Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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:

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