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Information on visa applications, entry to Germany and quarantine regulations

13.08.2020 - Article

Here you can find information on visa applications, visa renewal, entry to Germany and quarantine regulations.

1. Processing of visa applications

[Please delete option that does not apply and adapt option that applies]:

Option 1:

Due to the development of the pandemic in host country, visa applications can currently only be accepted in urgent exceptional cases. As soon as this situation changes, an announcement will be made on the website of the xx Embassy/Consulate General.

If applicable: In cases where exceptions apply which allow entry to Germany, travellers can contact the xx Embassy/Consulate General via the contact form [link] / by phoning 000 0000000. You can find a list of these exceptions further down under the heading Urgent need.

Option 2:

Visas can currently only be issued in the specific exceptional cases listed below:

  • healthcare professionals, health researchers and elderly care professionals;
  • Transport personnel employed in the movement of goods; other transport staff;
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture;

  • Sailors who need to travel through Germany to reach a port from which their ship is sailing or an airport to return to a third country;

  • Temporary visits in the following cases:

    - Visits by members of the so-called nuclear family (i.e. spouses, registered partners, minor children and parents of minor children) of German citizens, EU citizens, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or of third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany

    - only for imperative family reasons (births, marriages, deaths/funerals or other specific exceptional cases where there is an imperative family reason):
    Visits by first and second-degree relatives who do not belong to the “nuclear family” (i.e. children over the age of majority, parents of children over the age of majority, siblings and grandparents) of German citizens, EU citizens, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany.

    - Visits by the third-country partner to a non-married/non-registered partner in Germany. The partner issuing the invitation must be a German citizen, a citizen of another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom or a third-country national with a long-term residence permit for Germany.
    a. It is conditional on the relationship/partnership being long term, i.e. intended to be lasting and both partners having met in person in Germany at least once or until recently having had a joint place of residence abroad.
    b. Appropriate documentation must be provided as proof:
    a written invitation from the person resident in Germany (including a copy of ID papers), a declaration by both partners on the nature of the relationship (for a visit / for joint entry) and proof of prior meetings in person (specifically in the form of passport stamps or travel documentation/airline tickets or proof of a joint place of residence abroad (e.g. residence registration certificate)). Supplementary proof can be provided in the form of documentation such as photos, social media, letters and email correspondence.

    - In the case of serious personal reasons:
    visits by unmarried couples from abroad travelling together (e.g. wedding, illness or funeral of close relatives). One of the partners must be a German citizen or a citizen of another EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions;

  • Passengers in transit;

  • Persons in need of international protection or protection for other humanitarian reasons, including urgent medical reasons;

  • Applications for family reunification;

  • Applications from skilled workers and highly qualified workers from the following categories:

    - skilled workers with a concrete job offer in accordance with the legal definition (Sections 18 (3), 18a, 18b of the Residence Act), as evidenced by the declaration of employment

    - scientists/researchers (Section 18d of the Residence Act)

    - secondments (Section 19c (1) in conjunction with Section 10 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment) and in‑company transfers (ICT) restricted to managers and specialists (Sections 19 (2), 19b of the Residence Act)

    - senior employees

    - managers and specialists (Sections 19c (1) in conjunction with Section 3 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment)

    - IT experts (Section 19c (2) of the Residence Act in conjunction with Section 6 of the Ordinance on the Admission of Newly-Arrived Foreigners for the Purpose of Taking up Employment)

    - employment in particular public interest (Section 19c (3) of the Residence Act)

    - business travellers

    Entry as a skilled worker or highly qualified employee is conditional on proof of an obligation to be present in Germany (e.g. employment contract) and prima facie evidence that employment is necessary from an economic perspective and that the work cannot be postponed or carried out from abroad (verification from the employer/contractor). Economic necessity refers to economic relations and/or Germany’s economy or that of the single market. Relevant documentation must be carried and presented to border control personnel.

  • Students whose studies cannot be performed entirely from outside Germany. This exemption applies to all those who have a notification of admission (even if preceded by a language course or an internship). It does not, however, apply to university applicants and those who wish to travel to Germany for a language course and then look around for a course of study (isolated language course). Evidence of an obligation to be present in Germany is necessary in the form of verification from the university (e.g. via email); documents must also be presented to border control personnel.

  • Apprentices who are completing a qualified training course. This must be a training course for a state-recognised or similarly accredited training occupation with a planned duration of at least two years (with a preparatory language course). A prerequisite is submission of confirmation from the training provider that it is necessary for them to enter Germany even taking the current pandemic situation into account (actual, not merely online presence).

  • Participants in additional training opportunities with the goal of having vocational training courses completed abroad recognised. Here, too, confirmation is required from the training provider that it is necessary for them to enter Germany even taking the current pandemic situation into account (actual, not merely online presence).

Option 3: EU/third countries without COVID-19 restrictions

Applications for a visa to the xx Embassy/Consulate General can be submitted as normal without restrictions due to COVID-19. Please take note of the general information on visa apEmbassy/General Consulate in xxplications.

