4 Easy Steps to Apply for Germany Schengen Visa at German Consulate in Chicago, Illinois
When visiting Germany, most tourists are treated to an eclectic mix of culture, beautiful scenery, and plenty of exciting things to do. There are rolling hills and a rugged coastline with offshore islands, great for exploring. Verdant valleys, and vineyards for sampling the local wines. The country has a never-ending supply of historic cities and castles to discover too. And, with a vibrant nightlife, exciting festivals, and an array of delicious food, you’ll fall in love with Germany as soon as you arrive. In this article learn more about how to apply for Germany Visa at the Chicago consulate, Schengen Visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Germany visa center and German Visa Application Process at the Chicago consulate.
Last year, many people travelled to the Schengen countries. The number of applications received for German Schengen visas was 2,049,055 with only a 7.63% rejection rate. Of that, Chicago received 2,685 applications and only 8 were rejected.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
You should apply for a German Schengen visa if you are a non-US citizen and/or a permanent resident or a green card holder of the US. You must not hold a B1/B2 visa. If you do, you are only eligible to apply for an Airport Transit visa which must be applied for in your home country.
If you wish to apply for a German Schengen visa from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago, you need to apply using their VIDEX software.
First of all, you have to make sure to apply at the right German embassy and consulates. Applicants who reside in the following states are free to submit their application to the German consulate in Chicago.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the Consulate General of Germany in Chicago
German Schengen visas are valid for a maximum of 90 days and depending on why you wish to visit Germany, there are different types of visas available:
a) Tourism – Vacation only
b) Business – Business related to your profession
c) Study – Study and/or training
d) Family Purpose – Visit family
e) Official Visit – Official business/large groups with same reason/dates for the trip
f) Medical – Receive medical treatment
g) Airport Transit Visa (ATV) – Change planes on German territory
Please note, if you are planning to go to Germany for longer than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a national visa.
Each of these visas can be:
1) Single entry – Maximum of 1 entry during 90 day period
2) Double entry – Maximum of 2 entries during the 90 day period
3) Multiple entry – Unlimited entries during the 90 day period
Schengen Visa Stats at German Consulate in Chicago
Schengen Visa Application Process at the Consulate General of Germany in Chicago
The process for applying for a German Schengen visa at the German consulate general Chicago is easy. It’s very important you follow each step in order to ensure that your application gets accepted. Before you begin the application process, check to make sure which visa you require. If you do not apply for the correct one, this could result in a cancelled appointment. You can also email the consulate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 1: Complete your online application form
To apply for a German Schengen visa at the Consulate General of Germany in Chicago, you must use their VIDEX software. When you have completed your family name and date of birth, you can save the application. However, prior to this point, your data will be deleted if you don’t work on your application for more than 10 minutes. This can be avoided by having the following documents to hand:
- Travel/flight schedule
- Address in Germany
- Hotel reservation
- Letter of invitation
The software is easy to use, but if you are unsure of how to complete the sections, there is an online assistant option to help you.
Once you have finished, you’ll be able to save your application and print the following documents off for signing:
- Application form
- Instruction according to Section 55 (2) (1) of the Residence Act
- Barcodes with your VIDEX-encrypted data
Step 2: Making an Appointment
It isn’t possible to submit your application online, so you’ll need to make an appointment at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago or we can book the appointment for you for a small service fee!
From here, you need to opt for a Schengen visa and continue until you see the list of available appointments. You can then choose which date you wish to go to the consulate.
If you have previously applied for a Schengen visa within the last 2 years, you have the option of sending your application and documents by mail. The documents you must include are:
- Pre-filled FedEx/USPS slip with your address plus $25 for the FedEx/USPS fee (if required)
- Self-addressed, pre-paid envelope (if required)
- Document checklist
Please note, all signatures must be notarized.
The processing times for mailed applications can take up to 5 weeks from when the consulate receives your application.
Step 3: Preparing your documents
It’s important to leave enough time for processing your application, so you should submit your application at least 2 weeks prior to your travel dates. Applications made more than 3 months before your trip will not be accepted.
