Germany Visa: Entry requirements and travel information for Germany

Welcome to Germany

Eager to explore Germany, but the visa steps look like a tricky maze. Don’t fear! We'll be your navigator and clear the way!

Whether you're keen on diving into Berlin's rich history, enjoying a calm boat ride on the Rhine, or taking a scenic drive through the Bavarian Alps, the journey begins with the right visa.

At iVisa, we've turned the chore of finding and getting your travel papers into a few simple steps. We get your wanderlust, and we're here to ease the way. Join us, and let's set the stage for your unforgettable German adventure!

german bridge view

Unveiling the gateway: Germany Visa options

New to international travel? Think of a visa as your official permission to enter a country like Germany. It's a document that the country you're visiting needs to let you in and stay for a specific period. Without a visa, you won’t be allowed to enter. Now that we've cleared that up, let's look at which visa option will set you on the path to your German adventure.

German Schengen Visa

Who is it for? A German Schengen Visa allows individuals to enter and travel within 27 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area for a short time.

Citizens from over 100 eligible countries can apply for a Germany Schengen Visa, including:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, etc​.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Residents from the European Union and nationals of Schengen countries can travel visa-free within the Schengen Zone​.

  2. U.S. citizens who were previously denied visa-free entry to Germany or any other Schengen country​.


  1. Tourism and visiting family or friends.

  2. Attending business meetings, conferences, or other business activities.

  3. Short recreational courses or sports.

Remember you also get access to the entire Schengen Area:

Duration of stay?

The visa allows a stay of up to 90 days Per Entry within 180 days in the Schengen Area. The visa is valid from a period of 180 days to 5 years, the exact validity is determined by the embassy in accordance with your personal circumstances.

Learn more about the Germany Schengen Visa


ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System)

The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is NOT a visa. It’s an online authorization system for travelers from countries that don’t need a visa to enter 30 European countries and four microstates belonging to the Schengen countries, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) under the Schengen Agreement, Future Schengen Member Countries, and the European Microstates With Open Borders.

Who is it for?

The German ETIAS is designed for travelers from countries that don't need a visa to visit Germany and other participating countries for short trips. Citizens from over 60 visa-exempt countries must apply for ETIAS authorization, including:

The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Israel, etc.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Citizens from countries needing a visa to enter the Schengen Area must go through the standard visa application process instead.

  2. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens as they enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Area and don't need any visa or authorization.

  3. Individuals with an outstanding entry ban or alert in the Schengen Information System.

  4. Travelers who do not meet the security and entry criteria the ETIAS system determines.


  1. To pre-check travelers from visa-exempt countries before they enter participating countries, including Germany, for security reasons.

  2. To streamline the entry process for travelers, making it quicker and easier for them to visit.

  3. Allow short-term visits for tourism, business, medical visits, or transit through participating countries.

  4. Help manage and track visitors, enhancing security and border management.

Duration of stay?

  1. The ETIAS authorization is a single-entry pass and allows for short-term visits, typically up to 90 days within 180 days.

  2. It is not intended for long-term stays, work, or residence within the Schengen Area or other participating countries.

  3. The validity of the ETIAS can be up to 3 years or until the end of the validity of the travel document registered during the application, whichever comes first.

Learn more about the German ETIAS


Germany Employment Visa

Who is it for?

The Germany Employment Visa is for people from outside the EU/EEA who have a job lined up in Germany. It allows you to live and work in Germany legally.

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Got a job offer from a German company? This visa is your ticket to work there.

  • Once in Germany, you'll need to get a residence permit to stay and work long-term.

  • This visa allows skilled workers to join the German workforce and live in Germany.

Who cannot apply:

  1. Individuals from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland (as they don't need this visa to work in Germany).

  2. Individuals without a valid job offer from a German employer.

  3. People who don’t meet the qualifications or requirements for a job in Germany.


  • Allow individuals from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland to live and work in Germany.

  • Fill job vacancies in Germany with qualified individuals from around the world.

  • Support Germany's economy and labor market.

  • Provide a pathway for skilled workers to build careers and settle in Germany.

  • Allow individuals to contribute to German society and enjoy the living standards and opportunities Germany offers.

Duration of stay?

  • Initially, the Germany Employment Visa is granted for a period of up to six months to allow you to find a job if you don't have one yet.

  • Once you have a job, you can apply for a residence permit for employment, which allows you to stay long-term.

  • The duration of the residence permit can vary. Usually, it's given for the length of your employment contract, up to a maximum of four years.

  • If you have a permanent employment contract, you might be able to get a permanent residence permit sooner.

Germany Student Visa

Who is it for?

The Germany Student Visa is tailored for individuals outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland who wish to pursue full-time studies at a German educational institution. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Planning to study at a university or a higher education institution in Germany? This visa is for you.

