My visa was issued by a German mission abroad. Can I use it to travel to other countries in Europe?

Do I have to enter and leave via Germany or can I do so elsewhere?

Yes, you can. Holders of 

- a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads "valid for Schengen states")

- a residence permit of a member state or 

- a national visa (D-visa) 

can stay in the entire Schengen area for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days. The Schengen area consists of the following countries:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Schengen visa has to be applied for at the foreign mission of the country which is the main destination. The country of entry and departure is not the determining factor. The entry into and departure from the Schengen area can thus occur at any border crossing.

Visa regulations

Here you can find out whether you need a visa for visits to Germany and the Schengen states of up to 90 days. Foreigners wanting to stay longer than 90 days in Germany, who want to work or study in Germany, as a rule automatically need a visa. more

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