Home | Forum | Print |

Schengen Visa Abu Dhabi Dubai UAE

Wednesday 16 January 2019 (UAE)   

Schengen visa requirements for Europe from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE

This page under development, assume all information unconfirmed. Check with an official source to confirm anything written here. Especially any text in red which usually refers to a rumour or random comment not yet checked.

This information applies mostly to expat residents in the UAE. From early 2014 it is expected that UAE nationals will be included in the list of Schengen visa exemption countries (news reports 15 Dec 2013, 05 Feb 2014). The waiver will only apply to UAE citizens, not expat residents.

For Schengen visa applications in the UAE; Abu Dhabi and Al Ain residents should go to the VFS Global Schengen Visa Center or an embassy in Abu Dhabi, and residents of Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) should go to the VFS Global Schengen Visa center or consulate in Dubai.

A Schengen visa is a visa which entitles the holder to unrestricted travel in European Union (EU) countries which have signed up to the Schengen Visa agreement. Not all EU countries have signed up to the Schengen Visa, and the Schengen Zone includes countries which are not part of the EU.

  • United Kingdom (UK) (Great Britain) and Ireland are not part of the Schengen Zone - visitors who are not permitted a visa on arrival, or visa-free entry, must obtain visas for these countries separately. The UK includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. Ireland (Eire) is politically a separate country.
  • Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Zone agreement, but not EU members. Visitors with a Schengen visa can travel to those countries without needing another visa.
  • A Schengen visa holder can enter any of the Schengen Visa countries during the period of validity of the Schengen Visa without needing to obtain any other visa. But the first entry point should be in accordance with the conditions under which the Schengen Visa was first issued.
  • Usually a Schengen Visa should be applied for from the consulate or embassy (or visa service provider) of the country in which a visitor intends to spend the most time during their visit, not necessarily the first entry point. If there is no obvious longest period of time for a particular country, then apply to the country which is the first entry point. This is a grey area which you might be able to take advantage of if you think one country might be more difficult than another about issuing a Schengen Visa, especially if you have to go to one of the VFS Global centers, but get your story straight or you risk either getting no visa, or having problems when you arrive at your entry point.
  • If a Schengen Visa holder changes their travel plans after the visa has been issued, then they might or might not have problems at the entry point depending partly on how obvious the changes in travel plans are, and maybe depending on how much the border control officials feel like questioning the visitor upon entry.
Schengen visa exemption for UAE nationals (not expat residents)
  • 07 May 2015 - Schengen visas no longer required for UAE nationals (does not apply to expat residents in the UAE), they get a 90 day visa on arrival in a Schengen zone country.
  • 27 Feb 2014 (WAM) - Emirati citizens are exempted from requiring a Schengen visa as a result of a European Parliament vote, but not yet. The new rule still needs to be implemented and another announcement will be made when it is. Expected or planned date of change not reported.
List of countries that are part of the Schengen Visa zone, and some that are not, or not yet

All European countries included. Our definition of a European country includes EU members, countries considering applying for EU membership, any country up to the western border of Russia, Russia, the Balkan and/or ex Yugoslavian countries, Turkey, any other country that might be considered a part of Europe in our opinion.

