I need a German visa. I am on a student visa in Seattle. I am an Indian Citizen so I definitely need a visa to enter and I don't want to go down to San Francisco to get a visa, any suggestions what I should do?

  • Yes, go to a different Schengen country. Or at least pretend to.
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 30, 2016 at 22:23
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    @Azor-Ahai I suggest that Karan is trying to avoid making a 1,600mi (2,500km) round trip, not objecting to any specific Bay-Area airport! (I.e., "SFO" is being used as an abbreviation for San Francisco, not for its airport.) Mar 31, 2016 at 0:53
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    Can you clarify why going to San Francisco (or perhaps the SFO airport in particular) is a problem? Do you dislike trolley cars? Or you just don't want to trave at all? Knowing your reason will help us know what kind of alternative you're looking for.
    – Flimzy
    Mar 31, 2016 at 7:08
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    @Flimzy I think the most sensible assumption here is simply that the OP doesn't want to make a 1000km journey just to get a visa
    – blackbird
    Mar 31, 2016 at 12:43
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    @Aganju doesn't work, updated my answer below
    – blackbird
    Mar 31, 2016 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, you cannot.

According to their consulates page the San Francisco mission covers Washington state where you are, if you are in the catchment area you cannot apply elsewhere. It does seem to be the closest to you anyway.

Also, you have to travel there in person because they now collect biometric data (meaning you can't mail-in an application)

Now, starting Thursday, May 15, 2014, the visa sections at the German missions in the U.S. will begin collecting biometric data, that is, fingerprints, for Schengen visas as part of the Visa Information System (VIS).


If you're looking for alternatives, you cannot apply at the Vancouver office because they specifically only serve Canadians or Canadian PR holders, and BC residents have to apply at the Swiss office anyway.

Only applications from residents of Canada (Permanent residents, persons holding a Canadian student visa or work permit) can be accepted. Applications from persons holding long-term visitor’s visa can only be accepted, if you can prove that it was not possible to apply in your home country.

Similarly, the Swedish consulate in Seattle is an honorary consulate and will advise you to apply in San Francisco with the Norwegians or in DC at the embassy.

San Francisco is also the application office for the French and Norwegian embassies. I'm mentioning this because they have chapters in Seattle. I couldn't find any other Schengen country with a visa service in Seattle

  • 2
    The good news, at least, is that there are frequent and relatively inexpensive flights between Seattle and San Francisco. Just think if you lived in rural Montana! Mar 30, 2016 at 21:10
  • Actually, Canadian citizens who are not resident in Canada may not apply in Vancouver. Also, contrary to your text, but as noted in the quote, the consulate also serves non-permanent residents. The rule is that you must apply at the consulate in whose area you live. A person resident in Ottawa can't apply in Vancouver either, regardless of citizenship. (There are exceptions for people who have a compelling reason to apply elsewhere than the "home" consulate, but they do not apply here.)
    – phoog
    Apr 1, 2016 at 23:34
  • @phoog yea ok I didn't quote the whole text only the parts relevant to the OP
    – blackbird
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:50

If it is a special hardship for you to go to San Francisco and not another German consulate in the United Stated, you might be able to get your application processed e.g. by the consulate in Boston or Miami. This is an even longer trip, but you might be in one of those places, anyway.

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