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Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid :
Check the expiration date on your passport.
o For a short stay visa (less than 90 days), the expiration date must be no earlier than 3 months after the date of your return from the Schengen area.
o For a long stay visa (more than 90 days), the expiration date must be 15 months after the day you plan to leave the United States.
Make sure your passport has two or more completely blank and unmarked visa pages.
Make sure your passport has not been altered.
If your passport was issued over 10 years ago, even if it is still valid at the time you submit your visa application, you must apply for a new passport from your country of origin before being able to apply for a visa.
It is advised that you do not apply for a visa on a passport issued for multiple persons (e.g. parent and children together).