  • Entries in black text are countries that are effectively included in the Schengen travel zone whether or not they are officially part of the Schengen agreement. Meaning that once a traveller is in one of those countries, they are able to travel to any other country in that list with no border checks (in theory).
  • Note that as part of the Schengen agreement, countries are permitted to impose border controls in exceptional circumstances.
Country Schengen Date1 EU2 EU Date4 Notes
Albania6       Short-stay only6
Andorra No5      
Austria 1997      
Belarus No Schengen Visa      
Belgium 1995      
Bosnia-Herzegovina6       Short-stay only6
Bulgaria9 requested, 2012?   2007 Jan 01  
Croatia7 > 2016   2013 Jul 01 Multi entry Schengen visas ok
Cyprus requested   2004  
Czech Republic 2007   2004  
Denmark 2001     Some exceptions?
England3 see UK      
Estonia 2007   2004  
Finland 2001      
France 1995      
Germany 1995      
Greece 2000      
Holland see Netherlands      
Hungary 2007   2004  
Iceland 2001 No Not EU10  
Ireland (Eire)3 No Schengen Visa      
Italy 1997      
Kosovo No Schengen Visa      
Latvia 2007   2004  
Liechtenstein 20118?   Not EU  
Lithuania 2007   2004  
Luxembourg 1995      
Macedonia6       Short-stay only6
Malta 2007   2004  
Moldova No Schengen Visa     Moldovans visa-free in Schengen 28 Apr 2014
Montenegro6       Short-stay only6
Netherlands 1995      
Northern Ireland3 see UK      
Norway 2001 No Not EU  
Poland 2007   2004  
Portugal 1995      
Romania9 requested, 2012?   2007 Jan 01  
Russia No Schengen Visa      
San Marino No5      
Scotland3 see UK      
Serbia6       Short-stay only6
Slovakia 2007   2004  
Slovenia 2007   2004  
Spain 1995      
Sweden 2001      
Switzerland 2008 Dec No Not EU  
Turkey No Schengen Visa     EU membership under discussion
Ukraine No Schengen Visa      
United Kingdom (UK)3 No Schengen Visa      
Vatican City        
Wales3 see UK      
  1. Date country first implemented Schengen Visa agreement
  2. Member of European Union (EU)
  3. Countries in grey text are part of the EU but not part of the Schengen visa zone, and a separate visa is required.
  4. Date which country joined the EU.
  5. Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino are not part of the Schengen area but do not have border checks (BBC news 26 April 2011).
  6. Short-stay (up to 90 days) Schengen Visa requirement has been lifted for nationals (not residents or visitors) from Albania (from December 2010?), Bosnia-Herzegovina (Hercegovina) (from December 2010?), Macedonia (from 19 December 2009), Montenegro (from 19 December 2009), and Serbia (but not residents of Kosovo who have Serbian passports issued by the Coordination Directorate in Belgrade) (from 19 December 2009) who have biometric passports. Nationals of Kosovo still need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
  7. Croatian citizens (rather than residents or visitors) do not need a visa to travel to Schengen Area countries since 1999? Biometric passports required?
  8. On 07 March 2011, the EU approved the integration of Liechtenstein into the Schengen area. Application and removal of border controls will still take another 6-10 months from this date. However, for all practial purposes, there are no or few border controls anyway (some video cameras in lieu of checkpoints and border guards apparently).
  9. As of January 2011, requests by Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen area have been denied or postponed, possibly until October 2011.
  10. Iceland applied for EU membership on 17 July 2009, but as of Jun 2013 has suspended (or withdrawn - depending on which news report you read) its application.
List of nationalities - countries whose citizens need a Schengen visa
  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Belize
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic (CAR)
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Congo (Democratic Republic of)
  • Congo Brazzaville
  • Cote D'Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea - see North Korea or South Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgystan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - FYROM)
