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Frequently asked questions on visas  (FAQ)

18.01.2018 - FAQ

Your question may already be answered here, so we kindly ask you to read these questions and answers carefully before contacting the Embassy, Consulate General or Consulate. Thank you very much.

FAQ

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 the service Provider who will for your convenience ensure that all the relevant documents are included in your application.


Appointments are normally available on a daily basis, however, 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.


The German Visa Application Center currently with Al Qabas Assurex will be moving to VFS Global Kuwait,  with effect from 2nd September 2018.

Visa applications for Germany can be submitted to Al Qabas Assurex until 30th August 2018. From 2nd September, the visa applications will be submitted to VFS Global with a prior appointment via an online appointment system.

VFS Global has already opened the appointments for 2nd September onward with effect from 15 August 2018.

Until 30 August 2018

From 02 September 2018

Al Qabas Assurex

Third Floor , Mezzanine (M 3 ),

Sanabil Tower, Al Babteen

Sharq

Service Hotline: (+965) 22924444

Email: info@qavisa.com

 Website: www.qavisa.com


VFS Global Kuwait

Arraya Tower, Level 25,

Alshuhada Street

Kuwait City

Service Hotline: (+965) 22084500

Email: info.germanykwt@vfshelpline.com

 Website: www.vfsglobal.com/germany/kuwait

 


Processing time:

Please bear in mind that for Kuwaiti nationals a minimum of 3-5 working days is required from the moment your application arrives at the Embassy until you get back your stamped passport. For other nationalities, the procedure might take 10-12 days. However, in individual cases the processing can take up to two weeks for all nationalities.

During this time, neither the Embassy nor the Visa Application Centre can provide any information on the status of your application. You can track the processing status of your application online through the homepage of our Visa Application Center.


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 60.00 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 35.00 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 “Al Qabas Assurex” are subject to a service fee.

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 “Al Qabas Assurex” on behalf of the Embassy. All necessary application forms are available to download on this homepage and on the homepage of Al Qabas Assurex 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 Embassy as follows:

Email: visa@kuwa.diplo.de

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 Al Qabas Assurex 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 Email: visa@kuwa.diplo.de

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:

Bundesverwaltungsamt (BVA)

Ausländerzentralregister

50728 Köln

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).

Holders of

- 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.

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