VISITORS (Schengen Visa)
American Citizens do not need a visa when they travel to most European Countries for business or for personal travel. The stay in the Schengen area should not exceed 90 days in a 6 month period. Please note that the American visitor will need to present a valid American passport (that does not expire before the end of the visit), proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
The Schengen visa is valid for the following European countries (see map above): Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech, Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Republic of (EIRE), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City. A Schengen visa issued by an Embassy or Consulate of the above countries allows the holder to travel freely in all of these countries.
Visas issued before or on December 20, 2007 by the new Schengen States (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, The Czech Republic, Slowakia, Slovenia and Malta) are only valid for these 9 new Schengen countries, not for the whole Schengen area.
WHERE SHOULD YOU APPLY?
1. If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, apply at the Embassy or Consulate of that particular country. You apply at the Embassy or Consulate in whose jurisdiction you are a resident.
2. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination.
3. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination, apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A VISA ?
A personal appearance is required and you must apply in person at the Embassy or Consulate General in whose jurisdiction you reside.
If you wish to make the application by mail (this is possible at the consulates in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, but not at the Embassy in Washington, DC), the following requirements apply:
(1) your signature on the application form must be notarized (certified) by a notary public of your place of residence in the U.S.
(2) do not send your application documents to an Honorary Consul. The application will be processed by the Embassy or by a Consulate General. Always make sure you mail your application to the competent Embassy or Consulate General. Only the Honorary Consuls in Nassau (Bahamas) and San Juan (Porto Rico) may accept visa-applications and they will send them to the Embassy..
After verification of your application, a personal appearance will still be necessary to collect your passport with the visa.
WHAT SHOULD I SUBMIT?
1. A passport or official travel document with a validity that exceeds the intended stay of the applicant by at least three months. Please make sure your passport has a spare page to affix the visa.
Note: if the passport or travel document is not recognized by one or more Schengen countries, it is still possible to obtain a visa. This visa will then be restricted to those Schengen countries which accept the passport or travel document.
2. One visa application form (English (Pdf ) / Dutch (Pdf ) / French (Pdf ) / Spanish (Pdf ) / German (Pdf ) and two recent passport-size photos. Please fill out the application form completely and legibly in black ink.
3. Proof establishing the purpose of your trip, for example a letter of invitation, proof of participation in group travel, etc. If the purpose of your trip is business, please present business references.
4. Proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your intended stay:
letter of employment
bank statements or pay-slips covering at least 3 months
The Consul may always request additional proof of solvency.
If you intend to visit a family member or friend a financial support document as specified next to number 5 may be required.
5. Proof of lodging, i.e. hotel reservations, rental of vacation home, stay with a family member or friend. In the latter case, a financial support document signed by the family member or friend in question is the best way to prove that support is available; the signature of this person has to be certified by the local Belgian municipality. The guarantor should also provide you with a copy of his/her Belgian identity card (as proof of legal residency in Belgium) and a certified copy of his/her salary statement showing sufficient income.
6. Proof that you can continue your trip after your visit to the Schengen countries, i.e. onward or return airline ticket and visa if required. If your application needs to be forwarded for prior approval to the Belgian authorities, please do not yet purchase your ticket. In the latter case, proof of reservations is required. You will have to show your ticket upon issuance of the visa only.
7. If returning to the U.S., a valid U.S. resident alien card or a valid U.S. visa. Students should present a valid I-20; Exchange Visitors should present a valid I-66.
8. If you are a minor, please present written consent of a parent or guardian having the care and custody of the child. The signatures on this document have to be notarized.
9. Proof of travel/medical insurance ( please note that your medical insurance card alone is not sufficient proof! ) to cover possible medical expenses, hospitalization costs and/or repatriation for medical reasons while traveling in all Schengen countries. Minimum coverage must be at least 30,000 EURO (USD $46,330 approx in 2008) -- See Euro Conversion Tool to convert at today's rate. Please provide a photocopy and the original contract which will be returned to you. You will have to show proof of travel/accident insurance when entering the Schengen area.
10. The applicant is informed that submitting the before mentioned documents does not guarantee automatic issuance of the visa. The consul may always require supplementary proof to verify if the visa-application is justified.
PLEASE PROVIDE COPIES OF ALL ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS! --- Information above is subject to change without notice. eGlobalHealth does not warrant the accuracy of this information.