Good News For Indian Travellers; Germany Relaxes Schengen Visa Rules

In a move that will benefit travellers, Germany has relaxed certain rules for Indians applying for the Schengen Visa. The country has centralised its visa processing for short-term Schengen visas to its visa processing centre in Mumbai. As a result, the Embassy has relaxed its rule regarding the booking of visa appointments.

Potential visitors should note the rules for other visa categories like national visas (D-visa category), like student, employment or family reunion visas, have not been relaxed. As Germany and India do not have any bilateral visa agreements, citizens of either country cannot apply for visas on arrival.

Under the short-term Schengen Visa, visitors can travel to Germany along with any other Schengen Zone country for a period of up to 90 days for up to six months for travel as well as business purposes. The Schengen Visa is issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport. Applicants need to submit documents like bank statements for the previous three months, valid Schengen Travel Insurance, proof of accommodation and flight reservation, an NOC in certain cases, a cover letter, proof of residence, and in case of minors consent letter signed by both parents.

Visitors typically apply for a Schengen Visa around three months prior to the date of the trip. The application cost for the Schengen Visa is 80 euros (Rs 6,800) for adults and 40 euros (Rs 3,400) for minors. The visa application fee is waived for any children under the age of six years.

“If the Application Centre closest to your home town is already fully booked, please feel free to check for available appointment slots in one of the other major Indian cities,” the statement reads.

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