Updated on 25.02.2022

Visa question of the month - Passport sent to wrong address, what now?

Your question: After a successful interview at the US Consulate in Frankfurt, my passport has now been sent. As it turns out, the passport has now been deposited by the consulate for collection instead. How do I proceed?

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Your question

After a successful interview at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, my passport has now been shipped. Since I live 400 km away, I had booked UPS shipping to my home address for passport delivery. However, my shipping notification now says that my passport is ready at a pick-up station in Offenbach. How do I proceed now?

Our answer

We are currently receiving an increasing number of reports of problems with the return of passports (including US visas). The three US consulates in Germany are affected: Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt/Main.

Background: To obtain a U.S. visa, applicants must either appear in person at the U.S. Consulate or (if possible) submit the application by mail. In both cases, the passport must be presented or mailed and will remain at the U.S. Consulate until the visa is issued.

How the passport gets back into the hands of the applicants can be selected during an application step in the online profile itself. Two variants are available:

  • For an additional fee of currently 27.85 euros, the passport can be delivered to a German address via UPS (Premium Delivery).
  • Alternatively, the passport can be picked up in person free of charge at one of the three external pick-up stations (Berlin, Munich or Offenbach) after the visa has been issued. Pick-up at the U.S. Consulate is not possible.

If the chargeable delivery by UPS is booked, it is necessary to specify in the Online profile specify an address to which the passport will be sent within about a week after the visa is issued.

If the passport is shipped or is available at the pick-up station, applicants will receive a shipment notification including the shipment number.

In recent weeks, there have been repeated irregularities in this connection, with passports that were supposed to be delivered by UPS being left at pick-up stations more frequently.

If you are affected by this, you can proceed as follows:

Option 1: Collection of the documents

If you happen to live within the radius of the pick-up stations (Berlin, Munich or Offenbach) and have the opportunity to pick up your passport in person, this is the fastest option. You will findhereall address details and other important details for the pickup. In particular, that a pickup is possible at the earliest on the day following the pickup notification and that you must identify yourself by means of photo ID and the shipment number.

Option 2: Subsequent dispatch of the documents b UPS to the correct address

Unfortunately, this variant is much more difficult. To understand in advance: The US consulate works with several external service providers who coordinate the visa application process. They are responsible, for example, for the call center, management of online profiles and their technical implementation, payment processes and postal delivery/collection of passports. If there is a problem with the passport shipment, neither the U.S. consulate itself nor the responsible call center can usually help you directly.

The correct procedure would be: First, please contact the service provider GTS by e-mail at [email protected]

Explain the problem briefly (ideally in English) and be sure to include your full name, date of birth, passport number and the shipment number you received, as well as your DS 160 transaction number (AA00...). In addition, we recommend that you attach a copy of your passport to the email, as well as the shipment information you received. As proof that you have paid the Premium Delivery fee correctly (27.85 Euro UPS) you should also include the UID number (you can find it on your appointment confirmation in the MRV fee payments section) and confirm again the correct address to which the passport should be delivered.

In the best case, you will receive straightforward information that the passport will be delivered from the collection station to your originally selected address. Stay on the ball if they do not want to help you directly and insist on a friendly delivery / solution. Especially if the flight to the USA is scheduled soon, this process can be nerve-wracking once again.

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Updated on 25.02.2022