Applying for a Schengen Visa

What is Schengen visa?
Who can apply for Schengen visa in Estonian representations in US?
Where it is possible to apply for Schengen visa for travelling to Estonia?
Documents to be submitted upon application for Schengen visa
Lodging a visa application and capturing biometric identifiers in Estonian Consulate General in New York
Visa fee
Prior consultation
Examining of the Schengen visa application and returning passport
Entry requirements
Contesting refusal to issue a visa
Complaints
Additional information about Schengen visa
Additional information for citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation

 What is Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa (C-visa) is a short stay visa allowing its holder to stay up to 90 days in any 180 day period in Schengen area. Schengen visa can be issued as single or multiple entry visa with period of validity up to five years. More information about Schengen area and EU Common Visa Policy can be found for example on the webpage of European Commission.

Diplomatic missions and consular posts of Estonia are following when processing visa applications the regulation establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)

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Who can apply for Schengen visa in Estonian representations in US?

In Estonian representations in USA only US residents can apply for Schengen visa. Resident status can be confirmed either by valid US residence permit (Green Card) or valid resident visa type A, E, F (with form I-20), G, H, I, J (with form J1) , L, O, R. The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from Schengen area.

Consulate General in New York serves citizens and residents of the United States of America who live in following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin and in Washington D.C. Residents of other states must apply for a visa in Estonian Consulate General in San Francisco.

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Where in US it is possible to apply for Schengen visa for travelling to Estonia?

Visa application should be lodged at Estonian Consulate General in New York or in San Francisco. Detailed information about applying for a Schengen visa in Estonian Consulate General in New York is available below.

Estonian Honorary Consuls provide only general information on visa requirements, they may not collect or examine visa applications.

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Documents to be submitted upon application for Schengen visa

All applicants must present:
  • travel document (passport). Travel document must be issued within last 10 years, must be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from Schengen area and must include at least two free pages intended for affixing visas;
  • valid US residence permit or resident visa type A, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R. F visa holders must present together with visa also the form I-20 with valid travel endorsement. J visa holders must additionally present form DS-2019 (J1) with valid travel endorsement. Attention! Green card, visa and additional forms must be presented in original together with a copy;
  • Estonian Schengen visa application form. Form must be filled in on this webpage, printed and signed;
  • one color photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm (1.4” x 1.8”). Photo must meet ICAO requirements and should not be older than six months. Photo must be glued on the visa application from (not stapled!);
  • travel medical insurance with cover at least 30,000 Euros (31,000 US dollars). Insurance must be valid in all Schengen Member States and it must cover at least first planned trip to the Schengen area;
  • proof of travel arrangements. Flight (roundtrip) reservations or other proof of intended transport and full itinerary (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries);
  • proof of accommodation for the period of visiting Schengen area: confirmed hotel reservations, stating name, address and telephone number of the hotel, including confirmation number or the certificate of the travel agency mentioning same information, or other proof of accommodation (e.g. rental agreement);
  • proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the intended journey (applicant must prove that he or she has at least 130.80 Euros for each day in Estonia):
    • for employed applicant: bank account statement(s) during the last three months (bank statements must show the name and address of owner(s). Electronic printouts are accepted.); proof of regular income e.g. pay slips of the last three months;
    • self-employed applicant: tax return from previous fiscal year or proof of previous economic activity and of an income during previous fiscal year;
    • retired applicant: copy of pension certificate or a letter of previous employer or a pension check stub or confirmation from the responsible authority about the amount of pension;
    • in case of business, if applicable, letter stating that all expenses are fully covered by. (e.g. a written proof that the inviting employer/company pays the expenses or alternative the sending employer/company pays for all expenses)
    • in case of students/researchers, if applicable, letter stating that all expenses are fully covered by.
    • if the applicant is minor and travels without parents or with one parent: officially recognized statement from both parents (this condition shall not apply if there is only a single parent or he/she holds the parental authority alone) or legal guardian authorizing the child to travel and covering the costs with evidence on the existence of the financial coverage (see previous paragraphs).
Additionally applicants must present documents related to purpose of travel:
  • visiting family or friends:
    • invitation letter from friend or relative, which includes following data: inviters personal data (names, Estonian personal code), applicants personal data (names, date of birth, citizenship), time of the first visit, address of the stay in Estonia, if inviter covers also applicant’s expenses in Estonia – information about expenses that are covered by the inviter. If invitation is presented on the paper – copy of inviter’s Estonian passport, Estonian ID-card or Estonian residence permit card (both sides);

