Schengen is an area comprising of 26 European countries. The countries have an agreement to cross borders by an immigrant using one single visa. It is the Schengen visa that grants access to all the nations under the jurisdiction of the Schengen area. The natural beauty, historical heritage, and job opportunities attract a lot of Americans in European countries. The first and foremost step for every US citizen is to check their eligibility for a Schengen visa from the USA. The article will describe all the processes, documents, and steps required to obtain a Schengen visa from the USA.
- Types of Schengen Visa from the USA
- Documents required for Schengen Visa from the USA
- Application process for Schengen Visa from the USA
- Photograph Specifications for a Schengen Visa from the USA
- Authorized Application Centres for a Schengen Visa from the USA
- Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
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Did you know?
Statistics have proved that every year a large number of visitors from the US visit the countries under the European Union.
Types of Schengen Visa from the USA
The types of Schengen visa for US citizens are the same as that of any other international country. There are three types of Schengen visas:
1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
Grants US travellers to visit or reside in any country under the Schengen zone. The stay duration is 90 days every six months counted from the day the US travellers enter the zone. There are three categories of Uniform Schengen visas, namely
- Category ‘A’ – It is essentially an airport transit visa, meant for US travellers who cross a Schengen country while visiting a non-Schengen country. It permits to cross the airport of a Schengen country without entering the region.
- Category ‘B’ – It is a transit visa allowing US travellers to travel to a non-Schengen country via any country under the Schengen area. The transit period granted under this category is 5 days.
- Category ‘C’ – It is known as short term visa. US citizens with Category C visa can stay in Schengen countries for the duration mentioned in the visa. It usually is either a single entry or double entry or multiple entries.
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2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV)
This particular type of Schengen visa for US citizens allows them to travel within a Schengen country or countries from where they have obtained the visa. It does not grant permission to enter into any other Schengen country not mentioned during the Schengen visa application from the USA.
3. National Visas
This particular type of Schengen visa for US citizens permits individuals to study, work or opt for permanent residence in the Schengen countries. It can either for single entry or multiple entries.
Facts to remember : Schengen visa from the USA is not required if any US citizen travels for less than 90 days. A new rule will be levied from 2021 wherein the US citizens need to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) online with a fee of EURO 7. This rule is applicable only for US citizens planning to stay less than 90 days.
Please Note: Schengen visa for US green card holders is mandatory if they are citizens of countries that do not have a visa-free agreement with the countries under the Schengen area.
Documents required for a Schengen Visa from the USA
To apply for a Schengen visa from the USA, the following documents are required:
- A passport with a validity of 3 months from the date of departure from the Schengen countries. The passport must have 2 blank pages at least for the visa stamping.
- Two photographs clicked within the last 3 months. The specifications of the Schengen visa photo are mentioned here.
- The filled up the form for Schengen visa application from the USA. The guidelines for filling up the application form is mentioned here.
- The US residence permit which can either be the residence visa or the US green card needs to be presented during the Schengen visa application from the USA.
- A cover letter stating the purpose of the visit, the Schengen countries planned to visit and the duration of the visit
- Confirmed flight reservations from the USA to Europe and vice versa.
- Proof of accommodation in the Schengen countries. It can be either a hotel reservation or an invitation from a family or a friend being visited or a rental agreement between the landlord and the US citizen
- Evidence to proof means of subsistence during the stay in the Schengen countries. It can be either a bank statement for the last 3 months or a sponsorship letter from the person financially supporting the tour.
- Health insurance needs to be purchased by every US citizen travelling to Europe and submitted during the Schengen visa application from the USA. The insurance must be sufficient to cover an amount of EURO 30,000.
- US employees need to submit the employment agreement additionally, IT returns and the leave granted by the employer as mandatory documents to apply for a Schengen visa from the USA
- Self-employed US citizens need to submit the IT return, I-20 form, company bank statement for last 6 months and a copy of the business license additionally
- Students need to produce a letter of reference from the institution stating the graduation start date and the major subjects
- For US dependants married to European citizens need to submit the marriage certificate, photocopy of spouse passport and employment confirmation letter from the spouse’s employer
- US minors travelling to Europe need to submit their birth certificate and a letter of consent from their parents
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Facts to remember to apply for a Schengen visa in the USA
- Determine the type of Schengen visa required as per the purpose of travel
- Find out the embassy or the consulate which are authorized for Schengen visa application from the USA
- Ensure to collect all the required documents needed to apply for a Schengen visa from the USA
- Schedule the visa appointment at the designated Schengen visa application centre in the US and attend the interview with the passport, documents, and the application form
- Pay the amount as per the Schengen visa fee USA guidelines
- Wair for the Schengen visa to be processed
- Process for obtaining Schengen visa for US green card holders is the same as that of US citizens
Tips and Tricks
If you are in the dilemma of purchasing confirmed flight tickets before receiving the visa, then sort your anxiety by visiting the link https://visareservation.com/. On this website, you can get flight itineraries, hotel reservations, and travel insurance at a certain price without paying the full amount.
