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According to the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), Germany has emerged as one of the most preferred tourist destination for Indians visiting Europe. Apart from being flocked by tourists, a large number of Indian nationals are now travelling to Germany for work and some even for medical treatments. Students also account for a large chunk of those travellers. German tourism is now expecting about two million Indian tourists by 2030.
Yet despite being the most recurrent visitors, Indian citizens often encounter problems obtaining information about the entire process of acquiring a German visa. Here, we aim to bring to you a concise yet comprehensive guide about all that you would need to know about a German visa.
Before we proceed further, we shall first elaborate on the different types of Germany visas.
The types of German visas are:
Schengen visa for Germany: A Schengen visa is a short stay visa, and allows a person to travel to any member countries of the Schengen Area. It permits stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. Schengen is the term used in reference to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries. There are 26 countries including Germany that have signed the Schengen agreement, which permits citizens from member countries travel freely within the zone, without border and passport control. Every member country of this zone can issue Schengen visa. These countries are: Austria, Estonia, Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Lithuania.
Apart from these, there are another nineteen countries which are not a part of Schengen zone, yet they permit Schengen visa holders to enter, transit or stay in their territories, by showing a valid multiple entry Schengen visa.
To obtain a German visa, you would have to follow the given steps to submit your application:
There are a few things to be kept in mind during the application process. For instance, the visa fee would differ, depending on the type of visa applied for. A long stay visa would have a higher fee as compared to a short stay visa. The processing of a German visa application takes anywhere between 10 to 15 working days. There may be delays depending on the number of the applications, or in certain cases, depending the on the specific situation of the applicant.
Depending on the type of visa that you are applying for, the documents required vary.
In general, you would require the following documents:
Apart from these generic requirements, there could be specific documents requirements based on the type of visa. For examples, if you are applying for a student visa, you would also be asked to submit proof of being enrolled in the educational institution. If you are applying for a work visa, you would be required to submit a copy formal letter from your employer, along with the period of employment, the nature of the job, the exact dates of when you would be entering and leaving the country. In the case of minors below 6 years, a copy of the birth certificate would also be required.
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Here are some frequently asked questions about the process of application for a German visa:
Q: Do I need a visa for Germany?
A: Currently, there are 62 countries that can enter Germany visa free; for the purpose of tourism or business, for periods shorter than 90 days within a period of 180 days.
If you are not a citizen of those 62 countries, you would be required to apply for a visa in order to be permitted to enter Germany. Also, if you are a citizen of a country permitted to enter visa free, you would be required to apply for a visa if the purpose of your visit is other than tourism or business; or if the duration of your stay is longer than 90 days within a period of 6 months.
India is not in the list of these 62 countries and hence Indians need a valid German/Schengen visa to enter Germany.
Q: How can I get a German visa?
A: In order to get a German visa, you would be required to submit an application form to the embassy, with correct information and the required documentation; post which you are required to schedule an interview with the German embassy. After this, you would be required to pay the visa fees. You would then be required to appear for the interview, which you would be asked to attend with the needed documents. The conclusion of the process would be your receipt of the visa, if it gets approved.
Q: How long does a Germany visa take?
A: The processing of a German visa normally takes between 10 to 15 days to be completed. However, there may be delays possible depending on the number of applications or also due to the specific situation of the applicant.
Q: What is the visa fee for Germany?
A: Since 2008, for all types of visas, the German visa fee is 60 Euros. However, there are certain categories exempted from paying the visa fee. These categories include children under the age of six years; school, undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking trips for the purpose of study or educational training; as well as representatives of non-profit organizations below the age of 25 years who are visiting Germany to participate in seminars, conferences, or other events that have been organized by various non-profit organizations.
Q: How can I get tourist visa for Germany?
A: To obtain a tourist visa for Germany, you are required to follow the generic visa application process. This entails getting a visa application form from the German Embassy and a list of all the documents that you will require. Following this a visa fees will have to be paid. The Embassy will issue an interview date. Post the interview on the designated date, the Embassy will accept or reject the visa. You can also enter Germany for tourism purposes using Schengen visa.
Q: Is Schengen visa valid for Germany?
A: Yes, a Schengen visa is valid for Germany. A Schengen visa allows you enter the 26 member countries for up to 90 days for the purpose of tourism or business. There are an additional 19 countries, which are not a member of the Schengen group, which permit non-Schengen citizens to enter, transit or stay in their territories, by showing a valid multiple entry Schengen visa.
Q: How can I get German visa from India?
A: To obtain a German visa from India, you would be required to follow the aforementioned application process, by contacting the German embassy in India.
Q: Do I need travel insurance for Germany?
A: Yes, you are required to obtain travel insurance for Germany, for any type of visa, including Schengen, as it has been mandated for acquiring a German visa; as is recommended for all international/overseas travel. This is where we step in. At Care Travel Insurance, we are committed to assisting you at every step of the way, and helping you choose the most suitable travel insurance plans, as per your needs.
Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. Please refer to the new travel advisory for more details.
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