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Frequently asked questions on visas (FAQ)
Your question may already be answered here, so we kindly ask you to read these questions and answers carefully before contacting us. Thank you very much.
In accordance with the Schengen Code, a Schengen visa for a short stay up to 90 days has to be applied for through the Embassy of the country which is your main destination.
The main destination is understood to be the destination where the applicant intends to spend the longest time or where the main purpose of the intended journey is carried out.
However, for your entry into and departure you may cross any Schengen border to reach your destination with a visa issued by any Schengen Member State.
A Kuwaiti national wishes to travel to Germany for a medical check-up (20 days) and has additionally organized a short holiday in Austria (10 days).
He will arrive at and leave from Amsterdam (Netherlands) and travel from there by car.
The main purpose of the trip and longest stay is the medical check-up, and thus the German Embassy should deal with the application, even though the arrival and departure to the Schengen area is through Amsterdam.
If no main destination can be determined due to equal duration and purpose of stay in several Member States, e.g. tourism round trip 5 days in each country, then the Embassy of the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross first should deal with the application
At the border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on your travel destination or that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. hotel booking or letters of invitation, flight confirmations, travel health insurance or other documents stating the purpose of your stay).
What are the Schengen States?
Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have all acceded to the Schengen Agreement and are thus Schengen states.
The Schengen area thus includes all EU member states except the UK, Ireland and Cyprus; at present the EU members Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia only apply some of the Schengen provisions. Until these three countries apply what is known as the Schengen acquis in full, as is their aim, passport controls will remain in place at internal borders. In addition to the EU countries already mentioned, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also Schengen states.
a) Do I need a Schengen Visa (up to 90 days)?
On the Federal Foreign Office webpage you can find a list of nationalities and passport types to find out whether you need a visa to Germany and the Schengen states for visits of up to 90 days.
Exceptions are indicated in the relevant list of countries. Please find here an overview of general visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany
b) Visa Waiver agreement for holders of Kuwaiti diplomatic and special passports
Holders of Kuwaiti diplomatic (red colour) and special passports (green colour) may travel to Germany without obtaining a visa prior to the trip if they hold new biometric, e-chip passports and if their stay does not exceed 90 days per half year (Schengen-Visa“).
Visa still required:
- Travellers who hold older, non-biometric diplomatic and special passports are still required to obtain a visa prior to the trip!
- If a long-term stay over 90 days is intended (e.g. family reunion, work/residence permit, study or diplomatic accreditation) then a visa is still necessary
- This visa waiver agreement has entered into force between Germany and Kuwait – if you wish to travel to any other Schengen Member States please check with the respective Embassy of that State whether or not you need to have a visa
Holders of regular private Kuwaiti passports are not included in this visa waiver agreement and do still need a Schengen Visa for Germany and the Schengen States!
c) I'm planning a trip by air and have to transit at a German airport. Do I need a visa?
The vast majority of foreign travellers benefit from the ”transit privilege“ - if during a stopover at a German airport, you do not leave the International Airport Area and if the destination is not in a Schengen country, you do not need a transit visa.
However, if for some reason you need to enter the Schengen area during your stopover (for example to change terminals or if the destination is in a Schengen country), you may require a visa; please plan for this. You should apply for a visa well before you travel!
Further information about airport transit visa requirements can be found here
Short-term applications for Schengen Visas (e.g. for tourism, visits, business) for travels to Germany, Finland, Iceland or Norway are to be submitted to our Visa Service Center VFS Global Kuwait who will for your convenience ensure that all the relevant documents are included in your application:
VFS Global Kuwait
Arraya Tower, Level 25,
Service Hotline: (+965) 22084500
Appointments are normally available on a daily basis, however, appointment waiting times of several days may occur during the summer main travel season.
Please ensure that you file your visa application at least 2 weeks prior to your trip.
You may file your application up to 6 months prior to your travel date.
The visa applications are going through a computerized System in Germany and the process for the clearing can take a minimum of 3-5 working days for Kuwaiti nationals - for other nationalities the process takes about to 10-12 days.
However, in individual cases the processing can take up to two weeks for all nationalities.
The German Embassy has no influence on the clearance process in Germany and can only issue the visa once that the required clearance has been obtained from Germany. During the standard processing time, neither the Embassy nor the Visa Application Centre can provide any information on the status of your application.
If you have filed your visa application through the Visa Service Centre VFS Global Kuwait you can track the status of your visa application through the VFS tracking system http://www.vfsglobal.com/Germany/Kuwait/
Please make sure to start your visa process early enough prior to your travel to avoid being disappointed!
In order to avoid waiting times for an available appointment, long queues at the Embassy and to make sure that your visa application is complete and can be processed without any delay, we advise you to benefit from the Visa Application Center – you can book your appointment online here
Use of the services provided by the Visa Service Center is on a voluntary basis. However, applicants who wish to file their application at the Embassy can book an appointment with the Visa Department by email.
Please note that the number of available appointments directly at the Embassy is limited - waiting periods of up to two weeks can occur.
Long-term visa applications for Germany (e.g. for studying, work permits, family reunification) cannot be processed by the Visa Service Center but have to be handed in directly at the Embassy (by prior appointment only).
Long-term visa applications for Iceland, Finland and Norway have to be processed through their respective Embassy in the neighbouring GCC countries.
The visa fees are fixed in Euro and payable in Kuwaiti Dinar according to the exchange rate of the German Embassy upon application submission. The visa fee is 80.00 Euros. Children under the age of 6 years are exempt from the visa fee if applying for a Schengen visa; the visa fee for minors aged 6 to 11 years is 40.00 Euros.
Further information about visa fees and exemptions can be found here
Spouses and minor children of German nationals and EU/EWR citizens as well as parents of German minor children and minor children of EU/EWR citizens are exempt from the visa fee for all visa categories when travelling with the German national, EU/EWR citizen or rejoining him/her in the Schengen area.
