While applying for a Schengen visa from Qatar, all applicants must go through a detailed application process. Understanding how the application process works, and what is required of you will make this process less stressful and raise your chances of receiving a visa to enter any of the Schengen countries.
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa in Qatar?
To be eligible to file your visa application at the Schengen embassies/consulates or visa application centers (VACs) in Qatar, you must belong to one of the following categories:
- Qatari passport holders.
- Third-world nationals who are required to obtain a visa to Europe, living in Qatar under a permanent or temporary residence permit.
What Type of Schengen Visa Can I Get From Qatar?
You can apply for one of the following types of Schengen visas from Qatar depending on the reason for your visit:
- Tourist visa. You need to apply for this visa if you’re specifically visiting the Schengen area as a tourist to see the sights and explore the famous European landmarks.
- Visitor visa. You need to apply for a visitor Schengen visa if you have a family member or a friend who lives in the Schengen area or are an EU/EEA citizen. For this type of visa, you are usually required to submit a letter of invitation from your friend/relative.
- Business visa. A business visa is issued if you have to conduct business in the Schengen area with a company or an individual. If another business invites you, you must provide a copy of the invitation letter.
Medical visa. To qualify for a Schengen medical visa, you must provide proof that you are visiting the Schengen area to complete medical treatments or procedures such as surgery. Usually, for a medical visa, you need to prove that you truly require medical attention and have the money to cover the costs of the treatments
- Student visa. Only apply for this type of visa if you are visiting Schengen Area/EU for short-term studies not longer than 90 days. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a long-stay study visa for the country in which you plan to study.
- Visa for Official Visits. Visas for official visits are issued to those who will be entering the Schengen Area for formal events such as exchange programs, negotiations, consultations, and any similar occasions held in the Schengen Zone.
- Cultural exchange visa. Choose this type of Schengen visa if you visit the Schengen Area for cultural, sports, religious, and film crew events. In most cases, this type of visa is issued for the same amount of time it takes to complete the event/program/training/competition, and depending on your reason for visiting, different requirements apply.
- Transit visa. A transit visa is a short-term visa issued only to allow you to transit through the Schengen countries towards your final destination. You may not need a transit visa at all this depends on your nationality.
How Long Do I Have to Wait for a Schengen Visa Appointment in Qatar?
Schengen embassies/consulates in Qatar typically require you to schedule an appointment for your visa application 4-6 weeks in advance.
So, start the application process ahead of your upcoming trip, considering it will take another two weeks for the embassy to reach a decision.
Again, remember that the appointments may be booked out ahead of the summer or winter holidays, so start early. You can apply up to six months in advance.
When Should I Apply for a Schengen Visa From Qatar?
You should submit your Schengen visa application at least 15 days before your planned trip and no earlier than six months.
Sometimes processing times can be delayed, so it’s in your best interest to submit your application more than 15 days before your trip just in case your visa is not issued on time.
Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa in Qatar?
Applicants cannot submit their documents at whichever embassy/consulate of a Schengen country they wish to.
The Schengen area has rules in terms of where to submit your visa application, and according to these rules, depending on the number of countries you visit and the number of days you spend in each, you will have to apply at one of the following:
- If you are visiting one Schengen country – then apply at the body responsible for visa submission of that country in Qatar (the embassy/consulate/visa center).
- If you are visiting more than one Schengen country – then where you need to apply depends on the number of days you plan to spend in each country:
- If you are spending an equal amount of days in two or more countries – apply to the body responsible for visa submission of the country you will be visiting first.
- If you are spending an unequal amount of days in two or more countries – apply to the body responsible for visa submission of the country where you will be spending more days.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa From Qatar?
You need to follow the application steps below to apply for a Schengen visa from Qatar:
- Find out what visa type you need.
- Determine where to apply.
- Book an appointment.
- Prepare your visa documents.
- Submit your application.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Retrieve your visa.
Find Out What Visa Type You Need
First, you must determine which type of Schengen visa you need for your visit.
For example, if you want to visit the Schengen area for business, you must apply for a business visa; if you are visiting the area for medical purposes, you must apply for a medical visa, and so on.
