Applying for a German Schengen Visa from the UK

If you reside in the UK and plan to visit Germany for tourism, business, or family purposes for a stay of up to 90 days, you might need to apply for a German Short-stay visa, commonly referred to as the Germany Schengen visa.

Our visa experts have crafted the following guide to assist you at every stage of the German Schengen visa application process. Filled with valuable insights and in-depth information based on our expertise, this comprehensive guide will aid you in thoroughly preparing for your upcoming German adventure.

Step-by-Step German Visa Application Process from the UK

How to Apply for a German Schengen Visa in the UK?

Here’s the step-by-step process for how to obtain a visa to visit Germany from the UK:

  1. Check if you need a visa. 
  2. Understand the type of visa you need. 
  3. Determine where to lodge your visa application.
  4. Complete and download the visa application form. 
  5. Schedule your German visa appointment. 
  6. Prepare the required documents. 
  7. Attend your visa appointment. 
  8. Wait for the visa to process. 
  9. Collect your passport. 

Check if You Need a Visa

Not everyone traveling from the UK to Germany needs a visa. Before you travel, check the information below to determine whether you must apply for a visa.

Who Needs a Visa?

You will have to apply for a visa when travelling to Germany if you are:

  • A legal resident of the UK, but you hold a passport from a non-EU country that has not reached a visa liberalisation agreement with the EU.
  • A UK citizen, but you were denied entry into Germany or any other Schengen country without a visa.
  • A citizen of a non-EU country that has reached a visa liberalisation agreement with the EU, but you were rejected from entering Germany or any other Schengen country visa-free.

Exemptions from Visa Requirements

You are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Germany if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • You are a UK passport holder.
  • You are a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland.
  • You hold a passport from the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, or any other country with a visa liberalisation agreement with the EU.
  • You possess a valid residence permit from any country within the Schengen area.

For those exempt from a visa, check out the required documents for entry into Germany. It’s always good to be prepared!

British citizens are encouraged to read the following article for detailed information:

Understand the Visa Type You Need

If your plan involves a short trip to Germany, lasting up to 90 days, whether it’s for tourism, visiting friends and family, or business, you’ll need to get a Schengen Visa.

However, if your visit involves other purposes or you plan to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you’ll need a long-stay visa, also known as a D-type visa.

Short-Stay Visa (C) Types

  • Airport Transit Visa: For transiting through German airports to reach a destination outside the Schengen Area.
  • Tourist Visa: Designed for those wanting a vacation or sightseeing experience in Germany.
  • Visitor Visa: Intended for individuals with family or friends in Germany who are aiming to visit them.
  • Business Visa: Tailored for business professionals participating in activities related to business in Germany.
  • Visa for Official Visit: Applicable to delegations travelling to Germany on official visits.
  • Visa for Medical Reasons: For patients requiring medical care in German hospitals or clinics.
  • Visa for Study Purposes: For those seeking to study at an educational institution in Germany for up to three months.
  • Visa for Training/Internship: This type of visa is designed for individuals who wish to undergo specific training or participate in an internship in Germany.
  • Visa for Cultural, Sports, and Film Crews: Suited for individuals attending cultural, sports, or film events in Germany.

Remember, having a visa doesn’t guarantee entry; you must meet specific entry requirements outlined by German border officials. Ensure you fulfil these requirements before planning your journey to Germany.

Long-Stay Visa (D) Types

  • Germany student visa. If you plan to study in Germany for more than 90 days, you’ll need a Germany long-term student visa to pursue academic studies, research, or educational programs at German universities or educational institutions.
  • Germany family reunion visa. This visa allows spouses, children, parents, or other relatives to reunite with their family members in Germany for an extended period.
  • Germany work visa. You can apply for this visa if you have a job offer or employment contract from a German employer.
  • Germany job seeker visa. This visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to six months to search for employment and attend job interviews.
  • Germany guest scientist visa. If you’re a researcher or scientist invited by a German research institution or organization for a specific project or collaboration, you’ll need a German guest scientist visa.
  • Germany freelancer visa. With this visa, you can work as a freelancer and reside in Germany.

Determine Where to Lodge Your Visa Application

Your place of residence in the UK determines where you should submit your German visa application.

See below to find out whether you need to submit your visa application directly to the German Embassy/Consulates in the UK or through TLS Contact, a visa application centre authorized by the German government.

