Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

Close-up of a Schengen visa Source: MA8 / shutterstock.com
Article · Migration

Visa policy

The visa entry requirement is one of the measures to compensate for the end of checks at the EU’s internal borders.

Stays of up to three months

EU law governs the requirements for stays of up to three months in Schengen member states, including Germany. The visa entry requirement is one of the measures under the Schengen Agreement and Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement to compensate for the end of checks at the EU’s internal borders.

The core element of EU visa policy is the uniform Schengen visa which entitles its holder to stay in the Schengen area as long as the visa is valid, but no longer than three months in any six-month period. Stays for the purpose of tourism, to visit friends or family, and on business are generally allowed.

The common European visa policy includes a list of third countries whose citizens require a visa and those whose citizens do not, a uniform, high-security visa format intended to prevent forgery and misuse, and uniform criteria for submitting, evaluating and deciding on visa applications.

Stays of more than three months

Stays of more than three months, however, are governed by national law. Stays of more than three months may be allowed only for certain purposes, such as to rejoin a spouse, to study at a university or to take up employment (in particular researchers and highly qualified workers).

A central component of EU visa policy is negotiating visa facilitation agreements with non-EU countries.

Establishing a database of visa alerts is an important project of Germany’s governing coalition during the current legislative term. The database helps the authorities combat illegal entry by documenting false information provided during the visa application process, certain decisions relevant to the visa issuing process and other relevant information so they can be accessed for use with future visa applications.