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German Schengen visa

Today we’re going to talk about the Schengen visa (also known as type C visa or Schengen visa type C), issued by German diplomatic missions. You will learn who needs a Schengen visa, what Schengen visa types there are, for what purposes a visa to Germany can be obtained, for how long you can stay in the Schengen area with it. We will also give you some tips how to get the German Schengen visa for up to 5 years based on experience of our customers.

Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, assists foreigners with starting and developing their own business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration or the EU Blue Card. Over 20 years of operation we have helped more than 7000 customers.

Get a residence permit in Germany through business immigration or a Blue Card: info@nexus-gmbh.biz

What is the Schengen visa type C?

It is a short-stay visa that allows you to enter Germany and the Schengen area. It is intended for visits that last up to 90 days within 180 days. It is considered the most common type of visa for the Schengen area. Please note that we’ll be talking about German Schengen visas issued by German diplomatic missions and, even though they are usually valid for the whole Schengen area, other countries issuing such type of visas may have other rules and conditions. One should also always check the exact information with the specific diplomatic mission in the country where you apply for the visa.

Watch our video about the German Schengen visa:

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Whether you need a visa or can travel to Germany visa-free depends on your citizenship. If you are not a citizen of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country or one of around 60 countries that are part of the visa exemption agreement, then you require a visa to Germany. Please make sure to check if you need a Schengen visa type C at the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Schengen visa types by purpose of travel

There are several kinds of travel purposes that a German Schengen visa can be obtained for. Here are the main of them:

  • Personal visits. They can include visiting friends, family members or close relatives who are EU citizens or have a residence permit in Germany.
  • Tourism. This isone of the most common Schengen visa types. Apart from the obvious touristic purposes, the German tourist visa can also be obtained by property owners who would like to check on their property in Germany.
  • Business trips and trade fair attendance. A visa can be obtained for a number of business purposes, such as participating in negotiations or projects, signing contracts, representing a company abroad etc. We have a detailed guide on the German business visa.
  • Cultural, scientific or artistic purposes. It can include participation in scientific, cultural, artistic and sports activities as well as participation in student exchange programs, language courses etc.
  • Medical treatment

It is important that the purpose of travel indicated in the German Schengen visa application corresponds with your actual travel purpose. Misleading the issuing authorities about the purpose of your travel leads to refusal of the visa. To avoid unnecessary refusals, always provide documents in accordance with your real travel purpose.

German Schengen visa categories

There are three general categories of the Schengen visa type C:

  • Single entry visa that allows you to enter the Schengen zone once. After you have left the Schengen zone you can’t re-enter it even if your visa to Germany is still valid.
  • Double entry visa that allows you to enter the Schengen area twice during the period of validity. After you have left the Schengen area for the second time you can’t enter it again without obtaining a new Schengen visa.
  • Multiple entry visa that allows multiple entry of the Schengen zone during the validity period of your German Schengen visa. It can be issued for a period of up to 5 years.

Please note once again that, unless indicated otherwise, with a type C visa you can usually stay in Germany and the Schengen area for up to 90 days within 6 months. Even if you have a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years, it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to stay in the Schengen zone for more than this specified time without interruption.

Visa to Germany for up to 5 years

In many countries you would usually be issued a single entry Schengen visa, especially if you apply for the first time and your purpose of travel does not require multiple entries for an extended period of time. For some purposes, however, it might be possible to get a multiple entry German Schengen visa for up to 5 years. For example, it might be the case with visas issued for business purposes or to owners of property in the Germany (German tourist visa for property owners). Your supporting documents must clearly show what reason you have to travel to Germany and why your presence is required for more than once or twice. If the issuing authority finds your argumentation valid, you have a chance of getting a multiple entry Schengen visa type C.

If you apply for the German Schengen visa for the first time, you most likely will be issued only a single entry visa. Then you can apply for a multiple entry visa that will be valid for 6 month. With 3rd application you might get a multiple entry visa to Germany for 1 or 2 years and after that you have a chance to get a multiple entry visa for 5 years.

Based on the experience of our clients, getting such a visa is possible if the package of supporting documents is prepared correctly and there are solid grounds for you to travel to Germany often. For example, if you are a shareholder and managing director of your own company registered in Germany, this is in many cases considered a strong foundation for issuing a multiple entry German business visa.

Please note that one has no right to claim a multiple entry visa that would be valid for several years. The decision is always up to the issuing authority. Such German Schengen visa is usually issued to credible frequent travelers who have previously held several visas and if there is a valid purpose of the trips, enough financing and willingness to return to their home country.

If you need to be in Germany for more than 90 days within 6 months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. For example, if you are a shareholder and managing director of a company registered in Germany and your business is beneficial to Germany, you might be able to get a residence permit in Germany as a self-employed. It allows you to stay in Germany uninterruptedly for up to 3 years and manage your company.

Especially for foreign people who are willing to move to Germany through business immigration we developed our unique 5-step Nexus Smart Immigrate Technology. It essentially increases the chances of successful immigration. You can find detailed information on the step-by-step process of the 5-step Nexus Smart Immigrate Technology and well as guides on business immigration on our website.

Nexus-Europe GmbH is happy to assist foreign entrepreneurs with starting and developing their own successful business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration or the EU Blue Card.

Contact us to open a business in Germany and move to Germany:


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.

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