Applying for a German Visa for Minors: A Guide for Students and Children
Traveling to Germany can prove to be an incredible experience, but the process of obtaining a German visa for minors can be confusing and overwhelming. While the German visa application process can be tedious and complex, careful preparation and organization can make it smoother. In this guide, we’ll be walking you through the process of applying for a German visa for minors.
Different types of visas for minors
The type of visa you’ll need to apply for is determined by the purpose of your visit to Germany. Among the different visa categories for minors are:
1. Tourist visa: this visa is for parents traveling with children under 18 years old on a vacation in Germany. The visa normally lasts for up to 90 days.
2. Student visa: this visa is for students aged between 16-18 years old planning to attend a short course in Germany, such as a language program. The visa normally lasts for up to 90 days.
3. Educational visa: this visa is for students aged 18 or older planning to attend school in Germany. The visa lasts for one academic year.
4. Au pair visa: this visa is for young people aged 18-27 years old, looking to do an au pair job in Germany. The visa lasts for one year and can be extended for another year.
5. Youth mobility visa: this visa is for young people aged 18-30 years old, looking to work in Germany. The visa lasts up to 12 months.
Requirements for a German visa for minors
The documents required for a German visa for minors may differ depending on the purpose of your visit. However, among the general requirements include:
1. A valid passport for the minor.
2. A birth certificate of the minor.
3. Two passport sized photographs of the minor.
4. Consent letter: If the minor is traveling alone, divorced parents must provide written consent from both legal guardians.
5. Proof of parental custody: If only one parent signed the application, proof of custody must be enclosed (e.g. full custody declaration issued by court).
6. Travel health insurance: The minor must have purchased travel insurance for his or her stay in Germany.
7. Flight ticket reservation: for the minor’s flight to Germany.
8. Proof of financial support: This requirement only applies to long-stay visas. An adult relative must prove they will provide financial support to the minor while he or she is in Germany.
How to apply for a German visa for minors
To apply for a German visa for minors, follow the steps below:
1. Gather all the necessary documents: Before you begin your application, review all the requirements for the visa category you’ve selected and ensure you have all the necessary documents. You’ll most likely be required to provide certified translations of the minor’s documents.
2. Schedule an appointment: You can’t apply for a visa for minors by mail, so you need to book an appointment at the embassy or consulate in your region.
3. Fill out the application form: You can find the application form on the German embassy or consulate website. Make sure you fill it out carefully, ensuring that all of the information you provide is accurate and matches the information on all of your supporting documents.
4. Attend your appointment: When attending your appointment, ensure you bring all of your application documents with you, as well as copies. Documents that aren’t in English or German must be translated into either language.
5. Pay the visa fee: The visa application fee will differ depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, and must usually be paid when submitting your application.
6. Wait for your visa to be processed: The processing time will vary, depending on the type of visa you’re applying for. Make sure you apply in good time ahead of your travel date.
Q. Can I apply for a German visa for minors by mail?
A. No, you cannot apply for a German visa for minors by mail. You must make an appointment and present all documents in person.
Q. Can the visa fee be waived for minors?
A. No, the visa fee cannot be waived for minors. All applicants, regardless of age, must pay the applicable visa fee.
Q. How long does it take to process a German visa for minors?
A. Processing times vary depending on the type of visa, the embassy or consulate you’re applying to, and the volume of applications they receive. Generally, processing times take anywhere from five to 15 days to process.
Q. Who signs the consent letter if the minor is traveling with only one parent?
A. The parent providing consent for the minor must sign the letter. If a legal guardian is providing consent, they must provide a copy of the legal guardianship document.
In conclusion, obtaining a German visa for minors can be a daunting process. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible and that you’re well prepared for your travels to Germany. Remember to start your application early, gather all necessary documents, and present them accurately and correctly to the embassy or consulate in your region. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful visa application.