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Requirements for Schengen visa

A Schengen visa issued by a diplomatic mission of the Czech Republic or of another Schengen state entitles its holder to stay in the territory of the Czech Republic for the period stated in the visa, unless the Czech Republic is excluded from the territorial validity of such visa.

Short-term visa is issued as a Schengen visa, i.e. grants a possibility of stay in the Schengen Territory for a maximum of 90 days within a half-year.

US citizens are not required to hold a Schengen short-term visa for a stay, which does not exceed 90 days under the condition that the stay is not profitable. Under these conditions, US citizens are allowed to travel to the Schengen Area without visa.

List of Schengen area countries may be found at europa.eu.


Visa applicants need to schedule an appointment in advance!

Short-term (Schengen) visa applicants need to schedule an appointment in advance via an email ONLY. Request for an appointment must be sent to visa.ny@mzv.cz. The request must specify a reason for the stay in the Czech Republic (type of visa, residence permit etc.)

Office hours for public:

Monday          9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Tuesday          9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Wednesday    9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Thursday        9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Friday             CLOSED

All Schengen States´ consulates in the USA use the Visa Information System (VIS). Schengen visa applicants will have to appear in person at the Embassy or Consulate General when submitting the application, in order to provide their fingerprints.

If you reside in the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. please contact these offices directly for information concerning visa application.

You can acquire more details concerning submitting fingerprints here

List of states whose citizens are exempt from Schengen visa requirement

List of states whose citizens are required to hold Schengen visa

Where to apply

Who may apply

When to apply

How and what to submit

Required documents

Additional documents may be required

VISA Information System

Where to apply

As listed by importance, the following rules apply by which you may determine at which office you should apply for the visa, according to the Visa Code, Article 5:

  1. If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate of that particular country.
  2. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination - main purpose of stay.
  3. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination (a main purpose of stay), you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you intend to stay the longest time (if the length of time is the same in each Schengen country then you have to apply at the Embassy or Consulate of the country where is your first point of entry).
  4. If you do not need a visa for the Schengen country, which is your main destination or first point of entry, please note that you may require a visa for the other Schengen countries you plan visiting. You should then apply at the Embassy or Consulate of the first Schengen country, which requires you to have a visa.

If the Czech Republic is the proper or applicable country to apply, you may submit your application at the Consular Office (of the Embassy or Consulates General of the Czech Republic) in accordance with the jurisdiction where you permanently reside.

Who may apply

Anyone who is required to have a visa in order to visit the Czech Republic and who is, at the same time, legally residing in the United States (based on a valid Green Card or a valid US long-term visa).

Applicants who are only staying in the United States temporarily based on a US tourist visa are not eligible to apply in the United States and must apply in their country of origin.

When to apply

Application for Schengen visa may be filed within 6 months before the planned trip (it's not possible to submit the application earlier).

It is recommended not to submit a visa application within 15 days prior the departure as it cannot be guaranteed it will be processed in time.

In most cases, visa applications are processed within 15 days. In exceptional cases, the processing period can be extended up to 60 days.

Please be aware that no status updates on short term visa applications will be given by the Consulate (neither by mail nor phone). For status updates please visit our website: http://www.mzv.cz/consulate.newyork/en/visa_and_consular_information/visa/approved_visa/index.html.

If your number does not appear on the website, then it means your visa is still in process.  Please keep in mind the visa processing times when checking your visa status.

How and what to submit

All Schengen visa applicants must present their applications in person, during consulate`s business hours, in order to provide the fingerprints and to be interviewed. Upon the decision of the visa officer, an additional visa interview might be performed anytime during the visa process.

Only complete Schengen visa application with all submitted requirements (in accordance with the Visa Code) will be filed and processed. No exceptions! Any submitted documents (except travel document) cannot be older than 180 days. For further details about requirements, please, see the articles below.

Required documents

Each applicant must submit the following documents:

1. Completed "Application for Schengen Visa".  This form can be completed and printed online. However, the signature of the applicant on the form must be produced in front of the visa officer. The Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York will only file the application with forms from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other forms will not be accepted.

2. Passport or official travel document
The applicant must present a valid travel document satisfying the following criteria:

  1. its validity must extend at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory,
  2. it must contain at least two blank pages,
  3. it must have been issued within the previous 10 years.

3. Documents proving the legal status in US - original Alien Registration Card (Green Card), a Green card Stamp in your passport, an Advance Parole, or valid US resident visa. E.g. type A, E, F plus I-20 form endorsed by competent authority, G, H, I, J plus J1 documents, L, O, R. A valid US Visa must be provided along with a valid I-94 departure record. Students should also submit the original validated I-20, DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms.

4. One recent passport photograph of applicant's entire face, which shows a clear and exact likeness of the applicant (without sunglasses or head covering, unless it is on account of religious or medical reasons). The photo must be taken against a plain, light background with a good contrast in color or black and white. It must be of clear and good quality and printed on regular photographic paper.

