VISA TO GERMANY

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Schengen Visa – where to apply?

In accordance with the Schengen Code, a Schengen visa for a short stay up to 90 days has to be applied for through the Embassy of the country which is your main destination. The main destination is understood to be the destination where the applicant intends to spend the longest time or where the main purpose of the intended journey is carried out.

However, for your entry into and departure you may cross any Schengen border to reach your destination with a visa issued by any Schengen Member State.

Example:

A Kuwaiti national wishes to travel to Germany for a medical check-up (20 days) and has additionally organized a short holiday in Austria (10 days).

He will arrive at and leave from Amsterdam (Netherlands) and travel from there by car.

The main purpose of the trip and longest stay is the medical check-up, and thus the German Embassy should deal with the application, even though the arrival and departure to the Schengen area is through Amsterdam.

If no main destination can be determined due to equal duration and purpose of stay in several Member States, e.g. tourism round trip 5 days in each country, then the Embassy of the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross first should deal with the application.

Please note:

At the border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on your travel destination or that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. hotel booking or letters of invitation, flight confirmations, travel health insurance or other documents stating the purpose of your stay).

2. What are the Schengen States?

Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have all acceded to the Schengen Agreement and are thus Schengen states.

The Schengen area thus includes all EU member states except the UK, Ireland and Cyprus; at present the EU members Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia only apply some of the Schengen provisions. Until these three countries apply what is known as the Schengen acquis in full, as is their aim, passport controls will remain in place at internal borders. In addition to the EU countries already mentioned, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also Schengen states.

3. I have renewed my passport. The Schengen visa in my old passport is still valid. Does it allow me to travel to Germany?

Yes. You can travel with you your old passport that contains the valid visa together with the new passport. Travellers who have a valid Schengen visa for the duration of the planned trip in the old passport may use this old visa in connection with the new passport to travel to Germany,

- if the new passport is attached to the old one and

- if the spelling of the name and alphanumerical data is exactly the same between the two passports and does not differ (e.g. new visa required, if name spelling in the old passport “Mohammed AJ” and in the new differently “Mohamad A J M”).

For travels to other Schengen countries please reconfirm with the respective Embassies.

If you prefer to obtain a new visa in new passport, please note that your old visa must be cancelled by issuing Embassy prior to filing your new application.

4. My visa was issued by a mission of another Schengen state. Can I use it to travel to Germany?

As a general rule you may cross any Schengen border with a visa issued by any Schengen country. The Schengen visa has to be applied for through the Embassy of the country which is your main destination. The entry into and departure from the Schengen area can occur at any border crossing.

However, the short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area.

At the border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on your travel destination or that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).

Holders of

  • a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads "valid for Schengen states")
  • a residence permit of a Schengen member state or
  • a national visa of a Schengen member state

can also travel to Germany for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.

5. Refusal of Visa application - my options

If a visa application has been refused by the German Embassy the applicant will receive a letter with an explanatory statement for refusal.

If you do not agree with this statement and believe you have additional information to help revoke the reasons of refusal, you may:

  • File a new visa application providing all relevant information and documents or
  • Make use of your right to appeal as per the rules stated in the legal remedies in your letter. The letter of appeal must bear the signature of the visa applicant or his/her legal representative (please attach original power of attorney - scans are accepted) and forward to the visa section of the German Embassy.

E-mail enquiries without relevant documents (as stated above) of applicants or sent by third parties (companies, hosts, employers) cannot be considered as a legal appeal and will be ignored.

The review of the appeal may take up to 3 months.

6. How to calculate the 90 days period

The Schengen visa allows the holder a total stay of maximum 90 days within 180 days. If you are planning a stay for longer than 90 days (e.g. study in Germany, long-term medical, family reunion) then please contact the German Embassy directly to apply for a residence permit Email: info@kuwa.diplo.de

If you hold a multiple entry Schengen visa, you may leave and return any number of times within the 180 day period, but the combined stay within the Schengen states must not total more than 90 days. Important is the date of the actual entry, not the begining of the visa validity.

A clearer definition of short stay of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area ("90 days in any 180 days period") is applicable from 18 October 2013. Since then a new method of calculation of short stays applies - please find a calculator tool on the homepage of the EU Commission that might assist you to calculate your periods of stay: LINK