Germany to Austria/RTD

someone2007

Registered Users (C)
Hello all,
I'm a green card holder and will get my refugee travel document soon.
I would like to know if I travel to germany with my RTD+Green Card (Germany requires no visa for RTD holders), can I take a train from there and go to Austria for a few days without an austrian visa?
please advise.
Thanks
 

mmlo

Registered Users (C)
You will pass through Austria without a stop at immigration, because there are no longer border controls among Schengen countries. I've passed Austria/Germany by train several times. There are occasional and random ID checks that I've experienced coming through Italy into Austria, but never through Germany.
 

youngboy

Registered Users (C)
You do understand it is against the law to enter Schengen territory without the proper documentation, right?
 

mmlo

Registered Users (C)
Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, and some other EU countries do not require US RTD holders to obtain a visa. Austria (also my country of origin), on the other hand, requires a Schengen visa for entry for all RTD holders (regardless of origin). You're unlikely to be caught crossing from another country like Germany, but whether the stress of being caught by a random police check while in Austria is worth it is obviously entirely another issue, morality aside.
 

someone2007

Registered Users (C)
So, if i want to obtain a Schengen visa in this case, where to I get it from ? Germany's Embassy or Austria's?


Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, and some other EU countries do not require US RTD holders to obtain a visa. Austria (also my country of origin), on the other hand, requires a Schengen visa for entry for all RTD holders (regardless of origin). You're unlikely to be caught crossing from another country like Germany, but whether the stress of being caught by a random police check while in Austria is worth it is obviously entirely another issue, morality aside.
 

mmlo

Registered Users (C)
So, if i want to obtain a Schengen visa in this case, where to I get it from ? Germany's Embassy or Austria's?

Take your pick! Any EU embassy will provide you with the visa. If your spouse is a citizen of an EU member state, the visa is free, otherwise it's €60 - regardless of embassy. You also have to take out travel insurance.
 

someone2007

Registered Users (C)
Take your pick! Any EU embassy will provide you with the visa. If your spouse is a citizen of an EU member state, the visa is free, otherwise it's €60 - regardless of embassy. You also have to take out travel insurance.

Thanks mmlo!
 

someone2007

Registered Users (C)
You do understand it is against the law to enter Schengen territory without the proper documentation, right?

youngboy,
some countries don't require a visa, such as Germany and Netherlands. and there might be some other countries that I do not know about :)
 

ASSYLEE

Registered Users (C)
Hello all,
I'm a green card holder and will get my refugee travel document soon.
I would like to know if I travel to germany with my RTD+Green Card (Germany requires no visa for RTD holders), can I take a train from there and go to Austria for a few days without an austrian visa?
please advise.
Thanks

Dear someone2007. Please be careful in taking people's advice on this forum. There are many naive assumptions that posters are making in this thread. There is a HUGE difference in having your country of origin be Austria and passing through the border without any checks than to be an asylee who holds an RTD from the United States. They may also have the advantage of maybe being a citizen of the country, possibly knowing the language, looking like a local etc. Just because they think you are unlikely to be caught crossing the border doesn't mean that will be the case. There are plenty of people who have taken this risk and have missed their flights, and have been questioned and scrutinzed. Do not take such a risk.

Also, you cannot just "take your pick!" at which embassy or consulate to apply for visa at. If you belong to a nationality that requires a visa to enter the EU, then you will be scrutinized, period. The rule is, you apply for a visa where your main stay is going to be at. You must declare your intent on what your travel plans are going to be and specifically apply for a visa in the country of your main stay. If the country of your main stay is Germany, they will refuse to grant you a visa in your RTD because they will state that US RTD holders do not need a visa to go to Germany. You will need to provide details of your trip to Austrian embassy/consulate and they will issue you a visa. Once you get an Austrian visa, you are THEN free to travel anywhere within the Schengen states. Good luck.
 

mmlo

Registered Users (C)
Also, you cannot just "take your pick!" at which embassy or consulate to apply for visa at. If you belong to a nationality that requires a visa to enter the EU, then you will be scrutinized, period. The rule is, you apply for a visa where your main stay is going to be at. You must declare your intent on what your travel plans are going to be and specifically apply for a visa in the country of your main stay. If the country of your main stay is Germany, they will refuse to grant you a visa in your RTD because they will state that US RTD holders do not need a visa to go to Germany. You will need to provide details of your trip to Austrian embassy/consulate and they will issue you a visa. Once you get an Austrian visa, you are THEN free to travel anywhere within the Schengen states. Good luck.

There is no "Austrian" visa. There is only one Schengen visa, and this is EU specified. Look at the German Schengen Visa application. The questions are: 1) Which member state will you enter in 2) Which member states will you visit 3) and How long do you intend to stay (and other things.) This application form is the same throughout the EU. You will not have a visa rejected based on the eligibility of the visa waiver program! That's like saying you won't be able to apply for a visitors visa in the US, if you're eligible for the visa waiver. Just not true. The point stands, you can choose any EU embassy to apply for a Schengen visa.