Photos that do not comply with these standards will not be accepted!

Children travelling with their parents on their parent´s passport do need their own visa with a photo (free of charge under 6 years of age). However, applicants must also submit one recent passport size photograph for every child travelling with them. Please make sure that you have enough pages to affix the visas for you and your child(ren).

5. Proof of travel arrangements
Flight (roundtrip)/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and full confirmed itinerary in the name of the applicant (if several Schengen States will be visited OR if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries) + proof that you can proceed to the next country after you have visited the Schengen countries, i.e. confirmed itinerary / airline reservation or airline ticket and required visa.

6. Proof of accommodation - Evidence of hotel bookings or travel plans
Evidence of hotel bookings or travel plan for the entire Schengen area:
– Individuals: confirmed hotel reservations, stating name, address and telephone number of the hotel, including confirmation number.
– Groups: the certificate of the travel agency mentioning same information as for individuals, or other proof of accommodation (e.g. rental agreement).

7. Proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the intended journey
– 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;

– OR if self-employed (tax return from previous fiscal year or proof of previous economic activity and of an income during previous fiscal year);

– OR if retired (e.g. 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.

8. Letter of continued employment including income statement. If you are self-employed, a business license and tax return forms are required.

9. Proof establishing the purpose of your trip:

  1. tourism (confirmed hotel reservation, invitation letter with verified signature, itinerary etc.)
  2. medical treatment (health/medical facility confirmation etc.)
  3. business trip (business relations confirmation, invitation/application for participation in consultations, supporting letter from the hosting company)
  4. seminar/conference (invitation/ticket for congress, expo, conference, seminar etc.)
  5. culture/sport (confirmation about cultural/sport activities in the Czech Republic etc.)
  6. study (acceptance letter from the school, registration letter etc.)
  7. scientific research (hosting agreement with a research institution etc.)
  8. employment (work permit issued by the Employment Office or employment contract, if the type of work is exempt from the work permit in accordance with Act. No. 435/2004 Coll. on employment)
  9. official invitation (formal invitation authorized by the Alien Police)

-         the formal invitation replaces some required supporting documents as financial funds and proof of accommodation

-         the hard copy (original) of the invitation form must be submitted by the visa applicant

10. Travel health insurance covering medical expenses while travelling that meets the following criteria:

  1. It is valid throughout the Czech Republic/Schengen territory.
  2. It is valid during the entire period that you will be in the Czech Republic/Schengen territory.
  3. The coverage is at least € 30,000 (US $45,000).
  4. The coverage includes evacuation, repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical care and/or emergency treatment in a hospital.
  5. Please be aware that we require your insurance to have NO DEDUCTIBLE

11.  The visa fee - cash, debit/credit cards or money order payable to the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York are accepted.

Personal or business checks are NOT accepted. Visa fees vary depending upon the exchange rate between the Czech and US currency.

Visa fees are non-refundable.

12.  The applicant must collect the passport or the travel document and other documents to be returned, if any, in person. However, exceptions may be allowed for and the applicant may authorize a third party to collect the travel document.

If you would like to send the passport back after the visa process you have to enclose a prepaid self-addressed US Postal Service Express Mail envelope (for a price of regular express postage stamp – not purchased in a postal stamp machine - visit https://www.usps.com/). NO FEDEX, NO UPS envelopes are accepted. For the future tracking, we suggest to make a written record of the registration number for your record.

The Consulate does not accept any responsibility for lost or damaged documentation!

Additional documents may be required

Please note:

The Consular Department has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant. The applicant is hereby informed that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee automatic issuance of the visa.

According to the Visa Code, Article 24, a uniform visa allows the holder to travel in the entire territory of the Schengen area.

With a Schengen visa, a visitor may stay up to a maximum of 90 days in the Schengen area within 6 months period. If the visitor used up all the 90 days, he/she has to leave the Schengen area and may only reenter after 3 months of being abroad.

The period of authorized stay should correspond with the intended purpose of stay or transit, while respecting the general rules in relation to the length of stay. Previous stays within the territory of a Member State on the basis of a national long-stay visa or a residence permit have no influence on the stays allowed by a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity.

VISA Information System

As from 15 May 2014, all Schengen States´ consulates in the USA use the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States. The main purpose of the VIS is to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security.

The VIS contains all the Schengen visa applications submitted by applicants over the period of last five years including the decisions taken by any Schengen State´s consulate.

For the purpose of the VIS, applicants are required to provide their biometric data - fingerprints- while applying for a Schengen visa. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS central database.

Therefore, all Schengen visa applicants will have to appear in person at the Embassy or Consulate General when submitting the application, in order to provide their fingerprints. For subsequent applications within 5 years the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS.

Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for:

- children under the age of twelve,

- persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible,

- heads of State, members of the national Governments, sovereigns, members of a royal family (under specific conditions).

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