Finding the Right Submission Location

  • Individuals residing in England (with exceptions, see below), Northern Ireland, or Wales, are required to submit their German visa applications through the visa application centres in London or Manchester, which are operated by the accredited provider, TLScontact.
  • Individuals residing in Scotland and specific English counties (Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear), are required to submit their German visa applications through TLScontact application centre in Edinburgh.
  • Residents in York and Selby have the option to apply for a German visa through TLScontact in London or Manchester.

You can apply through TLScontact as specified above, only if you are applying for the following German visa categories:

  • Schengen A (airport transit) visa
  • C (short-term) visa
  • D visa categories, including:
    • Blue Card visa
    • Employment visa where the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) has issued a pre-approval letter (“Vorabzustimmung”) for the employment of a specific individual with a named company.
    • Internship visa

If you are applying for any other type of German visa, please submit your application directly to the German missions in the UK.

The German Missions in the United Kingdom have offices in both London and Edinburgh, each with its own specific jurisdiction as specified below, so make sure you apply in the correct location.

  • If you live in England (with exceptions, see below), Northern Ireland, or Wales, please schedule your appointment with the German Embassy in London.
  • For residents of Scotland, as well as the English counties of Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, or Tyne and Wear, the appointment should be made with the German Consulate General in Edinburgh.
  • If you reside in York or Selby, please schedule your appointment with the German Embassy in London.

Ensure a smooth application process by contacting the appropriate entity based on your location. If you require clarification or have specific inquiries, please reach out to the relevant agency/consulate for guidance.

Who Should Apply for a Schengen Visa at the German Embassy/Consulate/VAC?

If Germany is the only country in the Schengen Area you plan to visit, it’s straightforward – apply at the German embassy/consulate or the authorized Visa Application Center (VAC) in the UK.

However, if your journey includes Germany and at least one more Schengen state, apply at the German embassy/consulate/VAC in the UK only if:

  • You will spend more days in Germany than in the other Schengen countries.
  • You will spend an equal amount of time in each country, but you are starting your Schengen adventure by entering through Germany.

You can’t apply for a German visa from the UK if you are currently on a short-stay/visitor visa. You must hold a valid UK residence permit. Issued as a biometric card (BRP) or endorsed in the passport. Additionally, the permit must remain valid for at least one month beyond the conclusion of your trip to the Schengen Area.

For more in-depth details, please refer to: How to Choose the Right Embassy/Consulate/VAC to Submit the Visa Application

German Misions in the UK: Address & Opening Hours

German Embassy London

German Embassy London
23 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8PZ

Administrative / consular district
Avon, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Buckinghamshire, Caerphilly, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Cheshire, Clwyd, Conwy, Cornwall, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Flintshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Gwynedd, Hampshire, Hereford and Worcester, Hertfordshire, Humberside, Isle of Anglesey, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Greater London, Merseyside, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Selby of North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Salop, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Wrexham, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan, Swansea, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Isle of Wight, York, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

Opening hours: Monday – Friday only with appointment

Telephone: 020 7824 1300
Fax: 020 7824 1449
Website: http://www.uk.diplo.de

German Consulate in Edinburgh

German Consulate in Edinburgh
16 Eglinton Cres,
Edinburgh EH12 5DG,
United Kingdom

Administrative/Consular District
Scotland and the following counties in Northern England: Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire (with the exception of York und Selby), Tyne and Wear.

Opening Hours
The German Consulate is open Monday to Friday for consular services, except on German and British Bank Holidays. Please note that appointments are required for all consular matters.

For passport/ID card collections, you can visit on Wednesdays between 1:30 pm and 2:15 pm, and no appointment is needed for collection.

Complete & Download the Visa Application Form

Once you know you need a short-stay visa to go to Germany and you’ve figured out the type of visa you need and where to submit your application, the next thing to do is fill out a form.

You can do this in two ways: either download the standard Schengen visa application form or visit the official Videx website of the Auswärtiges Amt and fill in all the needed details yourself.

Our visa experts have created guides to assist you in accurately completing the German Schengen visa application form, whether it’s in PDF or Videx format.

Schedule Your German Visa Appointment

Once you’ve completed your German visa application form, the next step is to schedule a visa appointment. The process varies depending on your place of residence. See below to find out how to schedule your German visa appointment.

Make the Appointment

  • If you’re living in England (with exceptions, see below), Northern Ireland, or Wales, you are required to schedule your visa appointment through TLScontact in London or Manchester.
  • If you’re living in Scotland and specific English counties (Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear), you are required to schedule your visa appointment through TLScontact application centre in Edinburgh.
  • Residents in York and Selby have the option to schedule their visa appointment through TLScontact in London or Manchester.

