American citizens who hold the powerful blue passport can travel to Schengen countries without Schengen visa for a period of 90 days. The only requirement being that your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your return to the United States.
But if you are a permanent resident in the US (green card holder), then you do not enjoy the same privilege since the country of which you are the citizen of will determine if you need a Schengen visa or not.
You must be no stranger to the paperwork since you are familiar with Green card process. But Schengen visa is miles easier, if you follow our steps below you will have your visa at most in 2 weeks (3 days if you are from India, China, Russia etc).
What to do when there is no appointment available at the visa consulate ?
Most of our customers run into this problem and it is not as uncommon as it seems. In fact this is one of the 5 reasons we suggest not to make your flight & hotel bookings in advance .
This is what the official french consulate says.
As you can see, even the embassy suggests that you book your flight AFTER your visa has been approved. Same goes for hotel where you can get confirmed bookings. We can provide you with both flight & hotel bookings along with travel insurance for your visa
How to get an appointment for your Schengen visa in America
The process to get an appointment for your Schengen visa depends on the consulate at which you are applying . Spanish consulate allows you to walk-in with your documents and apply for your visa whereas France visa consulate wants you to make an online visa appointment before you approach them at all. You need to Write down your visa appointment number since you would not even get an email with your appointment number.
We have made detailed analysis based on how to get your appointment based on the consulate you are visiting below .
Documents needed for Schengen visa for Permanent Residents of America
Here is a summary of the documents you need to submit for Schengen visa for United States residents.
- Permanent Residence Permit card
- Completed Schengen visa form
- Flight itinerary
- Hotel bookings
- Schengen visa insurance
- Proof of sustenence
- Cover letter
- Letter of employment(if employed)
- Company registration(if selfemployed)
- Letter from college (for students)
You need to submit a photocopy as well as an original of all the documents to the visa consulate.
Duly filled Schengen visa application form – Need help with filling the application form ? You can download our guide for step by step video instructions to fill your Schengen visa.
Passport with at least two blank pages and valid for at least three months after you return to United States of America.
Two photographs as per the spec mentioned by photo specification for visa application.
A valid U.S. permanent residence card (“green card”) or a valid US visa with valid I-94 / valid I-20 (+ ONE COPY) , or an Advance Parole document. Applicant must bring the original green card or US VISA together with photocopies of those documents too.
Students with an F1 visa must present the original and a copy of their I-20 properly endorsed for travel (a certification signature is only valid for one year). The validity of the travel endorsement must cover the intended trip in Schengen + 3 months.
A confirmed Flight itinerary or reservation for Schengen visa Flight itinerary is a safer way of submitting a visa application without buying an actual flight ticket which can prove to be expensive if your visa is refused.
Proof of accommodation such as hotel bookings We would not suggest you to make your hotel reservations before your visa is approved. We have seen many customers who make all the bookings thinking they can cancel them once they get their visa only for the visa process to be delayed resulting in huge cancellation fees.
To know how to get proof of accommodation for your visa click below image
Proof of sustenance (either as bank statements travel cards, credit cards) to show that you can sustain yourself financially when you are in Europe
Proof of socio-professional status (if you are working) :
- letter of employment in the U.S confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation (business registration if self employed)
- and your last 2 payslips
- or letter from your school or university confirming your enrolment status, attendance and expected graduation date
A medical insurance with a minimum cover of €43,000 . See our article to get travel insurance for Schengen visa
Personal Covering letter or travel itinerary explaining in detail the purpose of the visit.This needs to explain in detail your entire travel plan and all the documents that you have submitted addressing the Embassy in your area. You can find the sample in our Schengen visa guide . Here is personal cover letter for Schengen visa.
That is it . Once you have accumulated all the documents, you can apply at the Schengen consulate of your main destination.
How long does it take for your Schengen visa to be processed ?
Well to be honest, it depends on the country you are the citizen of . IF your citizenship is from one of the “good” countries, then your visa will be granted within a week. IF you are from a “naughty” country then your visa application can take 2 to 3 weeks. If you are holding a green card in America and applying for Schengen visa from one of the below countries, expect some delay :
If you are from India, China Russia etc then you will get your visa sooner. So account for delay when you are planning your visa.
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