Schengen Tourist Visa Application Process in Dubai

We recently applied for a Schengen tourist visa for our Paris and Rome trip at the France embassy VFS Global office in WAFI Mall, and it only took us 3 days for our visa to be approved. This post aims to share our experience to help those who are also planning to travel to European countries and need to know how to apply for a visa. VFS Global in Dubai handles the visa procedure of many Schengen countries.

Dubai is a really great place for expats who want to travel to other destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and so on. Dubai has busy airports, you can basically choose among many countries to visit with the UAE as a starting point. We hope this guide will help you as we tackle our experience applying for Schengen visa so we could visit France and Italy during our 9-day Europe trip.

schengen tourist visa in dubai

How to Process a Schengen Visa in Dubai at VFS Global in WAFI Mall

Please be advised that the information here is based on our experience applying at the WAFI Mall for a France tourist visa. Other country offices (Italy, Greece, etc.) may have a different processing time of approval.

What is a Schengen Visa? Before anything else, you might wonder what a Schengen visa is.

Certain European countries have made an agreement/treaty which eliminates border checks between Schengen states. The following are the countries part of the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

This makes it easier because of you are travelling to these countries for a holiday, you can apply for a Schengen visa and be granted to visit them using that visa.

Step by Step Guide in Getting a Schengen Visa in UAE

1. Choose your main country of travel. Choose the country or countries you want to visit. This will determine which VFS application center you will need to go. In our case, we were travelling to 2 countries, France and Italy, but our first point of entry and main destination is France, hence we needed to apply at the France VFS Global center.

Note on Travelling to More than one Schengen country: In the event that you will travel to different countries in the Schengen area, the embassy that you need to apply for the visa will be based on the country where you will spend the most number of days. But if you will spend equal amount of days in 2 or more countries, you will need to apply for the embassy of the first point of entry.

2. Book an Appointment online. After choosing the country, you should set an appointment where you will submit all your documents and your application. You should book an appointment based on your main country. For France, we scheduled an appointment via VFS Global France site – you need to sign up for an account to log in.

Tip: Kindly make sure that you book an appointment early (maybe 2-3 months before your trip) as the processing for approval may take time and to save you worry. When we booked our schedule, we realized the next available schedule was already less than 2 weeks before our actual date of travel. This caused us a bit of stress and worry because we’re not sure if our visas would get approved on time. 

3. Prepare Your Documents. Now that you have a date of appointment for appearance, you need to  prepare your documents. Make sure they are correct and complete. Below are the documents we’ve gathered:

– Filled-out Application Form – download the Schengen visa application form here.
– short-stay visa checklist – download the checklist here
– 2 passport photos – please make sure the photo is taken in the last 6 months as this what they asked from us during our appointment.
– passport – valid for at least 90 days
– UAE residence visa – valid for at least 90 days
– NOC from employer – stating purpose of travel, position, monthly salary and begin date of employment in the UAE.
– copy of 3-months personal bank statement
– copy of itinerary (if the trip is prepared by travel agency)
– copy of medical insurance – we bought the cheapest travel insurance from AXA Gulf (around 62 AED for 10 days)
– copy of airline tickets
– confirmed hotel booking

It took some time for us to create our itinerary (as this is a DIY Europe trip for us). But we were able to complete everything as requested which was great.

4. Go to the Appointment at VFS Global Office. On the date of our appointment, we went to WAFI Mall to the VFS office to submit all our documents. There’s a bit of queue even if you’ve already booked a specific time. We probably stayed about less than an hour while waiting for our turn. Your documents will be scanned by the rep and they will assess what else may be lacking from the checklist. Once everything is good, you will line up for the fingerprinting and snapping of photo (to be used in the visa stamp). You will then be given a receipt to claim your passport once you will

5. Wait for the status approval. The VFS Global process will send an SMS message on your registered phone about the status of your application for every update. So you will be updated when the application is received, when it’s sent to the Consulate, when it’s sent back to VFS, and when it’s ready for pick-up. This was a very nice touch so you stay posted on the procedure. It took only 3 business days overall (including the day of appearance) for us to get our passports with our visas which was really nice.

waiting for our turn at the VFS Global office – France

Schengen Visa Fees

How much is the cost of the Schengen visa application?
The fees for the application may vary per country. Based on our France Schengen visa fees, we paid the following:

92 AED – appointment schedule booking at the VFS Global site
245 AED – visa processing
30 AED – Courier Service (Optional) – the passport will be delivered to your office workplace instead of picking it up back at WAFI Mall.
250 AED – Premium Lounge Service (Optional) – The VFS office has a premium lounge which is basically a much better service area while you wait for your turn in submitting your documents, you will also be given priority while you submit your application. However, this will not guarantee that the approval of your application.

