Updated on 03.11.2023
In addition to the actual application, the US visa application process also includes planning for the return of the passport after successful processing. The route by which the passport is to be delivered once the US visa application has been approved is determined during the appointment.
There are various options available for returning the passport, including personal collection or delivery by a courier service. The desired delivery method for the passport is stored directly in the personal visa profile online.
If the US visa is verbally approved by the consular officer during the interview appointment, the applicant's passport will be temporarily retained for visa issuance. Once the US visa has been printed and affixed to the passport, it will be returned to the applicant according to the selected delivery option.
Since the end of 2018, the return of the passport has been associated with additional costs, the amount of which may vary depending on the country of application.
In Germany, the delivery option for the passport or US visa is also specified before the visa interview. To enter the location or delivery information, you must first create a new visa profile or call up your visa profile on the website of the visa service provider U.S. Travel Docs. Once you have logged into the profile and made a new appointment, you can enter the delivery address.
In Germany, passports can either be collected in person (free of charge) or sent by Premium Delivery (subject to a charge). We present the two options below:
Once the US visa has been approved, applicants can collect their passport from one of the Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) locations.
Mail Boxes Etc. 0202 Berlin
Bundesallee 116, 12161 Berlin
Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:30 (except on public holidays, on December, 24 and December, 31)
Mail Boxes Etc. 2545 Garching near Munich
Schleißheimer Str. 15, 85748 Garching bei München
Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 17:30 (except on public holidays, on December, 24 and December, 31)
Mail Boxes Etc. 0009 Frankfurt
Eschersheimer Landstr. 42, 60322 Frankfurt
Mon - Fri: 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00 (closed on public holidays, on December, 24 and December, 31)
The collection is free of charge and is available to all applicants in Germany. As soon as the passport is ready for collection at a selected location, applicants usually receive a notification by e-mail or text message.
You can only pick up your passport in the city where the processing / visa interview takes place, as it is not possible to send documents between the different locations of the US consulates or the US embassy.
It is not permitted to collect the passport directly from the US consulate or the US embassy, as only the respective MBE locations are available for this purpose.
You must present a photo ID and the parcel number (ISL number) when collecting your passport. If you authorize another person to collect the passport on your behalf, this person must present a power of attorney, a photo ID and the parcel number. We recommend that the third person also provides a copy of the passport.
The passport will be kept for a maximum of 14 calendar days at the respective pick-up location.
Usually there is hardly any difference in terms of time whether you choose personal collection or premium delivery. However, there are always cases where you are not notified that your passport is ready for collection at an MBE location. We therefore generally recommend premium delivery.
Most of the business customers we support use the premium service and have the passport delivered to the company address. In this case, please ensure that the company name is stated in the return address.
If applicants absolutely wish to have their documents collected, we advise them to collect them themselves and not have them collected by a third party in order to avoid potential problems.
The delivery of the passport is handled slightly different in each country, i.e. depending on the US consulate. Both the amount of the delivery fee and the available payment options may vary from country to country and should therefore always be checked individually. All changes can be viewed online in your visa profile.
Below are a few selected examples:
We offer a comprehensive range of services to ensure that your visa application goes smoothly.
We offer a comprehensive range of services to ensure your visa application goes smoothly:
It is possible to change both your delivery address and the delivery option at a later date. This change is free of charge and must be made on the GTS platform.
If you have opted for Premium Home Delivery and paid the delivery fee, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from GTS Premium. This e-mail contains a link in case you want or need to change the delivery address again.
If you would like your passport to be sent by post or premium delivery instead of personal collection, you can arrange this as follows:
Changes to passport delivery are only possible up to 23:59 on the day before your visa appointment. If possible, no changes should be made after this time. However, if you change the delivery address or option after this deadline, there is a risk that there will be a delay in the delivery of your passport.
From the first day after the visa appointment, no more changes to the passport delivery are possible.
The passport will be retained at the US consulate and sent by mail with the visa after processing. It normally takes around seven to ten days to return the passport.
However, there may be fluctuations in the delivery of passports depending on the season. Depending on the volume of orders
may be shortened or lengthened.
With a bit of luck, you could have your passport in your hands within a few days. In the worst case scenario, it can take up to two weeks to return your passport. It is therefore advisable to plan a buffer for passport delivery.
You will be notified by e-mail and text message that your passport has been delivered to the desired address or is ready for collection at the selected location. If you need an update in the meantime and would like to check the status of processing, you have several options.
You can check the status of your visa application online at the earliest three working days after the interview appointment and thus see whether your visa has been approved or rejected.
You can track the return of your passport in various ways.
You can enter your passport number directly on the website of the visa service provider U.S. Travel Docs to check the shipment status.
Alternatively, you can visit the website of the courier service UPS to track the sending of your passport. Please have your tracking number ready.
You can also send a query by e-mail to [email protected] by entering your passport number in the subject line and / or in the body of the e-mail. You will then receive an automatic reply with the shipment status.
Please do not write any additional text in the e-mail.
US embassies and US consulates do not provide information on the status of passport shipments. Therefore, please avoid contacting the US consular offices regarding the return of your passport.
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