How to enter the American Consulate in Frankfurt

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Went to the consulate today to renew my passport. I went in person because I was supposed to go with my minor child to renew hers as well, and as you know, child renewals are basically new applications, requiring an appearance with both parents. But, my partner couldn't come any longer, so I canceled her appointment and just kept mine. The other reason is I didn't want to deal with the payment methods by post, and it isn't too much of a hassle for me to go to the consulate.

 

If you're also dropping of a DS-82, you can just show up between 1 and 2 on Mondays and Thursdays too, without an appointment.

 

I went to the main visitor's entrance on Giessener Strasse. Don't go straight to the US citizen's queue. Go to the one for visa applicants first because there is a sign there that's hard to see telling you to get a number before getting back into the US citizen's queue with basically everyone. Nobody was telling me this, and I figured it out only after waiting for about 10 minutes. Idiots.

 

The person at the window will check your stuff and give you a number that the security guard will want. Also, even though the consulate now says bring nothing electronic, as it won't be stored, this is bullshit, and they will store your electronics, at least as of today. I think they just try to get people to keep everything at home or in the car, but they will not turn you away, even though the email says they will.

 

Finally, you go into the main building, straight to a window at the back (22), submit and pay for the application, and leave. No need to go upstairs for a renewal.

 

I was told it could take 6-8 weeks! Hopefully, it will be less, because it took 1 week for my kids' passports and CRBAs to arrive. But, COVID times could mean a delay.

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@kaffeemitmilch, thank you so much for your comment! Before I read it, I was nervous to take ~4 trains across Germany without taking my cellphone, in case of delays or itinerary changes. I hope you won't mind a couple questions:

 

What time did you arrive? I've heard that for some German government offices, you must arrive hours early to get a spot in line.

 

How long did it take for you to receive the passport?

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I arrived like 20 minutes before I think. Not long. I got my passport in a couple of weeks. I used the passport status alert website which let me know my passport had been sent to the consulate after only six days. I then expected it to be sent to me a couple of days later, but no luck, so I emailed them asking whether I would receive it soon as I needed to cross a border. They said it takes time for the passport to get sent out of the consulate, but I think they did me a favor and sent mine off. So, you can always do this and even make up a reason if you're not really traveling.

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