This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate. 

Updated May 2024

UAE, home to seven stunning Emirates, is one of the world’s favourite tourist locations, thanks to its economic and political stability, electrified with culture and modern wealth, and religiously and culturally tolerant population. In addition, its residents are also among the top travellers around the globe.

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If you are looking to travel to Europe from the UAE, read on as Wego unveils everything you need to know about the Schengen visa for UAE nationals; the documents required, the detailed procedure and guidelines, and how and where to apply in the UAE. 

Schengen visa latest news

In a significant move towards modernizing the visa application process, the European Council has given its approval to new regulations that will allow individuals planning to travel to the Schengen area to apply for visas online.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez, the acting Spanish Minister for the Interior, hailed the new rules as a major improvement for both citizens and the application process. He stated, “The online application for a Schengen visa will not only simplify the process for travelers but also alleviate the workload on national administrations, enabling them to respond more swiftly and effectively.”

The newly adopted regulations include:

  • the establishment of an EU visa application platform. This platform will serve as the primary portal for Schengen visa applications, allowing applicants to input all necessary information, upload electronic copies of travel documents and supporting materials, and pay their visa fees
  • a reduction in the requirement for in-person consulate visits. Going forward, in-person appearances will generally only be necessary for first-time applicants, individuals with expired biometric data, and those with new travel documents
  • the current visa sticker will be replaced with a cryptographically signed barcode

Following their signature, these regulations will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and take effect on the twentieth day after publication. The specific date of application for these new rules will be determined once the technical work has been completed.

This development marks a significant stride in simplifying and modernizing the Schengen visa application process, promising a more convenient and secure experience for travelers and authorities.

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member of the Schengen Area per stay for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. Currently, the Schengen Area consists of 29 member countries. All of these countries are located in Europe. The 29 Schengen 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

Digital Schengen Visa

The European Parliament revealed that they have approved a new strategy to digitize the physical Schengen visa application and sticker process. This means that travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including UAE passport holders, can say goodbye to long lines and complicated paperwork, as they will soon be able to apply for and receive their digital Schengen visa online.

This means that individuals will be able to apply for their visas online without the need to book appointments or physically submit their passports. Instead of the traditional visa sticker, a digital version will be provided, which not only streamlines the application process but also enhances security measures for the Schengen region.

This platform enables visa seekers to input all necessary information, upload digital copies of their travel and supporting documents, and complete the payment process for their visa fees. Additionally, they will receive notifications regarding the status of their visa application.

Check out our article to learn all about the Digital Schengen Visa for more details:

Schengen Visa Online: What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Digital Schengen Visa

 

Prices and charges

To apply for a Schengen visa, there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay. The following is the current price cap for Schengen visa for UAE residents:

  • adults: 340 AED
  • child between 6-12 years of age: 170 AED
  • child younger than 6 years of age: Free
  • holders of diplomatic and service passports: Free
  • a family member of an EU/EEA national: Free

Schengen visa for UAE residents

Who can apply?

UAE passport holders can enter any Schengen country and stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, visa-free. However, all those living in any of the seven emirates of the UAE who do not hold a UAE passport and do not belong to any of the Schengen visa-exempt categories will need to obtain a visa.

Travelers from the UAE can apply for a Schengen Visa to attend the 2024 Paris Olympics only if they meet specific eligibility criteria.

  • UAE passport holders that have been refused visa-free entry to the Schengen area previously
  • foreigners living in UAE on a permanent or temporary residence permit, who:
    • are nationals of a country that has an agreement on a visa-free regime with Schengen but have been refused visa-free entry to Europe
    • are nationals of any of the countries that do not have a visa-free regime with the Schengen countries

To determine whether you need a visa, please check the list of nationals who are required to have a Schengen Visa.

Documents and requirements

The following documents are required when applying for a short-term Schengen Visa in the United Arab Emirates:

  • application form: It should be fully completed with correct and honest information. Print the form twice, and sign both copies at the end.
  • valid passport: It should be no older than 10 years and with a validity of at least three more months beyond the date that the applicant plans to leave the Schengen Zone.
  • two photos: Two photos taken within the last three months according to the standards set by the Schengen states. Read more about photo requirements here
  • travel flight itinerary: A document that proves you have reserved a flight ticket from UAE to the Schengen Zone and back on the exact dates you are planning to enter and leave this area
  • Europe travel insurance: A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents, and even repatriation in case of death.
  • proof of accommodation: A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This could be a hotel booking, a rent agreement, or a letter of invitation by a host at whose house you will be staying.
  • proof of financial means: Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in Schengen. This can be one of the following:
    • bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
    • sponsorship letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. For this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a sponsor’s bank statement, no older than three months.
    • a combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship

Apart from these, you may also require additional documents depending on your employment status or if you are a minor.

ETIAS

Starting 2025, UAE nationals need to apply for an ETIAS visa before travelling to any Schengen country.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a completely electronic system that keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. The ETIAS will be valid for three years or until the travel document you used in your application expires. It can be used for short-term stays and for business or leisure purposes.

The procedure to apply for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is quite easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple online ETIAS application form to receive ETIAS travel permission. In addition, applicants must provide their personal information, such as their name, date of birth, address, and information about their travel and security questions. The ETIAS travel authorization costs EUR 7, though some travelers are exempt from paying this fee.

Permission would be granted in as little as a few minutes. Thus, the entire online application and registration procedure will take no more than 10-20 minutes per applicant.

