Do You Need A Visa For Germany?

Getting a visa for Germany should always be the first step in planning your trip, even before shopping around for the best cheap flights, the most convenient hotels, or the most interesting places to visit.

Many persons don't need a visa for Germany when traveling to Munich. But some nationalities do, so let's find out if you're one of them:

EU citizens never require a visa to enter Germany.

For everyone else, it depends basically on three things:

  • your nationality
  • the purpose of your stay
  • the length of your stay

Depending on the list above you fall into one of three categories:

But before we try to figure out if you need a visa for Germany or not, there is one more thing you must know:
A "German" visa doesn't exist anymore. Germany has teamed up with 14 more countries in Europe and created the so-called Schengen Visa. This visa is valid in all 15 participating Schengen countries.

Good for you: with only one application your visa will be valid in any of the Schengen countries Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

At the moment it is not yet valid in the 10 new European Union members from Eastern Europe and not in England. The English are neither part of the Euro nor of the Schengen countries (even though they form part of the European Union.)

Now let's find out if you indeed require a visa or not:

In general all foreigners from outside the European Union require a tourist visa for Germany.
But there are exceptions to that rule and you don't need a Schengen visa, if:

  • you stay less than 90 days
  • and you are from one of the countries, for which the EU has abolished the visa requirement
Some of these non-visa countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and United States.
Find out if your country is on the list too at the website of the German Foreign Office .

Remember, that without a visa you can only stay up to 90 days every six months and you're not allowed to work or study!

If you want to work or study, you will have to apply for a longer stay visa for Germany.

Everyone else needs a tourist visa for Germany.

Don't forget that even if you don't need a visa for your trip to Germany, you'll need a valid passport with at least three months validity on the day of your departure from Germany.

For detailed questions, ask a lawyer and get expert advice ASAP.