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Applying for a German Visa

I’ve been asked the same question a million times- what documents do you have to take to apply for a visa? Well, let me tell you, the list is long. If you’re looking to apply for a foreigners visa, it’s important to know that the requirements are, as they vary per country and often change based on your home country. In our case, we’re from the United States (Oregon) and we applied for German visas.

The one thing that will likely stay the same, no matter where you’re from or where you want to go, is that you’ll need at least 2 copies of all documentation along with the originals. This is very important to remember so that the government doesn’t try to take your only copy!

First and foremost, you need documents to prove your identity. This includes the following:

  • Passport

  • Social Security Card

  • A Biometric Photo

  • Birth Certificate

  • Marriage License (if applicable)

You’ll also need to prove your residence with the following:

  • 1 piece of mail addressed to you at your mailing address

  • Rental Contract

  • A bright yellow piece of paper from the immigration office, signed by your landlord

Then, if you plan to work abroad, you need documents to prove your worth and level of education:

  • Diploma

  • Transcripts (from every college attended)

  • Employment contract, including salary

Then there are some miscellaneous requirements:

  • Proof of long term health insurance

  • Flight Information (when you arrived/will arrive in country)

  • Visa Application (This will include some tough questions, so start working on it as early as possible!)

One last tip: it’s nice to have all of this organized when you arrive to the consulate. It’s a high security office that has a window and a small counter (like a bank) and it can be pretty intimidating. I put all of Taylor’s documents in order in one folder, all mine in another folder, and all of our combined paperwork in a third folder. This helped sift through all the documents as the clerk impatiently asked for various things.


In 2016, our founder, Bailey Smith, finagled her way into moving abroad with her husband. In their off time, they were able to travel all around Europe. Many of Bailey's travel experiences during those two years have shaped Indie Travel Design into what it is today. Follow along with their story of negotiating jobs, applying for visas, and living in Germany.


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