The H1B visa, as outlined in the US Immigration and Nationality Act, is a non-immigrant visa permitting foreign nationals to work temporarily in companies based in the United States for a designated period.
This visa is particularly favored by professionals in the technology and investment banking sectors from India.
Annually, numerous H1B visa holders submit applications to travel to Europe, necessitating a Schengen visa. This visa grants the holder access to any or all of the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen zone.
H1B Visa Holders Who May Not Require a Schengen Visa for European Travel Certain H1B visa categories may not necessitate a visa for European travel.
See if your visa falls into one of these categories:
- Dual citizens, where one citizenship is of a country having an official visa-free agreement with the EU.
- Passport holders from countries that have an official visa-free agreement with the EU.
- Citizens of a Schengen member country. Such individuals must travel using their European passports.
Procedure to Apply for a Schengen Visa in the USA The initial step is to verify whether the country you aim to visit is a part of the Schengen area. Subsequent to this, there are a few steps to follow.
These include single-entry visas, double-entry visas, and multiple-entry visas. The type required depends on your planned countries of visit and your travel itinerary.
Identify the Embassy to Approach Ascertain your point of entry or the country where you will spend the most time in the EU zone. This will dictate which specific embassy in the USA you need to consult. For instance, if Germany is your intended point of arrival, you would need to apply through the German consulate.
The photo attached to your application should be recent, taken within the past 3 months.
Arrange the Interview Schedule an appointment for the visa interview at the consulate of the country you will enter the Schengen zone through.
This can be done over the phone, via email, or in person. Ensure you schedule the interview at a convenient time to ensure punctuality. Preparation and carrying all necessary documents are crucial for visa approval.
Submit the Visa Fee The application fee varies based on the age of the applicants and their residential status. It typically hovers around $70 for adults, while for children aged between 6 and 12 years, the fee is $41. There is no fee for children below 6 years.
Crucial Documents for H1B Visa Holders
When applying for a Schengen visa, you will need to submit several documents, such as a valid passport, H1B visa copy, travel proof, a cover letter or invitation from a host, health and travel insurance, financial means proof, hotel reservation vouchers, and copies of prior Schengen visas if any.
H1B visa holders require a few additional documents, including:
- Employment contract
- Bank statement for the past 6 months
- Employer’s NOC
- IT returns certificates
- Marriage certificate (if spouse is accompanying)
- Spouse’s valid passport and other details. Europe, with its wealth of nations rich in history and cultural heritage, is a destination worth exploring. Ensure to plan your itinerary well in advance to fully enjoy your journey.