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova - Moldovans can travel visa-free in Schengen area from 28 April 2014.
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Marianas (islands)
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • St Christopher and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates - under review. UAE citizens expected to be on the Schengen visa waiver or visa-free list in 2014 according to 15 Dec 2013 news - the Council of the European Union and the European Commission voted to change the UAE Schengen visa application requirements. UAE nationals can then enter any Schengen zone country, and remain in the Schengen area for up to 90 days without needing to apply for a Schengen visa before travelling (applies to tourist, family, and business visits). Update 05 Feb 2014 (WAM): The EU Security and Policy Committee gave final approval for the Schengen visa waiver for UAE nationals. The European Parliament still has to vote on the waiver and is expected to do so within a few weeks. The waiver does not apply to expat residents of the UAE, only to citizens.
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Western Samoa
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
VFS Global visa application centers UAE, Dubai Visa Processing Center (DVPC)
  • VFS Global operates visa application centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. If they have an agreement to service visa applications on behalf of an embassy or consulate in the UAE, then you cannot normally apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate directly. Although depending on the country, it might be worth a try - probably less likely you'll be successful as time goes on and more people try and do that. Expect countries to live up to their stereotypes and prejudiced views for this sort of thing.
  • Sharjah VFS Global office - a notice dated 27 May 2013 on the VFS Global website (or one of them) says "Sharjah Office will be Opening Shortly". No further information supplied or found.
  • Schengen visa applications (and possibly or probably for other non-Schengen countries) through VFS Global appear to be a frustrating and time-consuming process according to some (or many) people. If you can find an embassy or consulate that does not use VFS Global, it will possibly be a smoother process to go to them directly (depends on the country). But that will usually require you to prove that you are arriving in that country or spending most of your time in that country. Customer comments are often along the lines of the VFS Global service being inefficient, annoying and/or unhelpful. But VFS Global can be more efficient, less annoying, and less unhelpful if you bribe use their VIP services.
  • However, it's not all ticket numbers and long queues (and even before the days of VFS Global, visa applications were known as being time-consuming irritating processes anyway). Some of the benefits are that car parking is easier (since VFS relocated to the Wafi Center), there is a (not very good) food court for hungry applicants, and there is an sms alert service (unknown if that means you also get even more mobile phone spam).
  • VFS Global centers are closed on UAE Public Holidays, and often on public holidays of the country for which a visa is being applied for (or if not closed, they won't accept applications for the relevant country on those days).
  • VFS Global websites - they have a complicated list of websites for information (probably reflecting the complicated system VFS seems to have for processing visas), Abu Dhabi and Dubai specific websites further below ...
    • www.vfsglobal.com/contact_us/overview.asp - start here (if page is available) and choose destination country and residence country.
    • www.vfsglobal.com - international VFS Global website
    • www.vfsglobal.ae - access denied
    • www.dubaivisa.net - applications for UAE visas for residents in other countries flying with Emirates Airline.
    • www.dubaivisa.net/uae/ - applications for UAE visas by resident friends or relatives for visitors flying with Emirates Airline.
