Schengen Visa to Germany

Note: The procedure given happened to me, I do not guarantee you the same, may be I was lucky or you will be.

I leave the details of the trip (tiring but exciting) for my next post, and will try to outline the procedure to get the Schengen Student Visa for Internship from German Consulate at Kolkata. I specifically mentioned Kolkata because my friends faced quite a lot of problems at the Delhi Embassy.

So you start with your documents, here is the list:

  1. Schengen Application form filled correctly.
  2. Original Invitation letter from German Host, same must be faxed to the consulate by your university.
  3. International Health Insurance, only if it is not mentioned on your invitation letter that host will take care of it.
  4. No Objection Certificate from your home university for the whole period of intern.
  5. Valid Passport of course!!
  6. Photocopy of your air-tickets. They issue the Visa only between your dates of arrival and departure.
  7. Covering letter (see below), a formal request letter for the visa addressed to Consulate General.
  8. ZAV – mail them before leaving to check if you require this or not. In my case I did not need it.
  9. Details of the sponsor of the trip and the supporting documents.

That’s all. Once you have all documents with you, call them to make an appointment for the day convenient to you. ofcourse, the next step will be to reach the consulate. You can reach there by Rail or Airplane. Howrah station is just 20 minutes away from the consulate whereas Airport is 35-40 minutes away. You can hire a taxi from the station/Airport to reach the consulate (Do ask them to down their meter, so that they don’t fool you). Reach there at around 8:30 a.m. and collect your token. Then, you will have to wait inside for your Roll call ;-).

Note: I see that a lot of people come here looking for the covering letter. I believe that if you have the internship/job and the above required documents, then you can just state the facts in your letter, eg. “I have been accepted by … company/university for the post of … , so I need visa for a period of … months. Kindly grant it”. That’s it. I myself wrote it within two minutes while waiting at the embassy as I forgot to write one before leaving.

It takes no more than 10 minutes to submit the application, even less if you filled the application form online. Request them to give you the visa asap and they will readily agree to give you the visa the next day. Collect the Visa the very next day and you are done. You can even catch the evening flight on the same day as I did.

You can find cheap and good accommodation in the near-by area. We stayed at Hotel Asha (unfortunately, there was no asha there) which had both AC (Rs.850/day) and Non-AC (Rs.500/day) rooms and all other basic amenities (TV, shower, room service, etc). The best thing about it was that there was a cyber-cafe right in front of the hotel, so no communication problems :-). Also, be prepared for a very hot, humid climate and pack some extra t-shirts to sweat out.

I wish you luck for your visa application. For more inquiry, call the consulate or leave a comment. Click here to move to the website of German consulate, Kolkata.

36 thoughts on “Schengen Visa to Germany

  1. Mahaveer

    Dude, congratulations!!! Finally you had cleared last hurdle also and now you are ready to be a foreigner….
    I have some FAQs:
    2.Original Invitation letter from German Host, same must be faxed to the consulate by your university—–>Does they demand it in German language or English one will also work…
    which had both AC (Rs.500/day) and Non-AC (Rs.850/day)—–>Bro I think you had swapped the rates of two!!…

  2. Nitin

    Mahaveer :

    Dude,congratulations!!!Finally you had cleared last hurdle also and now you are ready to be a foreigner….
    I have some FAQs:
    2.Original Invitation letter from German Host, same must be faxed to the consulate by your university—–>Does they demand it in German language or English one will also work…


    yes the invitation letter has to be in german only (this is specifically mentioned on their website).

    Mahaveer :
    which had both AC (Rs.500/day) and Non-AC (Rs.850/day)—–>Bro I think you had swapped the rates of two!!…

    yup, you are right, I will correct it.

  3. Nitin


    FYI: the visa is being issued only between the dates of departure and arrival (as written on your air-ticket), so fill the form appropriately. I am sure of this because I myself filled the dates as 1 May to 25 July but got the visa for only between 13 May to 25 July.

  4. RajA

    hi, I process my german visa documents.
    Enclosing the bank statement for 12 months.
    but current balance is satisfactory!

    Do i submit a statement only after maintaing sufficient balance?
    I am already late.
    What is your suggestion?

    1. Nitin Post author

      I am not an expert in this field, you should rather contact some agent or the consulate himself to clarify more. I just shared my experience with my visa process.

