How and Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
The United Arab Emirates remain among the favorite destinations for world travelers, either for tourism or for business. In addition, its residents are also among the top travelers around the globe.
The UAE is listed among the top 15 countries, the residents of which filed most visa applications at one of the Schengen embassies, for a visa to Europe in 2017.
Statistics of the European Commission show that almost 267K people from the UAE applied for a Schengen visa in 2017. Taking into account that since May 2015, UAE passport holders do not need a visa to enter any of the Schengen Countries, the number is much higher when it comes to the number of people that have visited the area.
Note: (Starting January 1, 2021, citizens of United Arab Emirates will have to apply for an ETIAS visa prior to their travel towards Europe, in order to be allowed to enter the territory.)
What documents do UAE citizens need to enter Europe?
Even though UAE passport holders do not need to be in possession of a Schengen visa in order to be permitted to enter the Schengen Area, they will still need to present some documents at the port of entry. The border officer is the one who gives the final decision whether they shall be permitted to enter or not.
These documents are as following:
- UAE passport or travel document. It must be valid for at least three more months beyond their intended stay in Europe
- Evidence on their purpose of visit
- Proof they possess the required financial means to support their stay in Schengen
- Other documents that may be required by specific states.
UAE citizens can travel without a Schengen visa in the European countries part of the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Who can apply for a Schengen Visa in UAE?
On the other hand, all those living in any of the seven emirates of the UAE, who do not hold an UAE passport, and do not belong to any of the Schengen visa exempt categories, will need to obtain a visa. To determine whether you need a visa, please check the list of nationals who are required to have a Schengen Visa.
Persons who can apply to get a Schengen Visa in UAE should belong to one of the categories 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 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 visa-free regime with the Schengen countries
Schengen Visa Application 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 is planning to leave the Schengen Zone
- Two photos – Taken within the last three months according to the standards set by the Schengen states. Read more about photo requirements.
- Proof of residence permit in UAE. 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. Please, explain why you wish to visit Europe, specifying the countries you wish 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 the 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. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, 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.
Other specific requirements when applying for a different Schengen visa type in UAE:
- Business visa requirements
- Tourist visa requirements
- Visitor visa requirements
- Transit visa requirements
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