    • www.visaservices.firm.in - VFS Global appointment booking website (nothing available directly, included here for reference, need to access via one of their other websites online appointment booking link).
    • www.vfsglobalonline.com - another VFS website used for some applications, but home page says go to www.vfsglobal.com.
  • Call center helpline telephone numbers (usually 0900-1700 Sun-Thu but might be closed 1200-1300) for Abu Dhabi and Dubai (and other emirates) +971-4-2055606 (Austria), +971-4-2055999 (France), +971-4-2055777 (Italy).
  • Other country specific VFS Global websites for UAE residents (not Schengen visas).
    • Australia - www.vfs-au-gcc.com - Australian visa applications for UAE and GCC residents.
    • Bulgaria - www.vfsglobal.com/bulgaria/uae/ - Bulgarian visa applications for UAE residents, processed at JVAC in Abu Dhabi (level 2, Khalidiya Tower) or Dubai. Tel +971-4-2055850, email info.bulgariagcc@vfshelpline.com.
    • New Zealand visa applications, starting from 15 Sep 2013 at VFS Global NZ Visa Application Center (NZVAC) at Wafi Center Mall. Contact info: call center tel +971-4-2055885, email info.inzdxb@vfshelpline.com, website www.vfsglobal.com/newzealand/uae.
    • United Kingdom (UK) visa applications - www.vfs-uk-ae.com.
    • www.vfsglobal-svac-ae.com
Schengen visa applications at VFS Global joint visa application centers
  • Book an appointment as far ahead of time as you can. You cannot book more than 3 months in advance (or 90 days) but according to some reports, you need to book that far in advance - probably depends on destination country. Consider changing your entry point into the Schengen area to be able to apply to a different country to get around this conundrum.
  • Appointment booking is done online via the relevant website (different ones for different countries) and is a bit clumsy. You need to visit the country website (listed below), and find the appointment booking link. There doesn't appear to be an obvious or easy way to choose a date and time, it seems to be automatically assigned to you. However you can reschedule an appointment (only twice, or extra fees will be charged).
  • You can jump the queue by paying additional premium, urgent, or VIP application fees.
  • You passport will be retained while visa application is being processed - for several days at least, likely to be more than a week, and possibly up to 3 or even 4 weeks. If you need it during this time, you will need to offer proof that you do (for example pilots, cabin crew). They won't just believe a story you tell them.
Schengen visa UAE and other European countries (Abu Dhabi and Dubai - see also separate headings below)
  • Albania - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Andorra - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Austria - VFS Global JVAC Abu Dhabi (level 2, Khalidiya Tower) or Dubai, website www.vfsglobal.com/austria/UAE/, tel +971-4-2055606, email info.austriauae@vfshelpline.com.
  • Belgium - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global?
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Bulgaria - not Schengen visa. Apply at VFS Global.
  • Croatia - not Schengen visa, but application process to become Schengen member state started 01 Jul 2015, might be Schengen zone by 2017. Multi-entry Schengen visas valid for travel to Croatia. Otherwise apply for Croatian visa at embassy in Cairo-Egypt, or possibly VFS Global in Doha, Qatar (but ask first). No embassy or consulate in UAE.
  • Cyprus - not Schengen visa. Apply at embassy in Abu Dhabi, no consulate in Dubai, apply at VFS Global in Dubai (AED 110, takes 1-3 working days).
  • Czech Republic - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global?
  • Denmark - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global?
  • Estonia - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global?
  • Finland - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global?
  • France - apply at VFS Global.
  • Germany - apply at VFS Global.
  • Great Britain - see United Kingdom (UK).
  • Greece - apply at VFS Global JVAC Abu Dhabi (level 2, Khalidiya Tower) or Dubai, website www.vfsglobal.com/Greece/uae/, tel +971-4-2055770, email info.GreeceUAE @vfshelpline.com. Not clear if applications also accepted at Greek embassy in Abu Dhabi - possibly (tel +971-2-4492550)?
