A Schengen visa for Saudi passport holders is required when traveling to Schengen countries in Europe. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest travel markets in Europe. The country is among the top ten in the world in terms of Schengen visa issuance. Getting a Schengen visa in Saudi is, therefore, a fairly easy exercise if you have the right information. Here, you will get the most recent Schengen visa information for citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia.
Schengen Visa Background
In 1985, a Schengen agreement was signed in a small country called Schengen in Luxembourg. In line with this, a Schengen visa zone was established. This zone is now comprised of 26 countries in Europe. Most of these countries are also members of the European Union. Citizens of these countries do not require visas to travel within the zone. There are no travel restrictions in these countries. However, visitors from other countries not in this region require a visa to enter this zone. This is what is called a Schengen visa. You only need one Schengen visa to travel to any (or all) of these 26 countries.
Over time, countries from outside the Schengen zone have made agreements with the Schengen zone to have what is called a Schengen visa-free policy. This means that citizens of other countries can also enter the region without a visa. An example of such a country is the United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has not yet made a visa-free agreement with Schengen countries. This means that a Saudi passport holder must have a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen visa territory. A Schengen visa allows travel to the territory for 90 days within a period of 180 days.
Who is Eligible for a Schengen Visa in Saudi Arabia?
Not everyone is eligible to apply for a Schengen visa. You can only apply for a Schengen visa in Saudi Arabia if you fall into these two categories;
- A Saudi citizen with a valid passport.
- A legal resident of Saudi Arabia.
There are other categories of individuals in Saudi Arabia who are not required to obtain a Schengen visa before traveling to the Schengen territory. These are the following;
- Saudi dual citizens one of which is a Schengen country. In this case, you will have to use the Schengen country passport.
- Saudi dual citizens one of which is a country with a visa-free policy with Schengen. In this case, you will need to use a visa-free country passport.
- Schengen country citizens living in Saudi Arabia.
- Schengen visa-free country citizens living in Saudi.
Types of Schengen Visa for Saudi Passport Holders
Once you have met the basic eligibility requirements outlined above, you can apply for a Schengen visa. You can obtain one of these visa types;
|Type of Visa||Visa Details|
|Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)||Issued to Saudi passport holders and residents wishing to travel to or transit via any of the Schengen member countries. You can enter the Schengen territory for a maximum of 90 days within the allowed 180 days period.|
|Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)||Issued to Saudi citizens and residents intending to travel to only one Schengen state. This also gives 90 days in a 180 days period. You can also enter any other Schengen country with a prior request. “Limited” means that the visa is for only the Schengen countries listed on the visa.|
|National Visas||Issued to Saudi citizens intending to travel, engage in studies, or employment in one of the Schengen countries. This covers the particular period for the reason of travel after which you must return to Saudi. This must get from the specific country’s embassy in Saudi Arabia.|
All the above types of visas can come in two different properties. This depends on your reasons for travel and the issuing embassy’s discretion.
- Single entry visa. Your USV and LTV can allow only one single entry. This means that you can enter the Schengen territory only once.
- Multiple entry visas. This allows more than one entry into the Schengen territory. However, if you have USV or LTV, no single entry should exceed 90 days.
Where to Get a Schengen Visa in Saudi Arabia
Schengen countries have embassies and consulates in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar. In addition to this, there are visa processing agents in the country. This includes VFS Global where you can lodge your visa application depending on your travel needs. But can you submit a visa application in any office haphazardly? No. You need to follow the following visa application guidelines;
- If you are traveling to only one Schengen country, apply at that country’s embassy.
- If you have more than one country of destination, apply at the embassy of the country where you will have your mainstay.
- If you cannot decide where you will have your main stay, apply at the embassy of the country of your first entry.
Without following the above guidelines, you may get difficulties entering the Schengen zone even if you have been issued a visa.
Statistics for Schengen Visa for Saudi Passport Holders
Saudi passport holders enjoy favorable Schengen visa issuance rates. This can be made even better if applicants had access to more information regarding Schengen visas. The following graph captures the recent statistics for Schengen visas issued in Saudi Arabia in 2017.
Schengen Visa Requirements for Saudi Passport Holders
You can apply for a Schengen visa in Saudi Arabia up to three months prior to your date of travel. However, you cannot apply for the same within less than 15 days of your planned date of travel. The Schengen visa code allows the decision for a visa application to be made within 15 calendar days. However, in some instances, it can take up to 30 days.
