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Schengen Visa for UAE Passport Holders and Citizens

Laura Amber, Tourism Guide

For information on Schengen visa for UAE passport holders and citizens, you have come to the right place. The United Arab Emirates is a highly regarded travel partner and the market for EU and Schengen visa zone countries. The number of Emiratis traveling to Europe and other Schengen zone countries has been increasing year after year. The diplomatic relations among the UAE, EU and Schengen zone countries has been improving tremendously. This has culminated in the Agreement between the EU and the UAE on the short-stay visa waiver.  This agreement has removed the need for a Schengen visa for UAE passport holders and citizens.

Schengen Visa for UAE Passport Holders & Citizens

Schengen Visa Waiver for UAE Passport Holders and Citizens

Before the Schengen visa waiver agreement, UAE citizens were required to have a Schengen visa for the Schengen visa zone. An agreement that was signed in 1985 at a town called Schengen in Luxembourg brought about Schengen visa. 26 Schengen countries most of which are also members of EU abolished internal travel restrictions. Citizens of these countries are free to travel to any member state without restriction. This meant that citizens of countries that are not members of this zone need to apply for only one visa. This visa is the one called Schengen visa. It allows the holder to enter, reside or transit through all the member states. This is for a period of not more than 90 days in a 180-day period permitted.

Following the Schengen visa waiver for UAE passport holders and citizens, you are no longer expected or required to apply for a Schengen visa. You only need your valid passport before traveling to any of the Schengen visa member states. Any UAE citizen holding a special, service, diplomatic or ordinary passport is no longer required to get a visa before traveling to countries in the Schengen zone and EU. As a UAE passport holder, you do not need a visa to travel for a short stay (90 days maximum) to any of the following Schengen visa countries;

Austria Hungary Norway
Belgium Iceland Poland
Czech Republic Italy Portugal
Denmark Latvia Slovakia
Estonia Liechtenstein Slovenia
Finland Lithuania Spain
France Luxembourg Sweden
Germany Malta Switzerland
Greece Netherlands

In addition to the above countries, UAE passport holders and citizens are exempted from visa requirements when traveling to the following countries;

Andorra Bulgaria
Croatia Cyprus
Monaco. Romania
San Marino The Vatican

With this waiver, the Emirates became the first Arab country, the second Middle East country and the third Islamic country to enjoy this privilege.

Types of Visa for UAE Passport Holders and Citizens Traveling to Schengen and EU Zones

UAE passport holders still need to apply and obtain some types of visa if planning to travel to Schengen and EU zones. It is good to note here that the United Kingdom and the republic of Ireland are part of EU and not Schengen. It is therefore required that you get a visa if you are planning to visit the two countries. Residents of UAE without UAE citizenship need Schengen visa to travel to Schengen zone. The following table outlines what types of visa a UAE passport holder needs before traveling to the aforementioned countries and zones.

Type of Visa Purpose of Travel
Uniform Schengen Visas (USV) UAE passport holders and citizens are no longer required to apply for or obtain a Uniform Schengen Visa to travel to Schengen visa zone.

Previously for persons wishing to reside in or transit through any of the Schengen states. This covers 90 days from the date of entry within the 180 days-period allowed. A holder of this visa type is allowed single, double of multiple entries. Persons with this visa or UAE nationals exempted from this visa are not supposed to engage in employment activities. This is purposely for touristic, short business or related reasons.

Non-UAE citizens living in UAE must apply for this.

Limited territorial validity visas (LTV) UAE passport holders and citizens are no longer required to apply for or obtain Limited Territorial Validity Visa to travel to the Schengen visa zone.

 

Previously for persons wishing to enter only one Schengen state. In other situations and with requests, this type of visa can allow entering other Schengen states. To enter any Schengen state, the state must be included on the visa. A UAE citizen can enter the Schengen zone and as many countries as the reasons of travel may dictate. However, you should not spend more than 90 days uninterrupted.

Non-UAE citizens wishing to travel to one country in the Schengen zone should be issued with this.

National Visas For Emiratis wishing to travel and reside, study or work in one of the Schengen states. This covers the specific period for the reason of the travel after which you are expected to return to the UAE. This must be issued by the country’s embassy in UAE.

