In my recent blog, Europe was identified as the top travel destinations for OFW’s in Qatar. And since this blog’s goal is to provide as much information which will be beneficial to the Filipino community in Qatar, I tried to collect some information that will be useful especially to those who are planning for their European vacation sometime soon. As most information is also general, our readers from other regions may also get idea on how to process their visa application locally.
A Schengen Visa is a document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area.
Schengen Area, named after “the Schengen Agreement” signifies a zone where 26 different European nations, acknowledged the abolishment of their internal borders with other member nations and outside, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, goods, services, and capital, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening common judicial system and police cooperation.
Read more here: http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-countries-list/
The application of a Schengen visa is subject to your point-of-entry in Europe or the country where you will stay longer. Depending on your planned itinerary or tour package, you should be advised where to apply for a visa in their respective Embassy offices here in Doha.
Please do note that some Schengen States also use private Visa Application Centers for short term visas only. However, it is still the concerned Embassies who do the review and approval for all applications, including long term visas.
The Italian Embassy
Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) is a private company in charge of the Italian Visa Application Centre.
CKGS Italy Visa Application Centre
Ground Floor, AMG Building
Al Jazira Al Arabiya Street, Madinat Khalifa (South),
Doha, Qatar (near Philippine School Doha area)
Telephone No.: +974 33329127
from 08:00 am – 04:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday
Email Address: email@example.com
Residents of Qatar who wish to travel to Malta, Sweden, or Estonia can also apply at the CKGS Italy Visa Application Centre in Qatar.
For other information, you may also contact the Italian Embassy in Doha at +974 44831803 from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 1pm or write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The German Embassy
WorldBridge Service is a commercial company who is working in partnership with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Qatar. They also process Schengen Visas for Austria, Finland, Norway and Slovenia.
WorldBridge Visa Application Centre
Al Jaidah Square, 3rd floor
63 Airport Road (atop Jarir Bookstore in Airport Road)
Telephone Nos: +974 44364771; +974 44364774
The Spanish Embassy
The Embassy of Spain in Qatar is working together with VFS Global – an international outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. Effective October 2, 2016, their office will move to its new location (from Jaidah Square to Abdul Jaleel Business Center also in Airport Road).
The Spain Visa Application Centre
1st Floor (103) Abdul Jaleel Business Center,
(new building near Al Meera Airport Road)
Telephone No.: +974 44069001
For travelers to other Schengen states, it is a must to go directly to their Embassy offices for visa application.
West Bay, Diplomatic Area
Telephone No.: +974 44021777
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
6th Floor, Al Mirqab Tower, Al Dafna,
Telephone No.: +974 44954700 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
E-mail : email@example.com
For other 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 “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 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.
Here are the standard procedures and requirements in applying for a Schengen Visa:
- Download an application form from the internet and fill it completely and sincerely. You can electronically fill in the form for a Schengen Visa and print it out directly and sign pages when necessary.
- Prepare the following documents (originals and photocopy):
- Bank Statement (last 3 months showing salary transfer and must be stamped by the bank). In some cases, embassies and VAC’s will require the following documents:
- Schengen travel health Insurance (min. Coverage 30.000 Euros), covering the period of your travel
- Recent passport size photos (2 pcs, 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.
- Make an Appointment. You must make an appointment online before you go to the Visa Application Centre. Embassies who do not use a VAC will accept walk-in applicants during their designated timings.
- Submission of documents to the Visa Application Center or the Embassy. Lodge your application personally and have your biometrics taken on the date mentioned in your Appointment Slip. I have to emphasize that the embassies and the VAC’s are very strict with the appointment time. Applicants who came in late, whatever the reasons may be, might not be entertained (especially if the schedule is full).
- Payment of Visa Fees and Service Fees. Visa Fees are payable directly to the Visa Application centers or the Embassy.
- CKGS – QR 245 (QR 143 for children between 6-12 years) + applicable service fee
- WorldBridge – QR 250 (QR 150 for children between 6-11 years) + QR140 Service fee
- VFS Global – QR 237 (QR 138 for children between 6-12 years) + QR79 Service fee
- Embassy of France – QR 237 + applicable service fee
Convenience Fees (or Service Charge) are levied on the total billed amount made using the Debit or Credit card either online or at the application centre. Please note that these fees are non-refundable and subject to change as per the Embassy policy.
- Tracking of your Visa 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 application centres. Another reminder, please double check the details on your visa as any minor difference or mistake can cause more trouble when you are already on your flight. Another reminder, please double check the details on your visa as any minor difference or mistake can cause more trouble when you are already on your flight.
The most common cause of delays in any travel preparation is the visa approval. Others take their visa applications ahead of their scheduled flights (ideally 45 days prior to the flight) to avoid any frustrations. Also, always be reminded that VISA is a prerogative that is given by a country to those who wish to visit them… it’s not everyone’s right. Therefore we have to use this privilege well and not take it personally when we are denied.
Common reasons why visa approvals are being denied includes (and not limited to): 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), and other legal problems.
Otherwise, if documents submitted are all in order, then there should be no reason for your visa application to be denied.
Off you go and we hope that you will have an enjoyable and meaningful Schengen exploration!
Should you find other helpful informations or if there are some details above that is already outdated, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org inorder to serve the purpose of helping the community by providing accurate and up-to-date information. SHUKRAN!