1. Processing of visa applications
Visas can currently only be issued in the specific exceptional cases listed below:
- Applications complying with the exceptions to the entry restrictions (pursuant to the notification from the European Commission of 16 March 2020 – 155 final):
- healthcare professionals and health researchers, care professionals
- cross-border workers, transport personnel employed in the movement of goods and other essential sectors (e.g. air crews)
- diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers insofar as they are performing official duties
- passengers in transit (including those being repatriated to their homeland with consular assistance)
- passengers travelling for imperative family reasons
- persons in need of international protection or travelling for other humanitarian reasons
- Applications for family reunification
- Applications from skilled workers from the following categories:
- skilled workers with a concrete job offer as defined by the Skilled Immigration Act and as evidenced by the Declaration regarding a contract of employment (Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis)
- secondments and in-company transfers (ICT) restricted to managers and specialists
- IT experts
- employment in particular public interest
This also includes C visas for urgent business trips on condition that the applicant can provide sufficient evidence (e.g. verification from their employer) that it is absolutely essential for them to enter Germany even taking the pandemic situation into account.
A prerequisite in each case is proof of an obligation to be present in Germany (e.g. employment contract) and prima facie evidence that employment is necessary from an economic perspective and that the work cannot be postponed or carried out from abroad (presentation of verification from the employer/contractor). Economic necessity refers to economic relations and/or Germany’s economy or that of the single market. Relevant documentation must be carried and presented to border control personnel.
- Students whose studies cannot be performed entirely from outside Germany. This exemption applies to all those who have a notification of admission (even if preceded by a language course or an internship). It does not, however, apply to University applicants and those who wish to travel to Germany for a language course and then look around for a course of study (isolated language course). C visas for students are still not permissible. Evidence of an obligation to be present in Germany is necessary in the form of verification from the university (e.g. via email); documents must also be presented to border control personnel.
2. Simplified procedure for new visas
I. National visa (for long stays; D visa)
The entry restrictions may mean that you are not able to use a national visa issued by the Embassy in Vientiane prior to the entry into force of the entry restrictions on 17 March 2020 during its period of validity.
As soon as travel is possible again, a new national visa can therefore be issued as part of the simplified procedure upon application. This fast‑track procedure will be available if your date of travel has changed, but the purpose of your stay and destination remain unaltered.
An informal application for a new visa under the simplified procedure can still be made up to and including 28 July 2020 at the Embassy in Vientiane. To this end, the contact form can be used. It is possible that uptodate documents proving that the applicant still fulfils the requirements for a visa will have to be submitted. Another interview or appointment booking is not necessary.
II. Schengen visa (for short stays of up to 90 days; C visa)
It is not possible at present to issue a new Schengen visa (stays of up to 90 days) under the simplified procedure.
3. Restrictions on entry to Germany
As a rule, entry from Laos is not possible due to existing entry restrictions. More information is available below under the heading Urgent need.
For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. Please check with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.
In principle, entry is possible from:
- EU member states
- states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
- the United Kingdom
- Other countries, from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.
4. Quarantine regulations for entry to Germany
In principle, no quarantine applies for entry to Germany from Laos. Quarantine may, however, be necessary if travellers have stayed in a risk area in the 14 days prior to entry. More details are available below under Risk areas.
Upon entry into Germany following a stay in a risk area within the last 14 days
- you must, under these agreements, proceed directly to your destination following entry into Germany,
- self-isolate at home and
- email or phone your competent authority, as a rule the health office in your place of residence/accommodation.
The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, you are obliged to leave Germany immediately.
Exception: proven negative test result
If you can prove that you are not infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus, these quarantine regulations do not apply.
This proof must take the form of a medical certificate. The molecular test to detect an infection must have been conducted no more than 48 hours prior to entry (i.e. the swab must have been taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry). The test must have been carried out in a European Union member state or a state with comparable quality standards.
Alternatively, the test may be carried out upon entry
- at the border crossing point or
- at the place where you are staying.
The test result must be retained for at least 14 days after entry – regardless of whether the test was conducted prior to or following entry. It must be submitted to the health office upon request.