Sharing experience – a visa to Germany for a pensioner
“Visa to Germany for pensioners? Oh, it is difficult, many are denied! ”- I had to deal with such an opinion on social networks and in conversations with friends …This spring, I independently issued for myself a tourist visa to Germany, so in this article I want to share my experience on how to get a Schengen to a pensioner.
Previously, I already had experience in obtaining an Italian visa, and this, compared to a German one, took much less time and cost less. But in general, as they say, nothing terrible, even for me, a pensioner living in the “outback” – a small town in the Penza region.
First of all, you should know that there are only two ways to apply for a visa to Germany:
through the service and visa center VFS.GLOBAL, which provides support when submitting documents and transfers the complete package of your documents to the Visa Section of the Embassy and issues ready passports with visas. There are 20 offices in Russia: Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Perm, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Vologda , Kaliningrad (their site – vfsglobal.com/germany/russia/);
through the German representative office abroad – there are five of them in Russia: the German embassy in Moscow and consulates in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. (site – germania.diplo.de/ru-ru).
The area of jurisdiction of each includes different areas of the Russian Federation. You can find out which representative office your region is here: vfsglobal.com/germany/russia/)
Since there is no German consulate in Penza, I had to either apply for a visa in Moscow (consulate or visa center) or Samara (visa center), or contact travel agencies. It was not convenient for me to go to Moscow or Samara, because it was so far. Contact the travel agency and buy a tour – did not fit too, I prefer to travel independently, I do not need a tour.
Therefore, I issued a visa at the visa agency, which I found on the Internet. There are similar visa centers in each city, their work is to help collect a set of documents for submission to the consulate and transfer these documents for you. They helped me fill out a questionnaire, orientated a list of documents, booked me a hotel, ticket and insurance. In general, prepared my set of documents. As I wrote above, I didn’t need a tour, so after receiving the visa, they safely canceled the insurance, the hotel and the ticket. This is of course more relevant for cities in which there are no visa centers, or for those who do not want to bother and independently collect documents. All communication with employees (very, by the way, precautionary and professional) was reduced to one visit, communication took place mainly by telephone and e-mail.
So, to get a tourist visa to Germany, it took me:
Fill out a standard application form and sign it in three places. The form of this form is a little scary, three pages in small print, but all the questions are clear, and with the help of a center employee it’s not hard to fill out the form.
The international passport (and its copy), which expires not earlier than three months after the planned date of departure from the Schengen zone.
Two color photographs of the established sample 4,5×3,5 cm.
Copy of all pages of the internal Russian passport.
Medical insurance (at least 30,000 euros).
Book hotel and airline tickets.
Receipt of payment of visa fees. My expenses: 35 € visa fee (about 2,600 rubles), plus a service fee of 18.85 € – 1,400 rubles, and I was charged about 2000 rubles for the services of the visa agency. Total about 6000 rubles. The filing of documents with fingerprinting would have cost a little more, but I had an old, still Italian biometrics, it is valid for five years.
A document confirming financial viability. In my case (I am a pensioner) it turned out to be sufficient to submit the original bank statement. In any case, provided two.
Copy of pension certificate.
Copy of marriage certificate.
Having submitted all the necessary documents, I waited for my passport with a visa. Waiting, as the visa agency staff explained to me, can take about a month. The official deadline for the consideration of documents and the decision on a visa for citizens of the Russian Federation is 10 days from the moment the documents are received at the embassy. I received a passport with a German visa for three months in about three weeks by courier mail.
However, before that, I will not hide, the joyful event for me, something happened, initially alarming. I got a call from a girl who introduced herself as an employee of the consular section of the German embassy in Russia. Judging by the excellent possession of Russian – our compatriot. And she began to ask questions. What is your purpose? The purpose (tourism) was indicated in the questionnaire, but the girl was interested in details: which city, why, have you been there before.