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Updated June 2024

Embarking on a journey to Schengen countries from the UAE involves a straightforward process for citizens who enjoy visa exemption. However, for residents of other nationalities residing in the UAE, obtaining a Schengen visa is a crucial step. The initiation of this visa application process begins with scheduling an appointment, setting the stage for their visa application journey.

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Read on as Wego helps you learn everything you need to know about scheduling a Schengen visa appointment.

Schengen visa explained

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that permits an individual to travel to any member of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days per stay for tourism or business purposes. Presently, the Schengen Area comprises 29 member countries. These countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The Schengen visa is currently not mandatory for citizens of the UAE. They can travel to Schengen countries with just a few essential documents, including a UAE passport, proof of financial backing, and documents supporting the purpose of their visit.

However, expatriates not eligible for Schengen visa exemption must undergo the visa application process to secure a Schengen visa for their visits to any of the Schengen member countries. To learn more about the Schengen Visa, check out our dedicated article on the topic.

Schengen Visa: Everything You Need to Know About Europe’s Short Stay Visa

 

Schengen visa appointment booking in Dubai and the UAE

Securing a Schengen visa involves a crucial step: booking a visa appointment. 

To apply for a Schengen visa, begin by submitting your application to the Consulate of the country you plan to visit. If you’re visiting multiple Schengen States, apply to the Consulate of the country where you’ll spend the longest duration.

Where to book your visa appointment? 

Many Schengen countries have outsourced their visa submission processes to service providers. 

To book a visa appointment for most Schengen countries, you have to go to VFS Global.

To book your visa appointments for other Schengen countries:

  • for Lithuania – visit BLS International 
  • for Italy – you can visit both VFS Global and Cox & Kings Global Services. 
  • for Slovakia and Poland – visit their embassies in Abu Dhabi. 

Please note that: 

  • there are two VFS Visa Application Centers in the UAE, one in Dubai and the other in Abu Dhabi. 
  • VAC in Abu Dhabi only accepts applications from residents holding Emirates of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi residency. 
    • Residents of Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, or Fujairah should submit their applications to the Visa Centre in Dubai. For further details, please visit their official website.

You can find detailed application procedures on the dedicated websites of each Member State here.

Documents required for Schengen visa appointment 

Before heading to your Schengen visa appointment, it’s crucial to have the necessary documents in order to streamline the process. These include:

  • visa application form
  • recent passport-size photos
  • valid passport
  • proof of residency
  • round-trip reservation or itinerary
  • travel insurance policy
  • proof of accommodation
  • proof of financial means
  • proof of paid visa fee
  • proof of return travel ticket 

Please note that in addition to these commonly required documents, Schengen embassies worldwide may request specific documents based on the applicant’s employment status. 

After completing your application, you will be required to schedule a visa appointment for biometrics and document submission.

Appointment booking process

To book your Schengen visa appointment, follow these steps after submitting your application:

  • enter your unique application or reference number.
  • choose the appointment location.
  • browse available appointment dates and select one that suits your schedule.
  • provide personal details, including your email address.
  • receive confirmation of your visa appointment via email.

Please note that the visa checklist will be sent to you via email. Moreover, these steps are general guidelines, and the process may vary based on your country of origin and nationality.

After appointment booking

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth Schengen visa appointment process:

  • arrive promptly at the designated facility on the scheduled day of your appointment.
  • upon reaching your assigned center, collect a receipt that will be used to call you when it’s your turn.
  • submit all required documents during this initial phase.
  • during the interview, expect personal questions regarding your whereabouts, the purpose of your trip, and other travel details.
  • provide confident and accurate answers, ensuring they align with the information provided in your application form and other submitted documents.

Schengen visa appointment availability and processing time

Appointment availability 

To determine the availability of a Schengen visa appointment, the recommended approach is to contact the Embassy/Consulate or visa application center using the designated channels. After submitting your application, you can independently initiate this process through the website link provided.

Securing a Schengen visa appointment can be particularly challenging during peak months or holiday seasons, such as winter or summer breaks. Currently, the Schengen tourist visa is in very high demand due to school vacations and long weekends like Eid al-Adha. To ensure a smoother experience, it is advisable to schedule your appointment well in advance, especially if your travel plans coincide with these busy periods.

Visa processing time

Following your visa appointment, the standard processing time is usually completed within 15 days. However, it’s important to note that there are instances where the visa process may extend beyond this timeframe.

Factors such as the specific country and the applicant’s citizenship status can influence the duration of processing, potentially leading to an extension of 15 to 45 days in certain circumstances.

To conveniently track the status of your visa processing, you can use the online portal provided by the faculty responsible for conducting your Schengen appointment. Simply use the reference number provided to access real-time updates on the progress of your application.

 

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