  • Holland - see Netherlands.
  • Hungary - apply at VFS Global JVAC Dubai (Abu Dhabi residents must also apply in Dubai, not Hungarian embassy in Abu Dhabi?). Website www.vfsglobal.com/hungary/uae/, tel +971-4-2055650, email info.huae@vfshelpline.com.
  • Iceland - Schengen visa. Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Ireland - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Italy - apply at VFS Global for Abu Dhabi residents, CKGS from 30 Jun 2013 for Dubai residents (previously VFS Global), more details below.
  • Kosovo - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Latvia - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Liechtenstein - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Lithuania - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Luxembourg (not Luxemburg) - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Macedonia - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Malta - apply at VFS Global.
  • Moldova - not Schengen visa. Apply at embassy or consulate or online evisa, not VFS Global. Some nationalities need invitation letter.
  • Montenegro - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Netherlands - from 10 Jun 2015 apply at VFS Global centers in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Website www.vfsglobal.com/netherlands/uae/.
  • Norway - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Poland - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Portugal - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Romania - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Serbia - not Schengen visa? Apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Slovakia - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Slovenia - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Spain - apply at VFS Global office in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Website www.vfsglobal.com/spain/uae/, tel +971-4-2055700 (Dubai call center for all UAE enquiries), email info.spainUAE@vfshelpline.com.
  • Sweden - apply at embassy or consulate, not VFS Global.
  • Switzerland - apply at VFS Global Switzerland Visa Application Center (SVAC) (not JVAC at Wafi Center) (both Abu Dhabi and Dubai residents?), website www.vfsglobal.com/swiss/uae/, tel +971-4-2055888, email info.swissdubai@vfshelpline.com. Location Switzerland Visa Application Centre, Dubai World Trade Centre, Level 22, Dubai (next to the Swiss Consulate in Dubai). Postal address PO Box 114100, Dubai, UAE.
  • UK - not Schengen visa. Apply at VFS Global Abu Dhabi or VFS Global Dubai, website www.vfs-uk-ae.com, call center tel +971-4-2055800, email infoauh.ukae@vfshelpline.com. See British Embassy Abu Dhabi and British Embassy Dubai for more information about visa applications.
Schengen visa Abu Dhabi
  • Application submission timings usually 0900-1500 Sun-Thu but you can't just go there, you need to book an appointment online first (possibly up to 3 months in advance). Ramadan timings usually 0900-1300.
  • Passport collection timings usually 1500-1700 Sun-Thu. Ramadan timings usually 1300-1500.
  • Location (Austria applications): Joint Visa Application Center (JVAC), Floor 02, Office 08, Khalidhiya Tower, Zayed the 1st Street, Abu Dhabi. Postal address: PO Box 30023, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Location (France applications): Office 104, Block A, Al Aryam Tower (National Bank of Abu Dhabi - NBAD - building), Al Mina Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Location (Italy applications): Office 108, Block C, Al Aryam Tower (National Bank of Abu Dhabi - NBAD - building), Al Mina Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Country information and websites:
    • France - www.vfsglobal.com/France/abudhabi/ - French Schengen visa applications. Email info.franceAUH@vfshelpline.com.
    • Germany - de.vfsglobal.ae
