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    GERMANY VISA FOR INDIANS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE

     

    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.

     

    Types of German Visa:

    The types of German visas are:

     

    • Tourist Visa: As the name suggests, this is the visa applicable for those who want to visit Germany for a vacation, for sightseeing, and even for those wanting to visit friends or family in Germany.
    • Student Visa: This is the visa obtained by students from India who have already been accepted to a German University.
    • Student Applicant Visa: This type of visa is slightly different from the student visa. It is applicable for Indian students who want to study in Germany, but are yet to receive acceptance from a German University or are still trying to find the right program.
    • Training/Internship Visa: This type of visa is acquired by those wanting to undertake training or to do an internship in their respective field in Germany.
    • Working Visa: As the name suggests, this visa is for those who wish to go to Germany for employer related assignments or work.
    • Job Seeker Visa: This is the visa applicable for Indians who want to enter Germany for the purpose of seeking a job.
    • Medical Treatment Visa: This is for Indian patients who go to Germany to seek medical treatment which is not available in their country.
    • Business Visa: This is the visa for Indians who want to enter the country to do business.
    • Language Course Visa: This is the visa obtained by those who want to learn the German language in Germany.
    • Guest Scientist Visa: This is the visa for Indian scholars or scientists, who have been invited by a credible institution to undertake a research study.
    • Trade Fair and Exhibitions Visa: This is the visa acquired by those who want to go to Germany to take part in an exhibition or trade fair in their field or business.
    • Airport Transit Visa: This is the visa for Indian travellers who change flights for their destination countries in one of the German international airports.

     

    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.

     

    Application Process for a German Visa:

     

    To obtain a German visa, you would have to follow the given steps to submit your application:

    • Contact the visa consulate or your trusted agent and acquire the checklist of the required documentation for the type of visa that you would like to apply for
    • Fill in the application form correctly, and obtain the required documents.
    • You would then be required to make an appointment with the embassy. Please note, that the earliest date that you can schedule the appointment is three months prior to your trip.
    • Your next step would be to pay the visa fee and retain the receipt to show to the consular officer during your interview later.
    • Be punctual on the day of the appointment, with all of the required and correct documentation.
    • Submit your biometrics, finger prints and digital image.
    • Wait for the approval/rejection of your application.
    • Collect the visa, if approved.

    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.

     

    Documents Required for Applying for a German Visa:

     

    Depending on the type of visa that you are applying for, the documents required vary.

    In general, you would require the following documents:

     

    1. Passport: You require a passport which has been valid for a minimum of 6 months before the due date of travel to be eligible to apply for a German visa.
    2. Photograph: You are required to present two photographs, adhering to the criteria specified by the embassy.
    3. Proof of Accommodation: You are required to present a proof of your booked and paid accommodation in Germany. If you would be staying with friends/relatives, you are asked to submit a copy of their ID and passport as well.
    4. Proof of Transportation: You are also required to present your purchased airline return tickets within the duration of your trip.
    5. Valid Travel Health Insurance: It is mandatory to have valid travel insurance covering the duration of your stay in Germany; and this is where we at Religare Travel Insurance come handy, with a variety of travel insurance policies that can be customised as per your requirement.
    6. Itinerary: You would be asked to submit a copy of your itinerary.
    7. Bank Statement: You would be required to submit a formal statement of your financial situation from the bank for the last three months.

     

    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.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions:

     

    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 Religare 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.

     

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