5 Easy Steps to Apply for Germany Schengen Visa at German Consulate in San Francisco, California
When you think of Germany, its annual beer festival – Oktoberfest – might spring to mind, but there is a whole lot more to this country than that. Flourishing and lively cities, like Berlin and Munich, have a fantastic cultural scene with lots of museums, art, and music. With plenty of historical sites, parks and canals, famous buildings, and a great nightlife, smaller cities, like Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt are all equally desirable. That’s not all, national parks bursting with glorious forests are great for hiking and cycling and there are many quaint villages just waiting to be explored. In this article learn more about how to apply for Germany Visa at the San Francisco consulate, German visa appointment booking, Processing time at the German visa center and Germany Visa Application Process at the San Francisco consulate.
A total of 2,049,055 German Schengen Visas were applied for in 2017. Of this, 1,892,662 were issued making a small rejection rate of 7.63%. The consulate in San Francisco contributed with 3,115 applications and a 0.7% rejection rate.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
You need to apply for a German Schengen visa if you are:
- A non-US citizen and/or a permanent resident of the US.
- You do not hold a B1/B2 visa.
Please note, if you hold a B1/B2 visa, you must apply for an Airport Transit visa only. This must be applied for in your home country.
If you live in any of the following areas, you are free to submit your application to the consulate in San Francisco.
American Overseas Territories: American-Samoa, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Island, Midway Islands, Palmyra Islands
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the German Consulate General in San Francisco
Your reason for travelling to Germany will determine which type of visa you need to apply for. It is extremely important that you choose the correct one because this could end up with your application being rejected. The following visas are valid for a maximum of 90 days:
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 Application Process at the German Consulate General in San Francisco
Applying for a German Schengen visa at the German Consulate General in San Francisco is uncomplicated. There are a serious of steps that you must follow exactly if you want to ensure that your application is accepted.
The consulate in San Francisco recommends that applicants apply for their visa at least 15 days prior to their intended trip. Processing times can vary depending on the type of visas applied for. The best thing to do is to apply as soon as you have decided upon your trip, but know that you can only submit your application up to 3 months in advance.
Step 1: Complete your online application form
To complete your German Schengen visa application, you must use the consulate’s online system. It’s easy to use and it has an online assistant in case you don’t know what information to input. You can access the VIDEX software here.
Make sure you have enough time to fill in your application because you might waste valuable time if you lose your data. You can save your application once you have input your name and date of birth, but prior to this point, if you don’t work on it for 10 minutes, the data will be deleted. To ensure this doesn’t happen, have these documents by your side before you begin:
- Travel/flight schedule
- Address in Germany
- Hotel reservation
- Letter of invitation
Once you’ve finished inputting all your information, you must print off the following documents:
- Application form (requires your signature)
- Instruction according to Section 55 (2) (1) of the Residence Act (requires your signature)
- Barcodes with your VIDEX-encrypted data
Step 2: Making an Appointment
You are not able to submit your application online, so you must make an appointment on the consulate’s website. Please follow the instructions on each screen in order to get to the appointment slots available.
After this screen, you will be required to key in a CAPTCHA code. If you are unable to read it, you have the opportunity to change it.
As you proceed through these screens, there is lots of instruction and information for you to ensure that you have done everything correctly up to this point.
If you cannot secure an appointment, you can register on the consulate’s waiting list.
If you have previously applied for a Schengen visa within the last 2 years, you can send your application and documents by mail. If you do this, you must send the following:
- 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.
If you’re running short of time, then we can also help you book a visa appointment for a small service fee!
Step 3: Preparing your documents
Once you have booked your appointment, you should prepare your documents. It is very important that you provide the originals as well as photocopies.
1) Fully completed and signed Schengen visa application form
2) Declaration of the accuracy of information
3) 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
5) 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
6) Proof of residence in US
7) 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)
8) 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
9) Confirmed returned flight/travel reservations and full itinerary
10) Proof of funds
– 3 months bank statements
– €30,000 to cover medical emergencies and repatriation
– Hotel Booking
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 4: Submit your file
When your appointment day arrives, go to the German Consulate General in San Francisco early. If you’re late, not only will the visa official frown upon this, but you may feel a little nervous about the interview. Getting there early will allow you to check that you have everything and you’ll be able to relax a little and take a few breaths before you enter the interview room. Your goal should be to make a good impression and to come across as someone who can be trusted. Treat the interview seriously and dress in formal attire too.
In addition to your documents, you must take:
- Instruction according to Section 55 (2) (1) of the Residency Act (signed)
- Barcodes with VIDEX-encrypted data
- Information on Data Protection
You may also be required to provide biometric data which includes a photo and fingerprints.
Schengen visa fees:
|Visa Type||Fee||Free of Charge|
|Schengen visa and|
Airport transit visa
Children aged between 6-12
|-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
|National visas (study, employment, family reunion, etc.)||€75/$87|
|-Foreign spouse of German national|
There is an additional fee of $25 if you wish to have your passport mailed back to you.
During your interview, you may be asked extra questions, so the official can confirm you are being honest with the details you have provided and that you have honest reasons for travelling. Be confident with your responses and answer them truthfully and you should have no problems.
Some of the most common questions are:
- Do you have a job-leave approval from your employer?
- Do you have any children? If yes, how old are they? What do they do?
- Do you have any friends living in the Schengen area?
- Do you have any relative or any known person studying in this university?
- Do you pay income tax?
Step 5: Receiving your visa
Once a decision has been made on your visa application, you’ll be notified and will have the opportunity to collect it from the German Consulate General in San Francisco or you can arrange for it to be sent to your home.
The application process for your German Schengen visa doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow these simple steps and you won’t have any problems. However, there is a chance that your application may be rejected and you should be aware of some of the visa rejection reasons why this may occur.
- Past or current criminal activity
- False travel documents
- Information on the application is not consistent
- Invalid passport
- Cannot proof travel itinerary
- Unacceptable birth certificate
To prevent your application from being rejected, you must provide all the required documents and be confident and truthful at your visa interview.
Contact detail for the German Consulate General in San Francisco
Address: 1960 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Website: German Missions – San Francisco
Any visa-related queries should be made through the consulate’s contact form
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
The application process for your German Schengen visa at the German Consulate General in San Francisco is really easy. All you need to do is follow these 4 steps and you will have a trouble-free experience. Then, it’s time to get ready for your fabulous trip to Germany.
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa and much more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.