Schengen visa is a travel permit that gives you the opportunity to visit 26 European countries that are a part of the Schengen Agreement. With this visa, you would be able to visit Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. If you are planning to travel to a Schengen country for tourism or business, here is all you need to know about how to
Apply for Schengen visa from Dubai
Schengen Visa for UAE Citizens
If you are UAE citizen or passport holder, you are eligible for visa on arrival at any of the Schengen countries. In other words, you do not need to apply for a visa beforehand. However, you still need to carry some valid documents while visiting the country. It is the discretion of the border officer to give or deny permission to enter the Schengen zone, after checking the following documents:
- UAE passport with minimum 3 months’ validity from the date of returning from the European country
- Proof of the purpose of visit
- Proof of financial resources to support their stay in the Schengen zone
- Specific countries that you want to visit may require you to submit some additional documents.
From January 1’ 2023, UAE citizens (and citizens of other exempt countries) would have to apply for ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). This system would do a thorough security check on people from visa-exempt countries before they travel to any one of the European countries belonging to the Schengen zone. The ETIAS would be initiated to withheld safety travels in the European zone.
Schengen Visa for UAE Residents
If you belong to a country that is not a part of the Schengen visa exempt group, you need to apply for a visa before visiting any of the Schengen visa countries. If you want to apply for a Schengen visa from Dubai or anywhere in the UAE, you need to be a resident of the country. Apart from UAE residents, UAE citizens who have been denied entry in any of the Schengen country’s visa would also have to apply for a Schengen visa if they want to visit any one of the countries.
Select the Visa Type
The first and the most important job is to select the Schengen visa type you need. You can go for transit visa, tourism visa, visa for visiting family or friends, business visa, visa for official visits, study visa, visa for medical reasons, and visa for culture and sports activities. The type of visa you select would depend on the purpose of your visit.
Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
Almost all the European embassies (of Schengen countries) have outsourced their visa submission to schengenvisa.ae in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Once you submit the documents and complete your interview, your application would be forwarded to the embassy of the country you have applied for the visa. The embassy has the right to accept or reject your Schengen visa application.
It is important to select the right country to apply for your Schengen visa. This would depend on factors like the number of countries you are visiting, how many days you are staying at each one of them, etc.
- If you are visiting only one country, you need to apply for a visa at the center for that particular country.
- If you are visiting more than one country and spending equal amount of days at each one of them, apply visa for the country that you are visiting first.
- If you are visiting more than one countries but not spending equal amounts of time in each one of them, you have to submit your application at the visa center of the country you would be staying for the maximum time.
When to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
You can apply for a Schengen visa anywhere between 15 days to 6 months before you travel. The ideal time to submit your Schengen visa application would be at least 3 weeks before actually visiting the place.
Filling the Application Form and Booking an Appointment
You need to download the application form from the official website and fill it completely and correctly. Make sure there are no factual or spelling errors in the form. You would have to complete your personal information, background information, purpose of visiting, and such other details about your trip. Once you have filled the form, it is important to print two copies and sign them both. Along with the application form, you also need to take an appointment for an interview at the visa center of the country you are applying the visa for.
Documents Required for Schengen Visa
When you visit the visa center for your Schengen visa interview, you need to carry a few supporting documents along with your visa application form:
- Passport: Your passport should have a validity of a minimum 3 months and should not be older than 10 years.
- Photos: You need to submit 2 recent, colored photos. The background of the photos should be light grey and should not have any patterns.
- Proof of Resident Permit: It is important to submit a copy of your UAE resident permit. Ensure that your permit has a minimum of 3 months’ validity from the date of returning from the Schengen zone.
- Cover Letter: A cover letter where you have to mention the purpose of your visit, the countries you would be visiting, the number of days you would be spending at each of them, etc.
- Flight Itinerary: Details of your flight tickets mentioning the exact days you are entering and leaving the Schengen zone.
- Proof of Accommodation: Details of where you would be staying in the country you are visiting. This could be hotel reservation, rent agreement or an invitation letter from a friend or family member.
- Proof of Financial Means: You need to show proof that you have enough financial resources to support your trip in the Schengen area. For this, you need to submit bank account statements (of last 3 months) or a sponsorship letter from another person who would be supporting your trip financially. His/her bank statements also need to be attached.
- Travel insurance: A European travel insurance with a coverage of at least 30,000 euros is required.
Your Schengen visa document requirements may get modified and You may need to submit some additional documents as per the requirements of the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting.
Attending the Visa Interview
After you submit your visa application form and the documents along with the visa fee, you would have to attend an interview. It is important to arrive on time at the interview. The interviewer would ask some personal questions as well as some important questions about the trip you are planning. It is extremely crucial to answer all the questions correctly and honestly.
Once you have submitted the documents and given the interview, it would take anywhere up to 15 days for you to receive an answer about your Schengen visa application status.