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I am applying for a J1 visa for the US. I am studying in Switzerland but I am not a permanent resident there. I am German.

To apply for the visa, to which embassy/consulate do I need to go?

Since I am German and my German home address is my permanent one I would assume that I would have to go to a German consulate.

Is this correct?

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As stated on the US Travel Docs website:

"Applicants are generally advised to apply in their country of nationality or residence. Any person who is legally present in Switzerland may apply for a visa in Switzerland"

As such, you can apply either in Switzerland or Germany.

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