  5. Jaspreet Singh

    • Go to VFS Office
    • Take the token number
    • Take the yellow chit issued by security guard
    • Go to the office( please don’t carry any laptop with you, they wont allow at any cost and wont take responsibility too)
    • They will called for your number (yellow chit number)
    • Signed the declaration certificate.
    • After checking all the documents they will issue you a barcode
    • Pay the visa fee with vfs fee (4066/-) write down your name and phone number on the back of the D/D issued by them on the spot
    • Please enquire the interview date if it suits you then it is o.k. otherwise request them to give possible date.
    • They will issue you the slip.
    • Reach at German Embassy at the mentioned date.
    • After successful interview they will keep your passport and will gave you the date of collection of the passport. If you are sending someone then please give the authority letter with your passport number, name and duly signatured document.

  6. Jaspreet Singh

    you don’t need to panic. Last 6 month sufficient balance works! Prefer to give statement of your salary account.


  7. nitin

    Nopes, you do not..but you can not step out of the international airport without a transit visa.

    You can also confirm this with your airlines, because different countries have different laws, but I am sure about Germany that you don’t need it.

  8. Akash Jain

    Do they reply to e-mails regarding queries about ZAV? I’m wondering because I am admitted to a summer school in Germany as a student, and the visa officer has asked me to provide a ZAV, which is absurd. As I’m only going to be studying there for a month.

    1. Nitin Post author

      YMMV, but they sure did in my case. I am not the right person to consult about this but if you are not employed, most probably you won’t require ZAV.


  9. Akash Jain

    Yeah.. Sent them a long letter explaining why I shouldn’t be eligible for a ZAV. They understood and granted the visa. I guess they’re not so bad after all 🙂

  10. Jishnu

    I went to the consulate office today. I have received a project offer from Max Planck institute, and the consulate kept telling me that I will need a ZAV. My german prof had mentioned that I won’t need one, however the consulate refused to accept this. How to convince them that I don’t need a ZAV?

    1. Nitin Post author

      In my case, I asked my professor to send a fax to the consulate mentioning that I would be guest student at the university which did the job for me. I am not sure if any rules have changed by now, which region’s office are you visiting?

  11. Jishnu

    I went to the Kolkata consulate for information, but will be applying to the Delhi embassy. I see that there are two categories in the visa application, one for internship and one for visiting scholars. Which one did you apply for? The visiting scholar one does not require a zav, but that seems to be for scientists. Where did you get the fax number by the way? I will tell them to fax it, that will be good.

    Oh and how many days later did you get called for an interview? How long did the entire procedure take?

    1. Nitin Post author

      I applied for the ‘visiting students’ visa and they did not ask for a ZAV. I applied at the Kolkatta consulate, and it was quite easy there. It took only about 5 minutes to submit the application and I received my visa the very next day.

      I did not sent any FAX number to them, my professor’s assistant was smart enough to find it out. But I am sure that the consulate’s website mentions this.

  12. Sumeet Biswas

    I have applied for a schengen VISA and i was told that the embassy would find out if I require a ZAV or not. That was 2 weeks back. Yesterday i wrote an email to the embassy to find out about the status of my application and got the same reply that they would find out n let me know. However as time is running out, was thinking if you could guide me what possibly could i do to hasten the process. May be if you could provide me details of your VISA application no. or something, I could mail it to the embassy for reference.
    Thanks and regards

    1. Nitin Post author

      I don’t think there is anything else you can do. You can try to call them and not hang up until your query is answered. From my experience at Kolkata, they are quite supportive and are eager to help (I never had to call them, I always got response for my emails from the consulate within a day). Although I have heard the opposite from my friends who visited the Delhi visa office.

  13. Pingback: Schengen Visa to Deutschland | Silent Whispers

  14. laarnie brand

    hello! i am happy i found this kind of article but in my case i hope you can share some pointers for me. my husband wants me to be there in germany but the thing i dont have yet idea what to do first. Now i am newly married with him last nov. 24,2010. He is a german but worked in U.K. Now he requested his brother to send me invitation letter for germany so that i can attend on his wedding this december. What i need to submit to german embassy ? what are the procedures? can help me ?

    I am looking forward for your suggestin on this matter.

    yours laarnie

  15. kartik

    Well i will be applying for the schengen visa soon , I will be going to germany to visit a plant for which the company is providing me the accomodation , have also sent me an invitation letter , but in the invitation letter they have mentioned that the student will participate in various training courses and for training short term stay one need’s a ZAV letter so for a visit do i need a ZAV letter.Will be going for 1 month.
    waiting for a reply……..Thanks….

  16. Utkarsh Patel

    Hello Nitin ,
    I, Utkarsh Patel, am presently studying at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology(S.V.N.I.T) ,Surat in Mtech and wanted to apply for the long term visa for internship for my master thesis .

