How to get a German visa: a step-by-step guide
Germany, as one of the leading European countries, has been a member of the Schengen Agreement since its very signing in 1985. This was done by West Germany specifically; however, the German lands disunited after World War II came together in 1990, and so today, a visa to Germany lets one visit the entirety of the country.
Moreover, as part of the Schengen Area, if you get a visa that allows you to travel to Germany, you also will be able to visit a multitude of other countries in Europe that are subject to said Agreement. As you can see, the benefits of a German visa are truly innumerable!
But let us get straight to business. The following is the simple guide that shows the steps of applying for the visa.
Step 1. Planning and preparations
Despite it being a tourist trip, your visit to Germany needs to be prepared well in advance to avoid all possible problems.
First of all, you need to do some calculations if you plan to stop in several Schengen countries. You should apply for a visa at the German mission if during your trip you want to spend the most time in Germany.
Secondly, you must keep the processing time in mind, as disregarding it can result in problems for your trip. For the mission to process your application it can take up to fifteen days, so it’s a good idea to plan accordingly and apply well before the last possible moment.
The earliest you may hand in your application is 6 months before the date of your arrival to Germany, and we generally recommend our clients not to postpone it but start the process as soon as they can afford. This grants one time to fix any issues that may arise (sometimes, through no fault of one’s own) and still make it.
If you are unsure when is the best time to apply, Smart System Holidays will be happy to give you recommendations based on your case and needs that will ensure you don’t run out of time.
Additionally, you have to plan your trip according to the duration of the visa: the max period of time it covers is six months.
Step 2. Choosing the application facility
For UAE residents who wish to travel to Germany, there is ample opportunity to choose between several facilities at which the visa application can be processed.
This is based on where you live: those from Dubai and the Northern Emirates apply through VFS Global in Dubai, whereas people from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain use the Abu Dhabi facility.
Step 3. Choosing the right type of visa for your purposes
The Schengen Agreement countries provide many visa types aimed at people with various needs and purposes for their travels to Germany and other countries of the Area. It needs to be emphasized that applying for the wrong type will end in rejection in the best case and deportation and entrance ban in the worst one, so one should never give false information when trying to get a visa.
Here are the main types of visas a UAE resident can get to go to Germany:
- Tourist visa. This is the most common kind which allows foreign nationals to visit Germany for the purpose of tourism. If you want to see the sights, attend concerts and/or sports events, and otherwise spend time having fun, this is the visa you need to apply for.
- Business visa. If you have a business trip in mind and want to discuss your operations with your partners based in Germany, a business visa is what you need.
- Student visa. For those who are admitted into German schools and universities, a student visa is necessary to come and study.
- Work visa. Similarly, this type is required for work on the German soil.
- Medical visa. People who are in need of medical attention and go to Germany to receive it need to obtain a medical visa first.
- Family reunion visa. If you have a relative in Germany, this visa can be the way to go.
- Dependent visa. If your spouse or parent (only in the case of your being below 18 years of age) is a European Union or Swiss citizen, you may get this type of visa to go to Germany.
Like almost all other countries, Germany takes the stated purpose of your visit extremely seriously, and thus you must tell the truth both when applying for a visa and when going through the customs when entering.
Besides the types mentioned above, there are also several kinds of visas you can get differentiated by the ability of entry.
The entry category is very important because it determines how many times you are allowed to enter Germany without the need to get another visa. A single-entry visa, even if it is valid for another month, as an example, will not let you go to Germany again once you leave it.
Therefore, if you plan to make several trips, it stands to reason that you try to get a double- or multiple-entry visa.
Step 4. Collecting the documents
Now the real work begins. To successfully apply for a German visa, one must prepare a number of documents that prove their identity and other aspects.
With Germany, the following documents are required:
- Passport – must remain valid for no less than another 3 months upon the date on which desired visa expires.
- Your UAE residency permit.
- Two pictures of you. Standard passport-type photographs will suffice.
- Proof of your finances, such as a bank statement or a statement issued by your employer.
- Proof of stay. The German authorities need to know you will stay in their country for the time you claim, so you need to provide your hotel reservation or a similar document.
- Proof of leave, to confirm you are planning to go back to the UAE, such as your return tickets.
- A receipt for your medical insurance.
- Birth certificate – for underaged applicants.
Additional documents may be needed in specific cases. Smart System Holidays will give you the full list that is necessary in your particular case as part of our services.
Step 5. Completing the form
A filled-in application form is needed alongside the rest of the documents you will need to present at the mission. You can find it on the Federal Foreign Office site.
This form can be completed in either German or English. You need to print it out and hand it in together with the other documents you have collected in the previous step.
Step 6. Submitting your application
To apply for the German visa, you will be required to hand in your documents in person at VFS Global. Depending on how busy the season is, there may be quite a bit of waiting involved.
Alternatively, Smart System Holidays LLC can help you book your priority appointment that will take much less time (generally within two weeks). This will allow you to considerably cut down on the wait.
Step 7. Getting your biometrics taken
When the day of your appointment comes, you must travel to the office and have your biometric data taken. This involves a photograph and fingerprints.
Moreover, during your visit you will hand in your documents and pay the visa fee.
Step 8. Waiting for approval
If all of your documents are correct and valid and your form is filled in without mistakes, you will receive a letter informing you that your application for a German visa has been approved within 15 days.
This is a non-government site and whilst every endeavor is made to ensure the information is correct and up to date, there may be changes which we are not aware of. It is always a good idea to check the latest regulations. You should confirm details with your local German Visa Application Center.
How much is the visa fee to go to Germany?
For adults it comes to 80 euro, whereas for children under the age of eleven it is 40 euro.
What currency is the fee paid in?
It must be paid in the AED (UAE Dirhams).
What conversion rate is applied?
You will have to pay based on the exchange rate set by the Consulate on the day of the payment.
When am I getting my passport back?
It will be returned to you as soon as the processing procedure is finished.