Applicants who are using the service of the Visa Service Center VFS Global Kuwait are subject to a service fee of 6,- KWD, but may also choose from a range of optional VFS service offers which are not mandatory and have no influence on the visa processing time. Please find detailed information here
We advise you not to use the services of any third party intermediaries or agencies or individuals for preparing your application or preparing documents you are asked to submit with your application.
False or falsified documents will result in refusal of visa and further consequences.
Do not spend money for unreliable services, but make use of the information provided for free by the German Embassy and the Visa Service Office VFS Global Kuwait.
All services offered by third parties in the vicinity of the Embassy or in the vicinity of the Visa Application Center VFS Global Kuwait are neither necessary nor do have any effect on the chances of success of your application or the time necessary for processing your application.
The German Embassy in no way cooperates with any other party or individuals or endorses their actions. Please note that no third party is entitled to request payment in connection with a visa application for Germany other than the Embassy in Kuwait itself and VFS Global Kuwait on behalf of the Embassy. All necessary application forms and check lists are available to download on this homepage and on the homepage of VFS Global Kuwait free of Charge.
Visa fees of a rejected or withdrawn visa application are not refundable.
Applicants who need additional information or have other enquiries/questions, but did not find the relevant information on this website can Contact the visa and consular section
Phone: Sunday to Thursday 08:00 – 11.00 a.m. on Tel. 96054084 (telephone call service only / no SMS or WhatsApp).
Please note that due to German Data Protection Law, no information on ongoing or pending visa applications can be given!
This does also apply to reference persons (e.g. sponsors, hosts, employers, etc.).
Applicants who have applied through VFS Global can track the status of their application online.
If a visa application has been refused by the German Embassy the applicant will receive a letter with an explanatory statement for refusal.
If you do not agree with this statement and believe you have additional information to help revoke the reasons of refusal, you may:
a) file a new visa application providing all relevant information and documents (processing time same as your previous application) or
b) make use of your right to appeal as per the rules stated in the legal remedies in your letter. The letter of appeal must bear the signature of the visa applicant or his/her legal representative (please attach original power of attorney - scans are accepted) and forward to the visa section of the German Embassy. The review of the appeal may take up to 3 months.
E-mail enquiries without relevant documents (as stated above) of applicants or sent by third parties (companies, hosts, employers) cannot be considered as a legal appeal and will be ignored.
The Schengen Visa allows the holder a total stay of maximum 90 days within 180 days. If you are planning a stay for longer than 90 days (e.g. study in Germany, long-term medical, family reunion) then please contact the German Embassy directly to apply for a residence permit
If you hold a multiple entry Schengen Visa, you may leave and return any number of times within the 180-day period, but the combined stay within the Schengen States must not total more than 90 days. Important is the date of the actual entry, not the beginning of the visa validity.
A clearer definition of short stay of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area (“90 days in any 180 days period”) is applicable from 18 October 2013. Since then a new method of calculation of short stays applies.
Please find a calculator tool on the homepage of the EU Commission that might assist you to calculate your periods of stay: https://ec.europa.eu/assets/home/visa-calculator/calculator.htm?lang=en
a) I am in Germany on a tourist/medical/business visa. For important reasons, I need to stay in Germany more than 90 days or past the expiry date of my visa. Can I have my visa extended in Germany?
It is only possible to extend the validity of visas in very exceptional cases. This can only be done by the Foreigners Authority in Germany (Ausländerbehörde) at the place of residence of the visa holder. This is the only authority that can decide whether an extension of your visa can be granted. Neither the Federal Foreign Office nor its missions abroad can do so.
Please ensure to contact the respective Foreigners Authority or City Hall at your place of residence in Germany early enough before the expiry of the visa!
b) I have overstayed the 90 days - is there an entry ban registered against me?
This question cannot be answered by the German Embassy. In many cases, you will already receive relevant information from the border control station upon leaving the Schengen territory if you have overstayed.
Alternatively, in order to obtain clarification a formal application for release of that information through the competent authorities in Germany has to be filed:
Further information about this process can be found here
The required attestation of identity and certification of your signature on the application form can be done at the Consular Department of the German Embassy Kuwait. Please book your appointment online.
Please ensure to have the application duly filled out and bring along the original plus one copy of your passports data and signature page.
Afterwards, please send the authenticated form and supporting documents to the appropriate German authority in Cologne:
As a general rule you may cross any Schengen border with a visa issued by any Schengen country.
The Schengen visa has to be applied for through the Embassy of the country which is your main destination. The entry into and departure from the Schengen area can occur at any border crossing.
However, the short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area.
At the border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on your travel destination or that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).
- a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states”),
- a residence permit of a Schengen member state or
- a national visa of a Schengen member state
can also travel to Germany for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.
Yes. You can travel with your old passport that contains the valid visa together with the new passport. Travellers who have a valid Schengen visa for the duration of the planned trip in the old passport may use this old visa in connection with the new passport to travel to Germany,
- if the new passport is attached to the old one and
- if the spelling of the name and alphanumerical data is exactly the same between the two passports and does not differ (e.g. new visa required, if name spelling in the old passport “Mohammed AJ” and in the new differently “Mohamad A J M”).
For travels to other Schengen countries please reconfirm with the respective Embassies.
If you prefer to obtain a new visa in new passport, please note that your old visa must be cancelled by issuing Embassy prior to filing your new application.
The visa validity depends on various factors such as your travel purpose and travel history. If you are a frequent traveller or owner of a business or property in Germany, please feel free to attach additional documents (property/company deed, old visas, copies of border samps from previous travel to Germany, etc.) when requesting a multiple entry visa with longer validity period.