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My friend lives in America and is a green card holder and is applying for a Schengen visa from San Francisco. I read that for Schengen you have to apply from your country of origin, is this correct? How can she go around this? She would like to avoid going back to the Philippines just to submit an application.

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You should apply from the country of your permanent residence. Because your friend holds a green card and lives in the USA, they can apply in the USA as mentioned by Immihelp.

However, if you are planning to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a visa from the Embassy of the country which is your sole or main destination.

As to which Schengen state to apply to, read Article 5, Section 1 (including the three bulleted points) of the Schengen Visa Code which provides:

Article 5

Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application

  1. The Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform visa shall be:
    • (a) the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit(s);
    • (b) if the visit includes more than one destination, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay; or
    • (c) if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross in order to enter the territory of the Member States.

Section 1 deals with regular visas for travel; Sections 2 and 3 (which I have not copied in this Answer) address transit visas.

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  • Is proof of travel insurance required for the application?
    – itsmr
    Sep 28, 2019 at 17:36
  • @itsmr yes it is
    – Xnero
    Sep 28, 2019 at 17:37
  • The Schengen visa code is also the source of the requirement that the applicant apply at the consulate in whose jurisdiction he or she resides. Why not quote that instead of the unofficial website?
    – phoog
    Sep 29, 2019 at 7:06
  • Her plan is to travel in December for a week, come back home to America, then go back in February for another week. Is that something that can be done with one visa application or does she have to apply again in February?
    – itsmr
    Sep 29, 2019 at 8:14
  • Proof of Travel - it states on VFS global website that a fully paid return travel tickets: mentioning applicant’s name and travel dates to & from the Schengen Area is required. But when I applied for mine (from Philippines) I only provided a detailed itinerary and that was accepted. When did it change?
    – itsmr
    Sep 29, 2019 at 9:11

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