Frequently Asked Questions about Visa
Enlarge image Questions & Answers (© picture-alliance/chromorange)
What is a Schengen Visa?
The Schengen visa is a short stay authorisation issued by one of the Member States of the Schengen area. It allows you to stay a maximum of 90 days in the Schengen area within a time of 180 days.
At which Embassy or Consulate do I need to apply?
YOU CAN ENTER AND LEAVE THE SCHENGEN ZONE THROUGH ANY COUNTRY!! But it is essential that you apply for your visa at the correct embassy and not simply at an embassy of your convenience. Otherwise there is a serious risk that you will be refused entry at the border. Border guards will ask you questions about your travel plans and can also ask for proof (i.e. hotel bookings, rental car arrangements etc.) Be prepared to explain your travel plans to any border guard upon entry.
If you are planning to visit only one contry, you need to apply with that Member State's embassy.
If your visit includes more than one country, you need to apply with the Member State that is the MAIN DESTINATION of your visit: either the one where you are going to stay longest or the one where the main purpose of your visit lies (i.e. business). If no main destination can be determined, the member state you enter first is responsible for your visa application.
SO PLEASE NOTE: THE MAIN DESTINATION IS RELEVANT. REPORTS THAT YOU NEED A GERMAN SCHENGEN VISA TO ENTER GERMANY ARE WRONG!
I hold a Schengen visa with a validity of one year from Spain. Can I use this visa for a holiday trip to Germany?
Visa with a longer validity are meant for people who travel frequently i.e. for business or family visits. Once you have used your visa for the intended trip, you can travel to other Schengen countries as well. So in the example given, once you have used your Spanish visa for a trip to Spain, you can travel to Germany with it for holidays. In case you are asked by the border control to why you hold a Spanish visa, it is recommend you being able to explain your visa situation to the border guard. Holding a visa does not confer an automatic right of entry to the Schengen area.
Do I need an airport transit visa while waiting for my onward flight to a non-Schengen state?
In general, Saudi nationals do not require an airport transit visa if they have an onward flight (NOT within the Schengen area) from one of the major German airports as long as they do not leave the airport transit area. If your connecting flight is within the Schengen area, you will need a visa (Example: if you travel from the U.S. to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Riyadh, you do not need a transit visa; if you travel from the U.S. to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Munich and from Munich to Riyadh, you need a Schengen visa).
Why is it not possible to get information on the status of my application while I am waiting for the visa to be issued?
The German Embassy is happy about the great number of people who want to visit Germany. We receive a big amount of new applications per day. Most of them are urgent business trips, family visits etc. We understand that you want to know if your visa will be ready on time. However, we ask your kind comprehension that such requests cannot be answered because this would delay the processing of the visa applications of everybody else.
My visa application has been rejected without a reason being given. What can I do?
According to Section 77 (2) of the Foreigners Act, no reason has to be given when a visa application is rejected. You do however have the option of writing to the visa department of the competent German mission abroad asking for the reasons leading to the rejection of your application (known as remonstration). Please note that you have to submit the remonstration letter signed by yourself (emails cannot be accepted).
According to Section 71 (2) of the Foreigners Act, responsibility for visa affairs lies with the competent German mission abroad. The mission bases its decision on the granting of visas on the provisions of the Foreigners Act. Often applications are rejected because the purpose of the visit lacks plausibility and there is insufficient proof of the applicant's readiness to return.
More Information on the visa procedure is also included on the German Federal Foreign Office website .
How much does a visa cost? Do I have to pay to get an appointment?
A Schengen visa costs the equivalent of 60 EUR anywhere in the world. If you use the services of VFS, an additional service fee applies, according to your preference of service (premium or regular). There is no payment for an appointment at the Embassy. WE DO NOT WORK WITH AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE APPOINTMENTS AGAINST MONEY, such as "Yes Atlas". The only official service provider is VFS.
There have also been reports of fraud where people paid money to an agent that claimed to be working for the German Federal Foreign Office who said he would organize work contracts in Germany. Neither the Federal Foreign Office nor the Embassy act as brokers for work contract. Please check carefully before you make any payments outside the Embassy or VFS to obtain your visa.