What are the Schengen visa requirements?
General information for tourist, visit and business visa
- Third country nationals:
All non-UAE citizens living in the United Arab Emirates or in Bahrain have to be legal residents of the UAE or in Bahrain and need to present the relevant documents (UAE residence permit, Emirates ID, UAE passport for foreigners). These documents need to be valid for at least one months beyond the planned return from the Schengen area or a document is to be submitted that the holder has applied for the renewal of proof of legal residence.
Holders of a residence permit of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements.
- Working without the relevant work permit is strictly prohibited while visiting Switzerland.
- Applications can be deposited earliest 3 months prior to the planned travel date, but should not be submitted later than 15 days before the date of departure.
- Urgent visa treatments will only be granted in cases with high Swiss interests (political or for life threatening medical interventions). Requests for urgent visa applications need to be addressed in written form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Each application is checked individually and no guarantee can be given that a visa will be issued. The Embassy cannot be held responsible for any costs occurring from a refused visa. Please note that in certain cases the application has to be submitted to the authorities in Switzerland. In such cases it may take up to 12 weeks until a decision is made.
- A positive decision may lead to the issuance of a visa in a valid passport. The passport with the visa will be returned to the clients through the service of VFS Global. It is strongly recommended for clients to check the issued visa before leaving the premises of VFS Global, however latest upon receipt of the passport! Corrections for eventual mistakes must be announced to VFS Global / Embassy immediately!
- A negative decision of an application (refusal of visa) is communicated to the applicant with an official form. As written and explained in the official form the applicant has the right to appeal against this decision within 30 days of notification of the refusal. An appeal letter in German, French or Italian - or with a translation into one of these languages - has to be submitted and an advance payment of CHF 200 (equivalent in AED) is required. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) issues then a contestable decision.
- In case of a negative decision the visa fee will not be refunded and the submitted documents will remain at the visa section.
- Vaccination: No vaccination certificates are required
- The visa fee amounts to EUR 60.00 for adults and EUR 35.00 for children 6-12 years old.
- The visa fee of EUR 35.00 is only applicable for citizens of countries Switzerland concluded a respective agreement: Russian Federation, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Azerbaijan as well as Georgia).
- Visas are issued free of charge to certain categories of applicants.
- Certain categories of applicants are entitled for multiple entry visas with a validity of up to 5 years.
- Certain categories of applicants are entitled for multiple entry visas with a validity between 2 and 5 years, provided certain criteria are met.
- In case of loss or theft of a travel document with a visa while in Switzerland, a valid identity document or other authorization issued by the Embassy or a Consulate of the United Arab Emirates in Switzerland entitles to depart without the need of a (new) visa. Condition: the new document must entitle the holder to cross the borders.
The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland in Abu Dhabi is responsible for the treatment of visa applications from people living permanently in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain who like to travel as main travel destination to Switzerland or Liechtenstein. The common Schengen rules of the visa issuing state shall prevail. Please be aware that only requests with Switzerland or Liechtenstein as main travel destination will be accepted. Schengen application rules:
General information about entering Switzerland and the general section of VBC instructions (Visa and Border control) can be found at the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
On our website www.eda.admin.ch/united-arab-emirates you will find information on how to obtain a visa through the Embassy of Switzerland in Abu Dhabi for people living in the UAE or Bahrain.
Applications for Schengen visa (categories A & C) need to be submitted at the counters of our external service provider which will then forward the visa documents for further processing to the Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Passports with visa are to be collected at the same office where the documents were submitted earlier. The external service provider is called VFS Global. This service costs around EUR 23.00 per person - in addition to the visa fee that might be due (equivalent payable in AED).
VFS Global Visa Application Centers (VAC) for Switzerland are at your disposal in the following cities: In UAE: Abu Dhabi, Dubai and in Bahrain: Manama. Submission of application with prior registration through the VFS Global-website and appointment is possible in
UAE from Sunday to Thursday (except holidays), from 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m., collection of passports from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
Bahrain from Sunday to Thursday (except holidays), from 08:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m., collection of passports from 08:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m.
To get an appointment at the VFS Global VAC or for more detailed information please call:
Telephone: +971 4 205 58 88
Available Sunday to Thursday, 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
The services of the Call Center are available from Sunday to Thursday from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. (UAE time). For appointment requests a prior registration on the website of VFS Global is necessary. Calls only cost the normal phone charges.
The visa section of the Embassy of Switzerland recommends using the highly professional service of our Outsourcing-Partner VFS Global where clients can submit visa requests in a rapid application process and a customer friendly environment.
A limited number of direct "appointment slots" are available at the visa section. Direct appointments can be booked only through the Call Center of VFS Global with prior registration on their website. Such appointments are subject to availability and a longer waiting period may result.
Processing of Schengen visa applications (types A & C) at the Embassy will take a minimum of three to five working days in-house. In addition, the time for transport from the Visa Application Centers to the Embassy and back to the centers, as well for direct appointments the submission day and the day of passport return or a mandatory Schengen consultation need to be taken into account.
Missing documents, the need for a personal interview or internal consultations may delay the visa process. Applications should therefore be submitted early enough (maximal three month prior the entry date to Switzerland, but at least 15 day prior to departure date).
Relevant information for all visa types
The Embassies and Consulates of the Schengen Member States in the United Arab Emirates have adjusted and harmonized their lists of requested documents. Starting 2013, basically the same documents are to be submitted with the application for Schengen visa - depending on the purpose of travel - at all Schengen Embassies and Consulates. Small differences may still occur.
For the full agreement-text see the website of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
The border authorities are obliged to examine whether the conditions for the traveler’s entry still apply. If the prerequisites for an entry do not longer apply or if the travelers are unable to provide the relevant evidences, the border control may refuse the entry to the Schengen area / Switzerland although the travelers are in the possession of a valid visa.
It is therefore strongly recommended that the travelers carry copies of the documents (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations) which were supplied with your visa application.
Please make sure before applying for an appointment or submitting the application that your file contains all the necessary documents. Applications with missing documents may not be accepted at the counter and you may lose valuable time.
As a general rule, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 days. This period may, in individual cases, be extended.
Some Schengen States require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to other Schengen States by citizens of certain countries. The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days. Such consultation is currently required for nationals of the countries listed here:
It is therefore recommended to submit the visa application early, at the earliest 6 months before the planned journey.