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Different types of German Visa for Indians


Date15 Feb 2022


There are a lot of different types of German visa which you should be aware of before applying! In general, there are two broad categories of German visa - the Schengen Visa is for a short stay of maximum 90 days at a stretch and the German National Visa covers longer stays for studying, working and other purposes. 

It is very important to know which German visa you need depending on the purpose of your travel, the duration of your stay and the number of times you plan to visit. It is also equally important to obtain the right information on how to apply for the correct category of German visa. This article provides clear and lucid information about everything you need to know about the different types of German visas. 

However, this article is only an overview to understand the different types of visas - please refer to the official website of the German missions in India to get the latest and relevant information for your visa application! 

Schengen Visa

The idea behind borderless travel within the Schengen area has been a delight to many people. For travellers within the European Union, only an identification document is required for a smooth transit or stay. 

The Schengen Visa is only for short stays (90 days at a stretch) within a period of 180 days. So if you’re planning to travel to Germany and other countries that are part of the Schengen area you have to apply for a Schengen visa. Of course you can also apply for a Schengen visa in other missions of the Schengen countries. Ideally, you should apply in the mission of the country you are entering first and/ or the country which will be your main destination. 

Find out which countries belong to the Schengen area on the official website of the German missions in India!

Be aware that the Schengen Visa entitles you to only stay less than or up to 90 days in the Schengen area. Make sure to avoid overstays by using this short-stay visa calculator to determine your dates of arrival and departure

Different types of Schengen visas

Tourist Visa - That type of visa is applicable if you want to travel in Germany and/or other countries in the Schengen Area for the purpose of tourism. 

Visit Visa - If you are planning to visit friends and relatives for a short period of time, you’ll need the visit visa and an invitation letter from the people you are visiting. 

Visa for groups (cultural, sports, religious events or film crews) - If you are travelling with a film crew, a sports team or cultural/ religious group of any sorts you should opt for a Schengen visa for groups. Necessary is information on the exact purpose and itinerary of the trip. 

Medical Treatment Visa - You are eligible for that type of visa when you’re travelling to Germany/ other Schengen countries to undergo a medical treatment. 

Training/ internship visa - If you’re planning to visit Germany for a training or an internship relevant to your current studies or work which is no longer than 3 months you can apply for that type of visa. 

Business visa - This type of visa is for Indian people who wish to take part in activities related to business.

Trade Fair visa - For the purpose of attending a trade fair in Germany you should apply for this type of visa. 

Guest Scientific/ Research visa - if you’re planning to be a guest scientist or a guest researcher in Germany for less than 3 month at a stretch you can apply for this type of Schengen visa. 

Airport transit visa - This visa is issued if you travel via a German airport to another country outside of the Schengen area. Fortunately, Indians do not need an airport transit visa for Germany. However, people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh need an airport transit visa. Please note that regulations for Indians can be different in other countries of the Schengen area. Check the respective websites of the missions of these countries. 

Refer to the information of the German missions regarding the Schengen Visa here! 

German National Visas

The German National Visas are issued for different purposes with the intent of a longer stay in Germany. According to the purpose, different documents are required for the application. Please refer to the official website of the German missions in India to get an overview of the documents and the procedure of the respective visa.

In the following list we explain which visas are appropriate for which purposes.  

Studying in Germany 

Student Applicant Visa - this category is for students who wish to get educated in Germany but are awaiting a letter of acceptance from their universities or are still looking for the right program to study.

Student Visa - this category is for students who have their letter of acceptance from a German university.

Language Course Visa - this category is for people who wish to learn German while residing in Germany. This could be either to get admission in a German university or to find a job that requires the German language.

Working in Germany

Job Seeker Visa - this category is for people who wish to find a job in Germany if they have relevant experience in India in their professional field. 

Working (Employment) Visa - this category is for people who plan to travel to Germany for work. There are different requirements for academically skilled workers, those who want to obtain the EU blue card and for those who need recognition of their foreign professional qualifications.

Guest Scientist and Researchers Visa - this category is for scientists/scholars who plan to visit Germany upon an invitation from a credible institution for the purpose of carrying out research.

Speciality Cook Visa - this visa is for certified cooks from India who want to work in Germany.

Family related visa

Family Reunion Visa - This category is for non-EU citizens legally residing in Germany who wish to reunite with their non-German family members who have been residing outside the European Union. That includes spouses, parents of a German child and children of German citizens.

Visa for intended marriage - this visa is for people who intend to get married in Germany while one of the partners has to already legally reside in Germany.

Other purposes

Training/Internship Visa - this category is for people who would like to travel to Germany to do an internship or take part in a training in their relevant field of study or work.

Au Pair Visa - this category is for people who want to work as an au pair in Germany. Note that only applicants between the ages of 18 to 27 years are eligible for this visa!

Voluntary Service Visa - this category is for people who want to do voluntary work in Germany under one of the recognised voluntary programmes (BFD or weltwärts, FSJ, FÖJ and EFD).

Depending on the category of the visa, the applicant is given permission to stay in Germany for a specified duration and under different conditions. 

If you’re still confused about which visa is the right one for you, try the Visa Navigator tool of the German missions in India to find the suitable visa category for your plans! 

If you have further questions please check out or other articles regarding visa, comment below or write in our FORUM where you can exchange information and experiences with others! 

Last Update: 26 Jan 2022

Written by: Tanja Holbe 

Cover Photo illustrated by Ananya Singh

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