Germany visa for Indians: The 2016 process

logo-3.3-with-bgIf you’re applying for a Germany tourist visa (which is actually a visa that lets you travel to all the Schengen countries), you can either apply as a tourist or as someone going to visit family or friends.

I prefer the second because in that case, you do not have to furnish the details of all your hotels bookings. Consequently, this lets you be more elastic about your trip. Since I do not have any family in Europe, I requested a German friend to send me an invitation letter and she agreed. Things went pretty smooth from there.

 Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Following is a list of the things you need to apply for a Germany travel visa.

  • Passport: Of course, you’re going nowhere without a passport. It needs to be valid for at least three months after your scheduled return date.
  • Signed application form and declarations: You find these online on the VFS Germany website (VFS handles the Germany visa application process). You need to fill it up and take a printout of the seven-page form and declaration. Then you need to sign in several places before submitting it.
  • Travel insurance: Required or not required, you must always buy travel insurance. However it is important to remember that Germany does not accept all travel insurances. But they do accept all the major ones and you will find the list of accepted ones here.
  • Personal covering letter: You need to write to the German consulate explaining the purpose of your visit.

Sample of cover letter

January 1, 2016
The Consulate General
The Federal Republic of Germany
1, Hastings Park Road, Alipore
Kolkata 700027.
Sub: Application for tourist visa
I would like to go to Germany to meet some friends and revisit the beautiful country that I had last been to in 2014.
I intend to visit in Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf this time. 
I intend to land in Frankfurt (Main) on June 1, 2016 and leave via the same airport on June 17, 2016.
I hope you will find my application satisfactory and grant me a visa.
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Passport No. A1234567
5, ABC Street
Kolkata 700001
Phone: +91 9999999999
  • Leave letter: Either a leave letter from your employer if you are employed or a no-objection letter from your university in case you are a student.

Sample of letter from employee 

ABC Pvt Ltd
1 ABC Road, Kolkata 700001
January 1, 2016
This is to certify that Mr NAME SURNAME (Employee No. 12345) has been an employee of this organisation since January 1, 2013.
He has been granted leave from June 1, 2016 to June 17, 2016. He will resume duty on June 18, 2016.
We do not have any objection to his visit to any country abroad during his leave period.
Signature of person concerned

  • Tickets: Your to and fro flight tickets.
  • Accommodation: The difference between tourism and visiting friends is right here. You either submit booking confirmation of all your hotels or just have a friend email you an invitation letter, along with a scanned copy of the data page of their passport.

Sample of invitation letter

January 4th, 2016
The Consulate General
The Federal Republic of Germany
1, Hastings Park Road, Alipore
Kolkata 700027
Sub: Invitation for tourist visa
I am a German citizen and I work as a DESIGNATION at COMPANY NAME AND ADDRESS.
I am inviting my Indian friend, NAME SURNAME (Passport No. A1234567, issued on 00.00.2015 and valid till 00.00.2025), who stays at ADDRESS to spend his holiday in Germany.
During NAME’s trip to Germany (June 1, 2016 to June 17, 2016), I will take care of his accommodation. He will be back in India on June 18, 2016.
I request you to please grant him a tourist visa.
Thank You.
Yours truly,
Passport No. XXXXXX, Date of issue: 00.00.2015, Date of expiry: 00.00.2025
  • Proof of funds: If you have a sponsor, you need to furnish a formal obligation letter of your sponsor. If you are funding your own trip, you ned to furnish your bank statement of the last three months with sufficient funds.
  • Proof of financial status: Payslips of the past three months or employment contract. If self-employed, certificate of proprietorship or other proof of ownership or sales forms, etc. Income tax returns of the past three years.
  • Proof of civil status: Marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
  • Pictures: Two passport-size pictures taken within the past six months according to the required biometric specifications.
  • Apart from all that, take a few copies of your passport data and address pages and a couple of extra photographs. You never know when you need them!

My visa application process couldn’t have gone smoother. Like every time, I first went to the application centre to understand clearly what they wanted. Then I booked an appointment online and returned a few days later with the exact documents.

VFS handles the Germany visa application process. I needed to record my fingerprints and they did it right there at the centre. Though they said my passport would be ready for collection within fifteen working days, it was ready is just three days. Also, VFS has started accepting cash payments and I didn’t have to get a bank draft made.


9 thoughts on “Germany visa for Indians: The 2016 process

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for a great post with relevant information.
    One question though, does the invitation letter need to be from the person directly, or it needs to be certified by any german authority (for instance KVR office)?

    Thanks, and regards
    – Atul Acharya

  2. Hey! Great post. Can you provide a sample of the ‘formal obligation letter’ and also do i need to show my bank statement if i am being sponsored?

    1. Nilu,
      Glad you found the post useful. As you see, the post is about the tourist visa and I have only travelled to Germany on tourist visas and I have not needed the formal obligation letter for my trips. Consequently, I don’t have personal experience with this but I’m sure you’ll find enough info on it online. But I know this, if someone is sponsoring you, they need to show their bank statements. I don’t think your’s is compulsory in that case.

      1. I looked up details on formal obligation letter. It is actually issued by a local goverment office in each German city where sponsorer has to show his ID, job details etc. Also, he has to take responsiblity of expenses for the visiting friend, in case the friend overstays and has to be deported

  3. Very useful. Further I need to know if you can advise.My DOB is 9.4.1956 and I am an Indian by birth. I am a retired Central Government employee and now a pensioner. I have never been to any other country outside my own though holding a passport issued by Passport Authority of India. Recently my younger son has been awarded DAAD scholarship for admission to Master of European Law at the University of Saarlands from 1.10.17 to 30.9.18. Now he is taking the preparatory language course in Marburg till 30.9.2017. He will be provided single room accommodation at Saarland and I intend to stay with him for 60 days during which period I shall get a chance to visit some other nearby European countries. I have gone through the guidance and documents needed for Visa application. I have enough money in my Bank account. My doubt is (1) whether my son can send an invitation to me..(2) How much Euro he must have with him in his bank account in Germany(3) whether I have to purchase return air ticket before applying for visa.(4) whether I shall have to provide exact itinerary of visiting Schengen countries. (5) How much Euro I shall have to take with me,
    Any other advice relevent to it

    1. Mr Mishra,
      I’m glad you found the post useful. I’ll try to answer your questions below.
      1. Since you son has a long-stay visa, he should be able to send you an invitation.
      2. Since you have enough money in your bank account, your son doesn’t need to show money. He can send you an invitation to visit him and you should tell the visa office that you are paying for the trip. That way, only you need to furnish your bank details.
      3. You will need to furnish a return air ticket for a tourist visa. Since this is your first trip outside of India, you are likely to get the visa from your arrival date in Germany till the date you leave.
      4. For all practical purposes, you do not need to go into too much details here. You can just mention that during your stay, you intend to visit Places A, B, C, etc.
      5. That depends on your travel plans. They will not ask you for that. But a very ballpark figure would be EUR1500-2500.

      Please understand that I have answered all your question based on my experiences. Before you apply for the visa, you should pay a visit to the local visa office and have all your queries cleared.
      All the best!

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