The Schengen area covers 27 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are members of the EU but currently do not apply the Schengen agreement.
The Schengen Visa Code standardises the visa requirements that the mission has to use for visa processing. The mission takes a decision on the visa application at its own discretion, taking into account all the circumstances in any given individual case. There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen visa. The mission must ensure that the following requirements have been met in each individual case:
- The purpose of your trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible.
- You must be in a position to finance your living and travel expenses from your own funds and/or income. This includes a travel health insurance policy with minimum cover of 30,000 Euros, valid for the entire Schengen area
- You must demonstrate that you intend to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
The Schengen Visa Code also stipulates with which Member State you need to file your visa application:
- the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of your visit(s).
- if your visit includes more than one destination, or if there are several separate visits within 2 months, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of your visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay.
- if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border you intend to cross first in order to enter the territory of the Member States.
Please note that you may not pursue any economic activity in Germany unless such activity is explicitly authorised by a visa or a residence permit issued in Germany.
Some professional activities such as standard business travel and a variety of cultural, academic and sports activities may be carried out without a corresponding visa or residence permit as they are not classed as an economic activity.
The German Embassy is handling Schengen Visa applications only if your main destination is Germany or Malta. Please note that we no longer issue visas on behalf of Austria.
Please click on the purpose of your trip to read more about the application process:
Do you intend to stay for more than 90 days? Please read here.
If you are unsure how many days you have left on your current visa, check the Short-stay Visa Calculator.
Complaints about the Schengen visa application process
Please use our contact form if you want to file a complaint (in German or English only) about the conduct of the consulate staff or the visa application process. Please enter one of the following options in the “Subject” field of the contact form:
- Complaint about the conduct of consulate staff
- Complaint about the visa application process