The Embassy and Consulates are the Places to go if Something Goes Wrong While You are Living in Germany

Living abroad has its perks and its issues, however, there is one place that is always available should someone require assistance while living in another country. Not every country has United States Embassies. Luckily, Germany is one of the many countries with a U.S. Embassy and Consulates.

What is the purpose of an embassy or consulate?

Headed by an ambassador, the purpose of an embassy is to take care of diplomatic and political issues with the nation in which it is located. The ambassador represents their home country and acts as the spokesperson for their government. The consulates are represented by consuls, and they take care of issues involving their nation’s citizens, whether visiting or residing, as well as the nation’s commercial affairs. A U.S. Consulate is the best place to get any help or information while residing in Germany.

What kinds of services do the embassy and consulates in Germany provide?

Any issues involving a passport or visa can be taken care of at a consulate in Germany. Should a U.S. citizen require funds, then an embassy or consulate can assist in contacting family or a bank. The embassy or consulate will typically be unable to issue money to citizens, however. Consulates can check in on U.S. citizens who are arrested or incarcerated; however, they are unable to get involved in any legal matters, other than to assist in finding a lawyer. The embassy or consulate also assists in dealing with paperwork upon the birth of a child to U.S. citizens in Germany or upon the death of a U.S. citizen in Germany.

If a U.S. citizen wishes to get married in Germany, the embassy or consulate can offer help with the process, as well as with the process of moving non-citizens married to citizens. Consulates cannot offer legal assistance with the international adoption process; they can, however, help find a lawyer who deals with international adoption. The consulate can assist those who need documents notarized, and they are also able to assist with absentee ballots. The embassy and consulate are limited in their ability to help with tax issues; however, since U.S. citizens must pay taxes even when they live out of state, there is an IRS office at the Berlin Embassy should someone require assistance.

An important note about embassies and consulates is that they are very limited in the amount of assistance they can provide with legal matters. Expatriates living in Germany must adhere to the German legal system, and if someone needed any legal help, they would need to contact a lawyer. The only way the embassy or consulate could help is by assisting in finding an attorney.

List of embassy and consulates in Germany

The U.S. Embassy in Germany is located in Berlin. Click here to visit the embassy’s website.

There are U.S. Consulates located in the following cities in Germany:

  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • Hamburg
  • Leipzig
  • Munich

For more information on what each consulate in Germany has to offer, click here.

It is always beneficial to know where the nearest embassy or consulate is when moving abroad. Should the need ever arise, the embassy or consulate can help with any number of issues while living in Germany. If they cannot help with an issue, they can usually direct an individual to the information, office, or person who can help.


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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