    • Italy - www.vfsglobal.com/italy/abudhabi/ - Italy Schengen visa applications. Email info.italyuae@vfshelpline.com. For Italian speaking help, tel +971-50-4495103 or +971-50-1113542 (0900-1500 UAE time) (Per informazioni in lingua italiana chiamate il n. +971-50-4495103 or +971-50-1113542 dalle ore 09:00 alle ore 15:00 ora locale UAE). Update 30 June 2013 - Gulf News reported that CKGS in Dubai will receive applications from all the emirates, except Abu Dhabi, whose applications will be handled by the Italian Embassy (see below for information about Italian visa applications in Dubai). It's not clear where Gulf News obtained the information about Abu Dhabi, CKGS information and the press release about the new Dubai CKGS center, only refers to Dubai and other emirates; the Italian Embassy Abu Dhabi website isn't clear about where to apply, and VFS Global Abu Dhabi still appears to be the application processing organisation for Abu Dhabi residents wanting an Italian Schengen visa.
    • Malta - www.vfsglobal.com/Malta/GCC/SaudiArabia/ - Malta Schengen visa applications for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain residents - must be processed by VFS Global in Saudi Arabia, not by VFS in Dubai or the Maltese Consulate in Dubai. However, the Dubai application website says "Nationals of third countries that are legal residents in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain can apply only at the Malta Visa Application Centre in Abu Dhabi." But we couldn't find it - try phoning their helpline first to find out just where you have to go - it might be that you can go to the JVAC in Abu Dhabi.
    • Spain - apply at VFS Global Abu Dhabi. Schedule an appointment online first. Website www.vfsglobal.com/spain/uae/, tel +971-4-2055700 (Dubai call center), email info.spainuae@vfshelpline.com. VFS office location moved to Level 25, Shining Tower, 26th Street (King Khalid Bin Abdel Aziz St), near Khalidyah Mall, Abu Dhabi (from 24 Aug 2013, office closed 21-22 Aug 2013, unknown if passport collection still possible). Previous location was Office 08, Level 2, Khalidiya Tower, Zayed the First Street, Abu Dhabi. Spanish embassy website also lists tel +971-4-3764151 for making appointments with VFS, unknown if still valid, is not listed on VFS website.
Schengen visa Dubai
Schengen visa for Italy, applications in Dubai, important update June 2013
  • From 30 June 2013, VFS Global will no longer handle Italian Schengen visa applications, Cox and Kings Global Services (CKGS) will take over booking and applications.
  • Location of Italian Visa Application Center (IVAC) is Office 310, Al Deyaar Building (next to Mall of the Emirates bridge), Al Barsha 1, Dubai.
  • Contact tel +971-4-3992466, toll-free (in UAE) tel 800-ITALY (800-48259), email italyvisa.dubai@ckgs.ae (or maybe dubai.visa@esteri.it).
  • Opening hours Sun-Thu 0800-1700 for visa applications (but book an appointment online first, don't just walk in), and passport collection.
  • www.it.ckgs.ae - website of IVAC, has location map and driving directions. Book visa application appointment online. Has an online chat available also but didn't seem to work when we tried.
  • CKGS processing fee is AED 80 (additional to Schengen visa fees) for standard appointments. Premium VIP fee AED 200 (not confirmed)? Premium fee includes courier service, VIP lounge, SMS notification, but visa processing time is the same as standard fee appointments.
  • Italian Consulate in Dubai website notice said "The Consulate General of Italy in Dubai is pleased to announce the opening on June 30th of the Italy Visa Application Centre in Dubai in association with Cox & Kings Global Services. Starting on June 30th, all applicants residing in the Northern Emirates will be able to submit their applications at the new visa application centre ... The Consulate and CKGS will strive to provide visa appointments within a maximum of three working days from the request."
  • Unknown if new arrangement was prompted by a Gulf News report on 19 June 2013 about difficulties applicants had with VFS Global.
  • When checked (25 June 2013), it was still possible to book an appointment on 30 June 2013.
  • Visa processing time 3-20 days according to press release. Allow 2-4 weeks but some applications might take even longer (press release suggested applying 45 days before travelling).
General Schengen visa in Dubai information continued

