US citizens doesn’t need a Schengen visa to travel Europe within 90 days in any given period of 180 days. However, non-US citizens including green card holders who are citizens of a country for which visa-free travel to Schengen area is not permitted need to apply for Schengen visa.
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa in US?
Not everyone can file a Schengen visa application while in the US. Only the following qualify for visa application submission at the Schengen embassies / consulates / VACs in the US:
- • US passport holders who have been refused entry to Europe.
- • Nationals of third countries, which are required to obtain a visa to Europe, living in the US under a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Visitors to US should apply for the Schengen visa from their country permanent residence. Embassies in the US only process visa applications of foreigners residing in the US on a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Schengen visa application process in USA
You just simply follow the regular Schengen visa application process.
- Figure out which Schengen visa type you need
- Find out where you need to apply
- Find the most suitable time to apply
- Book an appointment
- Fill out the visa application form
- Gather the required documents
- Attend the visa interview
- Pay the visa fee
- Wait for an answer on your application
Read more the detail steps to apply for a Schengen visa.
Where do you apply for a Schengen visa in USA?
There are many Schengen area embassies and consulates in the USA where you can apply and go for an interview in person. However, most of them have outsourced their visa application process to VFS global. You have to schedule an appointment before you can go to the consulate in person.
There are strict rules if that country have outsourced the process to VFS, you would apply with them. If not you must apply directly with Schengen embassy or consulate.
Although the official Schengen visa fees are in Euros, you can pay in US dollars. However, the exact amount of US dollars will change from time to time.
Schengen Visa Requirements for US Green Card Holders and Permanent Residents
To apply for a Schengen visa from US, you must collect the following documents:
• A complete and signed Visa application form
• A valid passport or Travel document. Your passport has been issued (not extended) within the previous 10 years, has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page, and valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the EU.
• US residence permit. You must present original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit aka. Green Card) or valid US residence visa (e.g. type A, E, F plus endorsed I-20 by competent authority, G: H; I; J; plus J1 documents, L, O, R)
• Photo visa meet the requirements of Schengen visa photo.
• A cover letter
• Proof of accommodation in Europe: This can be one of the following:
Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement (Find and Book Best Hotels in Europe!),
Invitation from your Europe host (family member, friend) along with a copy of their passport or ID (Proof of sponsorship if dependant)
Rent agreement – between you and a landlord in the country where you will be staying in the Schengen territory.
• Means of Subsistence. This document could be:
Bank Statement – A recent statement of US bank account for the last three months, as a proof that you have enough money.
Letter of Sponsorship – a letter written by another person why is willing to financially support you. A bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months, has to be attached to the letter, in order for it to be valid.
• Europe Travel Health Insurance. A document that proves you have purchase travel health insurance that covers the whole territory of Schengen Area with a minimum coverage of €30.000.
Depending on specific type of visa that you apply for, you must submit more additional documents. You should check with the embassy where you will submit your visa application to for further details.