Consulate General suggests to use digitally signed invitation. Digitally signed document should be sent to Consulate’s e-mail [email protected] using applicant’s full name on the subject line. Applicant has to present printout of the digitally signed document together with information when it was sent to the Consulate’s e-mail (date and time).

  • business:
    • a letter of invitation from the business partner specifying the nature of the business;

Consulate General suggests to use digitally signed invitation. Digitally signed document should be sent to Consulate’s e-mail [email protected] using applicant’s full name on the subject line. Applicant has to present printout of the digitally signed document together with information when it was sent to the Consulate’s e-mail (date and time).

    • reference letter from employer; and
    • confirmed accommodation if different from hotel, stating name, address and telephone number of the lodging place;
  • students and researchers:
    • certificate from the receiving institution on the length and purpose of stay;
    • certificate from Home institution on enrolment (student cards only are not sufficient);
    • confirmed accommodation

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Lodging a visa application and capturing biometric identifiers in Estonian Consulate General in New York

Visa application must be lodged personally, visa application of minor (below 18) is lodged by parent or guardian. Application can be lodged up to six months before start of the trip to Schengen area (9 months, if applicant is a seafarer) and must be applied not later than 15 days before start of the trip. Appointment must be acquired for lodging an application (appointments can be acquired on webpage broneering.mfa.ee). Attention! Every applicant, including minors, must have separate appointment.

At the time of submission of the application, 10 fingerprints of the applicant will be collected. However, where fingerprints have been collected as part of an earlier application less than 59 months before the date of the new application, you do not have to provide your fingerprints.

Children below 12 and following applicants are waived for requirement to give fingerprints: persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible, head of states and members of national government and members of their official delegation and sovereigns and senior members of royal family when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organizations.

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Visa fee

In Estonian representations in US visa fee is paid in US dollars, for information about amount of the fee in US dollars please visit this webpage.

Visa fee for examining Schengen visa application is 80 Euros. Visa fee for children 6-11 years is 40 Euros. Children under 6 years does not pay visa fee.

Visa fee for citizens of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North-Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine is 35 Euros.

Visa fee for citizens of Cabo Verde is 60 Euros.

Following applicants are exempted from paying the visa fee:

  • children below six;
  • a family member of an Estonian citizen or an EU/ EEA citizen who meet the requirements in Directive 2004/38/EU. Please note that the directive shall apply to all Union citizens who move or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are national, and to their family members who accompany or join them;
  • persons who intend to attend meetings of the United Nations or its organizations, the Council of Europe, the European Union or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to be held in Estonia;
  • school children, students, post-graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purpose only of study or educational training;
  • researchers coming from third countries travelling in the Community for conducting scientific research with a view to facilitating proceedings carried out by Member States for issuing uniform short -stay visas;
  • persons invited by Parliament or the Estonian Government;
  • anyone who, by virtue of an international convention, is entitled to a visa free of charge;
  • representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations;
  • holders of diplomatic and service passports.

Citizens of certain countries can be exempted from paying the visa fee according to Visa Facilitation Agreements.

Visa fee can be paid in the Consulate in US Dollars by bank card or in Euros by bank transfer to the bank account of Estonian Ministry of Finance. For more information please visit this webpage.

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Prior consultation

Some Schengen States require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to other Schengen States by citizens of certain countries. The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days and it is carried out by the Consulate, no additional actions from the applicant are required. Such consultation is currently required for nationals of the countries listed here.

