Entry & Exit Formalities
Entering Germany is normally a straightforward procedure. Citizens of most Western countries don’t need a visa, but even if you do, you'll be through checks swiftly.
When arriving in Germany from any of the Schengen countries (all Germany's neighbours), you no longer have to go through passport and customs checks, regardless of your nationality.
Most articles that you take into Germany for your personal use may be imported free of duty and tax. The following allowances apply to duty-free goods purchased in a non-EU country. In addition, you can bring in other products up to a value of €430, including tea, coffee and perfume. Bringing meat and milk, as well as products made from them, into the EU is prohibited.
- Alcohol 1L of strong liquor or 2L of less than 22% alcohol by volume and 4L of wine
- Tobacco 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of loose tobacco
Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days; some nationalities will need a Schengen visa.
Most EU nationals only need their national identity card or passport to enter, stay and work in Germany. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the US are among those countries that need only a valid passport (no visa) if entering as tourists for up to three months within a six-month period. Passports should be valid for at least another four months from the planned date of departure from Germany.
Nationals from other countries need a so-called Schengen Visa, named after the 1995 Schengen Agreement that enables passport controls between most countries in the EU to be abolished (all except the UK and Ireland have signed up). For full details, see www.auswaertiges-amt.de or check with a German consulate in your country.