Applying for a Schengen Visa

Applying for a visa

Diplomatic missions and consular posts of Estonia are following when processing visa applications the regulation establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)Visa Code establishes the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for transit and stays in the territory of the Member States not exceeding three months in any six-month period.

Consulate General in San Francisco serves citizens and residents of the United States of America who live in following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

Schengen visa applications should be submitted at the Visa Application Centers of VFS Global. For the information about locations of VFS Visa Centers and description of the application process please refer to the VFS Global Homepage.

At the time of submission of the application, 10 fingerprints of the applicant will be collected. Therefore, you must submit your visa application in person. 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.

The following applicants shall be exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints:

  • children under the age of 12;
  • persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible;
  • heads of state or government and members of national government with accompanying spouses, and the members of their official delegation when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organizations for an official purpose:
  • sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family, when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organizations for an official purpose:

At the request of a consular officer, you are required to appear at the Consulate in person in order to provide explanations concerning facts which are relevant in application for the visa.

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

A visa application should in principle be lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit (as this is the normal processing time) and cannot be lodged earlier than six months before the start of the intended visit.

Third countries whose nationals or specific categories of such third country nationals who are subject to prior consultation. (PDF)

Please prepare carefully your visa application & supporting documentation. Any missing information may lead to a visa application declined, delayed or denied. Any missing or incomplete documentation will require you to make a new appointment and come another time at the visa center (and therefore expose you to reschedule your trip).

Types of Schengen visa:

Airport transit visa (type A) – is issued for passing through the international transit areas of airports situated on the territory of the Member States.

Short-term visa (type C) – is issued for transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of first entry in the territory of the Member States.

Documents to Be Submitted Upon Application for Visa

The following shall be submitted upon application for visa:

  • a valid travel document which is issued within previous 10 years, contains at least two blank pages for visas and is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa;
  • a filled in and signed ONLINE APPLICATION FORM. The completed application form has to be printed out and signed.

In case several persons (minors or a spouse) are covered by the same travel document, individual application forms must be filled in and signed by the persons concerned, in case of minors signed by the parental authority or the legal guardian.

  • a recent identity photograph conform to ICAO standards
  • an  insurance policy valid in Schengen countries with a coverage of at least 50.000 USD for the entire duration of stay in Schengen area. Please note that the insurance policy should cover medical, hospital and repatriation costs.
  • proof of legal residence in the USA and re-entry document. Original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit, aka: green card) or valid US resident visa. The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from the territory of the Member States.
  • supporting documents:

List of supporting documents to be submitted by applicants for short stay visas in United States of America

  • documents in relation to accommodation;
  • documents indicating that you possess sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to your country of origin or residence (116.8 EUR for each day in Estonia);
  • information which enables to assess your intention to leave Schengen area before the expiry of the visa
  • state fee for processing the visa application

The following persons are exempted from paying the visa fee:

  • Children under 6 years.
  • A family member of an Estonian or an EU/ EEA citizen of a third country whose nationals are required to hold a visa for the Schengen area and 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
  • According to Visa Facilitation Agreement

In case you would like to collect your passport by post please provide a prepaid envelope with a tracking number.

ADMISSIBILITY OF THE VISA APPLICATION

A visa application is admissible when the following conditions are met:

  • the applicant has proof of legal residence in the U.S. and re-entry document in accordance with the List of supporting documents to be submitted by applicants for short stay visas in United States of America.
  • the application is lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit but not earlier than six months before the start of the intended visit;
  • the applicant has submitted an application form;
  • the applicant has presented a valid travel document which is issued within previous 10 years, contains at least two blank pages for visas and is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa;
  • the applicant has submitted a photograph;
  • the applicant’s biometric data have been collected;
  • the visa fee has been collected.

Entry requirements

Mere possession of a visa does not confer an automatic right of entry. Border guards may ask from the holders of visa to present proof that they fulfil the entry conditions (return tickets, hotel reservation or the information of the invitee, travel insurance, proof of sufficient means of subsistence).

Appealing and complaints

Foreign citizen has the right to appeal the decision on refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa and submit complaints about the conduct of the consulate staff, the external service provider or the visa application process.