The required payments were just the appointment and the visa processing which totalled to about 337 AED.

Status Approved – 90-Day Multiple Entry Visa
Overall, we were glad to have processed our application swiftly. We were very happy upon seeing our passports with stamped visas with Multiple-Entry valid for 90 days (even if we only applied for a Single-Entry).

This means that after our trip, our Schengen visas are still valid so we could travel to other Schengen countries.

Please be advised that this may differ from every applicant so it’s really helpful if you have all documents required and completed. Also, try to make sure you have enough ‘funds’ in your bank statement to pay for the trip.

Schengen visa stamp – approved – multiple entry for 90 days

We hope you find this guide helpful as you try your luck in processing a visa. To get a more updated list of requirements and procedure, visit the France visa application center in Dubai website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/France/UAE/

For inquiries in your France visa application, you can also contact this number – +971 4-2055999

VFS Global France
Address: 2nd floor, WAFI Mall Level 2, Falcon Phase 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Website: www.vfsglobal.com
Phone Number: +971 4 205 5666

Google Map Location of VFS Global in WAFI Mall

Below is a map to provide directions on how to get to VFS Global office in WAFI Mall.

51 COMMENTS

  1. Hello. Me and my husband are planning for europe tour in december. Do we have to prepare separate papers for the visa application? or can we apply together? I’m just concern with the show money on both of our bank accounts. Thank you.

    • Hi Desiree, I applied with my wife, mother-in-law and I. We are under my wife’s sponsorship. The application/appointment is considered as one, so you can apply together. But in our case, we all presented separate documents/papers. So it’s good that you and your husband both present your bank statements…

  2. Dear Team,
    I would like to travel Spain I am currently working in Dubai my basic salary is 2000Aed I can apply or no ?

    best regards,

    Azat

    • Hi Azat, it would be up to the embassy to approve it in terms of your basic salary. There are other financial documents (banks statements) that is also required, so it would depend on the situation. In my case, I don’t have a ‘monthly salary’ as I am a dependent of my wife. However, I still presented bank statements with funds, and also applied together with my wife. Would suggest you contact the embassy for further inquiries.

      In my opinion only, it would be good that you show proof when you apply that you can ‘afford’ to travel to the destination through these documents. Good luck.

  3. Hello. Thank you for this blog. I hope you don’t mind me asking some questions.
    I applied for Schengen VISA via Italian Consulate and my application was refused.
    Now, I want to try my luck applying for Schengen via French Embassy.
    Thanks in advance and here are my questions:

    1. Is there specific amount needed in the bank account?
    2. Did you use dummy tickets for application?
    3. May I have a copy of your DIY itinerary?
    4. How many days were your travel plan?

    THanks so much.

    • Hi Mark. Sorry to hear about the denied application. Hope my answers help.

      1. Is there specific amount needed in the bank account? — i can’t answer that. they didn’t require any specific amount, but it would be good that your bank account shows that you have regular monthly income, and that you have funds enough to cover the costs of your trip.
      2. Did you use dummy tickets for application? no, we used tickets that could still be cancelled the last minute should our application get denied.
      3. May I have a copy of your DIY itinerary? trying to look for it. lol. my apologies, i think we lost it. it was a simple itinerary. like 2 columns – date – tourist attraction
      4. How many days were your travel plan? i think it was 9 days. as we travelled also to Rome (we stayed 5 days in france, and 4 days in rome.

      good luck!

