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FAQ: Schengen visa (short-term stays)



The Schengen visa allows entry to all countries which are members of the Schengen Agreement. The visa can be issued for airport transit, tourist stays, visitor stays and business stays.
There is no legal entitlement to enter the Schengen area. The responsible border control authorities of the Schengen states check compliance with all requirements of the Schengen Borders code and decide whether to grant or deny entry.

Yes, you have to apply to the embassy of the country which is your main destination, generally the longest stay.

It depends on the purpose of your trip:

- Business visa

- Visit of friends or family

- Tourism

Generally not, unless you applied for the job and permission was explicitly granted in the visa.

This is generally not possible.

If your visa is valid for all Schengen states – including Germany – you can enter all Schengen states regardless of which state issued the visa.

If your visa is valid for all Schengen states or the states you would like to enter, you can enter all Schengen states regardless of which state issued the visa.

For the majority of foreign travellers, the “airport transit privilege” applies: If you don’t leave the international transit area and the final destination is a country outside of the Schengen area, you don’t need a visa for your transit stay.
Current information regarding the airport transit visa obligation can be found here.

Required documents for a transit visa

No, this is not possible.
You can, however, have your passport sent to the Consulate in Busan after your application has been processed.

On 10 October 2013, Article 5 (1) of the Schengen Borders Code changed the method for calculating the permitted time period for a stay under the Schengen visa as well as for travellers without a visa from third states. Instead of the existing “looking ahead approach” (90 days within 6 months calculating forward from the day of arrival), a flexible “looking back approach” is now used (90 days per time period, counting backwards 180 days from the control date).

What does this new regulation mean exactly?

Let’s say a foreigner has a one-year visa for the Schengen states, valid from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.
On 18 October 2013 he is in the Schengen area. To evaluate the legality of his stay on this day, the time period from 22 April 2013 to 18 October 2013 is taken. This is a time period of exactly 180 calendar days, ending on 18 October.
Now, all the days in this time period on which the foreigner stayed in, entered or left the Schengen area are counted. If the number of days is not greater than 90, then his stay on this day, 18 October, is legal.
If the foreigner doesn’t leave the area, the legality of his stay is again evaluated on the next day. But the relevant time period is different, from 23 April 2013 to 19 October 2013 – again 180 days, but the start and end dates of this period have shifted by one day. This evaluation is conducted every day that the foreigner stays in the Schengen states.
A calculator of travel days remaining under a Schengen short-stay visa can be found on the website of the European Commission.
Here, you can enter the dates of previous stays in the Schengen area and verify when and for how long another entry is possible.

Complaints about the Schengen visa application process

Schengen visa applicants may submit complaints about the conduct of the consulate staff or the visa application process via the contact form. In the contact form, please select the option “Beschwerde zum Schengen-Visum-Verfahren”. Please note that complaints may only be submitted in German or English. We are unable to follow up on complaints in languages other than German or English. Please enter one of the following two options in the “Betreff(Subject)” field of the contact form:

  • Complaint about the conduct of consulate staff
  • Complaint about the visa application process

We will follow up on your complaint once it has been received.

Important information: No legal remedies against decisions to refuse, annul or revoke a visa – in particular no remonstrations – may be submitted via the complaints contact form.

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