The nationwide lockdown has been extended until May 31, 2020. Keep yourself informed via local media and the information on this website.
The following information on the situation for stranded German tourists and short-term travelers who are still in India is available (May 27, 2020):
Information on eventually upcoming repatriation flights
The federal government's repatriation program has concluded. Here you will find information on any eventually planned repatriation flights by other European governments from India to Europe.
The Indian government has announced a partial re-commencement of domestic flights from 25th May 2020 onwards. This could be a better option for travel to one of the main airports from which repatriation flights depart. Travelers are advised to check on detailed procedure with the respective airline as well as on quarantine measures or special regulations of the respective Indian States/Union territories in advance. It might be possible that at the beginning only a particular group of people (e.g. participants in repatriation program) are eligible for these flights. Current information can be found on the websites of the airports or of the Indian Ministry for Civil Aviation.
General Information on immigration and quarantine upon arrival:
Please note that the onward journey to Germany (flight ticket or train ticket) must already be booked before departure. Proof of this must be presented.
The German Federal government has decided that all German and EU citizens as well as citizens of a Schengen-associated state or persons with residence in Germany who re-enter after a multi-day stay abroad and are returning to their place of residence in Germany must enter a mandatory two-week quarantine. The concerned persons must enter the home-quarantine, regardless of their mode of transport to Germany (land, air or sea). Please contact your local German health authority before starting your journey.
Current information can be obtained from the website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/coronavirus-faqs.html
Please also see our FAQs (in German), which contain information and answers to the most common questions related to the Corona crisis.
Information for German citizens:
In order to be informed directly by us about the current situation, we recommend German citizens to register in our crisis preparedness list at www.diplo.de/elefand.
Information for Indian citizens:
Kindly note that immigration into Germany will currently only be possible if you possess one of the following residence permits/visas (as per directive of the Federal Ministry of the Interior):
- Residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”)
- Permanent residence permit (“Niederlassungserlaubnis”)
- Long-term (Category “D”) visa: only family reunion with German/EU spouse/child
We recommend bringing a proof of relationship (e.g. copy of marriage certificate as well as of the German passport of your partner) or the residence permit card to the Airport.
Entry is currently banned until 15.06.2020 for the following groups:
- Short-term (Category “C”) Visa – Schengen Visa for Business, Leisure, family visit
- Other Long-term (Category “D”) Visa, e.g. Study visa, employment visa etc.
Kindly note that Indian citizens can directly apply for an e-curfew pass with the respective Indian authorities. For contact details please see here: http://ficci.in/sector/130/add_Docs/State-wise-Links-for-e-passes.pdf
Since March 25, 12 German Government chartered repatriation flights (2 Lufthansa, 10 Indian Air) brought approx. 3200 stranded tourists and short-term travelers (Germans and other nationals with German relatives, plus over 500 European citizens) from 7 Indian cities home to Germany (Frankfurt). The challenges during this first phase were huge then, and didn’t become less demanding in the weeks to come: countrywide lock-downs (now extended until May 17, 2020), increasing number of sealed-off hotspots, no flights, hardly any public transport, closed hotels and shops, localization of individual travelers across a country bigger than Europe, necessary special permits, and the need to minimize exposure.
With the rising number of transmission-cases in India and the growing restriction of freedom of movement for everyone, including the Embassy as well as the Consulate staff and diplomatic cars, any endeavor of such kind became more and more complex and challenging. Running any operations under these conditions was truly all-hands-on-deck, and obligatory staff drawdowns and intensified lockdowns or seal-offs of cities and regions didn’t make things any easier. Nevertheless, “Team India” (Embassy and our 4 General Consulates) was always there for you – almost 24/7. The Team could not reach everyone but did all it could to reach most of you, foremost the group of our target people, especially those who, as tourists, depended on hotels and restaurants in a special way, without being connected to family, friends or social environment in India. Hence the one-time repatriation programme was primarily aimed at those who stayed abroad for a short time as tourists, as well as at people who depended on a quick return to Germany due to serious illnesses, Germans or people with a residence permit in Germany who are residing in India, having family ties and having been in India for a long time have not been part of this main target group.
The second phase of our repatriation efforts focused on the help for those stranded German tourists and short-term travelers (and other nationals with German family member(s)) who still remained, for various reasons, in India. Additional German repatriation-flights from India to Germany were not foreseen, but the Team closely interlinked its efforts with those nations, which also still had stranded tourists remaining in India. The core of the Team’s task was to coordinate all information on possible transport options, which sometimes materialized on shortest notice, pass them on to our registered tourists and try - whenever possible – to help them make use of those options, e.g. through hotel-suggestions and EU-coordination. Through this procedure the Team was able to place almost 900 of these stranded tourists/short term travelers (Germans and their relatives) on special flights of other European airlines, as Germany also had taken more than 500 non-Germans on German repatriation flights.
We thank all who made those operations possible – especially the relevant Indian authorities (e.g. the MEA), our European neighbor countries and the EU representation in New Delhi.
After six weeks, the repatriation program has now been concluded and most of our target group have been brought back to Germany. For those stranded tourists and short-term travelers who are still in India, the Team is trying to find individual solutions on a case by case approach. This might not lead to solutions in all cases. But some European airlines have still foreseen additional chartered repatriation flights in the upcoming days and weeks. For more information, please check the “Information on eventually upcoming repatriation flights” above.
