I'm in a Soup.
I purchased air tickets (British Airways) for my Euro Trip On 16th April 2010.
My trip starts on 11-June-2010 from RDU-AMS & ends on 27th-Jun-2010 from VIE-RDU
I had booked my Visa Appointment For Schengen Visa From The Royal Dutch Consulate In Washington DC On Friday, April-30-2010.
While finalizing my paperwork I came across one of the clauses for their Visa requirements:
"Passport or official travel document recognized by the Schengen countries. The document may not be issued more the 10 years ago, needs to have a validity that exceeds your full intended stay by at least 3 months and should have at least 2 blank pages. "
My Passport (Country: INDIA) is a 20 Year Passport Issued on 11-Apr-1997 till 10-Apr-2017
When I called the dutch consulate in Washington DC today to inquire about this they outright rejected my request and warned me that visa will be denied even if I came for the interview.
I then contacted the Austrian Embassy (They charge 13 Euros for the call) and they confirmed that 20 Yr passport will NOT be any issue for them and I can come for the interview.
Now I want to know that when I get my Schengen Visa from the Austrian Consulate and fly on 11th June to Amsterdam Will the Amsterdam Immigration cause me trouble with my 20 year passport?
I cannot get my Passport Renewed at the Indian Embassy on time since my issuing authority is at some obscure location back in India.
Please advice so that I can make changes to my flight plans although I don't want to as I have already paid through my nose for this trip.
Any advice would be deeply appreciated.
Tried to find out as much as I could for you, but please double check this information before making your arrangements, as I am 'just a civilian' and not in charge of any activity that has to do with passports and visa.
What I found out is:
1. A visa provided by any member of the Schengen Agreement is valid when enter into any other Schengen country.
2. You should apply for a tourist visa at the the country of destination during your visit (usually longest stay), or if your destination still is unclear: the country where you enter Schengen.
3. The passport must be valid for more than 3 months after leaving Schengen.
4. The Schengen Agreement states that a passport may not be older than 10 years (our passports are valid only for 5 yrs). I found that this adjustment in regulations was only implemented on 5th april 2010 (EG) Nr. 810/2009 Unfamiliarity with his last adjustment might explain why the Austrian Embassy provided you with their advice.
6. LAST BUT NOT LEAST One of my friends is an immigration officer and I just spoke to him. He confirms that this '10 year rule' is new. In principle, with your current passport, you should not be able to apply for a visa anymore. However, should you be able to get one after all, and therefore be able to present a valid passport and visa upon arrival, you will not be refused access to The Netherlands.
Hope this helps, wish you good luck at the Austrian Embassy!! Am interested to hear whether things worked out for you.
Thanks for taking out time and responding. Because I have already spent way too much money I will take my chances and go to the austrian embassy in washington DC on Friday, 7th-May for Schengen Visa stamping.
I will keep you updated with the my fate
Thanks once again
Ok Now that I am back from my Euro trip successfully here is what I did to get Schengen Visa on 20-Yr Passport and then travel with my original itenerary:
My first destination was Amsterdam, so as a rule of thumb I approached the Dutch Embassy.
The embassy outright refused to acknowledge my 20-Year passport.
I had already booked my flight tickets and didn't want to cancel them. my flight was RDU-JFK-LHR-AMS
My return was VIE-LHR-BOS-RDU
So if you are not approaching the embassy of your destination you have to approach embassy that will be your main destination. Main destination would mean maximum number of days in that country.
my initial travel itinerary was: Netherlands 3 nights, Germany 3 nights, Austria 3 nights, Slovakia 1 night, Hungary 2 nights, Prague 2 nights
so i called Austrian embassy (They charge 14 Euros just to talk to their customer service) to ask about my 20 year passport and they responded that as long as the passport is valid...you wont have any issues.
In order to get schengen visa, one of the embassy requirements was confirmed hotel/hostel reservation. Luckily to book hostel we only need to pay 10% upfront.
So on the day of my visa interview in the austrian embassy, i made my itenerary look like this:
Netherland 3 nights, Germany 3 Nights, Austria 7 nights, Hungary 1 night. They asked me if i know someone in austria. i said yes, but that person is not sponsoring anything for me. I am bearing my entire trip's expense. I got my VISA...NO QUESTIONS ASKED
So after i got my schengen VISA 1 week later I reverted to my original plan: Netherlands 3 nights, Germany 3 nights, Austria 3 nights, Slovakia 1 night, Hungary 2 nights, Prague 2 nights
(This arrangement costed me merely 20-25 dollars extra)
Oh by the way immigration check in Amsterdam International Airport is a big joke...the officers don't care shit...i mean they scrutinized me for couple minutes like checking my passport under special light and magnifying glass...asking for my flight tickets and asking for my financials, but other than that they were no big deal compared to the immigration at USA.
Once inside europe not a soul cares about your visa status. I showed my US Driver's license as valid identity.
Hope those who have asked me these questions get their VISA too...Europe is really beautiful
And don't hesitate to ask me any further questions
Thanks for responding. I meant to post my question as well.
I was told by the embassy today that they will issue the visa to my husband.
I'm in a similar quandry. I just realized 2 hours ago that I need to have a 10-year Indian passport for France. They have mentioned on their website about the 10-year rule. Like you, I have spent way too much money AND I live in Minneapolis. My interview is on Tuesday. My only hope now is to approach the French embassy in Chicago and plead my case. Any advice, in case they say no.
I pleaded my case of 20-Yr passport with the Dutch embassy one day before my actual stamping. They didn't give a %$&^
You only need schengen VISA stamped, then you can change your itinerary after stamping.
I am not sure if Austrian embassy is still accepting 20-Yr passport. If not find out which embassy is still accepting. There has to be some small schengen territory that is not as stringent.
When you do find it, modify your itinerary to make that country look as your primary destination.
You can either change your flight tickets which i assume would be a very expensive affair or book hostel for majority of days in that country.
You can use websites like hostels.com / hostelworld.com / hostelbooker.com
and find out the cheapest hostel.
As far as i remember these hostels charge 10% upfront and you have to pay remaining 90% once you reach there and register. This 10% to my knowledge is non-refundable but not that expensive. I remember paying just additional $20 for itinerary change.
Once you get your VISA just change your itinerary back to the one you originally planned.
Also immigration and customs in europe isn't as stringent as USA. The amsterdam airport was liberal. They did see that my passport was 20-yr old, but only checked my itenerary and financial statement and let me go.
I am keen to know how your stamping goes.
Do update us in the forum so that others can benefit from it too.
NOW i have finally decided to convert my 20-yr passport to 10-Yr. Just not in a mood to go through all that hassle once again.
Do let me know if you need further assistance