2. Simplified procedure for new visas

I. National visa (for long stays; D visa)

Option 1: For missions abroad have not yet resumed regular processing of D visa applications:

Issue of national visas under a simplified procedure is currently not possible.

Option 2: For missions abroad that have resumed regular processing of D visa applications:

The entry restrictions may mean that you are not able to use a national visa issued by the Embassy/Consulate General in xx prior to the entry into force of the entry restrictions on 17 March 2020 during its period of validity.

As soon as travel is possible again, a new national visa can therefore be issued as part of the simplified procedure upon application. This fast‑track procedure will be available if your date of travel has changed, but the purpose of your stay and destination remain unaltered.

An informal application for a new visa under the simplified procedure can still be made up to and including [DATUM einfügen: innerhalb eines Monats ab Bekanntgabe der Möglichkeit einer Antragstellung auf der Webseite der AV; mit Bekanntgabe ist die Veröffentlichung dieses Textbausteins in der vorliegenden aktuellen Fassung gemeint] at the Embassy/General Consulate in xx. To this end, the contact form [verlinken] [ggf. statt Kontaktformular sonstige vor Ort sinnvolle alternative unpersönliche Empfangsarten einfügen, z.B. Abgabe an Pforte, Post] can be used. It is possible that up‑to‑date documents proving that the applicant still fulfils the requirements for a visa will have to be submitted. Another interview or appointment booking is not necessary.

Ggf.: Scans/copies of the documents can be submitted instead of original documents

Ggf.: The application for a new visa under the simplified procedure can also be submitted to the external service provider [Name].

II. Schengen visa (for short stays of up to 90 days; C visa)

[Für AVs, die den regulären C-Visa-Betrieb noch nicht wieder aufgenommen haben]:

It is not possible at present to issue a new Schengen visa (stays of up to 90 days) under the simplified procedure.

[Für AVs, die den regulären C-Visa-Betrieb bereits wieder aufgenommen haben]:

A new Schengen visa (stay of up to 90 days, C visa) can be issued under the simplified procedure in the following two cases:

  • If a C visa already issued could not be used due to the COVID‑19 pandemic.
  • If an application for a C visa was withdrawn by the applicant due to the entry restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

However, it is only possible to issue a C visa under the simplified procedure

  • in the case of visas with a validity of a maximum of 90 days (i.e. particularly not in the case of multiannual visas).
  • The visa must have been originally applied for at the Embassy/Consul General in xx.
  • Furthermore, the purpose and destination of the intended trip must not have changed.

An informal application for a new visa under the simplified procedure can still be made up to and including [Datum sechs Monate nach Aufnahme des regulären C-Visa-Betriebs einfügen] at the Embassy/Consulate General in xx. To this end, the contact form [verlinken][ggf. statt Kontaktformular sonstige vor Ort sinnvolle alternative unpersönliche Empfangsarten einfügen, z. B. Abgabe an Pforte, Post] can be used. It is possible that up‑to‑date documents proving that the applicant still fulfils the requirements for a visa will have to be submitted. In particular, a new declaration of commitment is necessary if more than six months have passed between the date on which the old declaration of commitment was submitted and the date on which the new visa application is submitted. Another interview or appointment booking is not necessary.

Ggf.: The application for a new visa under the simplified procedure can also be submitted to the external service provider [Name]. 

3. Restrictions on entry to Germany

[Please delete option that does not apply and adapt option that applies, as well as general text]:

Option 1: Entry possible

As a rule, entry from host country is possible if the normal requirements, e.g. a valid visa, depending on nationality, are met.

Option 2: Generally not possible

As a rule, entry from host country is not possible due to existing entry restrictions. More information is available below under the heading Urgent need.

For both options:

For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. Please check with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.

In principle, entry is possible from:

  • EU member states
  • states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • the United Kingdom
  • Other countries, from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent Need.

4. Quarantine regulations for entry to Germany

[Please delete option that does not apply and adapt option that applies, as well as general text]:

Option 1: No quarantine

In principle, no quarantine applies for entry to Germany from host country. Quarantine may, however, be necessary if travellers have stayed in a risk area in the 14 days prior to entry. More details are available below under Risk areas.

Option 2: Host country to which quarantine regulations apply

In principle, travellers entering Germany from host country must spend 14 days in home quarantine immediately upon arrival.

For both Options:

Upon entry into Germany following a stay in a risk area within the last 14 days

  • you must, under these agreements, proceed directly to your destination following entry into Germany,
  • self-isolate at home and
  • email or phone your competent authority, as a rule the health office in your place of residence/accommodation.

Exception: transit

The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, you are obliged to leave Germany immediately.

Exception: proven negative test result

If you can prove that you are not infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus, these quarantine regulations do not apply.

This proof must take the form of a medical certificate. The molecular test to detect an infection must have been conducted no more than 48 hours prior to entry (i.e. the swab must have been taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry). The test must have been carried out in a European Union member state or a state with comparable quality standards.

Alternatively, the test may be carried out upon entry

  • at the border crossing point or
  • at the place where you are staying.

The test result must be retained for at least 14 days after entry – regardless of whether the test was conducted prior to or following entry. It must be submitted to the health office upon request.

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