Guidelines for applying for a Schengen visa to Germany

A new press release from the German Embassy in Kuwait provides guidelines for people applying for a visa to visit Germany this summer.

The press release notes: VFS Global Kuwait is the new German Visa application Center. VFS is located on the 25th floor of Arraya Tower in Kuwait City. All applicants are required to book a prior appointment through the website www.vfsglobal.com/germany/kuwait in order to allow for short waiting times and efficient customer service.

Travelers are requested to start filing their Schengen visa applications right away, as applications can be handed in as early as three months prior to the intended travel date. Waiting to file an application until just a few days before their actual trip could lead to disappointments says the press release.

At the moment, appointments at the application Centre VFS Global Kuwait can be obtained within 1-2 days. However, during the summer travel season waiting times for an appointment of one week or more can occur due to the high demand.

For Kuwaiti nationals, a minimum of 3-5 working days is required from the moment their application arrives at the Embassy until their stamped passports are returned. For other nationalities, the procedure might take 10-12 days. In individual cases, the processing can take up to two weeks for all nationalities.

Visa clearance is a computerized process – the German Embassy has no influence on the processing time, says the press release.

The official visa fees for a Schengen visa is KD21, even if it is a multiple entry visa. VFS adds a standard service charge of KD6 on top of the Embassy’s processing fee.

VFS Global Kuwait is the only officially Visa Service Center appointed by the embassy. Some private persons, businesses and agencies claim to render visa or messenger services to German Schengen customers, without being endorsed by the German Embassy. The embassy warns that in the past various complaints have been received about the prices and quality of service provided by such agencies.

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 the 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 and departure you may cross any Schengen border to reach your destination with a visa issued by any Schengen Member State.

A Schengen visa entitles the holder to a stay not exceeding 90 days per a six-month period, even if the Schengen visa has been issued with a validity of one year or more. Customers who find it difficult to calculate this period of stay, can find an electronic calculator on the homepage of the German Embassy under  (www.kuwait.diplo.de/visa) to assist them.

Validity of  Schengen Visa depends on the travel purpose, travel history and overall situation of each applicant. Every application will be considered individually based on the papers presented by the customer. Therefore, frequent travelers are welcome to add an explanatory letter to the application as well as proof of regular travel in the last years, and the Embassy’s visa team will take that information into consideration for the validity period of the visa.

Anybody entering Germany from a non-European Union country carrying cash in a total amount of 10,000 euros or more is obliged to declare this amount of money to the competent German customs office in writing without being explicitly requested to do so. The purpose of the obligation to declare, is to prevent the illegal movement of money across the external borders of the European Union in order to combat money laundering, the financing of terrorist organizations and criminal activities.

Travelers who intend to bring an amount of 10,000 euros or more per person to Germany can download the necessary cash declaration form at http://www.zoll.de  prior to their trip and present the completed declaration form upon arrival to the German customs officers to facilitate entry procedures.