Travel To Germany From The US: Germany Travel Restrictions And Entry Requirements

Oct 18, 2022

8 min read

After the Coronavirus pandemic, international travelers start to defrost and look for their next international getaway to Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich. If you are one of these travelers and want to travel to Germany from the US, there are some things you might want to know before you start your planning.

Although the Covid-19 travel restrictions were lifted, Europe and the Schengen Area still have entry requirements.

Whether traveling to Germany from the US for tourism, health care, or business purposes, you are in the right place. In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Germany from the US. In addition, I will cover essential information such as whether US citizens need a visa, the required documents, and Germany COVID-19 entry requirements.

Let's begin:

Do I Need A Visa To Travel To Germany From The US?

I know you are probably worried about the Germany COVID-19 entry requirements, but first, you must know whether or not you need a Germany Schengen Visa before planning your trip. In this section, I will explain who needs a visa to travel to Germany from the US and who enjoys visa-free travel.

Do US Citizens Need A Visa To Go To Germany?

Perhaps you are a US citizen traveling from the US to Germany. Luckily for you, US citizens enjoy visa-free travel to any Schengen country for 90 days within a period of 180 days. This might seem confusing, but you must adhere to the 90/180-day rule. Please feel free to check out our 90/180-day rule guide for additional information.

Do US Green Card Holders Need A Visa To Go To Germany?

People usually get confused about traveling to a Schengen Area if they are a US Green Card Holder. If you are perhaps one of those people, you will find this very helpful.

Let's say, for example, you have a US Green Card, but your country of origin is Ghana. In that case, you must apply for the Germany Schengen Visa. So a country such as Ghana is one of the countries that must apply for a German Schengen Visa. Luckily, you can apply for your Germany Schengen Visa at any German Embassy or Consulate in the US.

What Are The Required Documents To Travel To Germany From The US?

After determining whether or not you need a Germany Schengen Visa, you probably ask yourself what documents you need to have with you when arriving in Germany. If you are a US citizen, you are only required to have a few documents. Here is a list of documents that you must have with you before you can enter Germany:

  • Valid passport (your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your planned departure date and must have at least 2 blank visa pages)
  • Hotel itinerary
  • Flight itinerary
  • Professional documents (only applicable if you are traveling to Germany for business)

Please take note that there are separate COVID-19 entry requirements that are not included in the list above. However, the COVID-19 entry requirements will be discussed below.

What Are The COVID-19 Entry Requirements When Traveling To Germany From The US?

Although the Robert Koch Institute is currently monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Germany, there are still some entry requirements that you must adhere to. Before going over the COVID-19 entry requirements, you can check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for current COVID-19 statistics in Germany.

What Are The COVID-19 Entry Requirements To Enter Germany?

According to the CDC travel advisory, at the time of writing this post, Germany is considered a high-risk area. Still, there aren't any current travel restrictions. According to the US Embassy in the Federal Republic of Germany, you must present the following documents before boarding air travel to Germany:

  • Proof of vaccination status that must comply with the German Ministry of Health requirements
  • Negative COVID-19 test (you must provide a PCR test or Rapid Antigen test with a negative test result)
  • Proof of recovery (only applicable if you do not have a negative covid test)

What Are The COVID-19 Entry Requirements When Returning To The US?

When returning to the United States, you must meet the requirements before heading back. Here is a list of exit requirements when returning to the US:

  • Proof of vaccination status
  • Negative COVID-19 test (you must provide a PCR test or Rapid Antigen test with a negative test result)
  • Proof of recovery (only applicable if you do not have a negative covid test)

Are There Any Quarantine Requirements In Germany?

Quarantine requirements are only necessary if you're traveling from a virus variant area. At the time of writing this post, the United States isn't considered a virus variant area. Please also note that if you are traveling from a high-risk area and do not present proof of vaccination or recovery, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Please head over to the German Federal Ministry of Health's website for more information.

What Restrictions Apply To Entry And Travel From Areas Of Virus Variants Of Concern?

Entry and travel to Germany from countries where virus variants are of concern are subject to stringent restrictions. Areas of concern for virus variants are those where there is a very high risk of infection due to the widespread presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. Mainly if vaccinations give only minimal or no protection. These areas are featured on the Robert Koch Institute's website and are updated with further information.

Which Vaccines Are Approved By The European Union?

If you are a vaccinated traveler, ensure that you have one of the following vaccines that are approved by the EU:

  • Comirnaty (also known as the US Pfizer vaccine)
  • Spikevax (Covid-19 vaccine Moderna)
  • Jcvovden (Covid-19 vaccine Janssen and also known as Johnson & Johnson)
  • Vaxzevria (Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca)
  • Nuvaxovid

Important note: The World Health Organization and the CDC advise persons do not travel without getting vaccinated.

What Can I Expect When Arriving At The German Border?

When you arrive at the German border, you must have your required entry documents and COVID-19 documents.

After presenting your documentation, the German Border Patrol officer might ask you to submit additional information. I advise that you travel with proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay. If the border patrol requests this, you can provide them with a bank statement or a traveler's check. If you are visiting a friend, they might want to speak with your friend, or you can request them to send you a certified invitational letter before you arrive at the border.

Do I Need To Apply For The ETIAS?

Maybe you haven't heard, but the European Union will implement the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) at the end of 2023. If you are traveling to Germany before 2023, you don't need to apply for the ETIAS. However, remember that this will change in November 2023. You must apply for the ETIAS if you travel to any Schengen country like Switzerland.

Please feel free to check out our ETIAS guide for more information on how you will need to apply for it in the future.

You Are Now Ready To Travel To Germany From The US

I believe you now have all the information for a safe journey to Germany. However, it is important to note that entry requirements and restrictions can change without notice. Therefore, I advise you always to check the updated Germany COVID-19 information before traveling.

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Mohak Nahta

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Be Fined For Violating Quarantine Requirements?

According to the Ministry of Health, quarantine infractions may be prosecuted as an administrative misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to 25,000 Euros.

Do You Need To Wear A Face Mask In Germany?

According to the CDC, everyone over the age of two, including passengers and workers, should wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, and ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports), especially in crowded or poorly ventilated areas such as airport jetways.

Is Germany Considered A High Terrorism Threat Zone?

According to the US Department of State travel advisory, Terrorist groups are still planning assaults in Germany. Terrorists may strike without warning, targeting tourist sites, public transport hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major athletic and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

How Can I Receive A Digital COVID Certificate Or QR Code?

Presently, there is no information on how persons holding a foreign vaccine card (for example, from the United States) might obtain a digital COVID certificate recognized in Europe. However, negotiations are underway to identify international immunizations (i.e., received outside the EU). We will communicate on this site as soon as such information becomes available.

More from Germany

Related Articles