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Examining of the Schengen visa application and returning the passport

Schengen visa applications is examined within 15 days from the day application was lodged at the Consulate. Applicant can come to collect his or her passport from the Consulate after relevant e-mail notification from the Consulate. If applicant wants to receive passport by mail the prepaid envelope addressed to the applicant must be provided (it is suggested to provide envelope already during lodging the application).

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Entry requirements

Mere possession of a visa does not confer an automatic right of entry. The holders of visa are requested to present proof that they fulfil the entry conditions at the external border, as provided in the Schengen Border Code. Border guards, for instance, may ask to present return tickets, hotel reservation or the information of the invitee, travel insurance, proof of sufficient means of subsistence. For more information, see also questions about crossing the border on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

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Contesting refusal to issue a visa

Applicant, who was refused to issue a visa, may file an appeal. Appeal can be filed within 30 days as of the date of notification of the decision. Attention! Deadline of filing an appeal should not be restored! For more information about process of appeal please visit website of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Estonian Consulate General in New York appeal may be filed personally in the Consulate (appointment in our electronic calendar broneering.mfa.ee is needed) or by mail (please visit section Contacts for Consulate’s mailing address). If you file your appeal by mail, please don’t send us your passport, If Consulate needs your passport, we will inform you about it additionally. Attention! If appeal is filed by mail, the date of arrival of the application is working day following the day when appeal reached the Consulate or the date when state fee has arrived to the bank account of the Ministry of Finance in Estonia, if it is later.

State fee for examining the appeal (80 Euros) can be paid in the Consulate by credit card or if application is filed by mail in Euros to the account of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more information please visit this website.

Application to contest decision of refusal to issue visa is examined within 15 days.

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Complaints

Schengen visa applicants may submit complaints about the conduct of the consulate staff, the external service provider or the visa application process.

A complaint can be submitted to the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by e-mail: [email protected].

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Additional information about Schengen visa

General information about applying for a visa to the Schengen area on the website of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).

Common list of supporting documents for applicants from USA.

Short-stay calculator on the webpage of European Commission.

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Additional information for citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation

Citizens of the Russian Federation

On August 11th, 2022, the Government of the Republic of Estonia approved a sanction imposing a restriction on citizens of the Russian Federation applying for an Estonian visa. The visa restriction applies to all types of visas and purposes of travel, except for those Russian citizens who are:

visiting a spouse, who is an Estonian citizen residing in Estonia or a person residing in Estonian on the basis of Estonian long-term residence permit;

  • visiting a relative in the direct descending or ascending line who is an Estonian citizen residing in Estonia or a person residing in Estonia on the basis of Estonian long-term residence permit;
  • visiting an Estonian citizen residing in Estonia or a person residing in Estonia on the basis of Estonian long-term residence permit and with whom they raise a minor child;
  • employees of a diplomatic mission or consular post in Estonia and their family members;
  • directly involved in the international carriage of goods and passengers;
  • persons enjoying the right of free movement under European Union law (EU citizens family members) and
  • whose entry into Estonia is necessary for humanitarian reasons (e.g. funerals).

The sanction will come into effect on 18 August, which means that only Russian citizens listed above can apply for a visa from that date. Russian citizens, who want to apply for a visa as an exception, must together with their application present documents proving that they are eligible for one or several exceptions.

On September 9th, 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision that fully suspends the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. Consequently, the general rules of the visa code will apply to Russian citizens. This will result in an increase in the visa application fee from €35 to €80, the need to present additional documentary evidence, increased visa processing times and more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple-entry visas. The decision will enter into force on the day of its adoption and will apply as of 12 September 2022.

Citizens of the Republic of Belarus

On April 8th, 2022, the Government of the Republic of Estonia issued regulation which imposes international sanctions to citizens of the Republic of Belarus who are applying for a visa for employment or entrepreneurship (including Startup entrepreneurship and Remote working). According to this regulation no visas for employment or for entrepreneurship for citizens of the Republic of Belarus are issued until further notice.

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