Considering its proximity to Europe, a number of travelers from Qatar -- regardless being a local or an expatriate -- are constantly eyeing a quick vacation to at least one of the equally-enthralling Schengen states.
The urge to travel to either France or Italy or Spain -- being the Top 3 most preferred -- roots from the traveler's drive to either immerse themselves in a slightly colder weather or their intent to keep their country count growing as acquiring a Schengen VISA will entitle them to visit as many as 26 European countries!
In Qatar, applying for a Schengen VISA is quite a breeze as the country is relatively condensed and the embassies to the Schengen countries are extremely accessible with some of them even erected beside each other. Not to mention the up-and-coming VISA centers which are more than willing to assist should you have any difficulty processing your application.
Actually, these VISA centers are really meant to help you as each one of them represents Schengen countries meaning there's no need to go to the embassies anymore if you see the country name listed under the VISA center representing them. All you need to do is look up the VISA center's address and go there straight -- as they usually have everything that you will need in order to secure that dream Schengen stamp on your passport!
The application of a Schengen VISA is subject to your point of entry in Europe or the country where you will stay the longest (if you're planning to make the most out of your VISA). Depending on your planned itinerary or tour package, you should be advised where to apply for a VISA on their respective embassy offices here in Doha -- or in most cases, VISA centers.
So what are these VISA centers and what are the Schengen countries that they represent?
While the VISA centers that we've listed below cater to those applicants who are intending to enter Europe for a short stay only, it's best to keep in mind that the concerned embassies are still the ones deemed responsible to conduct the review and approval processes for all applications, including long term VISAS.
A Schengen VISA comes in varieties. They can either be for tourism, business, student, working, or transit purposes. For this special edition of ILQ's Qatar Guide, the tourist Schengen VISA will be discussed as it is the most commonly preferred by locals and residents in Qatar.
Italy, Malta, Sweden, and Estonia
Germany, Austria, Finland, Norway and Slovenia
Only residents of Qatar (with valid QID) are eligible to apply for a short-term Schengen VISA under the 'tourist' specification in the above centers/embassies. Depending on the visa issued, they may be allowed to enter once (single entry) or multiple times (multiple entry) and stay for no longer than 3 months and 90 days per year in between the period of 6 months. Such a decision is made by the authorities depending on the nature of one’s travel purpose and other relevant factors.
Now that you have an idea of the different Schengen embassies and VISA centers scattered around Doha, the next step is to decide which country to prioritize. If you read the upper part of this guide, you probably already have a clue what we're talking about.
According to Qatar's oldest and most pioneer travel agency Darwish Travels, Indian and Filipino nationals are the most frequent nationalities who approach them for Schengen VISA assistance. And although there are certain nationalities who are banned from applying for a Schengen VISA, the travel agency assured that the processing for the two above-mentioned nationalities are almost the same that's why for the purpose of this guide, we're using them as baseline.
Let's take an excerpt from Best Life Qatar's detailed guide.
Otherwise, if the documents you've submitted are chronologically in order, then there should be no reason for your VISA application to be denied.
For a detailed guide on the Schengen VISA and how to obtain it including the reguirements needed, application forms and guidelines, refer HERE.
We wish you the best of luck in your Schengen VISA application!
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(Images courtesy of IStock photos)
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