Visa FAQ

Frequently asked questions about visa.

In case of a denial of my Visa application:

Infosheet Explanations to Visa rejection notification [pdf, 350.92k]
Infosheet Remonstration [pdf, 291.16k]

  • Can I pay my visa fees in Euro?

    No. Unfortunately, the German Embassy Nairobi will only accept cash payments in Kenya Shilling. The German Embassy’s exchange rate of the day will be used for the conversion. The exchange rate is similar to the rate of any Kenyan bank or online conversion service. The alternative is to pay by credit card.

  • What credit cards are accepted?

    The German Embassy Nairobi accepts all credit cards that can be used internationally (e.g. outside the country of issuance). If in doubt, please check with your bank if your card is an international credit card.

  • When should I book my visa appointment?

    You should book your visa appointment online as soon as you get to know about your travel to Germany.

    Short term visa applicants can only schedule their appointment earliest 90 days before intended travel. These applicants can book their appointment as soon as they know about their trip to Germany, as long as the chosen appointment date is within 90 days to the intended travel date.

    Please note that visa appointments can only be obtained online (exceptions for Frequent Travellers, diplomats and Note Verbale holders).

    To the online appointment booking

  • Can I speed up the visa process?

    The best way is to respect the procedures and to provide accurate information and genuine documents. A complete application with all necessary documents in good order will ensure a smooth and fast application process. Applications with unclear information and documents of doubtful origin will delay the process as further background checks might then be necessary. Please note that incomplete applications will lead to immediate rejection.

  • How will I get my passport and/or visa back?

    Applicants can have their passport and visa conveniently returned by G4S courier services. Applicants can now purchase prepaid G4S delivery slips at the G4S counter located within the German Embassy (open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 noon). The delivery slips have to be handed in together with the visa application form. The delivery slips are available for 300 KSh onwards, depending on the final destination. Delivery usually takes one to two days. Please consult the G4S staff regarding all delivery matters. 

    G4S delivery fees [pdf, 159.6k]

    Alternatively, visas and/or passports can be collected on Wednesday between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. For convenience, we recommend all applicants to use the courier service.

  • Can I travel to another country while I'm in Germany?

    A visa to Germany will entitle you to travel to any country that is part of the Schengen space. Nevertheless, you might need to prove that you have sufficient funds for travelling outside Germany at some border points (such as airports). It is therefore advised to carry copies of the documents used for your visa application (e.g. bank statements, payslips, health insurance etc.) when visiting another Schengen country. If in possession of a national visa (cat. D), you are entitled to spend three month in another Schengen state for any six month period.

    Please note that the United Kingdom (UK) is not part of the Schengen space. A Schengen visa will not entitle you to travel there. If you plan to travel to UK from Germany, you will need to make separate visa arrangements.

    List of Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

  • What are adequate means of funding for my trip? How much money do I need?

    This will vary from case to case and depend on different factors such as the purpose of the visit, the financing of the trip (self or sponsored by third party), the duration of the stay or the activities and itinerary in Germany. If you are fully paying yourself, you will need to prove that you have enough means to cover all travel and accommodation costs and be able to sustain yourself during your stay in Germany. If your trip is sponsored by a third party in Germany (friend, relative or organisation), you will need to provide a formal letter of obligation by the inviting party.

  • What is a formal letter of obligation? How do I get one?

    In case your trip is fully sponsored by a third party in Germany (friend, relative or organisation), the host will need to send you a formal letter of obligation (“Verpflichtungserklärung”). This is an official document issued by an Aliens Department (“Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany, stating that the host in Germany will cover all costs incurred by your visit. Alien Departments are the German public authority responsible for foreigners. They are usually located in every administrative district ("Landkreis"), mostly in the town hall of the district town ("Kreisstadt").

  • Why do I need a health insurance?

    As health expenses are very high in Germany, your Schengen health insurance will take care of any unforeseen medical incidents or accidents that might occur to you during your stay. Your health insurance must feature on the list of Schengen approved insurance companies and policies.

  • My travel itinerary takes me through a German/ airport in the Schengen territory on transit. Do I need a visa?

    Kenyan and Burundian nationals do not require a visa if transit is through one airport only and you do not leave the transit area at the airport. If transit is through more airports in the same country than one Schengen country, a visa will be necessary. You will then have to apply for a Schengen visa category C at the Embassy of the country of your first transit.

    Seychellois nationals do not need a transit visa, regardless of the number of transit countries.

    Eritrean and Somali nationals will need a transit visa, regardless of the number of transit countries. If the first transit country within Schengen space is not Germany, you will need to apply at the Embassy of that country.

  • Do I need to give my fingerprints for a long term visa?

    Yes. All applicants for a long term national visa (category D) will have to come in person to the German Embassy in Nairobi to have their fingerprints taken.

  • Do I need to speak German for a long term visa?

    Yes*. For most long term visas (marriage, au-pair, study) you will need to possess some basic German skills and be able to understand and use familiar, everyday expressions. You will need to provide either the A1 certificate from the Goethe Institute, or a KCSE certificate from KNEC, with minimum grade of B minus, not older than 4 years and TestDAF recognised.

