Visitor Family/Friends

Overview

Every applicant, including children/infants, has to submit his/her Schengen visa application in person and by appointment only on their appointment date, which needs to be booked online (see Schedule an Appointment) by the applicant.

For Non EU citizens who are not sure whether a Schengen visa is required to travel to the Schengen Area, please click Do I need a visa? to find out.

Applicants, who intend to travel to visit and stay with family/friends legally residing in Germany, need to apply as Visitor Family/Friends. Eligibility

Eligibility

Applicant must at least meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to submit a Schengen visa application:

  1. holding a valid passport/travel document
  2. holding a valid UK residence permit. In case applicant holds a short stay visa, a C type visa (see example here), for the UK, then applicant needs to apply for a Schengen visa from his/her residence country.
  3. applying for a short stay visa (Tourist: including Minors, Visitor Family/Friends, Business, EEA/EU and Swiss national family member or Airport Transit)

Jurisdiction

The following counties, see here highlighted in yellow, come under the jurisdiction of the German Embassy in London, i.e. applicants residing in 1 of these counties can only submit their visa application at the VFS Germany Visa Application Centre in London or Manchester, which are outsourced representatives for the Embassy of Germany in London.

The following counties, see here highlighted in green, come under the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Germany in Edinburgh, i.e. applicants residing in 1 of these counties can only submit their visa application at the Consulate General of Germany in Edinburgh.

 

Visa Fees

Visa Category Visa fee (in Euro) Visa fee (in GBP) VFS Service fee (in GBP)
Tourism/Visitor Family & Friends/Conference 60 54.60 19.50
Business 60 54.60 19.50
Airport Transit 60 54.60 19.50
Nationals of countries with a visa facilitation agreement with the European Union: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine 35 31.90 19.50
Children between 6 and 12 years old 35 31.90 19.50
Children less than 6 years old 0 0 19.50
EXEMPTION VISA FEES - - -
Organised groups of school pupils/students accompanied by teachers on study/educational trip; only applicable if applicants have a formal invitation from an educational institution in Germany. 0 0 19.50
(scientific) researchers from third countries 0 0 19.50
Representatives of non-profit organisations (up to 25 years old) actively participating in conferences/events (sports, cultural or educational) organised by non-profit organisations. 0 0 19.50

Applicable visa fee, in Pound Sterling (£), is as per the current exchange rate and may be subject to change without notice.

VFS service fee (inclusive of VAT) is charged per visa application, in addition to the applicable visa fee.

All fees can be paid by cash (except in Manchester), Credit/Debit card or Postal Orders in the name of “Germany Visa Application Centre”.

Cheque payments and direct bank transfers are not accepted.

All fees are non-refundable.

Documents Required

Please note that incomplete applications will not be accepted.

All of the required documentation listed below is mandatory for all applicants, including such cases where flights, accommodation, insurance and other items may be arranged by applicant’s employer, travel companies or any other companies or individuals.

We therefore strongly advise that applicants provide the documents as listed below, and should not provide documents based on any other source. If documents provided are not as per the requirements below, this may lead to delays at the application centre, and in some cases applicants may be required to take new appointments to resubmit their application.

  • In addition each applicant needs to print out, sign and submit the acknowledgement form/Additional Information sheet (Belehrung).

  1. Application form: Please fill this application form before attending the appointment and bring with you the print out. Click Here to fill in the online application form. The application form must be printed; hand written forms will not be accepted.

    • Please ensure you fill in your details exactly as they appear in your passport and pay particular attention to question number 18 which refers to your UK visa
    • The form will have six pages, and there are three places on pages 4,5 and 6 for the applicant to sign
    • Also bring (do not fix to the form) 2 colour photos with name written on the back (see links on the right hand side for further information on passport photos).
  2. Passport(original and copy):

    • Must have two blank visa pages
    • Passport must be signed where applicable
    • Must be valid for at least 90 days beyond the return date of the trip to the Schengen Area.
    • Please note that only passports that have been issued (not extended!) during the past ten years can be endorsed with a visa. If your passport was issued longer than 10 years ago as of the date of return from your scheduled trip, please apply for a new passport at your Embassy.
    • UK visa (original and copy)

      Valid for 90 days beyond the return date of the trip to the Schengen Area.

  3. Evidence of sufficient funds: to support yourself during your entire stay

    • The minimum requirement is £50 per day of travel, plus enough to cover any outstanding accommodation or travel fees.
    • Please note that cash is not acceptable proof.
    • Acceptable proof is:

      • Three month’s recent bank statements (including transactions) from a UK or German account only, with a positive balance or
      • Traveller's cheques.
    • If you are financially supported by your spouse/adult child (for example if you do not work yourself), please also provide:

      • The marriage/birth certificate (and certified translation if required), original and copy
      • Your spouse/child's passport, original and copy
      • Their bank statements (see requirements above).
      • recent student/school/unemployment/ proof of pension letter
      • evidence of living at same address, meaning for applicant and EU-national (e.g. utility bills, bank statements, council tax bill etc)
      • note from EU-national confirming that he/she is financially responsible for the applicant
    • If you are financially supported by anyone else, they will need to file a formal letter/Declaration of Obligation (‘Verpflichtungserklärung’) to support this, and you will need to provide the original and copy with your application. This document can be obtained from the German consulate, or, if in Germany,  at the local town hall authority (‘Ausländerbehörde’).
  4. Tickets: to and from Schengen region