As noted above, German missions in the UK have delegated applications for some visa types to external providers like TLScontact. It’s essential to note that TLScontact solely collects your application; the final decision rests with the German diplomatic mission.

When Should I Make an Appointment?

According to the new Schengen rules, you have the flexibility to initiate your German Schengen visa application up to six months ahead of your intended travel date.

Based on our experience, we recommend scheduling your German visa appointment as early as possible, preferably within one to three months before your travel date. This ensures sufficient time for a hassle-free and seamless application process.

Appointment Fee

Scheduling an appointment for a German visa application is free of charge. However, there are other fees associated with the application process, which we have outlined below in this article.

We highly advise against scheduling appointments through non-accredited third-party intermediaries, as they may add extra fees.

Can I Change or Cancel my Appointment?

You cannot change your appointment, but you can cancel the current appointment you have and then request a new one.

To cancel your appointment, you need to use the “cancellation appointment services” available on the websites of each visa application centre. Please note that cancellations are available only well in advance (a minimum of one or two days) but not on the day of the appointment itself.

Prepare the Required Documents

In order to obtain a German Schengen visa from the UK, applicants need to follow a standardized set of documents specified in the Schengen visa code, though there may be some variations for each member country.

To meet the short-term stay visa requirements for Germany, applicants must submit the following documents to the German embassy or consulate:

  • The German Schengen visa application form.
  • Documents generally required for any Schengen visa application.
  • A valid UK Residence permit (original) must be issued as a biometric card (BRP) or endorsed in the passport. A UK visitor visa is not acceptable.
  • One photocopy of the BRP (front and back) or endorsement
  • Travel insurance from a UK or Schengen-based company. The insurance should have a minimum coverage of €30,000 (£26,000) for medical emergencies and include repatriation in the event of death.

    UK residents applying for a German Schengen visa can get travel insurance from either Europ Assistance or vti.travel, a European insurance comparison website, comparing insurance policies of AXA, Allianz, Europ Assistance and Mutuaide. These insurance providers are acknowledged and accepted by German authorities in the UK. Moreover, you can cancel the insurance at no cost by submitting proof of a visa rejection.

  • Declaration of Accuracy of Information.
  • If your visit is sponsored by a friend or family member in Germany, you must provide a letter of sponsorship from them and a Declaration of Commitment, known as “Verpflichtungserklärungen.”

Each visa application undergoes a personalized review, so the required documents may differ. The German authorities may also ask for additional documentation in some cases.

BRP must be valid for at least one month after the end date of the trip to the Schengen member states. If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024: please submit the UKVI outcome letter confirming until when you have been granted permission to stay in the UK. Please also provide the share code for your “right to work” or “Prove your immigration status”.

Please ensure that you have all the documents with you since you may risk getting your visa denied if something is missing from your application.

Minimum Bank Balance

To obtain a German Schengen visa, you are required to have a minimum of €45 per day to cover your expenses in Germany for the duration of your stay.

Attend Your Visa Appointment

Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, attend it at the designated visa centre or German mission in the UK. Submit your application form and documents and provide biometric data, including fingerprints. During this visit, you’ll have a brief visa interview to discuss your trip’s purpose and address any related questions.

Biometric Data

The biometrics you provide at the appointment are your visa biometric photo and fingerprints. If you have applied for any Schengen visa in the last five years, you might be exempt from submitting your fingerprints.

Paying the Visa Application Fee

On your appointment date, you have to pay a visa fee to submit the German visa application.

These are the costs of a German visa when applying from the UK:

Applicant Fee in EUR Fee in GBP
Adult 80.00 68.00
Children between 6 and 12 years old 40.00 34.00
Children under six years old Free Free
Swiss/EU/EEA Spouse or Dependant Free Free
UK residents holding a passport from Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Belarus 35.00 30.00
UK residents holding a passport of Capo Verde 60.00 51.00

* The visa fee, which is set in EUR, can only be paid in GBP (British pound). It may vary due to changes in currency exchange rates. 

If you are applying through TLScontact, you may also need to pay an additional service fee:

  • Schengen Visa Applications (Short-Stay): GBP 27.4 (EUR 32.00)
  • National Visa Applications (Long-Stay): GBP 30.8 (EUR 36.00)

>> Schengen Visa Fees from the United Kingdom

What Will They Ask Me?

