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29 April 2019 03:05 pm

Qatar Guide: How to apply for Schengen tourist VISA in Qatar [UPDATED]

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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.

Capago

France

Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS)

Italy, Malta, Sweden, and Estonia

VFS Global

Germany, Austria, Finland, Norway and Slovenia

BLS International

Spain

For the full list of embassies in Qatar, please check out this listing.

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.

Here are the steps that an applicant will have to go through should he/she intend to apply for a Schengen VISA:

  1. Download an application form from the internet and fill it completely and sincerely. The application form can be found in the embassy/VISA center website of the country you're applying for (see above links). You can electronically fill in the form and print it out directly and sign each page if necessary.
  2. Prepare the required documents with both the original and photocopy versions available. (for the list of requirements, keep scrolling!)
  3. Schedule an appointment. You must make an appointment online before going to the VISA Application Center. Embassies which aren't under any VISA center will accept walk-in applicants during their designated timings.
  4. Submit the documents to the VISA center or to the embassy. Lodge your application personally and have your biometrics taken on the date mentioned in your appointment slip. Please be advised that embassies and VISA centers are very strict with the appointment time. Applicants who come in late -- regardless of the excuse -- will not be entertained (especially if the schedule is full).
  5. Pay the appropriate VISA fee amount as well as service fees. You can pay directly to the VISA centers or the embassy itself. Convenience fees (or service charge) are levied on the total billed amount made using debit or credit card either online or at the VISA center. Please note that these fees are non-refundable and subject to change as per the embassy policy.
  6. Track your application. As per usual procedure, approval takes 5-10 working days (could be earlier or longer depends on the documents submitted). The embassies or its VISA application centers do not process rush applications so be sure to give enough allowance before your flight. Application tracking may be done online and afterwards, original passport with the VISA stamp shall be available for collection at the VISA centers.
  7. IMPORTANT: Double check the details on your visa as any minor difference or mistake can cause more trouble when you are already on your flight.

Requirements needed to obtain a Schengen VISA in Qatar (may vary depending on the embassy/VISA center):

  • Bank Statement (last 3 months showing salary transfer and must be stamped by the bank)
  • Schengen travel health Insurance (minimum coverage 30.000 Euros), covering the period of your travel
  • Recent passport size photos (2 pieces, white background)
  • Passport and Residence Permit valid for 3 months after your return date to Qatar (Please note that for all applicants over 10 years of age, the passport has to be signed by the holder)
  • Copy of the reservation of the return ticket and hotel booking for the time intended to be travelling (especially for French embassy)
  • Please note that Company Invitation Letter is required for Business Visa only)

Common reasons why Schengen VISAs or VISAs in general are getting denied:

  • Not properly filled-out application forms
  • Incomplete supporting documents
  • VISA application submitted more than 90 days prior to the flight
  • Passport is damaged and/or no longer valid (less than 3 months)
  • False travel documents
  • Insufficient proof of subsistence (as evidenced by financial statements)
  • Other legal problems.

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.

Featured in top websites like BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times, the guide is FREE and used by more than 28 million users annually.

We wish you the best of luck in your Schengen VISA application!

Did you find this Qatar Guide article helpful? Drop us a line in the comment section below and also, don't forget to like and share this article -- it keeps us going!

(Images courtesy of IStock photos)