  • It's meant for full-time students enrolled in a degree program or other recognized academic courses.

  • This visa can also be for individuals aiming to attend a preparatory course before their main studies begin.

With the Germany Student Visa, you're on the right track to gaining a quality education in one of Germany's reputable institutions!

Who cannot apply:

  1. Individuals from the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland (as they have different entry and residency regulations).

  2. Individuals not accepted or enrolled in a recognized educational institution in Germany.

  3. Individuals looking to pursue part-time or online courses.

  4. People without sufficient funds to cover their living expenses during their stay in Germany.

  5. Individuals who don’t meet the necessary language proficiency requirements or other admission criteria set by the German educational institution.

Each university or educational institution might have its own requirements, so it's always a good idea to check with them and the German embassy or consulate in your home country.


  1. To allow non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss individuals to pursue full-time education in Germany.

  2. Facilitate cultural exchange and international academic collaboration.

  3. Provide individuals the opportunity to gain quality education and skills from reputable German educational institutions.

  4. Enhance international students' personal and professional development, contributing to their future career prospects.

  5. Foster the sharing of knowledge and experiences among a diverse student community in Germany.

Duration of stay?

  • The Germany Student Visa is initially granted for three months, which can then be extended up to two years, depending on the length of your study program.

  • Upon completing your studies, you can extend your stay for up to 18 months to seek employment in Germany related to your field of study.

  • Once employed, you can apply for a residence permit to continue living and working in Germany.

The visa's duration aligns with your course duration, ensuring you have ample time to complete your studies and explore job opportunities post-graduation in Germany.

Other National Visas or Long-term Visas

A National Visa or a Long-term Visa in Germany opens the doors for individuals looking to stay for extended periods, usually for specific purposes like work, study, or family reunification. Unlike the Schengen Visa and the ETIAS, which are geared towards short-term visits, these visas are your pathway for a longer vacation in Germany. Here’s a glimpse of what these visas entail:

Who is it for?

The diverse array of National Visas is tailored to meet the distinct needs of individuals based on their specific situations and goals for their stay in Germany. Here's a brief overview of who each type of National Visa applies to:

  • Germany Training/Internship Visa: For training or internships in Germany.

  • Germany Family Reunion Visa: For joining family members in Germany.

  • Germany Job Seeker Visa: For individuals seeking a job in Germany.

  • Germany Visa for Guest Scientists & Researchers: For scientists and researchers invited by an institution in Germany.

  • Germany Freelancer Visa: For self-employed freelancers wishing to work in Germany.

  • Residence Permit: For long-term residency, work, or study in Germany.

If you’re still unsure of what type of visa you need, use our visa checker tool for more guidance. Dive into our detailed pages linked above, and take the first step towards your German adventure today!

Germany visa doscuments

Germany visa application process: Effortless journey to Deutschland!

Applying for a Germany visa might seem overwhelming, but we streamline the process for you, ensuring speed, simplicity, and a higher chance of approval.

How to apply for the Germany Schengen Visa

Get your Germany Schengen Visa effortlessly with these steps, and set your course to the historic landmarks and vibrant culture of Germany:

Step 1: Provide your information and travel details via our online application.

Step 2: Review your information and pay the iVisa service fee. Note: During your appointment, the government fee is paid separately at the embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Center (VAC).

Step 3: Upload a scanned copy of your passport and a passport photo. You'll receive a guide on completing your application and the documents needed for the mandatory visa interview.

We’ll schedule the appointment and provide essential details for the day.

Apply for your German Schengen Visa today!

How to apply for the Germany ETIAS

Achieving your Germany ETIAS is a breeze with our service! Here's the three-step process:

Step 1: Fill out the online form with your personal and trip details.

Step 2: Review your info, pick the processing time, and pay the fee online.

Step 3: Upload any required documents and submit the form.

Once given the green light, your ETIAS will be sent to your email.

Simple, isn't it? Start your Germany ETIAS application now!

How to apply for a German National Visa or other visas

Acquiring a National Visa can be a tad intricate. Follow these steps for a smoother experience:

Step 1: Retrieve and fill out the Visa application form from the nearest German consulate or embassy.

Step 2: Assemble the necessary documents.

Step 3: If needed, schedule a visa interview, pay the associated fee, and attend your appointment with all the requisite documents in hand.

Step 4: Patiently wait for the decision. Once approved, either pick up your visa or await its delivery by mail.

Please note: Currently, we don't offer services for National Visas or Long-Term Visas. For these applications, directly contact your nearest German embassy or consulate.

Germany entry requirements

As you gear up for a captivating journey in Germany, navigating the entry requirements can appear challenging. But fret not; we're here alongside you!