The Indian authorities are planning repatriation programs for Indian citizens stranded abroad, that might also be accessible for Indians who – being holder of valid foreign residence permits – want to return from India to their country of residence abroad. Please contact the MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) or Air India directly with any questions relating to repatriation of Indians.
Repatriation flights with Air India shall be bookable via the airline's website: www.airindia.in
The Indian Embassy in Berlin as well as the Indian Consulates General in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich have opened up COVID-19 hotlines. The contact details can be found on the website of the Indian Embassy in Berlin.
The European Union has extended the entry ban until 15.06.2020 for all non-essential travel. Foreigners in Germany who have arrived on 17.03.2020 or later with a Schengen Visa are exempt from the requirement of a resident permit from the expiration date of their visa until 30.06.2020. Competent for renewal after this date are the local aliens offices (Ausländerbehörden). Since 10.04.2020 travelers entering Germany are subject to a mandatory home quarantine of 14 days. More details on the quarantine regulations you can be found on the website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior.
This Embassy cannot give a prognosis on when commercial flights will recommence. Please keep yourself informed on the Indian government’s websites and on social media, as well as through the Federal Foreign Office’s travel advice for India via the smartphone app “Sicher Reisen”.
Information for non-Germans with permanent residency in Germany
Now that our repatriation program is concluded, quite a number of Indian citizens with permanent residency, work permit, Blue Card or student visa for Germany have approached us to see if we could help them return to Germany.
As much as we have a lot of sympathy for these concerns, and understand very well the difficult situation this is causing for many of you, it is also important to be realistic and transparent in what ‘Team India’ (Embassy and our 4 General Consulates) can do for you in this situation.
1. The target group for the one-time repatriation program was those most vulnerable in such a situation: tourists and short-time travelers (as well as people with serious illnesses), those dependent on (closing) hotels and restaurants, without a support network of family and friends in India. Hence all other Germans (or people with residence permit in Germany) residing in India or with family ties in India were not part of this target group. This also includes many Germans for whom this international travel ban has caused quite some economic, educational or personal losses. Negative repercussions of this global crisis are unprecedented and are hitting us all.
2. There is a countrywide lockdown in India (and many other countries) and the fight against the coronavirus necessitates that all of us to respect curfews and travel restrictions. In many cases, there will be no other option than preparing to stay safe and remain where you are until regular travel becomes possible again.
3. Please check the infobox above for more information on the occasional special chartered repatriation flights by some European airlines, which can be booked online. But please be aware that due to their non-commercial nature, relief-flight restrictions by the airline or by Indian aviation authorities might apply on who can board such flights!
4. In case you get on such a flight please be aware that once you fly to Germany you will have to undergo home quarantine for two weeks.
5. As for visa, work or student issues, it is advisable to contact your employer, university, landlord, etc., in order to see how to prepare for the days when commercial flights reopen again. This pandemic, in many aspects, has entered uncharted territory, so it requires flexibility and patience, but most of all, understanding that our main priority must be to fight the virus as efficiently as possible.
1. Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of all foreign nationals, which have expired or would be expiring during the period from March 13, 2020 (midnight) to May 3, 2020 (midnight), would be extended till May 3, 2020 (midnight) on 'GRATIS' basis after making online application by the foreigner to the concerned . Exit of such foreign nationals, if so requested by them during this period, will be granted without levy of overstay penalty.
2. The Indian Government has halted all international scheduled flight operations as well as all domestic flight operations till May 3, 2020!
India has changed its entry requirements due to the COVID19 epidemic. All (e-) visas issued to foreigners were declared invalid until May 3, 2020.
Exceptions to the entry ban only apply to holders of “Employment” and “Project” visas, but not to holders of “Tourism”, “Business” or “Journalist” visas.
German travelers in India can continue their stay on their visas. Travel restrictions related to COVID-19 are subject to change.
Please check with the Indian authorities for complete and updated Information regarding travel restrictions in the region you are in at the moment.
Please see the continuously updated travel advisory for India on the website of the Federal Foreign Office (in German) as well as the updates of the Indian Bureau of Immigration.
1. In wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Section 144 of CrPC is to be imposed in India with effect from March 22, 2020.
Therefore VFS Global and the Visa Section of the German Embassy and the Consulates will remain closed until further notice.
The European Union has further extended the entry ban until June 15, 2020 that prohibits non-essential entry to the European Union.
Exempt from the travel ban are EU-citizens and citizens of Schengen-member states as well as their family members (spouse and minor children).
Also, foreigners with residence in the European Union and a valid residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis, Niederlassungserlaubnis), are allowed to enter.
Health checks will be conducted at point of entry.
2. With immediate effect:
Due to Lock-Down in India and necessary social distancing measures, Visa Section of German Embassy as well as of the Consulates and Visa Application Centres of VFS global remain closed until further notice.
We remain open for emergencies of German citizens and for the application and collection of German passports (by individual appointment only). Unfortunately, no other services can currently be offered.
Repatriation programm of the German Embassy.
Walter J. Lindner, German Ambassador to India
After traveling to India as a 20-year-old with a backpack and a lot of time, the country and its people have remained close to my heart. Everything has come full circle and now I can intensify the very close relations between our two countries.Walter J. Lindner, German Ambassador to India