Updated October 2022
The European countries have always been alluring to the Middle East, especially for Qatari travellers. The lush green courtyards, the scenic landscape bordering mountains and the local streets etched with culture make a trip to Europe a fulfilling travel experience.
If you are looking to travel to Europe from Qatar, here is everything you need to know about the Schengen visa; the documents required, the detailed procedure and guidelines, and how to apply in Qatar.
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 Area consists of 26 member countries. All of these countries are located in Europe. The 26 Schengen countries are:
- Czech Republic
Do Qatar residents need to apply for Schengen Visa?
Yes, Qatari passport holders must obtain a Schengen visa to enter any European country in the Schengen Zone. Qatari residents must go through all the processes of meeting requirements and attending interviews to obtain a visa that permits them to enter the Schengen Area.
The following categories can submit a visa application at a Schengen embassy/consulate/Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Qatar:
- Qatar passport holders.
- Other nationals who need a visa visit to Europe and are living in Qatar under a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Depending on the purpose under which you need to enter the Schengen Area, you can apply for one of the following Schengen visa types:
- Transit visa
- Tourism visa
- Visa for Visiting Family or Friends
- Business visa
- Visa for Culture and Sports activities
- Visa for Official Visits
- Study visa
- Visa for Medical Reasons
When to apply for Schengen Visa?
Due to the time that the Schengen embassies/consulates worldwide need to process a Schengen visa, you have an appointed period within which you can file your visa application.
The allowed period to apply for a Schengen visa is as follows:
- The earliest you can file a visa application: six months before you start your planned trip.
- The latest you can file a visa application: at most 15 working days before you intend to travel.
- The recommended time to file a visa application: at least three weeks before your trip.
Where to apply for Schengen Visa?
You will have to file your Schengen visa application at one of the following:
- The embassy of the country you intend to visit
- One of their consulates
- A visa centre to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission
- The embassy/consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission
Do note that:
- If you are going to visit only one Schengen country, file your application at the embassy/consulate/visa centre of that country
- If you are going to visit more than two Schengen countries, file your application:
- At the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you will spend most days if you will be spending an unequal amount of days in each
- At the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you will step first, if you will be spending an equal amount of days in each.
Given below are the locations of Visa application centres and embassies of Schengen countries in Qatar.
Visa Application centres in Qatar
European embassies in Qatar
How to apply for Schengen Visa in Qatar?
Documents and requirements
The required documents are a crucial part of your visa application. Usually, these documents are categorized into two groups.
The first group is of the standard required documents, which include:
- The visa application form.
- Valid passport.
- Two identical photos.
- Travel insurance policy. You can easily purchase it online from AXA Schengen, Europ Assistance, or MondialCare
- Round trip reservation or flight itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
- Proof of accommodation.
- Proof of financial means, etc.
The other group is the visa-specific requirements. These documents and their specifications differ from one visa type to the other. In addition, some of the Schengen member states have their own extra requirements for visa applicants.
Check the list of documents required for the Schengen visa application, which includes the standard requirements and the visa-specific requirements for each visa type.
Steps to apply for Schengen Visa in Qatar
In order to apply for a Schengen visa from Qatar you must follow these steps:
- Check which Schengen visa type you need. There are different Schengen visa types depending on your purpose of travelling from Qatar to Europe.
- Check where you need to apply for a Schengen visa. Visit the country’s embassy, visa centre or consulates accordingly.
- Decide when to apply for a Schengen visa in Qatar. The earliest time you can lodge your Schengen visa application in Qatar is 6 months before your planned trip while the latest time to file your visa application is at least 15 working days before you intend to travel to Europe.
- Collect the documents required for a Schengen visa.
- Book an appointment. Depending on the country, you may make an appointment online, by phone, or in person.
- Fill out the visa application form. Download the application form and fill it out correctly and honestly. The Schengen visa application form has the same format no matter which country’s visa it is that the applicant is applying for.
- Attend the interview on the day of your appointment. On the day of your appointment, show up on time at the facility where you will be interviewed. There you will meet a visa consular to whom you need to hand the collected documents, as required.
- Pay the visa fee. You will need to pay a non-refundable administration fee when applying for a Schengen visa, in order for your visa application to be processed.
- Wait for the processing of your visa.
ETIAS for Qatar nationals
The European Commission has submitted a proposal to lift visa requirements for Qatar nationals to travel to the EU. This means that these nationalities would be eligible for ETIAS once it is introduced in November 2023.
Once the visa-free agreement has been finalised, holders of a passport issued by Qatar or Kuwait will be able to cross European borders without a visa for short-term stays. They will still need a passport valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry.
Additionally, in 2023, they will also need to register online with ETIAS (the European Travel Information and Authorisation System). This is a mandatory requirement for citizens of all 60+ visa waiver countries.
Schengen Visa processing time
In most cases, it takes no more than 15 days for processing a visa. That period can be extended from 15 to 45 days for some citizens.
If your Schengen visa is approved
If you get your visa, make sure to understand carefully the labels attached to the visa sticker, including the period it permits you to remain in Europe, otherwise, overstaying in the Schengen Area might have consequences.
If your Schengen visa gets rejected
If your visa application gets denied, read the reason why didn’t grant you a visa and try to fulfil it the next time you apply if you think that your application was correct, and the decision on its refusal was a mistake, you can always appeal the visa rejection.
What is the cost of a Schengen Visa in Qatar?
The following is the current price cap for Schengen visa for Qatari residents:
- Adults: 80 Euros (around QAR 308)
- Child between 6-12 years of age: 40 Euros (around INR 154)
- Child younger than 6 years of age: FREE
- Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports travelling for official purposes: FREE
- A family member of an EU/EEA national: FREE
- Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip: FREE
- Researchers travelling to carry out scientific research: FREE
The visa fees may also be waived for participants aged 25 years or less in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events, organized by non-profit organizations. The decision will be made case by case according to the relevance of the event.
Again, in case the visa is denied there is no refund of the money paid.
What is the validity of the Schengen Visa?
According to the type of visa issued by the certain embassy/consulate of any Schengen country, there are different restrictions that apply to the particular visa in accordance with the nature of travelling and other relevant circumstances.
Schengen visa validity is for 90 days within a 180-day period and you can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days on a Schengen visa. The most common type of visa issued to travellers can reach the maximum validity of 90 days in every six-month period starting from the date of entry.