The Schengen area includes 26 European countries and was formed after the signing of the Schengen agreement in 1985. All the countries share a common visa policy and one can travel to 22 member countries of the European Union and the four European Free Trade Association members, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
The Different Types of Visas for Different Purposes
- Schengen Tourist Visa: This is meant for tourists out to explore Europe. This visa is also suitable for those looking to visit family and friends allowing a short stay in Europe.
- Schengen Business Visa: This visa is meant for those looking to visit Europe on a business trip. The trip may be to any single Schengen country or cover multiple nations within the Schengen group.
- Schengen Multiple-Entry Visa: With a visa of this type, one can enter and travel within the Schengen area multiple times.
The 22 Member Nations of the Schengen Group
The price of a normal Schengen visa is AED 350. Please note that this fee is not refundable under any circumstances whatsoever.
- A UAE residency visa that’s valid for a minimum of 90 days
- Original passport having at least two blank pages valid for at least 6 months from the day of traveling
- For professionals, an NOC letter that mentions the pay, the designation, the joining date and the purpose of visit stated by the employer addressed to the Schengen embassy. If a business traveler, a valid trade license, a self introduction letter mentioning the monthly income and the passport details of each partner, investor or owner will be needed
- Three recent 3.5*4.5 cm photographs taken with a white background
- An original bank statement having transactions covering the last 6 months or a statement covering transactions of the same duration with the bank stamp on it
- An invitation letter from a friend or a relative would be a major added advantage
- An invitation letter for business travelers
It is a must that all supporting documents with a passport valid for at least 6 months from the day of traveling be submitted on time for the smooth approval of the visa. It also helps avoid delays. Since appointments are a fixed on a first-come-first-served basis, it’s important that all documents be submitted on time.
In case of any discrepancies in the documents, the authorities should be informed as early as possible. If the applicant fails to do so, the visa processed will be taken as a representation of the information submitted by you having no mistakes whatsoever.
A processing fee specified by the embassy and the service charge along with it need to be paid. The applicant may make the payment through his debit or credit card or through online bank transfer too.
Please note that the approval of the visa depends entirely on the issuing authority’s discretion. If the visa is cancelled, the visa fee submitted shall however not be refunded.
Usually, the time taken to process a visa to the Schengen countries is 10-14 working days. However, the visa may be delayed under the following circumstances:
- All the necessary information isn’t given in the application form leaving it incomplete
- There being any errors in filling up the application form
- Any of the supporting documents not being submitted or the documents not being clear enough
- Airline tickets not being booked
Please note that the delay in having the visa processed might not be limited to only these reasons. There might be other reasons too.
It is advised that after the approval of the visa, the airline tickets be purchased and the hotel accommodation booked. Transit visa policies vary from country to country. Therefore, the best practice is to consult the airline before traveling.
Yes, it is. All UAE citizens with multiple nationalities shall need a visa to visit the Schengen countries.
Yes, even children and visas need a visa to visit the Schengen countries even if they are traveling with their parents of UAE nationality.
Depending on the purpose of the visit and the duration of stay, an applicant is issued a tourist visa, a business visa or a multiple-entry visa.
Yes, one may book the tickets before applying for the processing of the Schengen visa.
It usually takes 10 to 14 days to have the visa processed subject to having all documents submitted properly and on time and meeting all the eligibility criteria.
No, under no circumstances whatsoever are the visa fees refunded and the approval of the application is entirely at the visa authorities’ discretion.
In most instances, the visa authorities don’t reveal the reason for the rejection of the visa. However, in some very rare cases the reason may be given.
After the visa is processed, it’s stamped on the passport.
The appointments at the embassy are fixed on a first-come-first-served basis. Therefore, it’s vital that all supporting documents and the passport be submitted on time when asked for.
Points to Note
- The embassy keeps the original passport to stamp the visa in it
- The applicant has to visit the embassy personally to submit his original documents
The passport can however be taken back by the applicant if he has to travel elsewhere after paying additional charges