  4. Hi Ed,
    Your blog is so helpful. I want to ask some things,
    1. From france to Italy you already booked a ticket?
    2. Is your hotel confirmed or just reservations?
    3. Your plane ticket is confirmed or just reservations? Which airline? What if i will take 3 countries like France – Italy – Germany, do I need to go back to France to return to Dubai or I can do France- Italy -Germany -Dubai?
    4. Do you have other travel history before France?

    Thank you and I really appreciate if you could help me with my questions

    • Hi, Thanks for the message.
      1. Yes, we had flight tickets ready from France to Italy (we got it via RyanAir)
      2. We had confirmed bookings via Agoda (would recommend you
      3. We got confirmed tickets via Emirates.
      — you don’t have to go back to the same country where you applied for the visa. But make sure you apply for a visa in the country where you stay the longest (or if it’s equal number of days, the first entry point). in our case, we spent 5 days France and 4 days in Italy. Hence, we applied a visa in France. Yes you can go directly to Dubai after Germany.
      4. Yes, but only through Asian countries and some countries in the Middle East. I have not visited USA and this was my first European country.

  5. Hello Mr. Ed,

    I applied this last Feb 18 on schengen visa to Netherlands, and I only received sms which is my visa application has been forwarded to The Kindom of Netherlands what does it means? and after that no more sms or emails.

    Thank you

  6. Dear Mr. Ed,

    I would like to ask you after submission of visa application in Schengen visa in Dubai Wafi mall, What kind of msg I will receive? Because I only received was ” Your visa application has been forwarded in The Kingdom Of Netherland.” what does it means?

    Thank you
    Jasmine

    • Hi Ja, As what I understand, your application has been forwarded to Netherlands embassy, because basically, the office in WAFI mall will just screen your requirements and papers. It is still up to the embassy (in Netherlands, because I believe you are travelling to Netherlands), to approve it. It just simply means your application is now with the Netherlands office. Please try to wait for days/weeks and you should get another SMS or email that you application results are ready. So now, you just have to wait.

  7. Hi. Lucky to find your blog. Me and my husband is planning to travel to paris and rome also this end of march for 4 days. We are thinking of 2 ways to get to paris and rome 1. Diy 2. Package tours from agency. My question is can we Present a confirmed dummy booking for air and hotel booking just for the purpose of getting schengen visa and once we get the approval , we’ll proceed to package tours from agencies? Your thoughts please. Thanks

    • Hi Erika, not sure what you mean by ‘confirmed dummy booking’ — a dummy booking means it is not real, right? basically once you have the schengen visa approved, you can surely get a packaged tour from an agency (as it may seem more convenient), so long as you will still enter in the same country where you’re applying…

  8. Hi Ed. What is a good amount of funds in the bank. Just a rought idea.It’s going to be three of us. Me, my husband and daughter. However, im the only one required to get a visa since they’re both britiah citizens. Would be grateful for your help

    • hi Sana. oh that sounds good. for me i think the good amount of funds is based on the ‘average’ daily spend in the country, that you have enough budget to spend in the place (for food/transport/etc.). since in our case, we already had ‘booked flights/hotels/tours’. maybe 100 usd per day? i’ve heard some who have above 5K AED (traveling solo) who had visas approved. so just make sure you can cover a daily expense. hope my answer can help.

  9. Is it necessary to show train bookings if i am travelling to different cities. Germany requirement list asked us to show air ticket

    • I don’t think it’s necessary to show train bookings since you will be in one country only for the duration of your stay. i think it’s best if you show to them your itinerary and the bank account should have sufficient funds that you can afford your whole travel… good luck.

  10. Hi, I’m planning to travel in Italy this coming July, but I don’t know how to do an online appointment, and except for the visa application fee, appointment fee, courier fee, is there other fee we need to pay there, like is there an amount to be paid aside from those, answers are highly appreciated.thanks

    • Hi Marie, the appointment is done via VFS Italy website. If you are having a hard time, I recommend you try to ask a travel agency for their service if you don’t want to process the requirements by yourself. So far these were the only fees we paid in terms of the visa application. good luck!

