Particular Information for Participants from Countries which need a Schengen Visa to Travel to the EU

Visa Invitation letter

For Visa Invitation Letter kindly fill out this APPLICATION FORM. To obtain the Visa invitation letter the applicant must be either registered to the General Assembly and the registration fee must be paid or the applicant must have the IUGG Travel grant approved. The time of letter delivery to the applicant depends on the means of submission (electronic copy or physical original).

In case original invitation letters are required by your institute, but not by the German embassy, the institution has to cover the costs for the postal service, and GFZ will bill them.


  1. Please submit your abstract as soon as possible. You will receive an automatic confirmation email with which you can start the booking process for the appointment.
  2. The high demand, especially for Schengen visas, is currently leading to longer waiting times than usual.
  3. Please apply for your visa in good time. You can apply already six months ahead of your travel date. Appointments are open always six months in advance. If you are waiting for your abstract/travel grant acceptance notification, please make sure your appointment date is after the notification date of 17 March 2023.
  4. Please understand that according to the principle of fairness and transparency, no special dates or appointments will be given. Priority appointments can only be given in humanitarian cases (urgent medical treatment, death of a close relative in Germany).
  5. Please understand that other requests submitted to the German Embassy and Consulates cannot be answered individually, as long as they are covered by this and other information already published on the website of the German Embassies and the websites of VFS Global.
  6. For more information and appointment booking, please also refer to the website of the service provider VFS Global or the services indicated at the specific official consulate website. Do not use other services!!!
  7. Please allow the German service some time for visa processing: Please fix your travel date only after having received a confirmation of appointment through VFS Global and allow 3 weeks for processing after submission of documents.
  8. Kindly refrain from individual and repeated appointment inquiries.
  9. You will receive the confirmation for travel and grant acceptance by Mid-March.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Travel to the EU?

The countries whose citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter any member country of the Schengen Area are:

Afghanistan Gabon Oman
Algeria Gambia Pakistan
Angola Ghana Papua New Guinea
Armenia Guinea Palestinian Authority
Azerbaijan Guinea-Bissau Philippines
Bahrain Guyana Qatar
Bangladesh Haiti Russia
Belarus India Rwanda
Belize Indonesia Sao Tome And Principe
Benin Iran Saudi Arabia
Bhutan Iraq Senegal
Bolivia Jamaica Sierra Leone
Botswana Jordan Somalia
Burkina Faso Kazakhstan South Africa
Burma/Myanmar Kenya South Sudan
Burundi Kosovo Sri Lanka
Cambodia Kuwait Sudan
Cameroon Kyrgyzstan Suriname
Cape Verde Laos Swaziland
Central African Republic Lebanon Syria
Chad Lesotho Tajikistan
China Liberia Tanzania
Comoros Libya Thailand
Congo Madagascar Timor-Leste
Cote D’ivoire Malawi Togo
Cuba Maldives Tonga
Dem. Rep. Of Congo Mali Tunisia
Djibouti Mauritania Türkiye
Dominican Republic Mongolia Turkmenistan
Ecuador Morocco Uganda
Egypt Mozambique Uzbekistan
Equatorial Guinea Namibia Vietnam
Eritrea Nepal Yemen
Ethiopia Niger Zambia
Fiji Nigeria Zimbabwe
North Korea Northern Mariana’s Vanuatu*
(Vanuatuan nationals holding ordinary passports issued after May 25, 2015, must apply for a Schengen visa)

What Documents are Required when Applying for a Schengen Visa?

The following list of documents are required for any short-term Schengen visa application:

  • Visa application form. Fully completed and signed.
  • Two recently taken photos must be attached. Both photos must be taken within the last three months, according to the visa photo requirements.
  • A valid passport. Not older than 10 years and it should valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
  • Round trip reservation or itinerary. It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. You can use the visa consultation services like this one. These guys can handle most of your visa requirements such as flight itineraries, hotel reservations along with free consultation over email.
  • Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death.
  • Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This can be one of the following:
    • A hotel/hostel booking.
    • A rental agreement.
    • A letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
  • Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. This can be one of the following:
    • Bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
    • Sponsorship Letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
    • A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.  €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.




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  • BGR – Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources


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