Thousands of residents of the United States visit Germany every year for varying purpose including study, business, medical and other purposes. Some itinerants secure short-stay visa while others strive to get Germany Residence Permit as their objective requires them to stay for a period exceeding three months. And to acquire short-stay or long-stay visa, the itinerant approaches Germany Consulate General San Francisco (if his/her state falls under the jurisdiction).
All those US residents who own a valid US blue passport are not required to attain or apply for Germany Schengen Visa if they intend to leave Germany within 90 days of their entry. However, if your objective demands that you stay in Germany for a longer duration (over and above 90 days or three months), then you will have to attain Germany National Visa before entering the western European destination.
Now coming to the second scenario in which the itinerant currently lives in the USA but does not hold a valid US blue passport. Against this backdrop, the visa applicant will submit an application for either Germany Schengen Visa or Germany National Visa (depending upon his duration of stay).
Germany at a glance
Ever since the fervent period of the European Renaissance, Germany has been incessantly playing its role as a global leader in culture, science, politics, and economy. Due to extremely arranged and state-of-the-art institutions and educational set up, Germany became an engine of the Western world despite witnessing complete annihilation in great wars.
Due to strong economic growth, Germany’s Frankfurt has dethroned UK’s London as former is being termed as new “financial hub” of Europe by the analysts around the world.
What is Schengen Visa?
Preoccupied with unprecedented obliteration in WW-II, Germany along with other European powers decided to create a visa-free zone for binding said part of the world via shared-interests. And this was achieved in 1985 when five European powers Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg inked Schengen Agreement under which the aforesaid countries gradually abolished their national borders and crafted a uniform border. The success of this agreement nudged other European nations to join the agreement too as the members have grown to 26.
In Schengen Zone, a traveler with Schengen Visa can circulate freely in territories of signatory states without any border checks.
Who can apply for a Germany Visa from within the US?
The detailed answer to this question has been explained in the introductory lines. But let us explain it to you once again. A person will apply for Germany Schengen Visa or Germany Residency Permit in the following scenarios:
- A permanent citizen of USA is not required to apply for Schengen Visa. They can enjoy their stay for up to 90 days.
- A permanent citizen of USA will apply for Germany National Visa if his objective demands from him to spend over three months in Germany.
- A person who lives in Germany but is not a permanent citizen will apply for both Germany Schengen Visa and Germany National visa (in accordance with the duration of his/her stay)
Jurisdiction of Germany Consulate General San Francisco
The Germany Consulate General Atlanta covers the following states:
Northern California, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the American overseas territories American Samoa, Baker-, Howland-, Jarvis-, Johnston-, Midway- and Palmyra-Island.
Germany Visa Application Process
The Germany visa application process has grown overtly simply with the advent of the digital realm. But we have elucidated it further for you in this article.
Step One: Open Germany Consulate General San Francisco Website
In the initial phase, open the website of Germany Consulate General San Francisco to get all the relevant information.
Step Two: Complete Online Application Form
To make the visa application process simpler, Germany has introduced the amenity of downloading the application form through your computer and then filling it online.
All that is required from the applicant is that the aspirant should fill the application form without giving a gap of ten minutes in one sitting. In case, itinerant leaves his system idle while filling the visa application form of Germany, the system would mechanically eradicate the filled information.
Step Three: Make an Online Appointment
All German Missions require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa. Appointments have to be booked via our free online appointment system.
After arriving on this page, move your cursor and click on “Schedule” button. The server will move to the next step.
When you will click on ‘schedule an appointment’, a new window will be open enlisting all diplomatic missions in the United States. You will click on San Francisco as your state falls under its jurisdiction.
Now, the server will direct you to the new window. You will move to the “Visa” section and click on the “continue” button.
Different categories will appear before you on the screen. Select the most relevant one i-e Schengen Visa or Residence Permit. Press on the “continue” button.
An instruction box will be opened. Read it thoroughly and click on the “continue” button to proceed to the next phase.
Enter the code and click on the “submit” icon.