Once you have booked your appointment, you should prepare your documents.
a) Fully completed and signed Schengen visa application form
b) Declaration of the accuracy of information
c) 1 x photo
– Passport-size, 3.5 x 4.5 cm
– Not older than 6 months
– Close up of head and top of shoulders
– Good quality
– Valid for 3 months after the trip
– Issued within the last 10 years.
– 2 free pages
e) Purpose of Stay
– Employer letter stating the length of employment, the purpose of business, duration of the trip, and guarantee to cover travel expenses
– Cruise ship itinerary
– Residence permit of host
– EU national passport/proof of relationship
– Address in Germany
– Parent’s signatures/proof of sole custody
– Parent’s passports
– Birth certificate
f) Proof of residence in the US
g) Original of valid US alien registration card or valid US resident visa (type A, E, F plus endorsed I-20, G, H, I, J plus J1 document, L, O, R)
h) Socio-professional situation
– Employed: Employer letter and/or proof of business
– Self-employed: Business license
– Students: Certificate of attendance
– Retired: Pension certificate
– For dependent spouse/family:
– Marriage certificate
– Proof of relationship
– Spouse/family member’s passport/bank statements/working certificate
– Letter of sponsorship
– 3 months bank statements
– €30,000 to cover medical emergencies and repatriation
Step 4: Submit your file
On your appointment day, you must go in person to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago with all your documents. It’s a good idea to arrive early, so you can relax a little before the interview and check that you have everything. Arriving early and dressing in formal clothing is a good way to impress the visa official.
It is important to provide originals and photocopies of everything. In addition to the required list of documents, you should also take:
- Instruction according to Section 55 (2) (1) of the Residency Act (signed)
- Barcodes with VIDEX-encrypted data
You may also be required to provide biometric data which includes a photo and fingerprints.
Schengen visa fees:
|Visa Type||Fees||Free of Charge|
|Schengen visa and|
Airport transit visa
|-Children under the age of 6|
-Foreign spouse of the German national
-Foreign members of families of nationals of other Member States of the EU/EEA and Switzerland
-Visa for scholarship holders (from German scientific organization)
-Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip
|Children aged between 6-12||€35/$41|
|National visas (study, employment, family reunion, etc.)||€75/$87||-Foreign spouse of the German national|
There is an additional fee of $25 if you wish to have your passport mailed back to you.
As part of the German Schengen visa interview, you may be asked additional questions to confirm your intention to travel. If this happens, don’t panic! The consulate only wants to make sure you are a decent person who has honest reasons why you wish to travel. The best thing to do is to listen carefully and answer the questions truthfully and accurately.
Some of the most common questions are:
- Why do you want to travel to Germany?
- Why do you want to visit only at this time?
- How long will you stay in Germany?
- Where will you stay in Germany?
- How do we know that you will return to the US?
Receiving your visa
Visa processing times can vary depending on the type of visa, but the German consulate aims to process applications between 2 and 10 days. You can choose to have your passport returned by mail or you can collect it from the consulate.
The application process for a German Schengen visa might seem difficult, but it’s really not. The online process is designed to make it easy and to reduce processing times. All you need to do is follow the 4 steps. If you do, your application should be accepted before you know it.
However, there is a chance that your application is rejected. The most common visa rejection reasons why this may happen include:
- No visa application form
- Invalid reference letters
- Unacceptable documents
- Purpose of visit is not clear
- Insufficient travel insurance
- Invalid passport
The best way to avoid rejection is to have all the documents required, signed, printed and photocopied. Go over everything more than once and check that you have all the necessary requirements before your interview.
Contact details for the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago:
Address: 676 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3200, Chicago, IL 60611-2804
Website: German Missions – United States
Visa application call center: 1-312-202-0480
Telephone calls regarding visas can be made ONLY on Monday AND Wednesday between 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm. Outside of these hours, you can use their contact form.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
Applying for your German Schengen visa at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago is simple. As long as you follow the steps carefully, have all the required documentation, and turn up for your appointment on time, you should have no problems getting your application accepted. Then you can relax and look forward to your holiday in Germany.
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