Germany, one of Europe’s most visited countries, has a lot to offer to tourists and other foreigners that wish to carry their studies there, seek medical treatment or work. The country has one of the largest and most stable economies in the world, lowest unemployment rate, free education even at universities and colleges, and the ideal health care system with professional doctors and qualified staff.

United States passport holders may be among the luckiest travelers in the world, with the opportunity to enter most of the countries around the globe visa-free, including Germany. If you are a US citizen, then you are lucky enough to be allowed to enter Germany for airport transit, tourist or business trips, among the other 26 Schengen Area member states, without the need to obtain a visa first, and remain there for a period a 90 days within a 180 days period.

On the other hand, those planning to enter for other purposes than those mentioned above will need to obtain a Schengen visa. Whereas, those entering the country for business or tourism but wish to stay longer than 90 days will have to apply for a residence permit which is called “electronic residence title” (eAT) which permits US citizens that enter Germany without a visa, to remain for a period of time as set by the German immigration authorities.

What documents Americans need to enter Germany?

  • A U.S. Passport (with applicable visas, if needed), valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure from Germany
  • A justifiable reason for your travel.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your stay in Germany.
  • Compliance with any other entry requirements for each country you will visit or transit.

Is travel medical insurance mandatory for US nationals visiting Germany?

Travel medical insurance is not mandatory for US citizens who don’t need a visa to visit Germany or any other country in the Schengen zone. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended to get one in case of visiting Europe. For more information about choosing the right travel health insurance, please read the article “Travel Health Insurance for Germany

How to Apply for a Germany Visa in the US

US residents that need Germany visa

Some of the US residents, depending on their status in the US and the purpose of their entry in Germany, as well as some other factors, may be obliged to obtain a visa first before entering the country. These categories are as following:

  • US passport holders who wish to enter Germany for purposes other than tourism, business or airport transit
  • Foreigners in US with a residence permit with validity shorter than three months beyond their planned date of leaving Germany will have to obtain a visa in order to be permitted to enter Germany.
  • US passport holders that have previously been refused entry in Germany without a visa

Depending on specific cases, there might be people who do not belong to any of the categories mentioned above that still need a visa.

Germany Visa Types for US Residents

Depending on one’s purpose to enter in Germany, there is a number of visa types, each of which has its specific requirements and features. If you are already aware that you need a visa to enter Germany, but you are still unsure on the visa types, and which of them you need, then check the list above, of the German visa types and read their descriptions to know in which of the categories you belong.

  • Tourist / Visitor visa – for US residents who want to visit Family members and friends in Germany, or just to sightsee the country and learn more about its culture and tourist attractions
  • Language Course Visa – for US residents who want to attend a short German language course in Germany (less than 90 days)
  • Business Visa – for US residents who want to enter Germany with the purpose of doing business
  • Airport Transit Visa – despite that the cases are quite rare, some US residents may have to obtain this visa in order to be permitted to transit through one of the German airports when traveling from the US to their destination country
  • Medical Treatment Visa – for US residents who are seeking medical treatment in Germany
  • Trade Fair and Exhibitions Visa – for US residents who are planning to participate at a trade fair or exhibition in Germany

Application Process for a Germany visa in US

If you are in US, and you want to travel to Germany though you belong to one of the categories that need a visa, there is an application process for a Germany visa that you will have to follow step by step.

Step I – Figure out whether you need a visa or not based on the information given above! If you need a visa, proceed to the other steps

Step II – Figure out which type of visa you need!

Step III – Start collecting the required documents for that visa (as listed below in this article). Ask the German embassy for an updated checklist of the documents required for the visa you wish to obtain.

Step IV – Find out where you need to apply for the visa, based on the embassy and consulate jurisdiction areas. Below you will be able to find a list of the German embassy and consulates in US with their addresses and contact details.

Step V – After you make sure you have all of the required documents, appoint a visa interview online at the consulate that is located near your home.

Step VI – On the day of the interview show up on time with all the required documents with you, including your passport. Pay the visa fee and keep the receipt so you can show it to the consular officer. In general the interview lasts around 10 minutes, during which the interviewer will ask you questions on your background and the purpose of your travel to Germany.

