your visa documents (including an invitation from Germany, hotel reservation and travel health insurance) with you on your trip.