I am a foreign national residing in US on a valid work permit which has validity stamped on my passport until 2019. I intend to travel to Germany for the period of a week and have my Schengen visa appointment booked in Los Angeles, California. I reside in San Francisco and scheduled the appointment in LA due to immediate unavailability of appointments in SF. Is it possible to go into the LA office for the visa - I currently see no requirements in the list that ask for a proof of residence? Suggestions/Advice?

  • 1
    You already booked an appointment in LA and you want to know if it's ok? It's OK as long as the application centre is in the US and you are living in the US. Otherwise they don't care if you live in SF or LA or or whatever. Just show up with all your stuff..
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 6:14
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    @GayotFow that's not how it's supposed to work. Consulates have defined territories and are supposed to accept applications only from those who reside in their territories.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 0:32
  • @phoog true for the German mission in DC, but LA has no such restriction.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 1:22
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    germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/03__Consulates/00/… lists specific counties for LA consulate. SF county obviously isn't there.
    – George Y.
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:15
  • Got it..looks like it could go either way. For now I have just changed the appointment to go to a French consulate in SF. Probably easier to fly from Paris to Berlin in view of unavailability of appointments immediately
    – skarred14
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


Strictly speaking, you should apply at the consulate in San Francisco. Article 6 of the Schengen Visa Code:

Consular territorial competence

1.   An application shall be examined and decided on by the consulate of the competent Member State in whose jurisdiction the applicant legally resides.

2.   A consulate of the competent Member State shall examine and decide on an application lodged by a third-country national legally present but not residing in its jurisdiction, if the applicant has provided justification for lodging the application at that consulate.

Justification is illustrated in the Handbook for the processing of visa applications, Part II, section 2.8, which suggests that unavailability of appointments at the competent consulate does not constitute sufficient justification.

The San Francisco consulate general describes its jurisdiction thus:

The German Consulate General in San Francisco is the official representation of the Federal Government of Germany in Northern California, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the American overseas territories American Samoa, Baker-, Howland-, Jarvis-, Johnston-, Midway- and Palmyra-Island.

The Los Angeles consulate general has this to say:

The Consulate General's area of jurisdiction covers the California counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah.

You can always try, however. Please come back and post an answer if you do.

In a comment, you write

For now I have just changed the appointment to go to a French consulate in SF. Probably easier to fly from Paris to Berlin in view of unavailability of appointments immediately

This strategy is unlikely to succeed. The French consulate is not competent to handle visa applications for proposed travel in which the main destination is Germany. The French consulate should therefore reject the application with instructions to apply at the German consulate.

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