Germany Visa Policy

Familiarize yourself with the visa law of Germany and find out the visa requirements according to your nationality.

Visa Policy for Germany

The visa policy of Germany establishes the requirements and restrictions placed on foreign travelers of any country across the world that want to travel to, enter, and remain in the state.

The German visa policy is the same as all of 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement, as Germany forms a part of the Schengen passport-free zone.

Consequently, all Schengen Area citizens are allowed to enter with either their passport or national ID Card, with no restrictions set for length for stay or purpose of visit.

German visa requirements for other passport holders differ depending on the nationality of the travler, as well as the aim of the visit and the amount of time the individual needs to stay inside the country.

A number of other foreign citizens, from outside the Schengen Area, are also currently granted a short visa-exempt stay without the need to obtain travel authorization, by simply presenting a valid passport at German border control.

However, these same visa-exempt passport holders will have to apply for ETIAS once this travel authorization is implemented in 2022.

An ETIAS for Germany is a multiple entry online visa waiver which will allow holders to spend up to 90 days inside the Schengen Area with each entry.

Finally, German visa rules state that travelers from around 150 countries are required to have an approved Schengen visa to enter the country, which must be obtained before departure from the nearest German overseas government office.

This embassy visa is available for a variety of different purposes according to the traveler’s needs.

Find further information about each visa and travel authorization for Germany in the boxes below.

Tourist Visa Policy for Germany

German tourist visa law establishes that citizens of selected nationalities do not need to obtain a visa to travel to Germany for tourism purposes.

This includes all citizens of Schengen Area countries, who are granted freedom of movement to Germany, as well as a number of other visa-free citizens, who are currently visa-exempt for tourism stays up to 90 days.

Nevertheless, by 2022, all visa-free citizens for Germany from outside Schengen will be required to pre-register with the ETIAS visa waiver program in order to travel to the country for tourism.

An approved German ETIAS is a multiple entry travel authorization that will allow the holder to gain entry to all 26 European Schengen countries for tourism, for a maximum stay of 90 days each time they enter.

Eligible citizens will be required to pre-register an online application for a tourist ETIAS to receive this mandatory travel authorization before departure for Germany from their country of residence.

Around other 150 nationalities must apply for a tourist embassy visa for Germany through their nearest German diplomatic government office, well in advance of the intended travel dates.

Below you can find more information about German visa requirements for your nationality.

ETIAS for Germany

The German government, alongside the European Commission, will fully implement the ETIAS visa waiver program by 2022.

This program is being introduced with the intention of strengthening and increasing border protection of all of the Schengen Area countries, by pre-screening visa-exempt travelers for any security or health risks before they depart their country of residence, through a simple online registration.

ETIAS is a multiple entry travel authorization that will be mandatory for all foreign residents from outside the Schengen zone that are currently visa-exempt for travel to Germany. This includes citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, among others.

Holders of an approved ETIAS authorization will be able to travel to, enter, and remain in the 26 European Schengen countries, for a maximum period of 90 consecutive days with each entry. ETIAS permits visits for transit, business, tourism, or medical treatment.

Once approved it will be electronically linked to the holder’s passport and valid for 3 years, or until the associated passport expires, whichever comes first.

As ETIAS holders can use the same travel authorization to visit Germany multiple times, there is no need to apply before every trip to the Schengen Area.

However, if these visitors need to stay for over 90 consecutive days or need to travel to Europe for purposes like work or study, the traveler will be requested to apply for a visa from the nearest German embassy or consulate.

Check our ETIAS information page for more information about the other European countries that have signed the ETIAS visa waiver agreement.

Browse the list below to see all the countries that will require ETIAS to travel to Germany once it is implemented.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

The current visa regulations of Germany establish that individuals from around 150 countries need to obtain an embassy or consular visa before the expected departure date.

Foreign visitors from these countries are required to obtain a Schengen visa from the nearest German diplomatic office in advance of travel, regardless of the reason for the stay or the duration of the trip.

The protocol of obtaining a consular visa begins by making a visa appointment at a German embassy. Once the interview is confirmed, the applicant should print and complete an embassy visa form to bring along.

On this form, the applicant must select the correct type of Schengen visa for Germany they require, according to the purpose of the visit. This can differ between a tourist visa, work visa, business visa, student visa, or resident visa, among other visa options.

A German Schengen visa can be approved as a single, double, or multiple entry permission, which will differ depending on the nationality and needs of the visitor.

Eligible citizens are advised to apply for a consular visa well in advance of the expected departure date to their destination, as it can take up to 2 weeks or more to receive an approved embassy visa .

Browse the list below to check if your nationality is required to hold an approved visa from an embassy to travel to Germany.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Visa Not Required

Check the list below to see the countries whose visitors are currently visa-exempt for Germany.

Currently, the approximately 90 visa-free nationalities for Germany include all of the other European countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement. Citizens of Schengen countries have freedom of movement to travel to Germany using either their passport or national ID Card.

All other visa-exempt countries for Germany are permitted to enter the country for up to 90 days within every 180-day period using a valid eligible passport. A visa-free stay for these passport holders is permitted for tourism, transit or business purposes.

However, by 2022, these same visa-free citizens will be required to have an approved ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Germany for the same purposes and period of stay.

This is because it will become mandatory to pre-register a ETIAS application for all visa waiver citizens for the Schengen Area to visit Germany once the online system is activated at the end of 2021.

However, this will be a simple process which will involve completing an online form with basic personal, passport, and travel information, to receive an approved travel authorization for Germany electronically linked to a valid passport.

In order for those individuals who have visa exemption to travel to Germany for longer periods of stay or for other purposes, it will be necessary to apply for a German embassy visa, also known as Schengen visa for Germany.

Find a comprehensive visa-free country list for Germany below.

Visa requirements checker

Select nationality

Related News

  • Although many countries around the world continue to discourage nonessential travel due to restrictions related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a number of international destinations are now open to tourists. Popular tourist destinations such as Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, and Spain already lifted travel restrictions for tourism during the month of June, and a number of

    Read More
  • The European Union (EU) has started to reopen its external borders to travelers from outside the bloc for the first time since March. From July 1, international travel will resume to certain third countries. Visitors from these 15 states will be able to visit Europe this summer. The decision was made after a vote by

    Read More
  • Various countries are reopening their borders this summer after months of travel bans and lockdowns due to coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the headlines for much of 2020. Many countries around the world imposed border restrictions or even prohibited travel altogether. Governments in many regions imposed lockdowns, instructing people to remain in their homes

    Read More