How to get a Visa for Germany

    

Getting a visa is always a bothering task. If you wish to travel to Germany, you would need a regular travel visa. Germany has two Visa centers in India, New Delhi and Chennai. The first step in getting a long term visa it getting an appointment. The Germany Embassy has still not outsourced the long term visa procedure (due to the small number of applicants) to VFS as it has for the short term Schengen visa. This only means more complications for your visa process.

Following is the procedure at New Delhi

1. Get an appointment. For this you will have to call VFS. This is the only part of the process that has been streamline. There are 3 time slots, 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. They will ask you to be there on time but when you get there you will find out that the German embassy in India by no means understands or follows punctuality, a word the Germans are otherwise obsessed with.

2. Put your papers in place as mentioned on the official website. Please use common sense and remember to carry all papers and photocopies YOU might find important. Carrying only papers mentioned in their lists might not suffice. The visa officer has a right to say “I don’t know” even when you show her the printed list and ask you to come back with a fresh appointment (that can take days to week..)

3. Be there at least 20 minutes before time. If you drive down, you can park you car for free at the Nehru garden parking, a 5-7 mins distance behind the embassy.

Tip: do take a trip of the nearby market before you go for your appointment. It will not be surprising if the visa officer finds something missing/not appropriate/not as per his or her whims and fancies, and gives you 15 mins to do a to and fro trip to the market.

4. Enter and be prepared to wait doing nothing. You will not be allowed to carry your electronic gadgets or mobile phone. Carry a book or newspaper to kill time.

5. The interview can last from 5-45 mins.

6. Number of trips required can range from 1 to 5. (I managed in 1 trip, an elderly man sitting with me was on his 4 trip and was sent back for not having photocopies)

7. Once you finish the interview and pay the fee (in cash or draft) the process is more or less done. They will give you a date and time to come back to collect your passport. Time given to me was 3 working days.

 

Embassies usually have the right to be blunt, unbending and also thoughtless at times. The Germany embassy at New Delhi makes good use of their rights.

Getting back the Visa, not standing upto the expectations of the Embassy, is simple and uncomplicated. You can visit personally, or send someone with Photo Id (his and yours) and the receipt given at the time of submission of the passport and you will receive your passport.

 

For work permit based long term visas, the German embassy in New Delhi will give you a 3 months multiple entry visa and the further registration and extension processes need to be taken care of on reaching Germany.

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