German Business Visa
If you want to travel to Germany for business purposes, you are probably wondering how to get the German business visa. We receive a lot of questions about it too, and in this article we are going to tell you how to get such a visa, who needs to apply for it, what German business visa requirements are, what documents you need to prepare and other useful details.
We’ll cover two cases: applying for the business visa when being invited by a German partner and when being an owner of a German company. Information on the latter can barely be found on the internet, that’s why we decided to include it in our article.
What is the German business visa?
The German business visa is a Schengen visa for short stay. It is issued to people who come to Germany for business purposes, such a participation in business meetings, signing contracts or performing other business activities.
A Schengen business visa to Germany may be issued for a single entry or multiple entries. Single-entry visas permit you to enter Germany once and stay for a specified amount of days. Multiple-entry visas allow you to enter multiple times within a specified time period, for example 6 months or a year. Usually, if the visa is issued for a year or more, the holder can stay in Germany for up to 90 days within 6 months unless indicated otherwise in the visa.
Watch our video about the German business visa:
Who needs a Schengen business visa to enter Germany?
Since the German business visa is a short-stay visa, your citizenship would be the main factor when finding out if you need a visa to enter Germany. First of all, obviously, citizens of EU member states don’t require a visa to travel to Germany. Also, there is a list of around 60 countries whose citizens can travel to Germany visa-free.
Those travellers use the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) to enter Germany without a visa. Citizens of other countries generally need to obtain a visa to travel to Germany, with the exception of some special cases such as, for example, being a holder of a diplomatic passport of some of the countries.
What documents do you need for application? German business visa requirements
The list of documents required for the application for a German Schengen business visa may differ depending on the country where you apply and your individual situation. Also please note that authorities reserve the right to request additional documents if they see it necessary.
Generally, the list of documents required for a German business visa when being invited by a German company or partner would include:
Valid passport with at least 2 empty pages. The passport should be valid for at least 3 months after your planned visit to Germany.
Filled out and signed Application form along with the Declaration of accuracy of information.
Two recent passport pictures taken according to biometric standards.
Invitation letter from your business partner in Germany or your client in Germany. This is one of the most important German business visa requirements. The letter should be written in German or in English. Its contents may vary depending on each situation. Usually it includes the information about the company, dates of your planned visit, purpose and schedule of your visit. A detailed schedule is usually expected for stays over 30 days. The letter may also include information on financial and other responsibilities of the parties.
Flight reservations, rail tickets or other confirmations of your means of transportation.
Proof of accommodation for your entire stay in the Schengen area.
Travel health insurance covering costs of at least 30 000 euro in case of illness or accident. It should be valid for the whole Schengen area, not just Germany.
Proof of financial status. Usually it would be a bank statement of the past three months showing sufficient funds.
Proof of civil status such as marriage certificate, birth certificates of children etc.
You might also be requested to provide other documents in order for your German business visa to be issued, e.g. a company cover letter, a company bank statement, certificate of incorporation of the company as well as company or personal income tax returns.
What if you already have an existing business in Germany?
The package of documents to apply for a business German Schengen business visa incase you have a company in Germany would also include a valid passport, application form and declaration, two passport pictures, flight or other ticket reservation, health insurance, proof of accommodation, personal financial status and civil status. However there are also some other German business visa requirements in such a case.
In addition to the listed documents the following original documents are usually required:
Extract from the Commercial Register confirming that the company is registered.
Founding documents of your German company, including the Articles of Association and List of Shareholders.
Business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung).
Bank statements of the company.
Please remember that each situation is different and the final list should be checked with the authority. Our clients from India have successfully obtained German business visas after providing the above documents, however some authority may request additional information.
German business visa application procedure
The application process for the German Schengen business visa is similar to any other application for a German or another Schengen visa.
You need to make an appointment at the German diplomatic mission or a visa application center in your country and collect all necessary documents. You’ll also need to pay the visa application fee that is currently 80 euro.
The earliest you can submit your application for the German business visa is 6 months prior to your planned entry. The latest deadline for the application is 3 weeks before the planned entry. The usual processing time is up to 15 days however in some cases the processing might be delayed, so it is better to apply a little in advance to be on the safe side.
Please note that the situation and requirements may change with time and depending on individual circumstances and the authority. You should always check the current German business visa requirements, list of documents, processing times etc. with the respective authority before application.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.