According to the latest numbers of 2016, Germany received close to 2 million Schengen visa applications from all around the world, making it the second most visited Schengen country after France . Out of which, close to 2800 Germany Schengen visa applications came from Chicago alone.
The visa rejection rate in Germany is more than 6% and this is one of the highest among the Schengen countries. This post will explain how I applied for Germany Schengen Visa at the Chicago Consulate and got it approved.If you’re planning a short visit to Germany for a period of up to 90 days, then you’re at the right place. Here we explain in detail as for whether you need to apply for a Germany Schengen visa and if you do, then how to go about it.
Update : It is now mandatory to get COVID Insurance when you travel Abroad. Click the below link to get your COVID Insurance at cost price.
Applying for Germany Schengen visa involves the following five steps:
- Find out if you need a visa to enter Germany
- Find out if Chicago is the embassy you need to apply from
- Schedule an appointment at the German Consulate in Chicago online ( Get Schengen visa appointment for $ 10 )
- Keep all the relevant documents in place
- Attend the interview and get your visa request processed
Let’s go through each of the above-mentioned steps in detail.
Do I Need to Apply for a short-stay Visa to visit Germany?
Whether you need a Germany Schengen visa for visiting Germany depends on your nationality. As a full US citizen, you don’t need a Schengen visa to travel to Germany, but in case you are originally from another nationality, you will need to find out whether or not Germany mandates a Schengen visa for you.
Is Chicago the embassy you need to apply from?
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.
Do US Permanent Residents need a Germany Schengen Visa to enter Germany?
Sadly yes. If you’re a US Permanent Resident (former Green Card Holders), you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter Germany. Your permanent residency permit should have a validity of at least three months from the date of your departure from Germany.
Fret not, this guide will tell you exactly what steps to follow.
What about B1/B2 Visa Holder?
You cannot apply at the German Consulate in Chicago. You have to apply for your Germany Schengen visa from the country of your nationality.
Are you sure you need to apply at the German consulate?
If the main theme of your travel is Germany, then Germany consulate is where you need to apply for your Schengen visa. If there are other countries say, Italy or France, for example, dominates most of your travel in Schengen area, then you need to apply for Schengen visa in that country’s consulate. The below image will make it clear to you.
How to Book an Appointment with the Germany Consulate in Chicago?
Please note that the Germany consulates in the USA don’t allow walk-in. You have to make an appointment online. This is the first step to apply for your Germany Schengen visa.
You also, can’t apply for your visa 90 days prior to your planned date of travel to Germany. However, that doesn’t mean that you apply for your visa a week before you intend to travel. Plan out well, so that you have at least one month in between your visa application date and date of departure from the US.
Visit the official German Consulate website in the USA. Choose Chicago from the given list.
Once you click on Chicago, you’ll be redirected to the official website of the German Consulate in Chicago. Here you will get the contact details of the consulate.
Click below to schedule an appointment online.
Choose Schengen visa and click ‘continue‘.
You will be taken to the page below. Enter the ‘Captcha Code‘ and click on continue.
You will see the available dates in dd.mm.yyyy format. Select the date on which you’re available.
You’ll be asked to enter another ‘Captcha Code‘ after you select the date. Remember that these aren’t the only available dates. Once you select one of the dates, you will get to choose a date and you can choose it on the system, based on your availability.
Once you enter the correct ‘Captcha Code‘ you’ll get directed to the page where you can make the appointment.
Click on the chosen date to get to get access to the calendar. Click on your preferred date.
Select the time slot and click on the green-colored arrow on the right, to go to the ‘New Appointment‘ page.
You’ll have to enter a few of your details to make a booking for a new appointment.
Fill in all the details correctly. Ensure these details match your passport details in full.
Enter the ‘Captcha Code‘ and click on submit.
This completes your appointment form. Now fill the visa application form and print it out.
Documents Required for Germany Schengen Visa
The list of the documents that you’ll need to bring to your appointment is long. Make sure you have all the following documents in place for your Germany Schengen Visa application:
- Your original passport
- Your original and valid US Alien Registration Card (aka Green Card or your residence permit) or US Residence Visa which of course, has to be valid
- The print-out of your filled application and appointment form signed by you
- One recent passport photo
- A cover letter
- Your travel itinerary
- Proof of your hotel accommodation
- Your Travel Health Insurance
- Proof of financial sustenance in Germany
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Passport: You need to bring your original passport for the interview. The passport issue date shouldn’t be more than 10 years from the present date. It should have two full blank pages and should have a validity of at least 3 months from the date of your planned exit from Germany.
Permanent Residence Permit: Bring your original US Alien Registration card or your US Residence visa. The validity should be at least 3 months from the date of your planned return to the USA.
A passport photo: This should be a recent one. It should show a clear front-face view and should have a light background. Paste this photo on your printed application form. Don’t staple.
A cover letter: This should clearly explain your purpose of visit to Germany. Include your travel itinerary here. Also, mention the documents you’re submitting along with your application form.
Your travel itinerary: You need to show your round trip flight reservations to get your Germany Schengen visa approved.
Hotel Reservations: You need to show your hotel reservations as well.