There is a harmonized list of mandatory documents for Schengen visa application in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This list is shared by all missions of the Schengen member states in the country.
Documents for Schengen Visa for Saudi Passport Holders
- Schengen visa application form. Each applicant must fill, sign and date the form.
- For a child below 15 years, the application form should be signed by the parent or the legal guardian.
- For a child between 15 and 18 years, the parents must give written consent.
- The parents and guardians must provide copies of their passports.
- Children must provide birth certificates too.
- A court order should be provided if only one parent has full custody of the child.
- Original Saudi Passport and copies of all pages except for blank ones.
- Must be valid for at least three months after your intended exit from Schengen.
- Must have two blank pages.
- Must be issued within the last 10 years.
- You must provide copies of past visas if any.
- Passport-size photographs.
- Must be clear
- Taken on a light background
- Not stapled
- Not edited
- No head covering except for religious reasons.
- Taken within the last three months.
- Must be valid for the Schengen area.
- Must cover the entire period of your travel.
- Must cover a minimum of 30,000 Euros (131,845 Saudi Riyal).
- Must cover repatriation to Saudi.
- Departure and exit dates
- Applicant details including traveler name with the title
- Flights number and airlines names and IATA airport codes
- Proof of accommodation for visa covering your entire stay in Schengen.
- Proof of financial sufficiency that may include;
- Credit card statements
- Bank statements for the last six months (certified)
- Salary slips for the last six months.
- Original and copy of Saudi ID. The birthplace should be transcribed in English the official language of the Schengen country.
- Cover letter outlining all your travel details.
These documents must be prepared well in advance. This is to make sure that you do not miss any of them because they are mandatory.
Other Documents Needed to Apply for Schengen Visa for Saudi Passport Holders
Non-Saudi citizens residing in Saudi Arabia must provide the following documents;
- Original and copy of Iqama (residence permit in Saudi).
- Saudi re-entry visa and copy that must be valid beyond your Schengen exit date.
- Letter from your employer in Saudi stamped and signed. It should also be stamped by the Chamber of Commerce. If self-employed, you should provide a trade license.
Depending on your travel reasons and needs, you may require providing additional documents. These may include the following;
|A Spouse of an EU/EAA citizen and their children under 21years||
Marriage certificate for the spouse
Birth certificates for the children.
Valid EU/EAA passport copies
Income Tax Return for the employee
Leave of employment from the employer
No objection letter from the employer
Return-to-work proof from the employer.
Recent salary slips (for the last six months)
|On pension||Pension statements for the last six months|
Copy of your Saudi business permit
Recent certified bank statements for the business
Income tax statement for the business
Tax Return for the venture
|Proof of more income||Bank statements for the property or service|
|Transiting through the Schengen zone||
Visa for the country of destination (if not a Schengen state)
Flight ticket bought for the destination country in addition to flight itinerary.
|Traveling as a Student||
No objection letter from the institution.
Letter of acceptance/offer/admission
Enrollment in a Schengen school
|Traveling for business, sports, or conference purposes||Letter from inviting company or organizer in Schengen.|
|Traveling for tour purposes||
The detailed travel plan document
Proof of trip booking for organized groups via travel agencies
Proof of tour pre-payment for individuals travelers
|Visiting friends and relatives in Schengen.||
Letter of invitation by the concerned friend or relative
Official affidavit of support, if the friend or relative is paying for the travel. This should be signed and dated.
Schengen Visa Fees for Saudi Passport Holders and Residents
You need to pay the necessary visa application fees before your visa can be processed. The following are the recent fees applicable in Saudi;
|Visa Category||Fee (in Euro)||Fee (in Saudi Riyal)|
|Minors (over 6 years but below 12 years)||35||154|
|Short stay (less than 90 days)||60||264|
|Long stay (exceeding 90 days)||99||435|
|Sports/education/research/ (below 25 years)||Free||–|
|Minors (less than 6 years)||Free||–|
|Persons with disabilities and the person accompanying them||Free||–|
|Spouses of EU/EEA citizens (EU and Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) and children under 21||Free||–|
With this recent information for Schengen visas for Saudi passport holders, you can never go wrong. Schengen Flight Reservation Visa is also there to help you with the needed visa application documents.
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