    More about the A1 certificate from the Goethe Institute here:

    [* Exceptions to the possession of German language skills can be granted for family reunion purposes]

  • Am I allowed to work in Germany with my visa?

    Short term visa (Schengen, cat. C): No. You are not allowed to take on any paid activity with this kind of visa (unless stated otherwise for rare exceptions, such as research work etc.).

    Long term visa (national, cat. D): If not stated otherwise, you are allowed to take on a paid activity with this visa. In most cases, you will need an official authorisation from the German Federal Employment Agency and/or the Aliens Department. Studies visa holders are allowed to work 90 days per year (or 180 half-days per year).

  • Can I change the purpose of my stay (e.g. from visitor to studies)?

    No. You will need to re-apply for a new visa for the new purpose of your stay.

  • What if I overstay in Germany?

    If you overstay and do not contact an Aliens Department in Germany before the expiration date of your visa, you will automatically be denied your next Schengen visa. If contacted in time, the Aliens Department will examine the reason (e.g. illness, cancelled flights) and decide on a possible extension.

  • What if I get married while in Germany?

    If staying in Germany with a short term visa, you will need to exit Germany when your visa expires and re-apply for a long term visa at the German Embassy Nairobi.

  • Do I get a refund in case my application gets rejected?

    No. Unfortunately, the visa fee is non-refundable.

  • What happens if my visa application gets rejected?

    You will get a letter stating the main reason for refusal and informing you about your legal options to contest the decision. If you want to challenge the decision, you will need to do so within 4 weeks after the refusal, by way of a remonstrance letter.

  • What should I write in my remonstrance letter?

    If you decide to remonstrate against the refusal of issuing you with a visa, you will have to provide new information that was not included in your original application. Any remonstrance letter which only asks for the issuance of a visa without providing new information will not be considered.

  • How long does it take before I get an answer to my remonstrance letter?

    It can take up to 6 weeks for a decision regarding your remonstrance as your case will need to be re-examined. Unfortunately, your travel date can not be taken into account.

  • What happens if I provide false information?

    At best, your application will be rejected. At worst, depending on the gravity of your action (e.g. forged documents), you might get arrested and prosecuted under Kenyan law.

Contact the visa section

Visa section

Telephone service of the visa section (information only):

Tue and Thu 15:00-16:00 hrs (Kenya)
(Summer CET + 1h, Winter CET + 2h)

Kindly note that all visa inquiries must be directed to the below-mentioned e-mail address. Please do not use the contact form for visa inquiries.

+254-(0)20-4262 140
+254-(0)20-4262 129

Simplified visa application

The following groups can benefit from simplified visa application procedures:

Frequent Travellers

Frequent Travellers are applicants who have had at least two Schengen visas or a one/multiple year visa within the last 24 months and have travelled at least twice to Germany/Schengen space within the last 24 month.

Applicants in this category can apply for a Schengen visa every Monday afternoon from 2 to 4 pm without special appointment. These applicants do not have to apply in person*. Nevertheless, due to the limited number of applications which can be accepted**, it is however recommended to book a normal appointment online.

Only complete applications will be processed. A part from the fast-tracked appointment procedure, all other requirements for the applied for type of visa (business, visitor etc.) remain the same. In addition, frequent Travellers will also need to fill in a medical insurance declaration form.

Frequent Traveller health insurance declaration [pdf, 55.6k]

Schengen visa take 3-5 working days to be processed (in exceptional cases up to 15 working days).

[* In some cases, the Embassy can request the applicant to appear in person]
[** Strictly on "first come, first serve" basis. Depending on visitor's traffic, the German Embassy cannot guarantee all applications to be received the same day]

Diplomatic passport holders

Diplomatic passport holders residing in Kenya may lodge their application by special appointment. These applicants should contact the Embassy's visa section to arrange for a special appointment.

Note Verbale holders

Note Verbale holders residing in Kenya may lodge their application by special appointment. These applicants should contact the Embassy's visa section to arrange for a special appointment.

U.N. Laisser-Passer holders

Holders of United Nations Laisser-Passer travel documents, regardless of their nationality, on official duty only, do not need a visa to travel to Germany for a short-term visit of up to 90 days. Please be prepared to provide proof of your official mission as well as your nationality (national passport) upon entering Germany. You are also expected to provide proof of travel insurance upon entering Germany.

Holders of U.N. Laisser-Passer travel documents intending to enter Germany for a private visit must apply for a visa with their national passport. You are kindly advised to follow the general rules and requirements provided by the German Embassy in Nairobi.

Visa fees

Schengen visa (short-term):

  • Adult (12 years and above): EUR 60,-
  • Minor (6-11 years): EUR 35,-
  • Child (0-5 years): exempted

National visa (long-term):

  • Adult (18 years and above): EUR 75,-
  • Minor : EUR 37,50

Payment options:

- Credit card (international cards only)
- Cash, payable in Kenya Shillings, at the Embassy's current exchange rate. Please mind that fees in Kenya Shilling are rounded up to the next five hundred or thousand amount.

Exemption of fees (free visa):
- Spouses of German/E.U. nationals
- Minor children of German/E.U. nationals
- Parents of German/E.U. minor children