Travel Health Insurance: This is very important as you need to prove that you’re covered in case you face any medical emergency. This should be valid for the entire Schengen area and not just Germany. Read this for more detail.
Proof of sustenance: You can show your bank statements, credit cards, and travel cards for this purpose.
For Employees: If you’re employed in the US, bring your employment contract, leave permission, and IT return form.
For Self-employed: If you’re self-employed, bring your business license, company bank statements and IT return documents.
For Foreign Students: A letter from your university and your valid I-20.
For retirees: Previous 6-months pension statements.
What happens on the Day of the Interview?
On the day of the interview, make sure you’re on time. The German Consulate may not be able to process your visa request if you’re late by more than 10 minutes.
Once you reach the consulate, your appointment letter will be verified and you will get a token. After this, you will need to submit your application. Ensure all the documents are arranged and the application form is signed.
Your application and related information will be entered in the online system of the consulate and you will receive a print version of the same. Ensure the details on that document are accurate. Pay for your visa after this. Keep the receipt handy as you will need to show this while collecting your visa.
Next, your biometrics data will be collected which doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. And this completes the application process.
Why should I NOT Book my Flights and Accommodation until My Visa Gets Approved?
You have to show your flight tickets and hotel reservations to get your visa request approved. Making bookings prior to getting your visa approved isn’t a good idea. What if your visa request gets rejected? You’ll end up losing a lot of money.
This is why it’s best to opt for temporary flight and hotel reservations. Use our services to get temporary flight and hotel reservations. Show them at the consulate and increase the chances of getting your visa approved.
What is flight itinerary? Is it accepted by the Schengen consulate ?
Of course, in fact all the embassies mention the same. We have added links to the official visa pages which you can verify.
Your travel itinerary : you MUST BOOK your airline ticket but do not purchase until the visa has been approved.
We recommend that you do not purchase travel tickets until your visa has been approved. On the other hand, you may provide us with a reservation, a planned itinerary or an online printout of a roundtrip ticket.
Travel reservation to and from schengen area, not a ticket. Note: Make travel reservation which you can cancel
Flight (roundtrip)/travel reservations and full itinerary (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries) with the name of passenger and one copy
Round trip ticket/reservation, originating in this jurisdiction to Europe (and ultimately to Italy) and back, including internal entry and exit points of travel i.e. EURORAIL tickets, car rental, internal flights. The names on reservations have to reflect the names on passports.
We can provide you with flight itineraries which is accepted by not only for Schengen visa but for all visas. We have customers using the same flight itinerary for Malaysia visa, Singapore visa, India visa, UK visa etc.
In fact the European union visa requirements for visa states the same.
As per the official document,
Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Schengen state.Schengen authorities accept the itinerary when applying for the visa but request the original air ticket when visa is collected.
That is why we have 100% visa acceptance rate although some of our customer have been requested to provide “additional documents”, none of their visa has been rejected for providing fake documents.
With 80% of our customers being return customers or companies which process visas for their employees/clients, our approach is the best approach if you want to ensure the safety of your visa.
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The best part about our service is along with getting a flight reservation without payment, you can also get confirmed hotel bookings, personal cover letter, leave/no objection letter for your visa consulates.
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Why should I take flight and hotel bookings from you?
We have processed more than 100000 orders in less than 5 years and we offer our services at a very low cost. We also help you in writing the cover letter and planning your itinerary, and all these helps in increasing your chances of visa approval to Schengen countries.
What is the Germany Schengen Visa Fee that I Need to Pay?
You have to pay this fee by making a bank transfer. Credit card payments and cheques aren’t accepted by the German Consulates in the USA.
But there are other alternate costs for Schengen visa especially if you do not want to make flight & hotel bookings in advance since you are not guaranteed of visa . Below is our total cost for Germany Schengen visa
Can I Apply via Post?
No, you cannot. You have to make an appointment online and attend the interview at the Consulate to get your visa approved.
Can I bring a Copy of my Passport and Permanent Residence Proof?
No, you have to present both these documents in their original. Make sure their validity is at least 3 months from the date of your planned return to the US.
What if I’m 17 years old Child Traveling to Germany?
Minors need to bring along a consent letter signed by both the parents unless they are accompanied by the parents to Germany. Submit a copy of both the parent’s passport data pages as well.
If your child is visiting along with you, carry your child’s birth certificate. A family court order is mandatory in the cases of single parents.
I don’t have much Balance in my Bank account and my Trip will be Sponsored by a Relative. What shall I do?
Your relative has to sign an official affidavit of support and you need to bring the same on the day of your interview.
How can My Relative get this Official Affidavit of Support Document?
It is available at the local alien office in their city of residence in Germany.
How long will my Visa Application take?
The processing time can take up to 15 days.
How long will My Visa be valid for?
Your visa will be valid for the number of days mentioned in your travel itinerary. So, while making your travel plans, make sure you include 5-10 extra to your travel itinerary. This will give you enough time to explore all places and there won’t be any rush to leave the country.
Germany consulate in Chicago Information
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
676 North Michigan Avenue – Suite 3200
Chicago, IL 60611-2804