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Schengen Visa

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    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    What is the Schengen area?

    The Schengen area is a part of the territory of Europe in which people may travel freely without any border checks at internal borders of Schengen Member States. In fact, the internal borders were abolished and border checks at Schengen external borders have been reinforced in order to safeguard the security of Member States. The common rules on border control and effective oversight on the external borders aim at preventing illegal migration, drug trafficking and other illegal activities. The Schengen Member States also apply a uniform visa policy regime.

    Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Swiss Confederation.

    More information about the Schengen area

    Updated 28.11.2023
    Published 13.04.2023

    Do I need a visa to enter the Schengen Area?

    The US holders of valid national passports do not need a visa for a short-term 90 days stay in Slovakia/Schengen Area. However, the rule of a maximum 90-day stay in any 180 days must be followed. A short-term stay in the Schengen Area is a stay for tourism, study, or business purpose, strictly non-paid/no labor and not exceeding 90 days in any 180 days. Therefore, to control the arrivals and departures of third-country nationals who enter the Schengen area, there is a 90/180-day rule in place. This rule has two main components - the 90 days and the 180 days period — representing two different calculations.

    The calculator for a short-term legal stay in Europe.

    A non-EU national who stays in the Schengen Area beyond 90 days (without a residence permit or long-stay visa) is illegally present, which can result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen Area. Working in the Schengen area without a work permit is also illegal (even if less than 90 days) and can likewise result in a re-entry ban to the Schengen Area. Depending on the Member State, administrative penalties may also apply.

    Citizens from some non-EU countries are required to have a visa when traveling to the Schengen Area. A list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing external borders and countries whose citizens are exempt from that requirement are set out in the Regulation (EU) 2018/1806.

    Based on bilateral agreements, Member States may exempt diplomatic, official, service, or special passport holders from the visa requirement.

    Third countries whose nationals are exempt from a visa requirement upon entry into the Slovak Republic.

    There are also EU law derogations from the visa requirement for the territory of all Member States:

    • Third-country nationals who hold a residence permit issued by a Schengen member state. A third-country national is a citizen of a state that is not a member of the EU nor a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland;
    • Holders of diplomatic (and, occasionally, service) passports who, under the Visa Facilitation Agreements or specific visa waiver agreements with certain third countries, are exempt from the visa requirement;
    • Third-country nationals who hold a 'local border traffic permit' when exercising their rights within the context of the local border traffic regime;
    • School pupils who are nationals of third countries whose citizens are subject to visa requirements and who reside in an EU Member State and are traveling in the context of a school excursion as a member of a group of school pupils accompanied by a teacher from the school in question;
    • Recognized refugees and stateless persons, and other persons who do not hold the nationality of any country who reside in a Member State and are holders of a travel document issued by that Member State;
    • Specific categories of family members of EU/EEA and Swiss citizens are exempt from visa requirements.

    Further information on the visa regime and existing exemptions from the visa requirement

    For a long-term stay, please see Residence of Foreigners in Slovak Republic or National visa for exceptional cases.


    Where can I apply for a Schengen visa?

    Foreign nationals legally residing in the USA who are subject to visa requirements and want to enter the Schengen Area may apply for a visa as follows:

    1. Submit the visa application personally at the Consulate according to the state residence in the USA (please see General information – Consular jurisdiction).
    2. Use the services of the Visa application centers in the USA
    3. Applicants who need a Schengen visa and reside in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and dependent US territories, can contact and submit the application via the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles, CA. The Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles however has the right to accept or deny the submission of the Schengen visa application.

    Austrian Consulate General
    11859 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 501
    Los Angeles, CA 90025
    Phone: (+1) 310 444 9310
    Fax: (+1) 310 477 9897
    Email: los-angeles-gk@bmeia.gv.at



    When is it the best to apply for a Schengen visa?

    The visa application procedure may be lengthy in some cases. Therefore, the recommended timeframe for submitting a visa application is at least six (6) months before the planned trip but not shorter than fifteen (15) days before the departure.


    Do I have to apply for a visa in person?

    The traveler must submit a Schengen visa application in person. All applicants must arrange their appointment in advance (please see General Information). There may be an exception for applications submitted by professional, cultural, sports, or educational associations/institutions applying for their members.

    During an appointment, the Consular Section will record the traveler's biometric data (fingerprints). Per the Schengen area agreement, this biometric data will be stored in a Visa Information System (VIS). Specific categories of applicants are exempted from the requirement to provide fingerprints, including:

    • Children under the age of 12 (must still appear in person, but the Consular Section will not record their fingerprints),
    • Persons from 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 authorized purpose,
    • Sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family who travel based on an invitation by Member States' governments or by international organizations for an official purpose.


    What type of visa do I need?

    Schengen visa type C: Uniform short-stay visa

    Schengen visa type C entitles its holder to enter and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This visa may be issued for one, two, or multiple entries.

