You can apply for a German short-term visa (Schengen visa) at least 3 months before your departure. This visa allows you free movement within the following countries (July 2018): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Before submitting your application
Prepare all necessary documentation. (The information in the link is very thorough)
Complete the VIDEX application form correctly. (How to use is this form is extensively explained)
On the day of your appointment
Make sure you have all documents listed in the checklist. Incomplete documents may lead to a rejection.
Answer all questions truthfully. The consular officers are well-trained. They can read your body language to know whether you are being honest.
After your appointment
You will be given paper to collect your passport 7 days after your interview. For example if you had your interview on Monday, you will be asked to collect your passport the following Monday.
Collecting your passport from the embassy
You will only know whether your visa application has been approved or rejected when you collect your passport on the appointed day.
If visa approved, HURRAY! 🙂
If rejected, there will be a document stating the reason for rejection. It is possible to file an appeal. More information on reasons for rejection and the way forward can be found here.