Visa: Short-term / Schengen for stays up to 90 days

13.04.2021 - Article

Visits up to 90 days

General information

Please first read the Embassy´s page Visa - Important information for all applicants.

For visiting the so-called “Schengen States” for a period up to 90 days, Sri Lankan and Maldivian citizens and certain third country nationals residing in these countries have to obtain a visa category “Schengen”.

They have to lodge an application at the Embassy of the country which is their main destination (generally: the Schengen country with the longest stay during the trip). The country of entry and departure is not the determining factor! Holders of Schengen visas (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states” in the language of the issuing country) may spend up to 90 days in a given 180 days period in the Schengen area, provided their visa is valid at the time.

The German Embassy Colombo handles Schengen visa applications from

  • the VFS German Visa Application Centres in Colombo and Jaffna from citizens of Sri Lanka residing in Sri Lanka and other third country nationals residing in Sri Lanka wishing to travel mainly to Germany, Austria, Estonia, Hungary and Latvia and
  • Citizens of the Maldives residing in the Maldives and other third country nationals residing in the Maldives wishing to travel to Germany for short stays. Applicants may apply at the VFS German Visa Application Centre in Malé.

Citizens of the Maldives residing in the Maldives and other third country nationals residing in the Maldives wishing to travel to Austria, Estonia, Hungary or Latvia have to apply with the respective Embassies in New Delhi.

Recommendations and tips

  • It is recommended to apply as early as possible. The application can be lodged up to 6 months before the planned trip.
  • The standard processing time for the decision on visa applications is 15 calendar days. The application should therefore be submitted at least 15 calendar days before the planned trip. Please refrain from enquiries on the status of your visa application during the processing time. If in individual cases an extended review is carried out, the processing time may be extended to 45 calendar days.
  • Please note that visa applications can only be submitted through one of Germany’s VFS visa application centres in Colombo, Jaffna or Malé / Maldives. VFS acts as the official partner of the Embassy of Germany managing the administrative tasks related to visa. The decision making process about an application is solely handled by the Embassy!
  • To lodge an application at the VFS visa application centre in Colombo you have to book an appointment online VFS appointment. In the VFS visa application centres in Jaffna and Malé you can lodge your application within the opening hours of the centre without an appointment. Please consult the VFS website for further information VFS General.
  • Applicants are obliged to provide all information necessary to proof their case and therefore are advised to submit only complete applications.
  • Please note that all visa applicants need to appear in person for the collection of biometric data (photograph and ten fingerprints) when applying for a Schengen Visa. For more information, also regarding exceptions, click here Information regarding the Visa Information System (VIS) 

So called “visa agents”

There is no need to use an “agent” to apply for a visa.

Please be informed that the German Embassy is not related to “visa agents” in any way. They neither work for nor work with the consent of the German Embassy. There is no such thing as “registered visa agent” for Germany. Their service may be expensive to you, but without any value to your case and certainly in no case will bind the German Embassy in their decision making process.

No “visa agent” can:

  • influence the outcome
  • fast-track the processing period
  • guarantee you a visa


These checklists for Schengen visa applications will help you to make sure that your application is complete.

Checklist visitor - tourist PDF / 417 KB

Checklist Business PDF / 367 KB

Checklist Seaman PDF / 404 KB

Checklist Transit Visa PDF / 357 KB

Application form

Schengen visa application PDF / 209 KB

Complete your application online


Book your appointment

Online Appointments Schengen

Think about others: please cancel your appointment as soon as you know that you are not going to use it. You will enable other applicants to use that slot! “No-shows” (applicants who do not use booked appointments) will be monitored and if necessary registered. Late arrivals will be asked to reschedule.


All information is based on the knowledge and experience of the Embassy at the time of writing this text. No guarantee can be given for the completeness and correctness, especially due to changes that have occurred in the meantime.

Additional content

Check if your question about Schengen visa is answered here!

Frequently asked questions about Schengen visa

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