    Schengen visa type C: Limited territorial validity visa (LTV)

    This Schengen visa entitles its holder to enter and stay only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or, in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. A visa with limited territorial validity can be issued when:

    a) the Member State concerned considers it necessary on humanitarian grounds, for reasons of national interest, or because of international obligations;

    b) the Consular Section justifies why a new visa is issued for a stay during the same six-month period to an applicant who, over the six months, has already used a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity allowing for a stay of three months.


    National (long-stay) visa (D)

    A national (long-stay) visa may be issued for stays lasting more than 90 days. For more details see the part on national visa: National Visa | Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington (mzv.sk)


    What are the conditions for the granting of a Schengen visa?

    Issuance of Schengen visas is regulated mainly by Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009, establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code), as well as by the bilateral visa facilitation agreements between the European Union and third countries.

    The traveler should contact the competent diplomatic mission to obtain detailed and up-to-date information on the conditions of submission of the application for a Schengen visa. The general information below may only cover some visa requirements or exemptions applicable to the specific territory. The extent of supporting documents submitted with the visa application may vary, depending on the existing visa facilitation agreements, local conditions, and rules agreed on within the regional Schengen cooperation of the Member States. Exemptions may apply to visa fees and deadlines for processing the visa applications.

    Schengen visas for family members of EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation citizens are granted under special and simplified conditions.

    The decision-making procedure may take up to 15 calendar days. In individual cases where further scrutiny of the application is necessary, the deadline may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days. Exceptionally, where additional documentation is required, the deadline may be extended up to a maximum of 45 calendar days.

    In the case of the nationals of third countries, which have concluded the visa facilitation agreements with the European Union, the decision on the visa application is made within ten calendar days.

    In the case of the family members of the citizens of the EU/EEA and Swiss Confederation, the decision on the visa application is made as soon as possible, in an accelerated procedure, within ten calendar days.


    Visa facilitation agreements

    Albania*, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus (partially suspended from 12.11.2021), Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Moldova*, Montenegro*, North Macedonia*, Russia (suspended from 12.9.2022), Serbia*, Ukraine*

    *Holders of biometric passports are exempt from visa obligations.

    It is the applicant's responsibility to submit his application on time and to take the necessary precautions to respect the deadlines where an appointment system for submission of the application is in place. When submitting a visa application, the applicant should also consider that the diplomatic mission may need to conduct prior consultations with other Member States' central authorities. The primary sources consulted may reply within seven calendar days after being consulted.

    Third countries whose nationals or specific categories of such third-country residents are subject to prior consultation


    Which document should I submit with a visa application?

    In general, when applying, the applicant is required to:

    1) present a completed application form

    The applicant must fill out and sign the application. Suppose the applicant is under eighteen (18) or lacks legal capacity. In that case, the application shall be signed by a parent or guardian who is required to attach a copy of the document identifying them as the applicant's legal guardian.

    Visa application forms for downloading

    The applicant may also fill out the application form via Electronic visa request. The completed application form is then delivered to the applicant's email address for the printout. Please note that applying Electronic visa request may be obligatory at specific diplomatic missions. The diplomatic mission will provide further information.

    2) Present a valid travel document, which should:

    • Be valid at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States or, in the case of several visits, after the last planned date of departure from the territory of the Member States.
    • Contain at least two blank pages;
    • Have been issued within the previous ten (10) years.

    3) Present a full-face color photo, conform to ICAO standards,

    4) Allow the collection of fingerprints, where applicable.

    The fingerprints of the applicant are collected once in 59 months. During this period, they are stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) and can be used in future visa applications. However, there are several reasons why the applicant may be required to submit their fingerprints even during the 59 months period.

    • If there is reasonable doubt regarding the identity of the applicant,
    • If, at the time of application, it cannot be immediately confirmed that the fingerprints were collected within 59 months,
    • If the low-quality fingerprints stored in VIS do not allow their repeated use.

    5) provide supporting documents indicating the purpose and conditions of the journey

    6) where applicable, provide proof of possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance

    The insurance must cover any expenses which may arise in connection with the repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical treatment, emergency hospital treatment, or death during the stay on the territory of the Member States. Applicants for a uniform visa for multiple entries must prove that they have adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit.s

    The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person's intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30 000.

    How much is the visa application?


    Visa Fee

    See actual consular fees (see Administrative fees).

    For processing of the visa application, a fee in the amount of 80 EUR is charged /40 EUR for a child of age from 6 to 12 years/. Visa fees are paid in US dollars and vary depending on the current exchange rate between the Euro and US dollar. The fee is payable by card only. Visa fees are non-refundable. In the case of a visa refusal, the fee will not be reimbursed.

    For processing of the visa application lodged by citizens of the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, Russian Federation and Ukraine, fee in the amount of 35 EUR (payment in US dollars according to actual exchange rate) is charged. In the case of a visa refusal the fee will not be reimbursed.