You must submit additional documents for each visa type, that’s why it’s important to understand the visa type and the requirements you need.
Determine Where to Apply for Your Visa
Then, you need to locate the official office issuing Schengen visas for the country you want to go to. This could be an embassy, consulate, or visa application center.
Some visa centers may represent other Schengen countries if those do not have representative bodies in Qatar. So, one visa center can serve as an application spot for several Schengen countries.
Book an Appointment for Your Visa
Once you locate the appropriate office where to submit your application, you have to make an appointment— usually online, and then you can start your next application steps. Having an appointment for your application submission is important. You cannot visit an embassy/consulate or visa center without scheduling an appointment first.
Prepare the Schengen Visa Requirements
After you set your Schengen visa appointment, you must prepare a list of required documents. Usually, for a short-term Schengen visa, the list of documents is more or less the same regardless of which Schengen country you’re applying for. However, some countries may require specific documents.
Submit Your Application
On the day of your appointment, you must submit your application and the required documents. Additionally, you must submit your fingerprints and either one or two identity photographs (the number varies depending on the country). Either way, the identity pictures you submit must follow the same Schengen visa photo rules.
Moreover, you may also be asked to attend a Schengen visa interview. Sometimes you may be required to visit the official embassy or consulate for the interview or finish the interview at the visa application center— this depends on the country.
The interview is short and is centered around understanding your intention to visit that Schengen country. You may be asked questions about your trip, how long you plan to stay, whether you are visiting family members or friends, etc. The purpose of the interview is to determine if you have genuine intentions to only visit the Schengen area, so try to relax and answer the questions as honestly as you can.
Pay the Visa Fee
The day you submit your application, you may be required to pay the Schengen visa fee and attach your payment receipt to the rest of your application.
Wait for an Answer
When you submit your Schengen visa application, you have to patiently wait while your application is processed. Once a decision is made on your Schengen visa, you will be notified, along with instructions on how to proceed and when you can retrieve your passport. If your visa is denied, you will receive a notification from the embassy/consulate/ VAC, along with why your visa was denied.
Retrieve your Schengen Visa
If your Schengen visa decision is positive, you can visit the institution where you applied for your visa and retrieve your passport. Your passport will have the visa stamped on it, along with its validity date. You may also arrange it with some visa centers so they can send you the passport by post without going to the visa application center again.
How Long Is a Schengen Visa From Qatar Valid?
A Schengen visa allows you to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.
However, the validity period of a visa can change depending on how long the embassy decides to issue your Schengen. Your Schengen visa may also be issued for a single or multiple entries depending on your reason for visiting.
For example, if you are visiting a Schengen country for a brief period for professional training, exchange program, or business, your visa will most likely be issued for the same amount of time it takes to complete your program. So, if you only need to be in a Schengen country for two weeks, then your Schengen visa will most likely be issued as a single entry visa with only a two-week validity period.
Can I Apply for a Schengen Visa From Qatar Online?
No, online applications for a Schengen visa in Qatar are unavailable.
You can use the online system to set up an appointment and fill out the application form; otherwise, all applications must be submitted at the visa office in person.
What Are the Reasons for Schengen Visa Denial in Qatar?
Some of the most common reasons why your Schengen visa is rejected include the following:
- You have a criminal record that violates the Schengen security risks.
- You have important documents missing from your application.
- You provided false information on your application form.
- You do not have enough financial means to support your trip to the Schengen area.
To lower the chances of having your application denied, you must submit your Schengen visa application with all of the required documents, following the instructions of the embassy or consulate carefully.
What Do I Do In Case of Denied Visa Application?
If your Schengen visa application from Qatar is denied, you will receive a notice with the reason for your rejection, after which you can do one of the following:
- Oppose the decision at the consular level.
- Appeal the decision with a higher legal body of the corresponding Schengen country (e.g., a Foreign Ministry, an administrative court, etc.).
You have 30 days to send a complaint to the embassy/consulate after you receive your rejection notice. If the embassy refuses your visa again after your complaint, only then can you continue with legal actions.
Remember that you do not need to send a complaint or continue legal proceedings; you can always submit another Schengen visa application if the first application is rejected.