    I had applied for my Master Thesis project in University of Munester and thankfully after a some mail conversation , they have finally approved my topic and are ready to provide me Internship in their Research Group . Professor at University of Munester has asked me which type of acceptance letter will be helpful for me to proceed .but University of Munster dosent fund for Master Thesis . I am a MTech student and had qualified GATE , so MHRD is providing me with Stipend . So I had decided for self funding for the accommodation expenses and Travelling funds are being provided by my institute . So can you help me how to proceed for the Visa and ZAV Document . Can u guide me for the format of invitation(acceptance ) letter that is expected for Master Thesis (Internship ) .
    And how to mention for that I am completely self funded .I any financial proof is required can u guide me what all it may be?

    1. Nitin Post author

      Hi Utkarsh,

      My experience is of a small 3 month internship and it might be only a little relevant in your case. You may be interested in giving a look at the scholarships provided by DAAD (, if not already. In case you are not funded by the university, you most probably won’t need the ZAV IMO. In certain cases, even research assistants and interns do not need ZAV if they are receiving a stipend (and not salary). Call or email the concerned consulate for exact details. YMMV but they were quite supportive with me.

      Your letter should specifically mention about your role and if you are a student (exchange student or research student) at the university, then mentioning it on the invitation letter will be of great help.

      I am not sure, but your bank statement should be enough in support to your application for the finances. Again, you should ask these questions to the concerned consulate as well.

  17. preethi

    hi.. i will be undertaking an internship in germany this summer for 2 months. it is self financed. will i require a ZAV? i will be going to the german consulate in chennai. i heard visa has been rejected for those who didnt have a ZAV last year. and shd the letter of invitation be in german?

    1. Nitin Post author

      I don’t think self financed internship will require a ZAV but things might have changed in recent years. If possible contact the consulate and explain the intern details who will be able to help you better.

      And it really helps if the invitation letter is in German and faxed directly to the consulate by the university/company and you carry a copy of it. Ask them to also mention that the internship is not funded and you will be paying for yourself.


  18. Rahul

    Hii…I have been offered research internship in Stuttgart, Germany for 2 months from 5 may to 11 july, 2012. According to the invitation letter I will be involved in the practical training in a research project and the term internship is not mentioned. can I apply for “visiting scholar visa” instead of internship visa as I dont have ZAV permission.
    Also I will be applying for the visa next week, The form is for schengen visa.and I have completed the form and have all the documents but nowhere it is mentioned what type of visa you want to apply for i.e. “internship” or “visiting scholar”.
    So my question is whether you have to mention that only in cover letter and what if you mention only Schengen visa, in that case what type of visa they will issue. In your case what did you write ?
    Thank you.

  19. Nadeem

    I am a Max Planck Invitee and applied for visa at the kolkata consulate. However, the consulate is asking for a zav while my prof said i dont need one. I got Max Planck to contact the kolkata consulate, but they are still asking for a zav. I know from Max Planck that other consulates are not asking for a zav.
    My query us:
    1) Can I apply at another consulate? I am a student of IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal
    2) How long does it take to get a ZAV?

    1. Nitin Post author

      It depends on case by case, primarily upon the contents of your offer letter.
      1) Yes you can, no one should stop you from that IMO
      2) It’s a tedious process which your prof has to initiate, I am not sure about the timeline though but not sure if your prof will be willing to go through that.

      Wish you luck

  20. Gopy

    Hi everyone! I have all the requierd document for germany intership visa and soon i am going to submit my file in german consulate chennai. Plz help me that what type questions they can ask me in interview! I shall thankfull if anybody help me regarding visa interview.

  21. Sweety

    Hi everyone! The posts are very useful. I am applying for paid Internship long term visa. Do I need the ZAV certificate. How long it will take for my professor to make ZAV certificate. Is any one knowing what is the process the professor has to follow.

  22. Manoj

    I am offered 6 month research -assistant employment from German University.

    Since its not like Internship offer but the paid research assistant employment, so I most probably not require ZAV (on the embassy website, I see employment visa document that doesn’t mention about ZAV, but the Internship visa document do mention about ZAV).

    My queries are:-

    Embassy webpage says that it usually takes 8-12 weeks to issue the visa, but I have seen information somewhere else on web, and also heard from colleagues who previously received the employment visa within a week. Is that really true? then why embassy doesn’t clearly state the processing time but forces the applicants applying before they could receive the invitation letter.

    If its really quick process, is that because of the research assistant title? or its because of the embassy mood with certain applicants?

    Please let me know.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *