Updated January 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.
Read on as Wego helps you learn everything you need to know about scheduling a Schengen visa appointment.
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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 27 member countries. These countries are:
- Czech Republic
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 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.
Many Schengen countries have outsourced their visa submission processes to service providers. While the majority have opted for VFS Global, Lithuania has partnered with BLS International, and Italy has chosen to outsource its application processes to both VFS Global and Cox & Kings Global Services. In contrast, Slovakia and Poland manage visa submissions directly through their embassies in Abu Dhabi.
There are two VFS Visa Application Centres 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.
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.
How to book the Schengen visa appointment?
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 centre, 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 in Dubai and the UAE
To determine the availability of a Schengen visa appointment, the recommended approach is to reach out to the Embassy/Consulate or visa application centre using the designated channels. You can independently initiate this process through the website link provided after submitting your application.
Securing a Schengen visa appointment can be particularly challenging during peak months or holiday seasons such as winter or summer breaks.
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.
Schengen visa appointment waiting time in Dubai and the UAE
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.
The duration of processing can be influenced by factors such as the specific country and the applicant’s citizenship status, potentially leading to an extension ranging from 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.