Germany was the second most visited country in the year 2016. About 2 million applications came to Germany from around the world.
Out of these 2 million Germany Schengen visa applications, about 1200 of them came from the German consulate in Washington DC.
The rejection rate for Germany Schengen visa is quite high, about 6%. And this is the one of the highest amongst the rejection rates of all the other Schengen countries.
But don’t worry, if you follow the right steps, you can get your Germany Schengen visa quite easily. If you want a short-stay visa, i.e. for less than 90 days, then you are in the right place.
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This article is a detailed guide on how you can get your Germany short-stay Schengen visa which can be used for either tourism or visiting someone known in that country.
Germany Schengen visa application procedure
There are basically five steps involved in getting a Schengen visa.
Find out if a visa is necessary for you to visit Germany.
Find out if you can apply from the German embassy in Washington DC.
Fix your appointment with the German consulate online ( Get Schengen visa appointment for $ 10 )
Get all the required documents ready.
Start the processing of your visa by attending the interview.
Read further for a detailed explanation of each of these steps.
Do you really need a short-stay Schengen visa to visit Germany?
Whether or not you will need a Germany Schengen visa to visit Germany from Washington DC depends solely on your nationality. If your country mandates a visa, you will need to get one.
Can you get your Germany Schengen visa from the German Embassy in Washington DC?
You can only get your Germany Schengen visa from the German Embassy if you are a permanent resident of these states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Michigan, and South Dakota.
Will you need a Germany Schengen visa if you are a US Permanent Resident?
Sadly, yes, you will need a visa to visit Germany. If you are a US Permanent Resident or a former Green Card holder, then your residency permit will need to have a validity of at least 3 months post your return date from Germany.
But don’t be worried, because this guide will take you through the entire process of getting yourself a Germany Schengen visa.
Germany Schengen visa for a B1/B2 visa holder
In case you are only visiting the US for a short or long stay and not a US permanent resident, you cannot apply for a visa from the German Consulate in Washington DC. You will need to apply for the visa in your own country.
Are you certain that you can get your Germany Schengen visa from the German consulate?
Once you have cleared all the conditions above, you can get yourself a visa from the German consulate. But for this, your main theme of traveling to Europe should be visiting Germany. If a major part of your travel plan includes visiting another country like Italy or France, then it is better you get your Schengen visa from their consulates. You can take a look at the image below to better understand this.
How can you get an appointment with the German consulate?
German consulates in America don’t allow you to walk in to get your visa application approved. You will need to get an appointment first. And the only way to get this appointment is by scheduling it online.
You will also need to remember that you cannot apply for your Germany Schengen visa from Washington more than 90 days prior to your travel. But this doesn’t mean that you save the process of getting your visa to only a week before your travel.
Plan your trip properly so that you have the time of at least a month between your visa application and your travel to Germany.
You can visit the official German consulate website to start booking your appointment.
Scroll down the page and click on “Washington DC” to start booking your appointment from the German Consulate in Washington.
You will be taken to a page that looks like the image above. Scroll down to find “Visa Appointment Procedure” and click on it. This will take you to another page that explains the application procedure for a Germany Schengen visa. Read this carefully before you start booking your appointment with the German consulate.
Once you are done reading it, click on “Online Appointment System“. This will take you to another page of instructions. It is recommended that you read this carefully as well.
Once you are done with this, scroll down and click on “Continue” under the visa application section.
You will then be asked to choose a category. Click on “Continue” under Schengen visa. You will be taken to a page where you will get more information on Schengen visa and also a list of all the documents you will need to carry.
Enter the captcha as you see in the image in the dialogue box and then click on “Continue“. You will get a list of dates that are available for you to book your appointment on.
Pick the date of your choice and click on “Appointments are available” across the same. You will be redirected to another captcha page where you will need to fill the characters to Continue. Once you are done with this, you will be taken to another page that shows different time slots.
Choose your preferred time slot and click on “Book this appointment“. You will then reach a page where you will have to fill in your details to complete your application process.
Fill in the form, enter the captcha at the bottom of the page, and click on “Submit“. This completes the process of scheduling your appointment with the German consulate.
After this, download the Schengen visa application form, fill it up, and print it out to take it to your interview with the consulate.
What are all the documents required for your Germany Schengen visa?
The list of all the documents required for your interview is quite long. But ensure that you have all of these documents in place before your interview to increase the chances of getting your visa application approved.
A recent passport-sized photograph
Your original passport
Your original Residence permit
Filled and printed visa application form containing your signatures
A travel cover letter
Flight itinerary and hotel accommodation
Travel health insurance documents
Proof of sustenance
An additional set of documents depending on your age or occupation
Read further to get more details on each of these documents.
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Passport-sized photo: This will need to be your recent photograph. Ensure that it has a clear front face, a light background, and it needs to be pasted onto your visa application form. Avoid stapling it.
Passport: You will need to carry your original passport and it will need to have at least a 3-month validity post your return date from Germany. It shouldn’t be issued to you more than 10 years earlier than the current date either. See to it that the passport has at least 2 empty pages for the interview as well.
Residence permit: You will also need to carry your original US Alien Registration card or your Permanent Residence permit for the interview. It should be valid for at least 3 months from the date of your return from Germany.
Travel cover letter: This is an extremely important document that you will need to carry for your Germany Schengen visa application interview. It should clearly list your purpose of visit to Germany along with your travel details and a list of all the documents you will be subitting along with your application form.
Travel itinerary and hotel reservations: You will need to show proof of your round-trip travel itinerary to Germany from Washinton. The proof of hotel reservations is also an important document to be shown at the interview.
Travel health insurance: It is important for the embassy to know if you will be covered if there is a medical emergency while you are traveling in Germany. Ensure that this is valid in all the Schengen countries and not just in Germany.
Proof of sustenance: You can provide the proof of your sustenance by giving your bank statement and credit card and travel card statements.
Additional documents: These additional documents are dependant on whether you are employed in the US, or if you are a student, or if you are retired.
Employed in The US: You will need to carry your employment contract, your IT return documents, and also a leave permission.
Self-employed: Carry your business license, business bank statements, and also your IT return documents.
Student: You will need a leave permission from your university along with your I-20.
Retired: Carry the pension statements from the previous 6 months.
What to do on the day of the interview for your Germany Schengen visa?
Note that you will need to reach the consulate on time on the day of your interview. If you are more than 10 minutes late, the consulate will not be able to process your application.
The first step is that your appointment letter will be verified, after which you will receive a token. Submit your application after this along with all your documents. Ensure that all your documents are in place and that your application has been signed by you.
All the information regarding your application will be entered into the consulate’s system. You will also get a printed version of the same. Go through the document to see if all the details are entered correctly. You will need to pay for your visa after this. Keep the receipt you get handy as you will need it while collecting your visa.
Finally, your biometrics will be taken, which is a short procedure and won’t take more than 10 minutes. This completes the entire process of applying for your visa.
Should you really book your flight tickets and get your hotel accommodation before you get your visa approved?
It is recommended that you not make these bookings before you get your application for a Germany Schengen visa approved. With the high rejection rates, there are chances that your application might get rejected and you will lose a lot of money in the process.
Instead, you can get temporary flight bookings and hotel reservations instead. This not only increases your chances of getting your visa approved, but you can also make them your permanent bookings whenever you want.
Want temporary flight, hotel or insurance for your Schengen visa appointment?
Reasons why you should get temporary bookings from Travel Visa Bookings
In just a span of 5 years, we have processed more than 100000 orders. Along with this, our services are also extremely affordable. You can get your cover letter, plan your itinerary, and also increase your chances of getting your Germany Schengen visa approved.
What are the prices that you will incur?
The table above shows you the cost of getting a visa for both short and long stays. You will need to make this payment by making a bank transfer. This is because German consulates don’t accept payments made through cheques.
But in case you want details of just a short-stay visa, refer to the table below. Especially if you want to avoid making advanced bookings of your flight and hotel. The table also gives you the cost of getting yourself a travel insurance.
Can you get your Germany Schengen visa via Post?
No, you can’t. You will need to go through the entire process of scheduling an interview online, applying for it at the consulate, and then get your visa.
Is it fine to bring a copy of your passport or permanent residence proof to the interview?
No, you will need to carry your original passport and the Permanent Residence proof as well. The details of the validity of these documents have been mentioned above in the Documents Required section in the same article.
What if you are a minor traveling to Germany?
If you are a minor, you will need to bring a consent letter that is signed by both your parents to the interview. Also, submit a copy of your parents’ passports to the consulate.
In case you are a parent traveling to Germany along with your minor, you will need to carry your child’s birth certificate. In case you are a single parent, you will also need to carry the family court’s order approving your travel to Germany.
What if you don’t have a valid bank balance but your relative is funding your travel to Germany?
Your relative will need to sign a document called the official affidavit of support in this case. You will need to submit this document to the consulate on the day of your interview.
Your relative can easily find this document in any local alien office at their city in Germany.
How long will it take for your visa application to get approved and what is its validity?
It typically takes 15 days to process your visa application. Your visa will only be valid for the number of days you are traveling, depending on your travel itinerary. So, to be on the safer side, ensure that you have at least 5-10 days of the buffer when you are applying for your visa. This will also allow you to check all the places you want to visit during your travel. You will also not be in a rush to leave the country.
Information of Germany consulate in Washington DC
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
4645 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
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