My point also stands for my information posted above, for travel between Germany and Austria. I've never seen or experienced a check between these countries. This is first hand experience. Can it happen. Yes. I've been on only one train in my life that was checked coming into Austria through italy, and everyone on the train was checked, regardless of origin and color of skin.
 

youngboy

Registered Users (C)
youngboy,
some countries don't require a visa, such as Germany and Netherlands. and there might be some other countries that I do not know about :)

I'm aware of that. Austria, however, does require one. Even if your port of entry is Germany, the Netherlands or Belgium, you still need a Schengen visa if you're visiting a country that requires one.

Also, you can't just apply at any EU embassy. These are the rules:

If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate of that particular country. You should apply at the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the state where you live.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.
 

mmlo

Registered Users (C)
Point taken, but I will say this: it just doesn't matter in practice. I do agree that it's a wise choice to choose the POE country's embassy, but since the OP is entering through Germany and won't be turned away (he can always use the visa waiver for US RTDs), it doesn't matter in practice. The countries don't and can't track where a Schengen applicant will spend his time at in the Eurozone. His Schengen visa will be valid for any country in the EU, even a country that wasn't mentioned in the original paperwork.
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
Ok, as someone who's been to Europe on an RTD, I can share my experience. Once, I remember calling the German consulate to see if they would issue me a visa on my RTD because I was staying there and in Holland, and they told me to apply for a visa from the Dutch consulate, so you would be going to the Austrian consulate/embassy.

I have also crossed internal borders by train and bus, and I have been subject to the random checks (between Belgium and France, and Germany and Holland). The French are dead serious about this, but I've heard the Dutch aren't. Austria, I don't know, but if you're willing to take a chance, that's fine. I suppose they will either let you go or turn you back, but they CAN do something more drastic as you are illegally in Austria. Will it happen? Probably not. But, since you are not entering the Schengen zone on a Schengen visa, you are being allowed in only by Germany on a bilateral agreement or exception, so you do NOT have the right to enter Schengen countries that require no visa.
 

someone2007

Registered Users (C)
Thank you dear ASSYLEE,
That was VERY HELPFUL !!

Dear someone2007. Please be careful in taking people's advice on this forum. There are many naive assumptions that posters are making in this thread. There is a HUGE difference in having your country of origin be Austria and passing through the border without any checks than to be an asylee who holds an RTD from the United States. They may also have the advantage of maybe being a citizen of the country, possibly knowing the language, looking like a local etc. Just because they think you are unlikely to be caught crossing the border doesn't mean that will be the case. There are plenty of people who have taken this risk and have missed their flights, and have been questioned and scrutinzed. Do not take such a risk.

Also, you cannot just "take your pick!" at which embassy or consulate to apply for visa at. If you belong to a nationality that requires a visa to enter the EU, then you will be scrutinized, period. The rule is, you apply for a visa where your main stay is going to be at. You must declare your intent on what your travel plans are going to be and specifically apply for a visa in the country of your main stay. If the country of your main stay is Germany, they will refuse to grant you a visa in your RTD because they will state that US RTD holders do not need a visa to go to Germany. You will need to provide details of your trip to Austrian embassy/consulate and they will issue you a visa. Once you get an Austrian visa, you are THEN free to travel anywhere within the Schengen states. Good luck.
 

zamkim

New Member
Hello all, sorry to resurrect this post! Since some of you have some experience travelling using a RTD to Austria before I will benefit from your help!

I am a university student here in the United States. I am also a green card holder since 2007 and a few months shy from applying for US citizenship (CAN'T WAIT!). I am planning to study abroad this spring semester (Jan.) for 4 months in Austria. On the website of the Austrian embassy it says they do not accept refugee travel document issued by the U.S to travel to Austria with. But, it also say "Holders of Alien Passports issued by the United States (USA), need a visa for Austria." Since some of you said you travelled to Austria using RTD, how did you managed that, since on the website it clearly says you cannot use it??!

"Holders of Alien Passports, issued by the United States (USA), need a visa for Austria.
Refugees' Travel Documents, issued by the United States (USA), cannot be accepted for travelling to Austria."

I am also wondering what is an "Alien Passport" that is issued by the U.S? The only travel documents that I know which can act as passports that are issued by the U.S are Refugee travel document and the Re-entry permit. I have not applied for any yet, and I am just wondering what is an "Alien Passport" and how do I apply for it?

I am a Somali national, and got the Green card through a refugee status. I can't get my hands on a Somali passport, and to be frank the passport is useless for traveling or it will cause major headaches if you travel using it. I will appreciate any help you guys can offer. I have never traveled to Europe before or any of the schengen states, and I am really confused. I will like to apply for the entry visa which is valid for up to 6 months. Please help, thanks!
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
Oh wow, I see what you mean: http://www.austria.org/going-to-austria/entry-a-residence-permits/entry-permits-visa

The Alien Passport is the Re-Entry Permit. I would apply for that, especially since it's valid for 2 years, AND, since you're going abroad just before applying for citizenship, it'll be good to have as proof of your intent of remaining a US resident (even though your trip will be for 4 months).

CALL/EMAIL the Austrian embassy. I find it strange that, as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, Austria does not recognise RTDs. It's crap. See what they say directly.
 
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