Are you baffle about the despite residing in the USA, you need to obtain a Schengen Visa? Your confusion is not pointless as USA citizens do not require the Schengen Visa to enter the 26 European countries that have the Schengen agreement. Non-USA citizens living in the USA on a temporary or permanent visa need to apply for the Schengen visa if their home countries have not yet established a visa-free relationship with the Schengen countries. Even green card holders residing in the USA need to apply for the Schengen Visa. Here you can get some ideas about how to apply for Schengen visa from the USA.
Where do you need to apply for the visa?
There are a variety of places where you can apply for your Schengen Visa. You can apply for a visa from any of the Schengen embassies and consulates that are located in the USA. You can also apply for the visa in the centres to which the visa application has been outsourced by the USA. If you are visiting the USA by a B1/B2 visa, you need to apply for the Schengen Visa from the country you are from.
Port of Entry
The port of entry determines the embassy or the consulate you need to apply for your visa. It is the country that you intend to land while visiting the Schengen countries. For example- if your port of entry is in France, then you need to apply to the French Embassies or consulates in the USA.
Schengen Visa applies for single, multiple or double-entry visa. Single entry Visa indicates that once you leave the Schengen countries, you cannot enter it again even if your visa has validity. Whereas, double-entry Visa means that you can re-enter the Schengen countries again after exiting it. Multiple entries Visa states that you can re-enter the Schengen countries after leaving it for as many times as you want within the 90/180 rule.
When to apply for the visa?
You need to give time to the Schengen embassies to process your visa application. You can apply at the most 6 months before you plan to visit the European countries. It recommends filing your visa application at least 15 days before your scheduled trip.
Filling up the application form of the visa meticulously
It is important to download the application form for the visa and fill it without making any mistakes. The application form requires your personal details, your background, the description of your trip and your reason for wanting to visit the Schengen countries. Before filling the application form for the Schengen Visa, you must double-check the form and make sure that you have left out no information. It is inadvisable to leave any blank space. You must fill the gaps where you cannot provide any information with NA. It is also important to print the form two times. It is necessary to sign the two copies.
Several documents present to obtain the Schengen Visa. These documents are:
- The application form of the Visa.
- The permit citing your proof of residence in the USA.
- A valid passport.
- A recently taken photograph.
- Enough money to last your trip to the Schengen countries. This could either be a bank statement or a sponsorship letter.
- Proof of the flights that you have booked for your trip.
- Proof of where you will stay in the Schengen countries.
- A minimum of Europe Travel Health Insurance of 30,000 EUR.
Interview for the visa
The interview process for the Schengen Visa is the most important part of obtaining the Visa. Many applicants reject based on their failure to answer the questions asked in an interview. The timeframe involved in the interviewing of the applications lasts for about 10-15 minutes. The applicants ask for a series of questions regarding their personal life, their reason to visit the Schengen countries and various other details.
Various questions are asks during the interview process. Some of the questions that may be asked are:
- Do you have the financial capacity to visit the Schengen countries?
- Why do you want to visit Schengen countries?
- Do you have any family or friends who live in Schengen countries?
- What are the details of your employment service?
A specific amount of fee needs to be deposited to obtain the Schengen Visa. All the Schengen countries have the same fees and are fixed. Changes to the fee structure can be implemented by the Schengen countries at any time.
The fee for the Schengen Visa is 80 EUR per person. Although the fee is exacted in the Euro amount, the equivalent value can be paid by the USD. Children between the age of 6 and 12 and the Nationals from various countries like Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have to pay a reduced amount of fee. Various individuals like students, diplomats, researchers, etc. do not have to pay any fee at all.
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Status of the visa application
The last part of obtaining the Schengen Visa is either its approval or rejection. After filing the form and undergoing the interview process, all you need to do is wait for the status of your visa.
Getting approval for the Schengen Visa doesn’t mean that your work ends here. After obtaining the visa, you need to be aware of the visa sticker and the labels that come with it. It includes the timeframe which allows you to stay in the Schengen countries and the number of entries. If your visa rejects, you can appeal again.
These are the steps that you can follow to apply for the Schengen Visa from the USA. It is important to know about the 90/180 Visa rule. According to this rule, you can stay in the Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days (the entry date is the date put on the passport at the border and the exit date is the date you leave the Schengen countries) within a period of 180 days.