These guidelines are your gateway to a seamless and delightful entry into the heart of Europe. Let’s unravel them together, ensuring you're prepared for an extraordinary voyage.

Requirements Germany Schengen Visa Germany ETIAS Germany Employment Visa Germany Student Visa Other National Visa
Printed Application Form x
Completed and signed
Passport Photos x
- Two recent whole-face photos with a light background
- Passport photo service
Valid and Biometric Passport
- At least two blank pages for visa affixing
- Issued within the last ten years
- Valid for at least three months beyond the intended stay
- Passport renewal service if expiring
Copies of Travel Documents x
All pages of the travel passport, previous visas, and other docs
Round-trip Flight Itinerary x x x x
Document showing booked flight to enter and leave Germany
Proof of Accommodation x x x x
Hotel reservation
Proof of Financial Means & Employment Status x
- At least €100/day, with a minimum of €900 per person
- Employment contract, bank statements, leave permission, etc
Proof you'll be joining your EU Family Member x x x x ✓ (Family Reunion Visa)
- Marriage certificate, Birth certificates for parents and children or Adoption papers (if applicable)
- Invitation letter stating: Their name and contact details, your name and relationship to them, a statement of their invitation and willingness to host you, and details of your visit, including planned dates and duration
Proof that Family Member Can Support Your Visit x x x x ✓ (Family Reunion Visa)
Proof of work contract or sufficient economic means
Visa Appointment & Interview x
Schedule and attend a visa appointment, attend with all docs
Additional Documents Maybe x Maybe Maybe Maybe
Requested by the Embassy or consulate
Application Decision x
Await a decision; if approved, collect visa sticker in-person.

Health information for travelers to Germany

Germany is known for its high health standards and well-established medical infrastructure. However, travelers must be informed about health-related requirements before visiting the country:

Requirement Explanation & Consideration for Travelers
Vaccinations - Germany does not have mandatory vaccination requirements for most travelers.
- If you're arriving from a country at risk for Yellow Fever, proof of vaccination is necessary.
- Stay updated with Germany's COVID-19 entry requirements, such as testing, quarantine, and vaccine certifications, through the German government website
- A discussion with a healthcare provider to tailor a vaccination plan according to your needs is advisable.
Medical Facilities - Rest assured. Germany hosts a plethora of state-of-the-art medical facilities with cutting-edge technologies.
- Both public and private hospitals are equipped with well-trained professionals.
- It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the locations of healthcare facilities near your accommodation.
Health Insurance - Prioritize obtaining comprehensive health insurance that covers medical treatments abroad.
- Germany has reciprocal healthcare agreements with some countries; however, ensuring your insurance provides ample coverage or considering travel health insurance is prudent for financial security against unforeseen medical expenses.
Local Hazards Germany’s diverse landscapes have unique conditions:
1. Ticks: Prevalent in wooded and grassy areas, ticks can transmit Lyme disease and Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE). Protective clothing and tick repellents are advisable.
2. Sun Exposure: During summer, sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses are essential to fend off sunburns.
Medication - Traveling with Medication to Germany:
- Declare All Medications: Declare any prescription or over-the-counter medications to customs.
- Original Packaging: Retain medications in their original containers to prevent customs issues.
- Prescription or Doctor's Letter: Carry a valid prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining the necessity for each medication.
- Check for Restrictions: Prior research to ensure your medications are permissible in Germany is crucial. Check the German Customs Administration for detailed information regarding medication entry.
- Quantity Matters: Bring a reasonable quantity of medications aligned with your stay duration to evade complications.

Traveling to Germany requires some preparation. Being informed and taking the necessary precautions can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Germany.

Navigating German shores and beyond: Embassy support

Germany flag nation

Embassy support is akin to having a reliable companion in a foreign territory. Whether you're a German national venturing beyond borders or a global traveler delving into Germany's rich tapestry, knowing how to connect with your embassy is key to a seamless journey.

Germans Abroad: Misplaced passports? Unforeseen circumstances? Worry not! German embassies are dotted around the world to provide aid, handle emergencies, or engage in a friendly dialogue to navigate your path.

International Travelers in Germany: Seeking a visa extension or consular assistance? Your home country's embassy in Germany is your haven of support.

Connect with ease:

  • Websites: Dive into official websites for details, from contact info to services.

  • Phone: Urgent matters? Check for a "Contact Us" section of the nearest embassy to you and call the number listed on the site. Quick and direct.

  • Email: Not in a hurry? Emails are perfect for casual inquiries or appointments.

  • In-Person: Some things are better face-to-face. Remember to book if needed.

Check our handy embassies directory to find your nearest embassy. At iVisa, we believe adventures are more enjoyable without worries. Here's to exploring - with the reassurance that your embassy or consulate is merely a call or click away!

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