Visa Procedures in Los Angeles
Enlarge image (© colourbox) Welcome to the Visa Section of the Consulate General of Germany in Los Angeles. We are pleased that you will be visiting Germany and possibly other Schengen States. We hope the information and links provided below will assist you in the preparation of your visa application.
For immigration/work purposes (type D visa, refered to as a National Visa): Biometric Visas will be issued and 10 finger scans will be collected. A biometric photograph must also be submitted by the person applying for the visa.
For airport transit or for temporary visits to Germany and other Schengen States (type A or respectively type C visa, refered to as Schengen Visa): Since May 15, 2014, the visa sections at the German missions in the U.S. have begun collecting biometric data (fingerprints) for Schengen visas as part of the Visa Information System (VIS). For more information on the Visa Information System (VIS), please see the right-hand column.
To apply for a visa, please first determine if you need to appear in person by checking the requirements as per the Visa Information System (VIS). See right-hand column for link to the page.
Please be aware that before the summer months and during travel season, all Schengen visa departments will be very busy and it can take weeks to get an appointment. However, most visas can be processed within 1 - 2 business days.
If you need to appear in person, please follow the link below to make your appointment online:
We accept applications without an appointment only in emergency cases. Emergency treatment will only be granted in cases of serious emergencies such as:
- Life or Death Emergency
- Urgent Business Matters
A lack of planning to obtain a visa from the Consulate in a timely fashion does not constitute an emergency. The risk of missing a booked flight or other travel arrangements is not a valid reason for an emergency. The emergency has to be well documented, e.g. with a doctor´s certificate.
In case you do not have to apply in person, your signature must be notarized on all submitted forms by a notary public or an Honorary Consul. In addition, the required copies of your passport, photo ID, green card, drivers license, etc. must be notarized as well.
To return your passport with the visa, we exclusively use FedEx. We charge an extra fee of $ 20 US dollars for this service, payable in cash or money order only. If you prefer, you can 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.
Only applications filled out online from the Consulate/Embassy website will be accepted. It is extremely important that you fill out the application with all personal data exactly as it appears on your passport. After completion, please print the form including the Annex page containing the barcode (only visible at time of printing). It is crucial that the barcode is not torn, folded or otherwise damaged at time of submission.
Make sure to send or bring all necessary documents as listed in the visa requirements to avoid delays in the processing of your application.
For your convenience, we have a user-friendly photo booth in the Consular Section waiting room where you can take your photos for a cost of $5 for four photos. Please note this service is provided by a private company and the Consulate General can not assume responsibility for this service. Please allow enough time before your designated appointment to take your pictures.
Important for Holders of Travel Documents Issued by USCIS:
At this time, holders of US travel documents issued as "Refugee Travel Document" (Form I-571) do not require a visa to travel to Germany for tourism, transit or business. The Travel Document must be valid for at least four months after entering Germany. Please note that this only applies to Germany, as other countries of the Schengen agreement may require you to hold a visa. This may be subject to change, so check this website for updates before each trip. As this exception may not be known to some airlines or immigration officers, we suggest you print this information and take it with you. The printout quotes the address of this website and the date, enabling you and others to verify the information and to check if the printout is up-to-date.
Please note that holders of the very similar document called "Permit to Re-Enter" (Form I-327) do not fall under this rule. Holders of US travel documents issued as "Permit to Re-Enter" must apply for a visa according to their nationality. Please check the list of countries that require a visa on our website.