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Updated 26 October 2022

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.

If you are looking to travel to Europe from the UAE, here is 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. 

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 up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. Currently, the Schengen list of countries consists of 26 member nations. All of these countries are located in Europe. The 26 Schengen countries are:

  • 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
  • Switzerland

Who can apply for a Schengen Visa in UAE?

UAE passport holders do not need to be in possession of a Schengen visa to be permitted to enter the Schengen Area. 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.

UAE citizens can apply for a Schengen Visa only if they belong to one of the categories mentioned below:

  • 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.

Schengen Visa documents and requirements for UAE residents

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
  • Proof of residence permit in UAE: The residence permit must be valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
  • 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
  • Cover letter: Explain why you wish to visit Europe, specifying the countries you want to visit, the time you will remain there, and other details.
  • 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
  • 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.

Check other specific requirements when applying for a different Schengen visa type in UAE through the following links:

How to apply for a Schengen Visa in the UAE?

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 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.

Travel Authorization for UAE nationals

Currently, there are 60 countries that are not in the European Union (EU) whose citizens can enter the EU Schengen Zone without the need for a visa.

Starting November 2023, UAE nationals will 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. ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for short-term stays and for business or leisure purposes.

ETIAS 2022: Everything to Know About the Visa Waiver If You’re Planning a Trip to Europe Next Year

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

Where to apply for a Schengen Visa in UAE?

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 read the rules on “How to Choose the Right Embassy/Consulate/VAC to File a Schengen Visa Application“!

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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 to 15:00.

Estonia

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

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.

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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 to 15:00.

France

VFS handles the visa application for the French 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.

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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 to 15:00.

Iceland

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

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.

Italy

For Abu Dhabi residents, VFS handles the visa application for the Italian embassy. For residents of other emirates, Cox & Kings Global Services handles the visa application.

Abu Dhabi: Level 25, Shining Tower, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, 26th Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, 30023
Dubai: 48 Burjigate, Office 1102, Downtown Burji Area, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Adjacent to Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Metro Station

All applicants residing in the Emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm al-Quwain need to submit their Schengen Visa application at CKGS Italy Visa Application Centre in Dubai. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 08:00 to 19:00.

All applicants in Abu Dhabi need to submit a visa application at VFS. VFS 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.

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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 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 09:00 to 17:00. You will be able to file your Schengen visa application every workday from 09:00 to 15:00.

How long do I need to wait for my Schengen Visa appointment?

The UAE residents are NO longer required to wait for three (3) months or more for a Schengen visa to head for Europe, as the visa appointments from September will become less time-consuming.

However, as reported by some authorities, Schengen visa appointments are available as of now, but it still depends on the embassy or country the UAE-based travellers are applying to. Some countries still cannot take visa appointments until October.

According to the latest update, even if the processing time for several European countries has significantly shortened, UAE citizens who intend to visit Schengen nations may have to wait until December for Schengen visas.

Executives in the UAE’s travel sector have observed a significant demand for Schengen visa applications. Depending on the destination and the applicant’s papers, the processing period has decreased to just 15 days for some countries and up to two months for others.

Moreover, as reported by the travel agents the airline rates to Europe will see some dips from the first week of September 2022. Owing to this, a flight to Amsterdam can cost between Dh3,000 to Dh4,000 ($816.77 to $1,089.03) range currently and will fall within the Dh1,500 to Dh2,500 ($408.39 to $680.64) range in September. A one-way ticket to Berlin will cost at least Dh3,000 right now but will drop to half the next month.

Please make sure to consult your Embassy regarding the time you need to wait for your Schengen visa appointment.

What should I do if my visa application gets rejected?

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 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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