  11. Hi Ed, your blog is very helpful. I have some questions and hope you can advise/answer as I am planning to go to France this year(preferably ber months) but my residence visa expires on 11th of February(I heard the validity should be 3/6months? Not really sure :((

    1. What month should I need to apply my visa? And which month need to get an appointment?
    2. Is it fine if I’m gonna apply with the help of travel agency?
    3. How much money should my bank has if I travel for 5days?

    Your response is highly appreciated.

    • Hi Jaz, please see answers below. this is based on my knowledge only… the Schengen visa, i think the visa should be valid for 3 months — it should be in the application form/requirements from VFS.

      1. What month should I need to apply my visa? And which month need to get an appointment? — i think earliest is 3 months before the flight. so you can get an appointment the soonest by then.
      2. Is it fine if I’m gonna apply with the help of travel agency? — yes, they can process the papers for you, you pay them for the service.
      3. How much money should my bank has if I travel for 5days? — it should have sufficient funds based on a 5-day budget when you stay in France. like how much you’re going to spend for each day should be what’s in your bank account (that’s our educated guess only).

  12. Hi Mr. Ed…your blog is very helpful. I’m planning to travel to France on June 14 to 18 this year. I want to ask some questions.

    1) If do you think 8 thousand aed will be a good fund in my bank account after hotel bookings and ticket for 5 days travel there? based on your experienced how much should be the budget per day?

    2) Do you think I still have the time to process my visa application for the date of my travel?

    3) Do you think it is okay for me to deposit more amount now to my bank to show more as I have only 8 thousand?

    4) you mention that you travel with your wife and mother in law, How much was your budget for 3 of you per day?

    Hope to hear from you the soonest.. Thank you in advance. 😊

    • Hi Joanna,

      1. i think the amount is fine for 5 days given that you already have hotels and tickets already. basically you just need to feed yourselves and do daily transport. imagine if you budget in Dubai (which is also an expensive city). how much you budget for food. 8K for 5 days is more than enough. cannot really say how much the budget per day, maybe 100 usd is more than enough?

      2. i think so. earliest you can process is 3 months before the flight, then the latest is 2 weeks before the flight. you still have at least 6 weeks. they only need around 3 business days to approve it or not. Maybe a week even.

      3. Yes, i believe that would look much better that you have more money to spend in their country.

      4. apologies, but i don’t have this information, i think it was maybe 150 usd per day (think of it like a ‘meal’, let’s say 20 euros per person per meal x 3 meals a day x number of days you’re going to stay there). the point is to make sure that you don’t become ‘beggar’s in their country. that you can ‘afford’ to travel and stay there.

      Good luck!

      • what a relief to hear your answers Ed.. Thank you so much.. So I think I’m gonna really do this since it’s my birthday on June.. big help,your answers are much appreciated. 😊

  13. Hi, I just want to ask regarding visa processing. I have appoitment on May28. I’m a little confused on what will I submit. For the application form. I also fill out all the necessary question on VSF Global site. Should I just print it or i need to hand written it?

  14. hi Mr. Ed… I have some more questions regarding the flught ticket and hotel booking. So I book a hotel in booking.com.. But that is like a reservation only since they didn’t take an amount from my card yet is that okay with applying the visa?
    And also regarding the flight ticket did you and your family book and paid a flight ticket? what if i will not get the visa? any suggestions for flight ticket? I got an appointment to vfs on may 15. hope to hear from you again. thanks..

    • Hi Joana – im not sure what’s the status of that reservation, but is it a ‘confirmed’ reservation? so long as you have proof that you are already booked with the hotel (showing that you have accommodation during your stay), i think it’s fine. As for flight ticket, we booked confirmed flight tickets that we could still cancel in case we don’t make it. that would be the risk if you don’t book a flight ticket that cannot be cancelled, so try looking for a travel agency or airline that you can book but can still cancel.

  15. Hello can anybody please guide me how much bank statement require for schengen viza . Am only one person and i want visit for 3 days in france and 2 days in spain . i shall be thankful if someone tel me that how mininum much bank statement i required at the time to apply viza . Thankyou

    • Hi Faizan, it would be best that you contact the embassy or VFS where you’re going to apply for the visa for assistance. as what i understand, bank statement should show that you have enough funds (coming in regularly) and that you can ‘pay’ for your travel. just try to think of a budget per day based on the country where you’re going to stay multiplied by the number of days. again this is just an opinion and would be best to contact authorities.

