The fourth largest economy in the world, Germany, is home to world known corporates and companies, that have branches, partners and collaborators in other countries including third-world countries, who often have to travel to Germany for business doing. These people, as well as every other person who wishes to enter Germany with the sole purpose of doing business, and are not from a country under the visa-waiver program, have to obtain a Germany Business Visa.

A Germany Business visa is a short-stay visa, which permits its holder to enter and remain in Germany for a period of 90 days within 6 months. It is issued to people who come to Germany to perform business making, attend meetings, sign contracts, etc.

Who needs a Germany business visa?

Since a Germany Business Visa is a short-stay visa, your nationality is the main decisive factor whether you need to obtain this visa or not. Currently, there are 62 countries under the visa-waiver program, the citizens of which do not need to be in possession of this document in order to enter Germany and the Schengen Area in general.

That is why you should ask yourself: Do I need a short-stay Germany visa? – before taking any action regarding your trip to Germany. If you realize that you do need the visa, then you should start your Germany visa application process, which requires gathering a few specific documents, and attending an interview at the German Embassy / Consulate near your hometown, or visa application center if available.

Germany Business Visa Requirements

There is a number of requirements for all types of German visas, which you will have to meet one by one, in order to be able to obtain a visa that allows you to enter the country. Usually we separate these requirements in two groups: the commonly required documents for a Germany visa that are also required for every type of visa, and the visa specific required documents.

Commonly Required Documents

The following documents, are generally required for a Germany short-stay visa, and have to meet the standards set by the Germany embassy in order to be valid:

  • Short-stay visa application form –fully completed with correct and honest information that complies with the information given in the other documents. The form should be printed twice and each copy must be signed at the end. You can download the form here.
  • Two identical photographs – no older than three months, and according to the set standards that must be strictly met.
  • Valid national passport – no older than 10 years, with a validity of three months beyond your planned stay in Germany and the whole Schengen Zone, at least one blank page in order to be able to affix visa sticker, and in accordance with the other passport requirements.
  • One copy of your passport’s data page (A4 size copy)
  • Travel Health Insurance – a document that confirms you have obtained health insurance, which will cover costs of at least 30,000 Euros in case of an accident or illness and repatriation in case of death. The insurance must cover the whole Schengen territory and not only Germany.
  • Flight Itinerary – which include flight reservation, rail tickets or other means of transport which you are planning to use to reach Germany. You can use the visa consultation services like this one or find one online.
  • Proof of accommodation for your entire stay in the Schengen area – which could be a hotel booking (with details including the address, phone number and email of the hotel) or a letter of invitation by a host residing in Germany that confirms they are willing to take you in for the whole period of your stay in Germany and that they have enough room for you in their home.
  • Proof of civil status: Marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, if applicable
  • Proof of financial status:
    • If employed: Pay slips of the past three months / employment contract
    • If self-employed: Certificate of Proprietorship or other proof of ownership (proof of land title, proof of income from agriculture (sales form) etc.

Specific Requirements for Business Visa

On the other hand, the following requirements are specifically for those applying to get a Germany Business Visa:

  • Your company bank statements from the previous three months
  • Business references
  • Invitation letter from the business partner in Germany in English or German (For consultancy services: please provide a confirmation letter from the German client) mentioning the invitee details, the dates and purpose of the trip with detailed schedule of the business meetings or trainings (day to day schedule)
  • Detailed schedule of your business meetings (ONLY for stays over 30 days)
  • Company covering letter with entire travel plan (itinerary) mentioning your position, duration of your service, the dates and purpose of the trip and if your expenses are being covered by the employer or not.
  • Certificate of Incorporation of the company

Take care to provide to photocopies for each of these documents. Do not forget that the embassy has the right to ask you to submit extra documents if they see it necessary. If they do so, make sure to submit those documents within the given deadline.

Germany Business Application Process

The application process for a Germany business visa is pretty much the same as for every other German visa. The earliest you can apply for a visa is three months prior to your trip and the latest, three weeks prior to the trip.

You should apply at the German Embassy or Consulate in your home country, following some specific steps, as listed and explained in this article.

Germany Business Visa Fee

There is a Germany Visa fee of 60 euros, which each applicant must pay in order for their visa application to be processed.  The fee can be paid in the local currency according to the exchanges rates approved by the embassy.

Please note the visa fees will not be reimbursed in case of the visa being rejected and the price is subject to change at any time.

Germany Business Visa Processing

In general, you visa application process takes 10 to 15 days to be processed, that is why you are asked to apply three weeks prior to your trip the latest. There may be delays in the processing of your application if the embassy is receiving many applications at the time, or it may be delayed because of your specific situation.

Germany Business Visa Validity

The validity of a German Business Visa depends on the embassy that issued it. The embassy may issue you a business visa, which can be:

Single entry – that permits you to enter Germany only once and spend there the number of days stated in your visa, i.e. 10 days.

Multiple entry – which permits you to enter more than once in Germany in a given period i.e. 1 January till 1 May, with the sole condition that you do not overstay the number of permitted days i.e. 20 days. You may also get a multiple entry visa with a validity of one year or more. In these cases, you should take care to not violate the 90-days per 6 months rule, according to which whenever you wish to make a trip to Germany, you just have to look back and count whether you have stayed in the Schengen Area more than 90 days within the last 180 days.