Visa Procedures in San Francisco
1. General Information: Do I need a visa? What documents do I need?
We request that you read the information provided on this page carefully in preparation for your visa application. For general information on requirements for both short-term Schengen visas as well as long-term national visas (Aufenthaltserlaubnis), we request that you review our website's comprehensive visa information category
For inquiries beyond the scope of the information provided, please submit your question through the contact form of this website. Please note that question answered on this website will not be answered by e-mail.
Make sure to send or bring all required documents as listed in the visa requirements to avoid delays in the processing of your application.
2. How to submit your application
If you have read the information provided in the link above, please continue below to find out whether you can apply through mail or need to submit your application in person via appointment. It is not possible to apply without an appointment (walk-in).
Application by Mail
Frequent travelers to the Schengen area do not have to provide new finger prints every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger prints are collected, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period.
If you apply for a type C visa and fingerprints have been collected, you may apply by mail if you meet one of the following requirements:
1. You have had a Schengen visa issued from the Consulate General in San Francisco within the past 12 months or
2. You have had at least two used Schengen visas from any Schengen Embassy/Consulate issued within the past 24 months or
3. You have had a one-year or multiple-year Schengen visa within the last 24 months and have used it.
To return your passport with the visa, we exclusively use FedEx. We charge an extra fee of 19,- US dollars for this service. If preferred, you may pick up your passport in person or have someone else pick it up with a letter of authorization, signed by you.
This Consulate does not assume any liability for the loss of documents submitted by mail.
Application in Person (by appointment only)
If the above does not apply to you, you need to schedule an appointment to submit your application in person.
To avoid appointments in wrong categories, be advised that it is not possible to schedule an appointment through smartphone or tablet.
Payment of visa fees will be accepted in cash or Credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).
No appointment available in time for your planned date of travel?
If you are unable to secure an appointment in time for your date of travel by checking the appointment system’s visa appointment category as mentioned above, you may register on our visa appointment waiting list: Visa Appointment Waiting List
After successful registration, you will receive 2 e-mails:
1. A confirmation e-mail with a reference number within 30 minutes.
2. A separate e-mail confirming your actual appointment at a later time, once an appointment has become available.
In general, you should be provided with an appointment within 2 to 3 weeks. It is not necessary to follow up on your waiting list status.
For extremely urgent cases (such as medical emergencies and other life or death situations), you may send in a request through our website’s contact form
We will then get back to you as soon as possible. Please make sure you provide details regarding the nature of the emergency as well as contact information.