UAE: Residents have to wait till December for Schengen visa to some European countries even as delays ease

During the summer break, people had to wait for months for visa appointments as the travel sector had reopened after the easing of restrictions post-pandemic



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by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 1:32 PM

UAE residents wishing to travel to Schengen countries may have to wait until December for visas to some European countries, even though the processing time has decreased considerably for others.

Travel industry executives in the UAE have recorded a high demand for Schengen visa applications. The processing time has dropped to just 15 days for some countries and up to two months, depending on the destination and applicant’s documentation.

Bitto Peter, operation director, Al Ghazi Tourism, said they are receiving many queries for visas to visit these 26 countries. “However, due to the heavy rush in the earlier months, the waiting time persists,” said Peter.

He noted that countries like Germany, France, and Switzerland are much in demand among UAE expats. And travellers may have to wait until December to get a visa.

“For countries like Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Poland, and others, it can take minimum 15 days to acquire a visa,” Peter added.

Travel experts also noted that visa approval for the United Kingdom takes nearly 5-8 weeks.

During the summer holiday, people had to wait until September for visa appointments as the travel sector experienced 'revenge travel' as it reopened after the easing of restrictions post-pandemic.

Travellers exploring other destinations

Some travel executives say visa availability is still a big challenge due to demand. “The waiting time is up to December for a few countries,” said Raja Mir Wasim, manager of Galadari International Travel Services.

Wasim added that the appointments for some countries are full to their capacity until the end of November and mid-December.

Libin Varghese, director of sales and marketing, Rooh Tourism said some residents are opting to travel to the Caucasian region due to delays in Schengen appointments.

“Residents opted for Georgia, Azerbaijan, and neighbouring countries, and also eastern European countries like Serbia, Albania, and Monte Negro. However, there are a lot of untapped countries we are receiving inquiries about,” said Varghese

Kazakhstan and Monte Negro are on top of the list where the residents are now showing interest in visiting, added Libin.

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