Germany Visa Requirements for US residents

There are a few documents that you will have to submit, in order to get a Germany visa in US, which are as following:

  • Original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit aka. Green Card) or valid US residence visa (e.g. type A, E, F plus endorsed I-20 by competent authority, G: H; I; J; plus J1 documents, L, O, R) – whichever you present it must be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from the territory of the Schengen Member States.
  • A valid passport or Travel document – which has been issued within the previous 10 years. The passport must have 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page. It also needs to be valid for at least three (3) months after your planned date to leave Germany (and Schengen).
  • Germany visa application form – filled out completely and signed by the applicant
  • One passport format photo – taken within the last three months and according to the other ICAO standards. Glued it on the application form, and do not staple it since stapled applications will be rejected.
  • A cover letter that explains the purpose of the visit to Germany
  • Travel Itinerary – round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary of your visit to Germany
  • Travel Health Insurance – stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Germany, but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30.000).
  • Proof of accommodation in Germany:
  • Proof of financial subsistence: A recent statement of US bank account for the last three months that shows you have enough funds to spend at least $50 (45€) per person per each day spent in Germany

Germany Visa Fees for US residents

Every US resident who has to obtain a Germany visa, shall pay a visa fee in order for their application to be processed. The fee are as following:

  • a short-stay Schengen visa fee is 60 euros
  • a long-stay national visa fee is 75 euros

However, the following categories are exempt from paying these fees:

  • kids under six years old
  • school pupils, undergraduates, postgraduates and accompanying teaching staff who undertake trips for the purpose of study or educational training
  • representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences or other sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations
  • researchers from third countries traveling within the European Community for the purpose of carrying out scientific research
  • spouses and children of a citizen of any of the EU / EEA member states

The fee can be paid in US dollars, according to the current exchange rates approved by the German embassy / consulate.

Germany Visa processing in US

Normally, a German visa application takes about 10 to 15 working days to be processed by the German embassy in the US, which is the only competent body to assess the applications. There may be delays depending on the number of applications, or in some cases depending on the specific situation of the applicant.

Where to Apply for a Germany Visa in US?

You can apply for a German visa in US, either in the German embassy in Washington, or any of the German consulates across the US. Below find the list of all these consulates and their addresses and contact details, as well as the Jurisdiction Area of the embassy and each consulate:

Applying for a Germany Visa at the German Embassy in Washington

You can apply at the German Embassy in Washington if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following districts:  Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Embassy of Germany in Washington

Please note that the German Embassy in Washington don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at Embassy of Germany in Washington

Contact and address

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
4645 Reservoir Road, NW,
Washington DC, 20007, USA

Phone. +1 (202) 298-4000

Applying for a Germany Visa at the Atlanta Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Atlanta if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Atlanta

Please note that the Germany consulate in Atlanta don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Atlanta

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
Marquis Two Tower – Suite 901,
285 Peachtree Center Avenue, N.E.,
Atlanta, GA 30303-1221, USA.

Phone.+1 404 659 47 60
Fax. +1 404 659 12 80

Applying for a Germany Visa at Boston Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Boston if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states: Connecticut (except Fairfield County), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Boston

Please note that the Germany consulate in Boston don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link. in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Boston

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
Three Copley Place, Suite 500,
Boston, MA 02116, USA.

Phone. +1 617 369 49 00
Fax. +1 617 369 49 40

Applying for a Germany Visa at Chicago Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Chicago if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states: Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and South Dakota.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Chicago

Please note that the Germany consulate in Chicago don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Chicago

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
676 North Michigan Avenue – Suite 3200,
Chicago, IL 60611-2804, USA

Phone. +1-312-202-0480
Fax. +1-312-202-0466, +11-49-30-1817-67216

Applying for a Germany Visa at Houston Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Houston if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states:  Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Houston

Please note that the Germany consulate in Houston don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Houston

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,
1330 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1850,
Houston, TX 77056-3057, USA.

Phone. +1 713 627 77 70
Fax. +1 713 627 05 06, +49 30 1817 672 21

Applying for a Germany Visa at Los Angeles Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Los Angeles if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following California counties:  Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Los Angeles

Please note that the Germany consulate in Los Angeles don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link  in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Los Angeles

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,
6222 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite No. 500,
Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Phone. +1 323 930 27 03
Fax. +1 323 930 28 05

Applying for a Germany Visa at Miami Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in Miami if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states:  Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Miami

Please note that the Germany consulate in Miami don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in Miami

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,
100 N. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2200,
Miami, FL, 33132-2381, USA

Phone. +1 305 358 02 90
Fax. +1 305 358 03 07

E-Mail: [email protected]

Applying for a Germany Visa at New York Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in New York if you’re a permanent resident of any of the following states:  New York, New Jersey und Pennsylvania; Fairfield County in Connecticut; Bermuda.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in New York

Please note that the Germany Consulate in New York don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in New York.

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,
871 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017, USA.

Phone. +1 212 610 97 00
Fax. +1 212 940 04 02

E-Mail: [email protected]

Applying for a Germany Visa at San Francisco Consulate

You can apply at the German Consulate in San Francisco if you’re a permanent resident of any of 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.

Booking a Visa Appointment with the Germany Consulate in San Francisco

Please note that the Germany Consulate in San Francisco don’t allow walk-in.
You have to make an appointment online via this link in order to be able to apply for a visa at General Consulate of Germany in San Francisco.

Contact and address

Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany,
1960 Jackson Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109, USA.

Phone. +1 415 775 10 61