What is the change? Germany has launched a program to provide Chinese business travelers visas within 48 hours.   

What does the change mean? Chinese business travelers can receive a visa within 48 hours at no additional cost. Applications for business visas previously took about 10 business days to process.

  • Implementation time frame: The change went into effect May 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Schengen Visas (Type C – short stay).
  • Who is affected: Chinese nationals traveling to Germany on business.
  • Impact on processing times: The 48-hour turnaround marks a significant improvement in processing times.
  • Business impact: Chinese business travelers can now obtain business visas to travel to Germany within two business days rather than 10 business days.

Background: The change is part of broader efforts to reduce wait times for Chinese and German nationals traveling to each other’s countries. After the two countries reached consensus last fall, Germany launched 48-hour approval for business visas for Chinese travelers May 1. China has not yet implemented a corresponding program for German business travelers, but processing times for visit and family visas between the two countries are under discussion and changes may be implemented at some point this year.

BAL Analysis: The change represents a significant improvement in processing times for Chinese nationals traveling to Germany for business. China has not yet implemented a corresponding program, and BAL will continue to monitor whether such a program is forthcoming.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

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