I've had a Schengen visa issued by the Italian consulate in Chicago, IL in the past (2016). Since the fingerprints are valid for a period of 5 years, do I need to appear for the interview, if I apply for the visa a second time (at another Schengen consulate)? I looked up the consulates' website for various Schengen countries, however, none except the Finnish embassy states anything about processing the application by mail, if you've been fingerprinted in the past 5 years. Has anyone had any experience with an interview waiver (postal application) while applying for the Schengen visa a second time?
Can I get a Schengen visa without an interview if I've previously had one?
Yes, it is possible, though not in all cases and never for certain.
All applicants for a Schengen visa will need to provide biometric data (fingerprints) when submitting an application. The biometric data of persons applying for a Schengen visa will be stored in a new Visa Information System (VIS)
Regarding to your question if applying for a visa to another Schengen Embassy/Consulate, there have been variable replies from The Consulate general of Switzerland in New York and The Netherlands consulate general in New York:
“We might be able to copy your fingerprints from the Italian visa, depending on the quality of the file. However, please note that personal appearance is currently still mandatory at the Consulate General in New York, regardless of the biometrics.”
Visa Section Consulate General of Switzerland in New York United States of America
Also the Consulate General of Netherlands in New York replied with another answer
“You have to provide your fingerprints again. You can make an appointment through are website if you want to apply for a Schengen visa. The requirements are on our website.”
Visa Section firstname.lastname@example.org Consulate General of Netherlands New York
Similarly Embassy of Switzerland in Islamabad replied with another answer:
“If you have given your fingerprints in a previous application, you do not need to give them again. You can of course be called in for an interview, at any time.”
Third Secretary, Head of Visa Section Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan Street 6, G-5/4, Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad
Although sometimes it is difficult to find right answer asking question on different forums, the best answer would always be available by contacting directly to Embassy/consulate or through VFS at your home country.
Yes, it is possible. Here is the response I got from the German consulate Chicago on Jan 29th 2018:
since we have taken your fingerprints on your last appointment, you may send in your application by mail. Please understand, that the successful transfer of your fingerprints is not guaranteed. In the rare case, that we are not able to import your fingerprints, a personal appearance will still be necessary.
This is the reply I got from the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. last week.
If your Biometric data (fingerprints and pictures) was taken after June 1st 2014, you can just mail-in your application. Starting 07 August 2017, all mail-in applications will be submitted to VFS Schengen application center in Washington DC. Please prepare 2 separate money orders, one for $65 (Visa Application Fee) in favor of “VFS Services USA Inc” and second for $63 (service fee and Return Courier fee) in favor of “VFS Services USA Inc”. Ensure that complete documentation as mentioned on checklist is submitted for processing along with original passport to avoid any delays. The address for mailing in applications is: 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite# 500, Washington DC 20036. • No personal checks accepted • No self-addressed envelopes accepted. If you have not provide Biometric data, you should schedule an appointment to one of the VFS available locations for you to start your application process.
Norway consulate issued me a Schengen visa in 2017. I had to visit VFS center, San Francisco in person for all paperwork and fingerprints. I was hoping that in the future I could apply for a Schengen visa by mailing my documents but for Norway that is not the case. Here is the response I received for VFS:
Date Oct 16, 2017
Unfortunately, for Norway you cannot mail-in your application, so you have to appear in person. For more information please visit: http://www.vfsglobal.com/norway/usa/