A new window will be open enlisting the available appointments date.
Select the most convenient date.
A new window will be open before you in form of appointment form. Fill it and submit it.
Step Four: Prepare Documents
Now comes the tricky part. Start preparing your documents.
Valid Passport: Your passport must have been issued within the last ten years. A passport older than ten years that has been extended for a period exceeding ten years from the time of issuance cannot be accepted. Its validity must exceed the duration of stay in Germany by at least three months.
Visa applicants must have their biometric data taken, e.g. ten fingerprints and a digital photograph. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints. Fingerprint scans stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) can be reused for future visa applications within the following five years.
According to Art. 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (also known as General Data Protection Regulation), information about the collection of personal information must be provided to visa applicants. To read more about this topic, please consult our Data Protection Information Sheet.
Roundtrip Flight Itinerary for visa application: Secure a flight reservation and attach it with your visa application. It’s mandatory.
Travel Health Insurance: Avail travel health insurance offering coverage of 30,000 EUROS or more. It is also a mandatory document. In the absence of it, the visa officer is going to discard your application.
Hotel Booking Reservation/Proof of accommodation: Itinerant makes advance arrangements for lodging in Germany before applying for visa application. And after securing this facility, he attaches a hotel booking document in the visa application.
Bank statement/Proof of financially means: If you are making bank transactions for over six months, attach the bank statement to prove your financial ability that he can cover the cost of his trip without any trouble.
Cover Letter: A well-written cover letter can get your visa application approved in no time. Because of instead of thoroughly verifying each document, the visa officer can be nudged by a well-written article and he can grant your visa.
Affidavit of Support: In absence of a bank account, you will submit an affidavit stating that your friend or relative—permanent citizen of the USA—is willing to cover your expenditures in Germany.
Means of subsistence: Almost all of the Schengen states have set a minimum financial amount that the applicant should possess whilst his/her stay in the host nation.
As per rules set by the European Commission, the candidate is required to attest to the German Embassy or Consulate that s/he possesses daily liquid money equivalent to 45 EUR.
Proof of paid visa fee: €60 for adults and €35 for children from 6 to 12 years old. These fees are not reimbursable in case visa application gets rejected.
Employment contract; and
Current bank statement of the latest 6 months; and
Leave permission from the employer; and
Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
A copy of your business license; and
Company bank statement of the latest 6 months; and
Income Tax Return (ITR).
For foreign students on F1 visas:
Reference letter from the educational institution (school/college/university) stating that you are in good standing, your major and the expected date of graduation.
No-objection certificate from school or university.
Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
Regular income generated by property proof of the latest 6 months.
Recent nationwide criminal history check.
US work permit
Confirmation of participation in any type of event or activity
Self-addressed, pre-paid US express mail envelope (if applicable)
Documents proving the legal status in the US – original Alien Registration Card (Green Card), a Green card Stamp in your passport, an Advance Parole, or a valid US Visa must be provided along with a valid I-94 departure record. Students should also submit the original validated I-20, DS-2019 or IAP-66.
The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least 3 months beyond the intended departure from the Schengen member state territory.
Letter of continued employment including income statement. If you are self-employed a business license and tax return forms are required.
Step Five: Submit File
Now you will submit the complete visa file visa post at Germany Consulate General San Francisco.
Step Six: Appear for Interview
In order to ace the interview with the visa officer of the Germany Consulate General San Francisco, appear on time and answer confidently.
Step Seven: Receive Your Visa
Germany Consulate General San Francisco will tell the applicant whatever decision is reached. If the application is approved, the applicant can collect his passport and visa (in case the application is approved) via UPS or USPS in the envelope that the applicant has provided.
Possible Reasons for Visa Rejections
Potential causes of visa rejection are:
- You forgot to sign the form
- There is something wrong with your passport
- You forgot to attach any of the mandatory documents
- Germany Consulate General San Francisco fails to determine an objective of your travel
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1960 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA.
Phone. +1 415 775 10 61