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Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials: Visa and Passport

Summary of Requirements


  • EU citizens can present a valid national identity card
  • Required for all other travelers


  • Not required for citizens of countries listed in A. Visa-Exempt below, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States for visits under 90 days
  • Required for citizens of countries listed in Visa Required below

Return Ticket

  • Proof of travel reservations required if visa is required. Citizens of EEU member nations, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, USA, and New Zealand do not need to hold onward or return tickets.


Citizens of the European Union can present a national identity card instead of a passport. All other travelers must present a passport valid for three months beyond the dates of travel.



Residents of the Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Schengen member countries do not need a visa to enter Germany for tourist or business visits up to 90 days in a six-month period.

EU nationals and citizens of the following countries are also visa-exempt: Albania (with biometric passports only), Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Christopher and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela.

The Schengen Agreement allows travel without restriction in the Schengen area for up to three months. Countries observing the Schengen Agreement are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The only EU countries that do not participate in the Schengen Agreement are Ireland and the United Kingdom. However, holders of British passports (European Union) do not need visas to visit Germany.

Visa Required

Citizens of the following countries are required to obtain a visa to enter Germany: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Helena and dependencies, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Tunisia, Turkey (service providers are exempt from the visa requirement), Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Citizens of the following countries must obtain an airport transit visa (with some exceptions): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

Visa Requirements

Tourists/businesspeople from the countries listed in section Visa Required above entering Germany for short stays (up to 90 days in a six-month period) should apply for a tourist or business visa. Apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the primary destination country (or country of longest stay).

Required documents for a tourist/business visa:

  • Fully completed application form (only German and English versions accepted) and required declaration
  • Two passport photographs (strict requirements, see details)
  • Valid national passport and one copy. The passport must have been issued within the previous 10 years and have at least two blank pages
  • Current bank statements from the previous two months and one copy or an official affidavit of support from German family/friends (Verpflichtungserklärung)
  • Confirmation letter from health insurance company stating coverage for emergency medical, hospitalization, and repatriation with a minimum of €30,000
  • Business travelers must supply letter from their employer, invitation from German company or organization, stating that it will bear all accumulating expenses
  • Proof of hotel reservation and airline reservation and one copy

Please note that additional documents may be required on a case-by-case basis.

Visa Types

Germany also issues the following types of visas/permits:

  • Employment Visa
  • Permanent Residence Permit
  • Relatives/Friends Visa
  • Study Visa
  • Airport Transit Visa

More Information

Note that passport and visa information is subject to change. Also, requirements for specialty visas can be complex. Travelers are advised to obtain the most current information from the primary source. For more information about visas, residence, and immigration, as well as application forms and fee information, visit the website for the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) at or contact the nearest German Embassy.

Source: German Federal Foreign Office