During your appointment, you may have to answer a few short questions regarding your trip. The visa interview questions will be about what you will do in Germany, how long you plan to stay, do you know anyone there, as well as personal questions about your work, family, studies etc. The point of the interview is to determine the genuineness of your travel purpose. Answer all questions truthfully.

Can Someone Else Apply for a Schengen Visa on My Behalf?

Yes, someone else can apply for a Schengen visa on your behalf, but only if you’ve granted them authorization to do so and you’re not required to submit your fingerprints.

The representative must provide a signed letter of authorization (please click here to download) as well as the original and copy of his /her ID card. The representative cannot be a minor.

Wait for the Visa to Process

After you submit your application, German missions in the UK require a minimum of 15 working days to process your German Schengen visa.

Please note that this processing time can be prolonged up to 30 days or more. In spite of the official timeline set of 15 working days, travellers have reported cases when they received their answer earlier.

Track Your Application

You can track your application online, but the method may vary depending on your application centre.

You can do this either by using your account number (this is usually the case with TLS) or by using an application number code or reference number, which is usually stamped on the receipt of your visa fee (this is the case with the German embassy/consulate).

Receiving a Positive Decision

If you receive your visa, you can travel to Germany within the dates specified in the visa sticker.

The consular authorities decide the duration of your allowed stay; short-stay visas are issued for a maximum of 90 days but may also be issued for a shorter period.

Visas can be issued for single, double, or multiple entries.

Receiving a Negative Decision

If your application is denied, you will receive a notice outlining the reasons for your visa refusal; here, you have two options:

  1. Appeal against the denial of your visa. You must submit a written request of appeal within one month of the denial decision to the authority that has a final say in your visa application which is either a German embassy or consulate in your country of residence. If, after your appeal request, your visa is still denied, you can appeal at the Administrative Court in Berlin.
  2. Re-apply for your visa. You also have the option to re-apply for your visa, ensuring you’ve addressed all the reasons for your initial refusals. Please note that even in this case, you still need to submit a new application.

Please note that if you submit a new application while you’ve already submitted a request for an appeal, the processing of your appeal will be stopped while your new application is taken into consideration.

Can I Get a Refund of the Visa Fee If My Application Is Denied?

No, your visa fee is non-refundable as it accounts for the costs and time it takes to process your application. Please note that even if your application is denied, you won’t receive a refund.

Collect Your Passport

On the day of your appointment, you will be notified of how you can collect your passport after the visa has been processed.

There are two ways:

  • You collect it yourself at the German embassy/consulate, or visa application centre.
  • The German embassy/consulate, or visa application centre will deliver the passport to you via a courier service. They will charge an extra fee for this service.

How to Enter Germany?

You have to enter Germany within the dates specified on your visa sticker. You must have the following documents with you:

  • Your passport with the visa sticker affixed.
  • Proof of travel health insurance.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Return flight ticket.
  • Proof of financial means.

Please note that even with a visa, you may be denied entry due to reasons like incomplete documentation, not meeting entry requirements or suspicion of fraud.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the validity of a Schengen Germany visa?

A Schengen Germany visa is typically valid for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. However, it can be issued for a shorter duration depending on the decision of the consular office. You can use our Schengen calculator developed by our visa experts, to correctly count your days.

Is it possible to extend my Schengen visa?

You can request an extension of your visa, but only for specific reasons. Please note that there is no guarantee that your visa will be extended. To request an extension, you have to contact the Foreigners Authority Office (Ausländerbehörde) in the area of Germany where you are staying.

What if I overstay my visa?

If you exceed your visa’s allowed stay in Germany, you could face serious repercussions such as fines, deportation, entry bans, or even arrest. It’s important to follow your visa’s rules to avoid these consequences.

Can I visit other Schengen countries with a Germany visa?

Yes, you can visit other countries within the Schengen Area with a Germany visa (unless you have a Limited Territorial Validity Visa). However, your primary destination must be Germany, and the days spent in other Schengen countries will count towards your 90-day limit.

Can I work in Germany with a Schengen visa?

No, you cannot take up employment in Germany with a Schengen visa. This visa is typically for short-term visits, tourism, business, or other non-employment purposes.

Other Information:

Data Protection

Your personal data during the visa application process is protected and stored in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation).

If you have any concerns about the security of your data, you can contact the Federal Foreign Office Data Protection Commissioner as follows:

  • Werderscher Markt 1
  • 10117 Berlin
  • Germany
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Tel: + 49 30 5000 2711
  • Fax: + 49 30 5000 51733

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