The Federal Labour Minister of Germany, Hubertus Heil, has said that the country should start applying rules that would allow for faster visa approvals.
Such a remark from Minister Heil was made during the Tourism Summit, which was held in Berlin this week, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Commenting on the current processing time, Minister Heil blamed “the lameness of German consulates abroad” for not processing visas more quickly and promised that measures would be taken soon to accelerate such a process.
Although the focus of Minister Heil was more on the visas for migrant workers rather than tourists, other summit participants highlighted the importance of approving visas faster for those who wish to reach Germany for tourism purposes.
The summit brings together politicians, industry leaders, and stakeholders each year, and apart from Minister Heil, others also said that Germany needs to make changes when it comes to visa applications.
According to FVW, the president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry, Sören Hartmann, also highlighted the importance of approving visa applications faster.
He said that the authorities need to approve visas faster for foreign tourists wishing to visit Germany and stressed that this would help boost the country’s travel and tourism sector.
“We need a rapid visa, and not a slowcoach,” Hartmann said while pointing out that faster visa approvals would benefit many regions across the country and not only those that are more popular.
Currently, all foreigners whose country has not reached any visa-free travel agreement with the EU need to obtain a visa in order to be permitted entry to Germany and the other EU/Schengen Area countries for all kinds of purposes.
Those who plan on travelling to Germany for tourism purposes need to apply for a Germany Tourist Visa, which permits them to stay in the country for up to 90 days within six months.
Foreigners applying for a Germany tourist visa are required to submit several documents, including the completed application form, two photos that have been taken recently, and their valid passport.
Moreover, Germany tourist visa applicants must also submit a roundtrip reservation, proof of having purchased travel health insurance for Germany, proof of having booked a place to stay in the country, and proof of sufficient financial means to support their stay.
Depending on the applicant’s employment status, additional documents, such as the employment contract, leave permission from the employer, as well Income Tax Return, are required too.