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I am an Indian citizen working in the US on an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) under STEM OPT after completing my master's. My student visa has expired but my EAD is valid and I am in legal status. I am planning to relocate to Estonia to work - I have a job offer. The Estonian consulate mentions that I need to have a valid US visa to apply. I understand this being the case for a short term Schengen visa application where I am returning to the US (done that a couple of times). But if I relocating to Estonia... I am not planning to return to the US.

Does anyone have experience of applying for a long-stay D visa for any Schengen country from the US as a non-US citizen without a valid visa? I cannot return to India to apply, since I still want to continue working in the US until my visa is approved.

Any thoughts appreciated.

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    Usually it's enough to have proof that you're legally resident. Did the Estonian consulate explicitly tell you that the EAD is insufficient? Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 2:20
  • I have asked them and am awaiting a response. But the documents list does not mention the EAD card being accepted. So I am not sure how it works in practice
    – aj97
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:38

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The Estonian Consulate in New York explains what documents are acceptable:

applicants who aren’t US citizens, but reside in US: valid US residence permit or resident visa type A, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R. F visa holders must present together with visa also the form I-20 with valid travel endorsement. J visa holders must additionally present form DS-2019 (J1) with valid travel endorsement. Attention! Green card, visa and additional forms must be presented in original together with a copy.

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  • Basically, they need to see that you reside in US legally. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 3:45
  • I saw that but above on the same page it mentions: "Citizens and residents of US. Resident status can be confirmed either by valid US residence permit (Green Card) or valid resident visa type A, E, F (with form I-20), G, H, I, J (with form J1) , L, O, R. The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from Schengen area" So it seems to apply either a green card or a valid visa. If as long as they don't need evidence of re-admissibility into the US for a long stay visa hopefully an EAD should work
    – aj97
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:39

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