This information also applies (usually) to residents of the Northern Emirates - Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain (UAQ), Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Fujairah. Abu Dhabi (includes Al Ain, Western Region, Al Gharbiya, Ruwais, etc) residents should apply to VFS Global in Abu Dhabi, the embassy in Abu Dhabi, or the nearest embassy for the UAE.

  • 02 Jul 2015 (GN) - summer delays again for Schengen visa applications in the UAE. Normal processing period of 15 days extended to 25 days for some nationalities. Quickest processing time can be 3-5 days. Waiting periods to schedule an appointment at a VFS Global center range from about 3-6 weeks depending on country applied to. Popular destinations include Austria, Greece, Italy (but applications not to VFS Global), Netherlands.
  • 19 Jun 2013 - A Gulf News editorial about the Schengen Visa application process said "... A wait of three months for an appointment may seem a stretch too many, ..."
    • The opinion piece was prompted by a Gulf News report (18 Jun 2013) about high fees and long waiting times for appointments at the VFS Global centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which attracted a larger than usual number of reader comments (mostly negative about VFS Global). The sentiment expressed was that applicants felt the difficulties in obtaining appointment times were deliberate to encourage applicants to pay extra for VIP or premium services which were easily available. GN quoted Paul Vijayakumar, COO of VFS Global Middle East and Africa, as saying "They have the option to make an appointment for the Premium service at their own convenience, we are not forcing them."
    • Standard appointment costs AED 100. Premium service costs additional AED 275. VIP service costs additional AED 150 (plus the premium service fee?) but includes a VIP waiting lounge and free drinks (presumably non-alcoholic). Fees according to GN report, VFS websites say premium service additional AED 150.
    • We tried to book standard appointments ourselves to see what it was like at the end of June 2013 for Jul, Aug, Sep. France no appointments available. Germany only one day available in August. Greece no appointments available in Dubai but available in Abu Dhabi. Italy no appointments available. Spain no appointments available in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Switzerland unknown - annoying request for name and passport details etc before you find out if you can even get an appointment. UK (not Schengen we know but a popular destination so we checked) - appointments available in July 2013 for Dubai and Abu Dhabi but no choice of day or time.
  • VFS Global websites for Dubai residents ...
    • Austria - see above (UAE).
    • France - www.vfsglobal-fr-ae.com - French Schengen Visa applications. Email info.franceuae@vfshelpline.com.
    • Germany - www.vfsglobal-de-ae.com - German Schengen Visa applications. Email info.germanyuae@vfshelpline.com.
    • Italy - www.vfs-it-ae.com - Italian Schengen Visa applications (VFS Global visa center for Italy open 0800-1000 and 1500-1700, or 0900-1500 for premium lounge, Sun-Thu, must make an appointment). Tel +971-4-2055777 (0900-1700 Sun-Thu). Update 30 June 2013 - notice says "Effective 30 June 2013 VFS Global in Dubai will no longer handle the visa application and associated services. For further information on the same please visit the Italy consulate in Dubai website www.consdubai.esteri.it/Consolato_Dubai"
    • Malta - www.vfsglobal.com/Malta/GCC/Dubai/ - Malta Schengen Visa applications. Tel +971-4-2055990, email info.maltadubai@vfshelpline.com. No obvious way to make an appointment online, maybe that means you just visit but the instructions say "Visit Visa Application Centre as per appointment scheduled" so phone first (good luck), or email, or visit anyway, or tell us if you find where to make an appointment online.
    • Spain - see above (UAE).
    • Switzerland - see above (UAE).
Joint Visa Application Center Dubai (JVAC) - Wafi Center, Dubai
  • New location for the JVAC Dubai from 05 June 2012 is the Wafi Center shopping mall - Falcon area, Phase 2, Level 2 of the mall. Area Umm Hurair 2. Postal Address PO Box 114100, Dubai, UAE. Car parking (should be free) in the Wafi Center car park.
  • Telephone +971-4-2055999 (helpline, 0900-1700 Sun to Thu, might be 0900-1200 and 1300-1700 for some countries).
  • Opening times 0900-1500 for application submission, 1500-1700 for passport collection, Sunday to Thursday (except public holidays).
  • Schengen visa applications for Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy (no longer from 30 Jun 2013), Malta, Spain, Switzerland.
  • Visa applications also for Australia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, India, New Zealand (NZ - from 15 Sep 2013), Singapore, UK.
  • New center area 45,000 square feet.
Joint Visa Application Center Dubai (JVAC) - Al Mina Road, Dubai (information left for archive, no longer valid)
  • JVAC center on Al Mina Road closed from 02 June 2012 and relocating to Wafi Center Mall.
  • Tel +971-4-3455461. Location is the Jumeirah Palms Residence building on Al Mina Road (not on the Jumeirah Palm island or anywhere near it).
  • Opening hours for visa application submissions: 0900-1500 Sunday to Thursday
  • Opening times for passport collection: 1500-1700 Sunday to Thursday. For passport collection, you must bring the original application receipt. If you are collecting someone else's passport, you must bring the original receipt, and a signed letter of authority from the original passport holder.
  • Email for information: info.germanyuae@vfshelpline.com, info.italyuae@vfshelpline.com, info.franceuae@vfshelpline.com, info.hungaryuae@vfshelpline.com.
  • Website www.vfsglobal-svac-ae.com
  • Visa application tracking - enter reference number from application receipt and your date of birth at the VFS website and click on the "Track Your Passport" link.
Schengen visa cost in UAE
  • A Schengen short-term visa costs 60 EUR for most nationalities (as of April 2011). Some nationalities pay only 35 EUR.
  • Visa applications through VFS Global cost an additional AED 90 in service charges. Or more for VIP treatment (a shorter waiting time at the center, but no difference in actual visa processing time at the embassy or consulate).
  • Payment in UAE to be made in UAE dirhams.
Terms used
  • Schengen Agreement
  • Schengen Area
  • Schengen Zone
Last update Friday 21-Aug-2015. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)


Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

DubaiFAQs UAE information guide. Copyright © 2004-2019 www.dubaifaqs.com, Dubai, UAE - United Arab Emirates | blog | Facebook | Twitter |