  16. I have an appointment on 17th May.
    Exit date is 30th June. My Sharjah visa expires on 15th Aug. I have processed my visa renewal today. I doubt my visa renewal will happen before 17th. Should i rebook an appointment once i get my visa renewed. As it states 90days from the date of exit from France visa shud be valid while applying.

    Please advise..

  17. hi mr Ed… do you have any idea how i will appeal for my visa application rejection? my visa application was denied i don’t know if it’s bcoz of my fund..but i am applying for 5 days only and i have 16 thou aed in my bank.. do you think isn’t it enough? my passport will expire on november and visa on october. my travel date june 14.. is it bcoz of it? but it says in the requirements that 90 days validity is fine. i’m sad about the rejection 😔

    • Hi Joanna, sorry to hear about it. I don’t know what to do to appeal the rejection. it would be best you contact VSF for advice. that’s their rules when we also applied for it (re: 90 days), but i could not really tell why they rejected it. i hope you get advice from them so they can also share what you can do.

    • Hi Joana, it is possible that the reason of rejection sf because your visa will expire soon. I have the same problem before so i waited for my visa to be renewed then applied for Schengen Visa.

  18. Hi Ed, We have an appointment for Schengen visa by end of this month. My husband is under my sponsorship but he is currently doesn’t have a job. Do you think this will affect our application? We have separate bank statements. Do you think we should provide additional documents for my husband?

    Appreciate your response.
    Thanks,

    • Hi Liz, i really would not be able to answer for VSF if they will approve it or not. I think it’s good to provide additional bank account for your husband (providing that he has funds in it), but this is just my opinion. We also included our marriage certificate as an additional document. But best to really contact VSF.

  19. Hi Ed,

    My travel is quite different from yours. Planning to visit Prague – Vienna – Bratislava – Budapest for 15 days and my questions are

    1. Is it ok if i will book 2 different Airlines? Like flydubai from DxB to Prague and different Airlines fron Budapest back to Dxb, so it 2 separate tickets

    2. Upon checking I’ll be going by bus or trains going from country to country, do I need to book in advance the bus/trains tickets together with my documents when i submit it?

    3. I am quite new to my company, 10 months upon applying for my visa and exactly one year of my intended travel dates, is there a concern with this matter?

    I really appreciate if you could give me some advice base on your experience. Thank you very much

    • Hi HA, Please be advised that these are just my OPINIONS and for further consultation, it’s best to contact VSF directly.

      1. It should be fine so long as you have flight tickets (they’re not picky on airlines so long as you really are coming back to Dubai)
      2. i cannot answer for this as we didn’t ride any trains between countries (but i think if you book in advance, the better as this shows a clear plan for them to see, but again, this is still a case to case basis).
      3. i don’t think it’s a big factor. so long as you fulfill the requirements needed and you have the capacity to pay for your trip.

      Good luck!

  20. Hi Ed,

    Your blog is really helpful. Please keep it going.

    I’m planning to go to France, Rome and Norway. Do i have to apply for a separate Visa for each country? And do i really have to get a Medical Insurance? because base on what I have read in the internet it costs €3000 only for 9 days and that would be more or less 120K AED. Please advise.

    • Hi, Thanks for the message. No you don’t need to apply for each visa for each country (so long as these countries belong to one Schengen estate) — you only need to apply for a visa for the country where you’re going to spend the most number of days. — please verify this with VSF.

      As for the other question — re: medical insurance — please double check with the company where you got that information. Try to say “Medical Insurance for TRAVEL Purpose” or just simply say “TRAVEL Insurance” — tell them it’s good for 90 days. we paid ours via AXA Insurance for less than 100 AED. or you can try asking other insurance providers. Please check with an insurance agent that offers “Travel Insurance” and also, please check with VSF

  21. hi mark, would like to ask if what month you applied for the shengen visa in vfs france dubai? because we got our appointment at vfs abu dhabi and it is less than 2 weeks before our travel dates. Got really worried about it.

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