Debunking Visa Myths: Dispelling common Misconceptions around Employment Visas for Germany
Embarking on a journey to work in Germany can be an exhilarating prospect, offering new horizons and promising opportunities for career growth. However, the path to obtaining a German employment visa is often clouded with confusion and hearsay, making it challenging to distinguish fact from fiction. With numerous visa types available, ranging from the Blue Card for highly skilled workers to the Job Seeker Visa for aspiring professionals as well as a visa for people with partial recognition to complete their adaptation qualification or adjustment measures in Germany, understanding the intricacies of the application process is paramount.
To bring clarity to the matter, we have drawn from our extensive experience in handholding candidates through the migration process, as well as received insights from the esteemed German Consulate in Mumbai. In this blog, we aim to debunk the common myths surrounding German employment visas. We will go over misinformation or fake news around visa types, requirements towards an employer in Germany, the processing of visas as well as required forms and documents, misunderstandings about VFS, communication with and the structure of the German missions in India, and outsourcing the process to visa agents.
Myth: Long-term Visa (National Visa) can be transformed into a short term Visa or vice – a – versa!
This is incorrect. The Schengen visa does not enable you to extend your stay beyond three months. A long-term visa on the other hand is issued only for a duration of stay of more than three months. The German missions in India have a visa navigator in case you are not sure which visa category to choose: https://digital.diplo.de/navigator/de/visa
Myth: I can change my visa into a blue card after arrival in Germany, even though I do not have a recognized academic degree
The requirements for fulfilling the blue card are fixed, hence a certain salary and an academic recognized degree is mandatory.
Requirements for a German Employer
Myth: It is okay to change the Employer on my existing Visa. My existing Visa can be readjusted or altered.
Altering the visa sticker will only be taken up immediately if the visa sticker does not reflect the information given in the application (for example a spelling mistake in the name). If you change your employer or university after initiating the visa procedure, please apply again.
Myth: A Sponsorship from a German company is required for a work visa.
That is not correct as the German immigration law does not include a sponsorship model like other countries. The issuing of a work visa depends on meeting certain requirements such as a recognized education from India, a valid employment contract and for some visa types a certain salary.
Myth: A work contract from a German company is worth nothing if they don’t provide a sponsorship.
That is not correct as the German immigration law does not include sponsorship model like other countries but is based around proofing you qualify as a skilled professional. From employer side, for issuing a work visa and valid and signed work contract is required as well as in many cases a declaration form needs to be filled out.
Processing of Visa applications
Myth: Long-term Visa can be issued within a week.
For a long-term visa different German authorities might come into play. These authorities take up to three months for their approval which extends the processing duration for a long-term visa remarkably.
How to speed up the procedure:
- Hand in all documents that are mentioned on the embassy’s checklist for your category
- Check your e-mails, also the spam folder. The visa section will contact you via e-mail in case they need an additional document.
- If your employer applies for a pre-approval by the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”), the long-term visa application will be processed faster.
Myth: Booking flight tickets in advance or submitting my passport at the time of my Visa application expedites the process of getting the Visa.
The visa section intends to process all visa applications as fast as possible. When planning your trip to Germany, please always bear in mind the standard processing times for visa applications. The visa section will not expedite certain applications because of an upcoming flight booking.
Submitting your passport at the time of visa application on the other hand does expedite the process a little, because the visa section will not have to ask for your passport later.
Myth: If a Visa application is sent back by the Consulate, it means that the application has been rejected.
If the visa section sends back your application, there will always be a letter in English stating the reason for the same. They will give back all your documents and especially your passport. In most of the cases, the application is sent back because there is not sufficient proof for a residence in the jurisdiction where the application was submitted.
If the visa section rejects your visa, there will be a letter of rejection in German.
Myth: I submitted my passport at the Consulate during my Visa application. If for any reason whatsoever I need my passport back, the Consulate should return the passport with a stamped Visa in it.
If you have submitted your passport and need it back before the visa procedure is completed, the visa section will return the passport and continue with the processing in the meantime. It is, however, not possible to expedite the visa procedure in these cases.
Myth: If my application is rejected once, I cannot apply for a Visa again.
There is no legal waiting period after a rejection of a visa. You can directly apply again. If you applied for a visa with an employment offer from a German company in hand and it was rejected, do get in touch with us by clicking on book a consultation.
Forms and Documents
Myth: It is okay to have different names on different documents?
If there is a name discrepancy on your documents, please explain the same to us in your cover letter. The visa section might ask for an additional document regarding the same at a later stage.
Myth: Pending documents are to be sent via Email/ post/ directly at the Consulate.
If the visa section asks for a pending document, please follow the procedure mentioned in the e-mail itself. They do not read or process pending documents sent via e-mail as a reply to the pending documents e-mail.
