Visa Application Procedure in Los Angeles

Construction Sign, (c) Enlarge image Construction Sign (© Due to construction work at the German Consulate General of Los Angeles, the visa section will not be able to process any visa applications from March 20 until aproximately the end of May 2017.

Please make an appointment to apply for a Schengen Visa at the following German missions in the US:






To apply for a National Visa (more than 90 days), please make an appointment with the German Consulate General of San Francisco

Applicants who have received a visa from the German Consulate General of Los Angeles since June 2014 or who have already submitted fingerprints to the Schengen authorities during a past visa application with another Schengen State are asked to send their applications to the German Consulate General of Los Angeles through the US Postal Service.

Schengenvisum Enlarge image (© colourbox) How to apply for a Visa in Los Angeles:

The Consulate General only accepts visa applications from residents of the California counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, and the States of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. 

If you do not live in this region, please contact the mission that is responsible for your area since every visa application requires supporting documents subject to verification. To find out which of the nine German missions in the US can assist you, please use our Consulate Finder:

Consulate Finder


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.

Please Note: To apply for a visa, please first determine if you need to appear in person. You may apply by mail, if your biometric data (fingerprints) are stored in the Schengen Visa Information System (VIS). This would be the case if you applied for a Schengen Visa at any Schengen Visa Department in the US on or after May 15, 2014. The biometric data will be stored in the VIS for 5 years. Check for your requirements in the Visa Information System (VIS). You will find the link to VIS in the right-hand column.

Please be aware that in the months leading up to summer and during the travel season, all Schengen visa departments are 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 make an appointment using our FREE online appointment system:   

Schedule Visa Appointment 

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. 

Visa in Los Angeles

Antragsformular Schengenvisum

The Visa Information System – VIS

VIS - Visa Information System

The Visa Information System (VIS) is an IT system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data. The main purpose of the VIS is to simplify the visa issuance process, facilitate checks at external borders and to enhance security for everyone involved, including applicants.

Instructions and Links to Individual Travel Categories

Please click the link below to the visa section of the German Missions in the United States for more instructions and links to individual travel categories : Online Application Form, Declaration, Visa Photo Examples and Visa Fees.

The required documents as listed in the individual instructions apply in most cases. Foremost, it is important to clearly and succinctly communicate with the visa officer any information that sheds light on your particular situation. For example, if you apply for a temporary visit, you have to show that you have strong ties to the country where you reside and so intend to depart the Schengen territory in a timely manner and resume your life. For most Schengen Visa applicants, a stable enrollment in school/college, good employment or ownership of particular assets are strong ties to the country of origin.

Please be aware, that an adequate travel medical insurance is needed for the territory of the Schengen Member States. Proof of medical insurance has to be presented. In case you need to buy a separate travel health insurance policy, it is advised to extend its validity to 14 days after the planned return flight. In this case, the visa could be extended which can be important in case of unexpected travel delays.