Wednesday, October 27

Moving to Germany from India, a starter guide!

To go to any country, the first and foremost thing is getting your visa done. This is of course after having a valid passport in hand.

The official partner of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is VFS Global, through whom you can apply for Schengen Visas.
VFS Global
However, for Long Term Visas/ National Visas, you will have to go directly through the consulate. ’
German Missions in India

A visit to both these websites will give you a step by step guide on Visa Applications and other related services. However, at a glance, you will need to do as follows:

  1. Choose the right visa type & location
  2. Book an appointment
  3. Prepare your documents
  4. Visit the visa application centre for an interview
  5. Collect your passport

From Experience!

  • Ensure that your passport needs to have a minimum of 6 months validity.
  • Have all your documents in place. It is always better to have your documents in order as per the applicable checklist. A couple of extra copies do no harm.
  • Carry a copy of your appointment confirmation email.
  • With the University rush, sometimes, you may find yourself having to wait for close to 3 months for an available appointment. The systems refresh at 12:00 midnight daily (CET, do take care of DST) and trying to book an appointment then, will increase your chances of success. The appointments get full within 15-20 mins. From the current date, booking slots are open for the next three months only.
  • Consulates generally entertain walk-in and telephonic visa queries at specific times only. Ensure to do a look-up based on your location. It’s easier to get through telephone during the end of the specified time slot eg. last 15 mins.
  • Even though you are applying for visas as a family, you need to take separate appointments per individual. However, it is allowed that a single appointment is sufficient for 1 parent + 1 child, but the officers may get a little upset on this.
  • If you intend for your passport to be collected by a third person, ensure to fill in the required form and submit the same along with other documents.
  • The visa officer may keep some originals like marriage certificate. These will be returned to you while collecting your passport.
  • It generally takes around 3-4 weeks to receive a response from the Consulate. Have patience!
  • Last but the most important, Be Honest in your application as well as the interview. The officials have a knack of cross-questioning and you wouldn’t want to land in sticky situations.
  Latest Guidelines for Travelling to India from Abroad

I applied for the German National Visa through German Consulate General Bangalore and hence most of the above experiences pertain to the same. The procedures for other visa categories and locations may vary.

Do reach out for any queries, I’ll be happy to help. Also, please feel free to share your experiences so that another aspirant can benefit from the same 🙂 .