Myth: One insurance applies for all categories of Visa.
The requirements for health insurance vary. Please find the details on the checklists.
Myth: I need a pre-approval for my employment visa application.
A pre-approval by the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) will speed up the visa procedure, but is not always mandatory.
Myth: Any marriage photos are acceptable, irrespective of the legal requirements.
There are specific requirements for the pictures submitted with family reunion applications. Please find the details on the checklists.
Myth: In case of a minor applicant, consent of only one parent is sufficient for the application.
The application of a minor applicant always has to include the consent of all custodians. In most of the cases, this will be two persons: the mother and the father of the child.
Myth: I am spouse of a German national/ German passport holder, so I am exempt from submitting A1 language certificate.
Spouses of German nationals always require an A1 German language certificate for family reunion. Exemptions only apply to spouses of foreign nationals.
Myth: Stamping of Visa is done by VFS.
VFS is the external service provider of the German missions in India. Their responsibilities are outlined on our website: https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2554096 The stamping of visa is not one of them.
Myth: VFS is the decision- making authority for German Visa.
VFS is the external service provider of the German missions in India. Their responsibilities are outlined on our website: https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2554096 They are not allowed to decide on visa applications.
Myth: If I apply for a Visa at the Consulate rather than at VFS, I will get my Visa faster.
The processing times depend on the visa category and never on the place of submission.
Myth: I can submit my application either at the Consulate or VFS, irrespective of my category.
Your appointment booking needs to reflect the correct category, otherwise it becomes invalid. Please find more information about the categories at the Consulate and the place of submission here: https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2503990
Myth: If Visa fees are exempted for my Visa, so will be the VFS charges.
The VFS charges apply regardless of the visa fee.
For more information read the websites of the embassy and consulates and especially the FAQ https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2546328
If you however have a job offer in hand and want to apply for a visa, do click on book a consultation and get in touch with us for a well-informed and prepared visa application.
Myth: Correspondence (via Email or phone) regarding my application can be done with my parents or spouse.
Only the applicant is legally in the position to ask for an update on their application status. For a third party, the visa section always requires a signed power of attorney by the applicant. This also applies to your partner or spouse!
Myth: Emails sent to the Consulate are replied to immediately. Sending of multiple emails ensures quicker replies.
The visa section reads and replies to the e-mails one by one. If you write multiple times, you delay the reply for yourself and for others so please refrain from it.
Myth: I can visit the Consulate any time for my queries.
In order to enter the Consulate, you need to take an appointment. For queries, please e-mail us.
Myth: If I submit a demand draft as per the day’s exchange rate, it should be accepted.
The German missions have a fixed exchange rate, which is published on our website (https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2601362?openAccordionId=item-2601184-2-panel ). They accept demand drafts at the mentioned visa fee rate in INR only.
Myth: I can pay for my Visa fees by card/Gpay/UPI or in cash.
The German missions accept different modes of payment. Please read the website for additional details. The Consulate in Mumbai only accepts demand drafts.
Structure of the consulates/embassy in India
Myth: The German Consulate Mumbai accepts long term visa application from all over India, similar to Schengen application.
For long-term applications, the jurisdictions of each German mission decide over the eligibility. The jurisdiction of the German Consulate General Mumbai includes Maharashtra, the Union States of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. If you are wondering which German mission in India is responsible for you, please visit their Websites.
Only Schengen applications can be submitted PAN India and will be decided centralised in Mumbai.
Myth: Visa applications of the same category are processed in the same way for everyone.
Of course, the main criteria for a visa application in the same category do not differ from person to person. At the same time, additional documents might be required for certain applicants depending on their personal status. A visa application is always considered as a unique and individual case.
Myth: German Consulate Mumbai can transfer or exchange applications with other Consulates in matters of jurisdiction.
The German missions do not transfer or exchange applications. If there is a doubt about the jurisdiction, your application will be sent back to you.
Myth: APS certificates are issued by the Consulate.
The APS certificates are issued by the APS itself. Please visit their website for more details: https://aps-india.de/
Myth: Consular Section and Visa Section are one and the same.
The consular section is a different department than the visa section. Please find more information on their working profile here: https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2343530
Myth: I am applying for a Visa through my agents, so I am not responsible for my application.
Please note that you are solely responsible for your visa applications. Third parties may help you, but you will face the legal consequences of their actions. A rejection, for instance, will also reflect your details and never the agent’s.
Myth: My agent/ lawyer knows best about the Visa procedure.
You can find all necessary information regarding the visa procedure on the consulate’s website and ProRecognition does provide free advice on the visa process. It is therefore not necessary to hire an agent / lawyer to successfully complete the visa procedure.