Do I need a visa for Germany?
To find out if you need a visa, please check on the Webpage of the German Federal Foreign Office: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/visa-service/buergerservice/faq/-/606848
Where do I apply for a visa?
You should apply for your visa at the nearest German embassy or consulate. You can find the German diplomatic mission closest to you on the website of the German Foreign Ministry: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenpolitik/laenderinformationen.
Please note that not all embassies issue visas, sometimes applicants may need to travel to an embassy or consulate located in a different city or country to apply for a visa (e.g. if you come from Sierra Leone or Liberia, you need to travel to the German Embassy in Accra, Ghana).
You must book your visa appointment through the website of the responsible embassy or consulate.
When can I start applying for a visa?
You can start applying six months before the Assembly begins. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time until an appointment is available. Therefore, we ask you to start booking an appointment as soon as possible.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the documents required for the visa application ready at the time of booking your appointment, as you will only have to present these at the time of your actual visa appointment.
Which documents do I need?
The documents you need to bring to your visa appointment differ from country to country. Please check this on the website of the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Some documents you will need will be provided by us:
- Invitation Letter
- Flight Booking/Reservation sent to you by Delta Voyages (only for delegates and participants with financial assistance for travel)
- Personalized travel insurance
Whereas all documents usually have to be presented in original form for the visa application, the Foreign Ministry has agreed to exceptionally accept a print-out of our pdf invitation letter.
What type of visa should I apply for?
If you require a visa for travel to Germany, this will typically be a Schengen visa (valid for up to three months, but depending on the visa office’s decision, a visa may be granted only for the exact conference and travel dates).
No other type of visa (including long-term visa or visa including work permits) can be endorsed us.
What dates should I specify in my visa application?
Schengen visitor visa are typically valid for up to three months but may be limited to the WCC Assembly timeframe. You should include the assembly dates in your visa application as well as any extra days needed for travel to and from the Assembly.
Please note that once a visa has been requested for a certain set of dates, the validity timeframe of the visa cannot be changed anymore once the visa application is being processed.
Who is the inviting organization?
For this Assembly, the World Council of Churches works together closely with the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland). They have signed the invitation letter with us and are the host organization in Germany as regards to the visa issues.
Do I need to pay a fee for the visa application?
Official participants (Delegates, Advisors, Stewards etc) (Delegates, Advisors, Stewards etc) of the WCC Assembly are granted an exemption from visa fees by the German Federal Foreign Ministry. This does not apply in a few countries countries where visas are issued by another EU mission or where service providers are in charge of the process.
Travelling to other countries before or after the Assembly
If you plan to travel to other Schengen countries before or after the assembly, please make sure that Germany is the main country that you are travelling to (in terms of duration of your stay). If you plan to stay for longer in another Schengen country than in Germany, you need to request your visa in that country.
Please inform us!
Please do let us know about the date of your visa appointment and once you have successfully secured your visa. Please also do let us know in case your visa has been denied.
For those with little experience in obtaining visa, we offer the support of CIBTvisa, an agency that is specialized in providing support to those seeking to obtain a visa. CIBTvisa would help you to put your documents together and support you in the process. Subsidised participants may use this service (and we would cover the costs(; non-subsidised may use it at their own cost.
For any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org