Schengen visa application from within the U.S. requires "a notarized copy of the Green Card (I-551) for Schengen visa application". I do not understand what is it.

Notary public in the US certify the signature of a person under a document, as well as some meta-data (willingness to sign, date and place of a signature).

Googling "document notarization" finds links to verifying the signature of the person under official document. This certainly, does not apply here as Green Card is not a document requiring my signature

So, what is the "notarized copy of the Green Card"? How do I make one?

  • 2
    I found this page on immihelp.com explains the whole thing pretty clearly, including the various ways to get a notary public to do their thing for you, if he or she balks at it.
    – CGCampbell
    May 17, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    more on it here: asnnotary.org/?form=certifiedattestedphotocopies
    – mzu
    May 17, 2016 at 20:03
  • I feel compelled to mention that people applying for a Schengen who are not US permanent residents do not require a copy of the green card, since they don't have a green card; instead, they will need to provide evidence of their legal status in the US.
    – phoog
    May 17, 2016 at 21:15
  • @phoog which also has to be notarized
    – mzu
    May 17, 2016 at 21:37
  • 1
    @MikhailNZakharov Nah, but thanks...Aganju covers it pretty decently (IMHO)
    – CGCampbell
    May 18, 2016 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


I had to deliver exactly that some months ago. It is right what you described, and it makes not much sense at all, but that's what they want.

A 'notary public' is a very common side-qualification, every office has typically one or two people that carry it. What you do is

  1. make photocopies of your (Green Card),
  2. the go to a Notary Public
  3. show your ID, and sign in front of the notary public that you confirm that the copy is identical with the original
  4. they give you a seal that confirms that they saw your ID and they saw you signing.

Note that the seal does not need to be on the photocopy (but it can).

This was accepted without questions, and - I asked them - that's what they wanted.

Of course, that leaves various obvious avenues of cheating - you can bring a picture of your dog instead of the requested photocopy, and the notary public would not care; and you can replace the photocopies after the sealed stamp is signed, as they are on different - not physically connected - sheets of paper.

The core point is that you signed it, and the notary just verifies that is was you that signed. If anything turns out wrong or fishy, they know whom to talk to - you signed it for correctness.

There are probably better ways - like have the notary public make the photocopies and put the seal physically onto them - but that is not what is done in the USA. For whatever reasons.

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