    • Must be confirmed and in applicant’s name
    • Can include: flight, train, coach or ferry
    • If travelling in between more than one Schengen country during stay, transportation between countries needs to be accounted for
  5. Invitation

    • Informal, signed invite from friend/relative in Germany along with passport copy and German residence permit (if the host is non-European, a copy of both sides of the host’s German residence permit)
    • OR original sponsor letter/declaration of obligation (Verpflichtungserklärung) from your host in Germany, plus copy. This formal obligation can be obtained by your host at his local town authorities in Germany ("Ausländerbehörde")
  6. Travel insurance, which must:

    • Be valid for all member states of the Schengen region, for all days of the trip
    • Cover a minimum of £20,000
    • Acceptable travel insurance is available here and also at the visa application centre in London
  7. Evidence of occupation/student status,

    • i.e. a100% original, recent (not older than one (1) month, signed letter from your UK employer / school / university on official letterhead
    • If you are self-employed, a letter from a accountant verifying your self-employment.
    • If you work for a family, your most recent P60 along with employment letter.
    • If you are receiving benefits/pensions, the HMRC benefit/pension letter is required.
    • If you do not work (i.e. you are a housewife/husband), please provide your spouse’s employment letter/ student confirmation, passport and marriage certificate (  If not in English certified translation   required), original and copy.
    • If you are unemployed please provide proof of jobseeker allowance
    • Please note that last 3 months payslips can also be accepted in place of a letter from employer.

Additional documents may be required at any time


Children under 18 years of age must also provide:

  1. A separate application form for each child.

  2. Application must be signed by both parents unless one parent has sole custody or a residence order for the minor (proof thereof to be submitted, e.g. court order, adoption documents, sole custody certification).
  3. Original birth certificate (and certified translation, if required) of each child and copy
  4. Original passports from both parents and copies of information pages

Important Travel Notice for minors. We strongly recommend to always bringing a declaration/letter of consent signed by both parents authorising the minor to travel and stay in Schengen territory and appointing a person that will be responsible for them while travelling

All supporting documents must be dated within one month (30 days) of application date
Documents printed from websites/email must clearly show the website address, link or URL from which the document originated. Please note that all letters /photocopies must be legible (screen shots will not be accepted)

Photo Specifications



Please provide 2 recent colour photographs (not more than 6 months old) of yourself, meeting the following requirements:

  • Taken against a light (white or off-white) background so that features are distinguishable and contrast against the background.
  • Clear quality and with the face in focus
  • Full face: non-smiling, no sunglasses, no hat/cap or any head covering, unless the applicant wears such items because of his/her religious belief or ethnic background
  • Printed on normal photographic paper (camera print)
  • Photograph attached (paper clipped) to the Visa Application Form

If the photographs presented do not meet these requirements (see examples here), then the visa application will be considered incomplete and applicant will be asked to take new photographs in the photo booth in the visa application centre.

Processing Time

Every applicant can submit his/her Schengen visa application up to 3 months before the intended travel date to the Schengen Area.

The mimimum processing time of a visa application is 1 week, so applicants are advised to leave enough time - between the appointment date and travel date - for the Mission to process their visa application; no guarantees can be given on the visa application’s return date as delays may occur.

For certain nationalities (see list here) the visa application needs consultation from the other Schengen countries and therefore the minimum processing time takes 3 weeks.

In order to avoid any delays in the visa application process, it is paramount that the visa application is complete and its documents submitted are as per the Mission’s requirements (see Documents Required for the different visa categories).

Applicants also need to be aware that, especially during busy season around Easter, Summer holidays (July and August) and Christmas, the appointments (see Schedule an Appointment) are being booked very quickly as the Mission only processes a fixed amount of visa applications on a daily basis.  

Furthermore applicants need to consider that VFS/Mission’s closures and holidays (see Public Holidays/Closures) may extend the visa application processing time.

Therefore VFS recommends all applicants:

  1. to book their appointment as soon as they know they’ll be travelling
  2. to ensure that their visa application’s documentation meets the Mission’s requirements
  3. to leave enough processing time for the Mission

Applicants submitting their visa application in our satellite centre in Manchester, need to calculate 2 extra days to their minimum processing time as their visa application will first be dispatched to the VFS London office, from where it is forwarded to the Mission in London the following day.

The Mission may always request for additional information/documents or invite applicants for an interview during the visa application process and this may cause delays in the visa process, which applicants accept responsibility for.

Application Form

For Germany every applicant needs to provide a signed printout from a Schengen visa application form (VAF).

Therefore each applicant first needs to duly complete the online visa application form as follows:

  1. Click online Visa Application form
  2. Select Print Application (all the mandatory fields will be highlighted in red)
  3. Complete all fields highlighted in red (as per the passport’s details)

Then applicant continues with the following steps to have the completed  online visa application form printed:

  1. Select Print Application (message box requesting for option Open or Save)
  2. Select Open (new duly completed Schengen visa application form appears)
  3. Select File
  4. Select Print & confirm Printing

Once the completed Schengen visa application form has been printed, then applicant needs to finish the remaining steps:

  1. Sign the completed Schengen visa application form in the 3 designated places (at no.37, right under the disclaimer immediately following to no.37 and then under the acknowledgement immediately following to the 2nd signature)
  2. Bring the signed visa application form with the supporting documents on his/her appointment day (see Schedule an Appointment).