    The visa fee is waived for:

    • spouses and children of EU citizens/nationals. The spouse must present a marriage certificate /duly translated into English language if necessary/ and valid EU citizen’s passport. For accompanying minors, birth certificates must be presented.
    • students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training;
    • researchers, as defined in point (2) of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council (*4), travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research or participating in a scientific seminar or conference
    • representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events.


    Frequently asked questions

    What happens if my visa application has been refused?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    The decision on and the motivation of the refusal of a Schengen visa are notified to the visa applicant in writing by means of a standard form, containing also the information on the possible remedies.

    May I file an appeal if my application has been refused?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    You may appeal against the decision to refuse, annul or revoke a visa. The rules on appeal against the decision on refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa are set out in the Act No. 404/2011 Coll. on Residence of Foreigners and Amendment and Supplementation to Certain Acts. 

    The person concerned may appeal against the decision on the refusal/annulment/revocation of the visa at the diplomatic mission, which has issued the decision. 

    The appeal must contain information about the appellant; specify what is the incorrectness in the decision and its discrepancy with legal regulations. The appeal must be submitted in the Slovak language; otherwise, official translation must be attached.

    The appeal must be lodged within 15 days of receipt of the decision. In the case of a family member of the citizen of EU/EEA or the Swiss Confederation within 30 days of receipt of the decision. 

    When lodging an appeal the appellant is required to pay an administrative fee of EUR 80 (in respective currency) at the Embassy/Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in accordance with the item 240 e) of the Administrative Fee List of the Act No. 145/1995 Coll. on Administrative Fees in the wording of its later amendments. If the fee has not been paid, the diplomatic mission shall suspend the appellate procedure under § 9 of the Act No. 145/1995 Coll. If the appeal has been allowed the diplomatic mission shall reimburse the fee.

    A general regulation on administrative procedure does not apply to the proceeding on the appeal against the decision issued by the diplomatic mission. This shall not apply, if it concerns a family member of a citizen of EU/EEA or the Swiss Confederation. The decision of the diplomatic mission is reviewable by court.

    Is my Schengen visa valid only in Slovakia?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    Territorial validity of the Schengen visa is specified on a visa sticker in the “Platné pre/Valid for” line. The visa may be valid for all Schengen Member States. In that case, “Valid for: Schengen States” is specified on the visa sticker entitling its holder to move freely within the entire Schengen area for the period of the visa validity and duration of stay.

    In the case of a visa with limited territorial validity, the following examples may be indicated on the visa sticker: “Valid for: SK” (i.e., the visa is valid only for the Slovak Republic), or “Schengen States – PL” (i.e., the visa is valid for all Schengen countries except Poland).

    Can I use my visa for repeated travels from/to the Schengen area?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    A short-stay Schengen visa can be issued for one or several entries. If you have been granted a single entry visa and you leave the Schengen area, you cannot use the same visa for the re-entry. A multiple entry visa entitles you to repeatedly enter and leave the Schengen area during the period of its validity and permitted duration of stay.

    Can I use a Schengen visa issued by a Slovak diplomatic mission to enter Slovakia via an airport outside the Slovak territory?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    Yes. A valid Schengen visa entitles you to enter the Schengen area via any Schengen border crossing or airport.

    I have a valid Schengen visa in my passport. Can I be denied entry to Slovakia?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    Your Schengen visa allows you to travel to Slovakia and usually to other Schengen States. But it does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. When arriving at the border checkpoint you may be asked to justify the purpose and conditions of your intended stay, and to provide documents confirming  they you have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to your country of origin or transit to a third country into which you are certain to be admitted, or that you are in a position to acquire such means lawfully. 

    In some cases the border checks may lead to denial of your entry into the Slovak Republic or the Schengen area.

    You should never overstay your visa validity. Misuse of visa and overstay may result in your being expelled and banned from entry into the Slovak Republic or Schengen area for a certain period of time.

    Is it possible to extend my visa in Slovakia?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    It is possible, in exceptional cases, to extend a short-stay visa up to 90 days within period of any 180 days. The validity of the visa can be extended by the respective police department if a foreign national cannot leave the Slovak Republic due to natural disaster, humanitarian grounds or serious personal reasons. 

    What do I have to do upon my arrival in Slovakia?

    Updated 19.04.2024
    Published 04.02.2023

    Third country nationals who have been granted a short-stay or long-stay visa, or who are exempt from the visa requirement upon entry, are obliged to inform, within three days of their arrival, a competent police department of the commencement, place and anticipated length of their stay. The nationals of EU/EEA or Swiss Confederation and their family members or foreign nationals with a preferential status are required to do so within ten working days of their arrival.

    If you are staying in a hotel or other accommodation facility, the aforementioned obligation is performed by the accommodation provider.