Application Process for a Schengen Visa from the USA
Schengen visa application from the USA mandates to fill up an online application form which can be checked from the link https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/download-schengen-visa-application-form/.
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The key fields that need to be filled up are:
- Name and surname of the US applicant
- Date, place, and country of birth
- Marital status
- Passport details including number, date of issue and date of expiry
- Address, email id and contact details of the US applicant
- Occupation details
- Purpose of the trip
- Duration of the stay with the arrival and departure dates
- Details of the Schengen visas issued from the USA in the last 3 years
The application form must be filled up with the correct information and duly signed by the US applicant and submitted.
Facts to remember : If the applicant is minor, then the application form needs to be signed by parents or guardians.
Photograph Specifications for a Schengen Visa from the USA
Schengen visa photo specifications must be strictly adhered to avoid visa rejections or delays. The specs are mentioned below:
- The photographs must not be older than 3 months
- The size of the photo must be 35 mm X 45 mm
- It must be coloured one
- The background must be white or light coloured
- The face must be looking straight at the camera
- The colour of the dress must not mingle with the background
Authorized Application Centers for a Schengen Visa from the USA
The embassies of the 26 Schengen countries are present at Washington DC.
The consulates of the Schengen countries are present in the following US locations:
- Estonia – The consulate is at New York
- Finland – The consulates are at New York and Los Angeles
- France – The consulates are at Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
- Germany – The consulates are at Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
- Greece – The consulates are at Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, San Francisco
- Hungary – The consulates are at Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
- Iceland – The consulates are at Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco
- Italy – The consulates are at Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco
- Latvia – the only embassy is at Washington DC
- Lithuania – The consulates are at Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
- Luxembourg – The consulates are at New York, San Francisco
- Malta – The embassy is at Washington DC
- The Netherlands – The embassy is at Washington DC, and the consulates are at Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco
- Norway – The consulates are Houston, New York, San Francisco
- Poland – The consulates are at Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
- Portugal – The consulates are at Boston, New Bedford, New York, Newark, Providence, San Francisco
- Slovakia – The consulate is at New York
- Slovenia – The consulate is at Cleveland
- Spain – The consulates are at Boston, Chicago, Houston, LA, Miami, NY, SFO
- Sweden – The consulates are at Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Florida, Hamilton in Bermuda, Honolulu, Hoston, NY, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Phoenix in Arizona, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Diego, SFO, Seattle, St. Louis
- Switzerland – The consulates are at Atlanta, NY, SFO
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Important Facts for a Schengen Visa from the USA
- The Schengen visa fee USA is USD 41 for children between the age group of 6 and 12 years and USD 70 for adults
- The Schengen visa processing time is usually 10 working days
- Schengen visa is granted an extension for two weeks for tourism purposes. For continuation of medical treatment or attending funeral, etc., visa extension for a few weeks is granted on humanitarian grounds. In case of any natural disasters in the home state of residence in the US, the visa holder is granted extension as per the needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I get a Schengen visa from the USA?
To apply for a Schengen visa in the USA, you need to submit your passport, photograph, application form and mandatory documents at the Schengen embassies and consulates in the USA.
2. How long does it take to get a Schengen visa?
It generally takes 10 working days to get a Schengen visa, which may extend in case of additional verifications.
3. How much does it cost for a Schengen visa?
Schengen visa fee USA is USD 41 for children between the age group of 6 and 12 years and USD 70 for adults.
4. How much is bank balance required for a Schengen visa?
You are required to maintain a bank balance of EURO 3000 for the last 6 months to obtain a Schengen visa.
5. What countries can US green card holders visit without a visa?
US green cardholders can visit the countries of Canada, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Caribbean part of the Kingdom of Netherlands and Jamaica without a visa.
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