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AIDS 2024, the 25th International AIDS Conference


Visa information for Germany

It is the delegate’s responsibility to investigate visa requirements for Germany and apply for a visa, if necessary. Delegates are advised to apply for their visa as soon as possible and no later than 90 days before the conference. There is no automatic entitlement to a Schengen visa.

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Entry requirements depend on your nationality:

Visa application process

Before you start your application, familiarize yourself with visa information on the visa regulations page of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany at

For information about the Schengen visa applicable to all Schengen zone countries, please visit:

A Schengen visa costs EUR 80, plus applicable processing fees.

As a rule, applicants must submit visa applications, together with all necessary documents, in person at the German mission responsible for their place of residence. In some countries, visa services are handled by other European missions on Germany’s behalf, or by VFS Global as a third-party service provider. You will find the correct place to submit your application on the website of the German mission in your country. A list of German missions is available here:

To avoid time‑consuming requests for additional information or documentation, applicants should consult the website of the respective mission well before their departure date to find out about the visa procedure and the documentation that must be submitted.

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Applicants are required to book an appointment and to appear in person at the German Embassy or visa-issuing authority in their country or region to submit their initial visa application (including all required documents) and to have their biometric data collected (where necessary).

Biometric data required for a Schengen visa includes fingerprints and biometric photos. Please note that biometric data is subject to verification through the Visa Information System (VIS).

You must book your appointment online well before travelling. Note that this appointment can be made up to six months in advance of but not later than three months before your journey. The German Home Affairs Department, which is responsible for the visa process, requires at least three months to issue a visa decision (after submitting documents). During your first meeting at the German Embassy (the appointment), you must bring with you all the necessary and relevant information, including your visa application form.  

Visa application forms can be obtained at the mission or online free of charge (in the local language). Applicants may also download the forms at and print them before their appointment at the Embassy or authority.

The visa-issuing authority will review your documents with a view to establishing that:

  1. The purpose of the trip to Germany is plausible and comprehensible.
    • The personalized letter you will receive once you have completed your registration for AIDS 2024 will help you make the case for the validity of your travel to Germany.
  2. The applicant is in a position to finance their living and travel costs using their own funds or income.
  3. The visa holder must be prepared to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
  4. Documentary evidence of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 valid for the entire Schengen area is provided.

Fraudulent Schengen visa websites

Please beware of fraudulent websites offering online visa applications. Obtain information directly from the official websites of the European Union in the domain or the sources made available by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the German missions.

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How do I obtain a visa for Germany?

Please note that it is the delegate’s responsibility to investigate visa requirements for Germany and apply for a visa, if necessary. Delegates are advised to apply for their visa as soon as possible and no later than 90 days before the conference.

Applicants are required to personally submit their visa applications, along with all the required documents, at the German mission or embassy responsible for their place of residence or the nearest representative office.

Does the IAS provide any form of support in the visa application process?

Fully registered delegates can obtain an invitation letter from the IAS to support their visa application.

How do I obtain a letter of invitation?

Delegates requiring an invitation letter from IAS can request one while completing the online registration form. To receive an invitation letter for AIDS 2024, delegates must first register for AIDS 2024, pay in full and submit any required supporting documentation, if applicable. Delegates who did not request an invitation letter during the registration process should get in touch with the AIDS 2024 Registration team at

It is important to note that this letter of invitation does not impose any financial obligations on the IAS. All costs associated with participating in the conference are the sole responsibility of the delegate. Furthermore, the letter of invitation does not guarantee the issuance of a visa for entry into Germany.

If you have submitted a scholarship application, please do not register for the conference separately. If your application is successful, the IAS will contact you and instruct you on how to register and receive an award and invitation letter by early April 2024.

What if my visa application is unsuccessful?

Please be aware that the Federal Foreign Office of Germany retains exclusive authority over the visa approval process, and the IAS is unable to offer additional support in the event of a visa denial. If your visa application is declined, you have a one-month window to submit a written appeal (remonstrate) to your local representative of the German authorities, such as the mission or embassy, in your country or the nearest country. The mission or embassy will then reconsider the application. Find more information on visa rejection and appeal here.

If you choose the option to appeal, we strongly advise you to ensure that all the required documentation and additional information, emphasized in your rejection decision notification, are included and completed. If any documents were missing in your application, please make sure to include them.

Additionally, we recommend that you address the reasons provided in the initial rejection decision notification. We also recommend that you provide a detailed explanation (a narrative) of how the conference will be beneficial for your professional development once you return to your home country.

Please do not attempt “visa shopping”, the practice of making further visa applications to other EU states when a first application has been rejected. Schengen states use the Visa Information System (VIS) to verify fraudulent behaviour.

Can I change my registration from in person to virtual or get a refund if my visa is unsuccessful?

If the delegate applied for the visa in time (that is, at least three months before the travel date) and can show proof that the visa was not granted even though all requested documents were submitted, the delegate may request:

  • Changing their in-person plus virtual registration to a virtual registration and getting the difference to their in-person and virtual registration fee refunded
  • Full reimbursement for their in-person plus virtual registration minus a handling fee of USD 65

To request either of these options, delegates must contact the AIDS 2024 Registration team by email and provide the visa rejection letter no later than 19 July 2024. No requests will be accepted after 19 July. The request to change to virtual registration or request a refund will not be acted upon until the delegate has received written acknowledgement from the AIDS 2024 Registration team.

Have other visa-related questions?

If you have further questions, please contact the AIDS 2024 Immigration Support team at

The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.