Learn more about ETIAS in our article below:

ETIAS 2024: Everything to Know About the Visa Waiver If You’re Planning a Trip to Europe Next Year

 

Schengen visa application process

To apply for Schengen visa, there are a few simple steps to follow when applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in the United Arab Emirates:

  1. check which embassy/consulate you need to apply to. To file your application at the right place, you will need to know which country should issue you a visa (if you plan to visit more than one Schengen state). Then you need to check what body of that particular country handles visa applications or whether it has outsourced visa submission to another party.
  2. schedule an appointment at the embassy/consulate/visa centre.
  3. attend the visa interview: Take all of the required documents with you, listed in the given order.
  4. wait for a response: In the meantime, the embassy will process your visa, which will go through EU security systems such as Visa Information System and Schengen Information System.

The processing of your application may take up to 15 days. After that period, you will receive a response on your case. All applications are processed by the embassies only. If you want to reschedule your appointment, you can do it up to 2 days before your schedule. You can also cancel your appointment up to 3 days before the scheduled date. Please note that a service charge will be applicable when you book a new appointment.

Where to apply?

Most embassies of the respective country have outsourced visa submissions for UAE residents to VFS Global. This means you will have to submit your visa application either at their Visa Application Center in Abu Dhabi or the one in Dubai.

Note that the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Abu Dhabi accepts applications only from persons holding residency issued by the Emirate of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, persons residing in the Emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, or Fujairah shall submit their applications to the Visa Centre in Dubai.

There are also other embassies that handle their own visa application. Before you decide which EU embassy/consulate in Dubai or Abu Dhabi to submit your visa application for Europe.

Please pay attention to these rules since it is crucial to file your application at the right place. Lodging your application at the wrong authority will result in the rejection of your Schengen visa application.

Austria

VFS handles the visa application for the Austrian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Belgium

VFS handles the visa application for the Belgian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Czech Republic

VFS handles the visa application for the Czech embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Denmark

VFS handles the visa application for the Denmark embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Estonia

VFS handles the visa application for the Finland embassy (appointed by Estonia to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Finland

VFS handles the visa application for the Finnish embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

France

VFS handles the visa application for the French embassy.

Abu Dhabi:  Level B2 (Lower Ground), The Mall, World Trade Centre, Khalifa Bin Zayed The 1st Street (Airport Road)
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

VFS Global has recently inaugurated a new centre in Abu Dhabi to facilitate the processing of France visa applications, catering not only to the capital but to all seven emirates. The new centre has been operational since December 18, 2023.

Prospective applicants have the option to apply remotely using the ‘Visa At Your Doorstep’ service or can visit the centre in person. Visitors to this facility can also avail themselves of various optional services, including a courier return service for processed passports delivered to their homes, Prime Time for submitting applications outside regular business hours, as well as visa assistance and form filling conducted by trained professionals, among other offerings.

For those seeking a more personalized and enhanced experience, there is the option to choose the Premium Lounge. This premium service provides end-to-end assistance throughout the visa application process in a luxurious setting.

Germany

VFS handles the visa application for the German embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 to 15:00.

Greece

VFS handles the visa application for the embassy of the Hellenic Republic.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Hungary

VFS handles the visa application for the Hungarian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Iceland

VFS handles the visa application for the Danish embassy (appointed by Iceland to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Latvia

VFS handles the visa application for the Latvian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Liechtenstein

VFS handles the visa application for the Swedish embassy (appointed by Liechtenstein to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Lithuania

BLS International handles the visa application for the Spanish embassy (appointed by Lithuania to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: BLS International Spain Visa Application Center, 1311, Tamouh Tower; 13th Floor, Marina Square, Al Reem Island,
Dubai: BLS International Spain Visa Application Center, I Rise Tower; 16th Floor, Office # C-9, Barsha Heights (Tecom)

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Luxembourg

VFS handles the visa application for the Danish embassy (appointed by Luxembourg to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Malta

VFS handles the visa application for the Maltesian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Netherlands

VFS handles the visa application for the embassy of the Netherlands.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Norway

VFS handles the visa application for the Norwegian embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Poland

The Polish embassy in Abu Dhabi handles Schengen visa applications directly. You’ll need to fill out the application form through the electronic customer service system “e-konsulat“. Any other form of application will not be accepted.

Portugal

VFS handles the visa application for the Portuguese embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Slovakia

The Slovakian embassy in Abu Dhabi handles Schengen visa applications directly. All visa applicants can file their visa application at the embassy with a prior appointment.

The embassy is open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 10:00 to 13:00.

Slovenia

VFS handles the visa application for the German embassy (appointed by Slovenia to handle visa applications)

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Spain

BLS International handles the visa application for the Spanish embassy.

Abu Dhabi: BLS International Spain Visa Application Center, 1311, Tamouh Tower; 13th Floor, Marina Square, Al Reem Island,
Dubai: BLS International Spain Visa Application Center, I Rise Tower; 16th Floor, Office # C-9, Barsha Heights (Tecom)

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Sweden

VFS handles the visa application for the Swedish embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Switzerland

VFS handles the visa application for the Swiss embassy.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023 Google location
Dubai: Joint Visa Application Centre, Wafi Mall, Level 2, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 Google location 

The VACs are open from Sunday to Thursday, starting from 9:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 9:00 to 15:00.

Processing time

As of now, Schengen visas take around 15 days to get processed in the UAE.

However, with the introduction of the digital Schengen visa application soon, travellers from the UAE can say goodbye to long lines and complicated paperwork, as they will soon be able to apply for and receive their digital Schengen visa online.

Schengen visa rejection

Filing a visa application is not a guarantee that you will get the visa. There are several common reasons why the Schengen embassies reject a visa application. Sometimes applications are rejected because of mistakes made during the visa interviews. Attempt to avoid them since the interview is a crucial part of your application.

However, if you get rejected from getting a Schengen Visa in the UAE, you will always have the chance to appeal the decision. When you receive the final decision on your application, you will also get the reasons for denial and instructions on appealing the decision if you wish to.

You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for Schengen’s visa refusal.

 

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