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
Types of Visas
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 link below.
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 below.
Please note 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:
Fill Out Applications Online
Only applications filled out online from the Consulate/Embassy website will be accepted. Please fill out the application with all personal data exactly as it appears in 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.
Visa in an Emergency
We accept applications without an appointment only in emergency cases. Emergency service will only be granted for true emergencies such as in life or death cases. The emergency must be well documented such as with a doctor's or death certificate.
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.
Visa by Mail
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.
Take Your Visa Photos at the German Consulate
For your convenience, there is a user-friendly photo booth in the Consular Section waiting room. The cost for four (4) photos is $5.
Please allow extra time before your designated appointment in order to take your pictures.
Please note this service is provided by a private company and the Consulate does not assume responsibility for this service.
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.