Counting of the 90 Days Allowed in the Schengen Zone

Although UAE nationals are exempted from applying for and obtaining a Schengen, they must observe the 90 days maximum stay. This is in any 180 days period. This confuses a lot of people and may end up over-staying. They may also leave before their time. Here is how to count the days.

Days Definition
First day (Day 1) This is the day on which you enter any of the Schengen zone country. It does not matter whether you enter just a few seconds before midnight (the host country time zone).
Last Day This is the day you leave or exit the last Schengen country of your visit. It does not matter whether you left just a few seconds after midnight (the departure country time zone).

Understanding the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule

A common feature that UAE citizens forget is the fact that they are bound by the 90/180 Schengen visa rule. Although you are exempted from the visa application requirement, you are expected to adhere to this rule. As a general rule, you are not required to remain in the Schengen zone for more than 90 days within a period of 180 days. This means that you just need to count 180 days backward. Make sure you have not been in the Schengen zone for more than 90 days within those 180 days.

Statistics for Schengen Visa for UAE Passport Holders and Citizens

The following table shows the statistics of the recent Schengen visas that were issued to UAE citizens in 2017. The country has had a strong travel relationship with Schengen countries and could get better with the visa exemption agreement.

2017 Schengen Visa Statistics for United Arab Emirates

What UAE Passport Holders Need Before Traveling to Schengen and EU Zone

Before traveling from Abu Dhabi to Schengen zone, Europe or any destination out of the country, you need proper arrangements for your travel. There are documents that you need and other prior steps to take. The following are the things you need before moving out of UAE.

  1. Valid UAE passport
  2. Arrange for your travel insurance for visa for any eventualities during your travel and time away. This may cover loss of luggage, injuries, loss of life among many other things depending on your circumstances.
  3. Flight reservation for visa to make sure that you get to travel on time on the right route to the right country of your destination. Carry with you the plane ticket and be in the airport at the correct departure time.
  4. Proof of accommodation for visa covering till the last day of your stay in your destination country. This is important to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.
  5. Purchase some foreign exchange. This is important to ensure that you do not have problems making purchases in your country of destination.

Documents for UAE Residents

In addition to the above documents, UAE residents must provide the following;

  1. Valid UAE resident permit
  2. Common Schengen visa application form dully filled signed and dated by the applicant.
  3. Recent passport photos glued to the application form
  4. Personal Covering letter outlining all the travel details
  5. Proof of financial capability for the travel

Additional requirements for UAE Passport Holders and Citizens

There are other requirements that you need to meet if you are traveling to the Schengen zone. These are dependent on your personal circumstances and the conditions surrounding your travel. Some of these requirements include the following;

Scenario Requirements
If traveling with a non-UAE citizen Apply and obtain a Schengen visa for non-UAE passport holders and citizens.
If your travel also includes a non-Schengen state Get a visa for that country from the embassy or consulate in Abu Dhabi.
If you wish to stay for more than 90 days Consult the relevant embassy or consulate in Abu Dhabi for a possible extension of your stay before leaving. Liaise with UAE missions in the Schengen zone if you have already left UAE and negotiate possible extension of your days there.
If formally employed Employment contract

Leave of employment

Letter showing your return for the position after travel

If self-employed Business permit/registration in UAE

Proof of revenue generated

If married to an UAE citizen Valid passport of the spouse

Marriage certificate

A recent letter by the spouse employer showing employment starting date and position held

If student in UAE Letter from the institution in UAE showing details of the study
If you have a medical case Carry your medical file and documents or information that would be used in case of a medical emergency.

Schengen Visa Fees for UAE Residents

UAE applicants must pay the fees for applications to be processed. The following table shows the fees applicable for Schengen visa in UAE;

Visa Category by Age Fee (in Euro) Fee (In UAE Dirham)
Minor (younger than six years) Free
Minor (six to 12 years) 35 149
Adult 60 255

Currently, UAE citizens do not need visas to visit more than 100. All that a UAE national needs is to produce a valid UAE passport at the host country’s airport. You will be allowed 90 days of uninterrupted stay in the Schengen zone or 180 days with interruptions. You can leave and come back within these days. When planning travel from UAE to countries in the Schengen zone, EU or other places, it is important to employ the services of Schengen Flight Reservation Visa for visa documentation.

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