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Schengen Visa

Those traveling around Europe within the Schengen area are required by law to have not only a valid travel visa but also valid travel insurance to protect them from having to deal with unexpected medical expenses for injuries, accidents, and other illnesses.

What is a Schengen Visa?

Schengen includes most European countries and constitutes the world’s largest area without border control. The visa for Schengen countries allows travelers to stay in any country within the Schengen economic area.

What Countries Use Schengen Visas?

The Schengen area covers 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


Are there Non-European Schengen States?

Aruba and Thailand are popular Non-European Schengen States.

Do United States Citizens Need a Schengen Visa to Travel to a Schengen Country?

No. Unless they are traveling for 90+ days in a Schengen Country.

Most US green card holders will need a Schengen Visa

I live in the United States and have a green card. Do I need a Schengen Visa?

Yes. Unless your country of origin is a Schengen country you will need to obtain a Schengen visa before you travel.

What are some examples of countries of origin that require a Green Card holder to obtain a Schengen Visa? These countries represent the top 16 countries with Green Card holders in the United States. 

  • Mexico
  • India
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Dominican Republic
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • El Salvador
  • Brazil
  • Cuba
  • South Korea
  • Jamaica
  • Nigeria
  • Venezuela
  • Colombia
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
A US green card holder from China will need a Schengen Visa
A US green card holder from India will need a Schengen Visa
A US green card holder from Mexico will need a Schengen Visa


If you are a green card holder in the US, chances are you will need a Schengen Visa.

What are the Insurance Requirements for a Visa?

To obtain a Schengen visa, you’re required to purchase travel insurance. It should cover medical expenses of at least 30,000 euros and emergency treatment, repatriation, and death expenses. In addition, your medical insurance needs to cover all Schengen countries, even those you don’t intend to visit.

How Much Does a Shengen Visa Cost?

Applying for a Schengen visa costs 80 euros per adult and 40 euros for a child between 6 and 12 years of age. It’s free for children up to 5 years old. There are also fee exemptions for certain applicants, such as students on a school trip and researchers traveling for research purposes.


professional woman looking at her watch

How Long is the Schengen Visa Processing Time?

Most visa applications are processed within 15 days. However, during busy times and for complex applications, the processing time can be up to 60 days. Therefore, the earliest you can make a Schengen visa application is six months before the start of your trip.



How Does Travel Insurance Help with Visa Applications?

Proof of travel insurance doesn’t just help visa applications; it’s a requirement. You need to get travel insurance to receive the Schengen visa.

Travel Insurance That Meets the Schengen Visa Requirements

Obtaining travel insurance is a requirement for obtaining a Schengen visa. Applicants who don’t have travel insurance will be rejected as they don’t meet the Schengen criteria.

Additional Benefits of Buying Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa

On top of covering medical expenses and thus enabling you to receive a Schengen visa, travel insurance can provide you with peace of mind during your travels. In addition, travel insurance can cover various problems and emergencies, including trip cancellation or interruption and lost or delayed luggage.

Can I Apply for a Schengen Visa in the USA?

Yes, you can apply for a Schengen visa from the US. You simply need to find the closest embassy or consulate and send the necessary documents.


waving United State flag

Where Do I Apply for a Schengen Visa in the USA?

You can either apply directly or through a travel agent. If you’re applying on your own, you’ll need to figure out what type of visa you need, obtain the necessary documents, attend an interview and pay the application fee. However, if you apply through an agent, they will assist you throughout the process.


Where Can I Buy USA Travel Insurance for a Schengen Visa?

You can buy travel insurance from US-based insurance agents, such as GoReady Travel Insurance.

What Type of Visa Do I Need?

Depending on your needs, a standard single-entry Schengen visa may be insufficient for your needs. Other options include:

  • Multi-Entry — allows you to enter the Schengen area an unlimited number of times, as long as you stay less than 90 days every six months
  • Schengen Student Visa — will enable you to study within the Schengen area for up to 3 months
  • Transit Visa — will allow you to transit through a Schengen airport
  • Business Visa for EU — will enable you to enter the Schengen area for business purposes
  • Schengen Visa for US Green Card Holders — allows US Green Card Holders to enter the Schengen area

Notable Schengen Visa Countries: Do I Need to Buy Travel Insurance for a Schengen Visa for trips to…

Do I Need a Schengen Visa for France?

Whether you need a Schengen visa for France depends on your nationality. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia do not need a Schengen visa because these countries have made deals for visa-free travel with the European Union. However, nationals of most other countries are required to have a Schengen France visa to enter the countries. If you’re unsure, please contact us, and we’ll help you find what you need.

View of Paris. France is a Schengen Visa State.

Will I Need to Get a Schengen Visa for Italy?

Just like any other Schengen member state, Italy requires travelers to obtain a Schengen visa for trips shorter than 90 days. However, this requirement does not apply to citizens of all countries, as some are allowed to travel visa-free, depending on nationality.

view of Pisa, Italy

Do I Need a Schengen Visa for Germany?

Whether you need a Schengen visa for Germany depends on your nationality. Citizens of countries who don’t have an agreement with the European Union for visa liberalization will need to apply for a visa. Additionally, those previously rejected for a visa from a Schengen member state will need to apply, regardless of their country of origin.

View of Berlin, Germany

Will I Need to Get a Schengen Visa for Greece?

Unless you’re a citizen of a country that’s exempt from the European Union visa requirement, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Greece.

Athens at night.