Visa Procedures in Los Angeles

Welcome to the Visa Section of the Consulate General of Germany in Los Angeles. We are pleased that you want to visit Germany and maybe further Schengen States and we hope the information contained in this page will assist you in the preparation of your visa application.

For immigration/work purposes (type D visa, refered to as a National Visa) starting Oct. 15, 2012: Biometric Visas will be issued and 10 fingerprints will be collected.  A biometric photograph must also be submitted by a person applying for a visa.

For temporary visits to Germany and further Schengen States (type C visa, refered to as a Schengen Visa) effective May 15, 2014: Biometric Visas will be issued and 10 fingerprints will be collected and a biometric photograph must be submitted. Frequent travellers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period.

Visa applicants must apply in person by prior appointment only. Please click below to make an appointment online:   

Schedule Visa Appointment
However, if you apply for a type C visa and fingerprints do not have to be collected (likely until mid 2014) you may apply by mail if you meet one of the following:

1. You are a spouse of an EU or German national or
2. You have had a Schengen visa issued from the Consulate General in Los Angeles within the past 12 months or
3. You have had at least two used Schengen visas from any Schengen Embassy issued within the past 24 months or
4. You have had a one-year or multiple-year Schengen visa within the last 24 months and have used it or
5. You hold a valid advance parole and approval notice document (I-797) and transit through an airport in Germany on your travel to your country of origin.

If you do not apply in person, you must have your signature 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, payable in cash or money order only for this service. 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 required 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

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.