The Schengen region boasts some of the most popular tourist and work destinations around the world. For this reason, stringent visa and entry regulations have been imposed to ensure a safe passage for all visitors to the Schengen region.
Obtaining a proper visa as per the purpose of your visit is one of the most important tasks to complete when planning a visit to one of the Schengen countries. The requirement to get a visa and the steps involved may change as per your citizenship and residency status.
This article will cover everything that a USA citizen residing in the UAE must know about Schengen visa requirements. We will discuss the type of visa USA citizens require, how they can obtain it in the UAE, as well as travel insurance for USA Schengen visa in the emirates.
Do You Need Schengen Visa If You are a USA Citizen Living in the UAE?
Travellers with a USA passport don’t require a visa to visit the Schengen area for 90 days or less. This means that USA citizens are exempt from getting any type of short-stay visas required to enter and stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days. However, American citizens will be required to get a visa waiver starting from November 2023.
The visa waiver, once obtained, will be valid for the next 3 years. Holders of this waiver can visit the Schengen region as they see fit during the validity period. Moreover, USA citizens who have been denied visa-free entry in the Schengen region previously may be required to get a short-stay visa as well.
American passport holders will require a long-stay visa if they wish to stay in the Schengen region for more than 90 days. Long-stay visas can be obtained as per the purpose of the visit such as study, work, research, temporary residence, and so forth. Long-stay visas for the Schengen region can be single, double, or multiple entry visas.
Requirements to Apply for Schengen Visa
Given below are the documents you have to submit and the paperwork you need to fill out to get your USA Schengen visa when staying in the UAE:
Duly filled visa application form for the Schengen country you are planning to visit along with two self-attested printouts
A valid USA passport no older than 10 years with at least 3 months’ validity beyond your travel dates to the Schengen region
Two passport-sized photographs clicked within the last 3 months of your visa application submission date
A valid UAE resident visa with a validity of at least 3 months beyond your travel dates to the Schengen region
Round-trip flight tickets for the Schengen region mentioning the date of arrival and departure clearly
Travel itinerary for the time you will be spending in the Schengen region
Proof of accommodation (like hotel reservations) in Schengen countries you plan to visit
Invitation letter from the host if you are to be hosted by a resident of a Schengen country
Cover letter explaining the reasons for your visit and what your schedule will be like during your stay
Travel insurance for your USA Schengen visa with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000 for emergency medical expenses
Proof of sufficient funds to sponsor your stay in the Schengen region that can include:
Bank account statements for the past 3 to 6 months
Sponsorship letter explaining that a third-party person will be sponsoring your trip
How to Apply for Schengen Visa for USA Citizens in the UAE?
Here are the steps you can follow to apply for a USA Schengen visa in the UAE:
Locate the embassy, general consulate, or an approved visa centre of the Schengen country you wish to visit
Schedule an appointment for your visa application procedure
Collect all the required documents and fill out the visa application form
Submit your paperwork at the embassy at the allotted time and day and schedule a visa interview once the paperwork is approved
Attend the visa interview and wait for a callback
Once your visa is approved, you can collect it on the given date and time
The embassy of the Schengen country you plan to visit will handle the task of allotting your visa candidature and application to the authorised visa centre in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Visa centres located in Dubai accept visa applications from residents living in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, and Ras Al Khaimah. Visa centres in Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, handle applications of residents living in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Do I need Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
USA citizens living in the UAE and visiting the Schengen region for 90 days or less are not required to get travel insurance plans for their travels as per the Schengen visa rules. Proper travel insurance will be required for a USA Schengen visa for long-term visits.
With that said, it is highly recommended to get a good travel insurance plan and secure all your abroad trips ideally. The mandatory status of your travel insurance plan will depend on whether or not you are required to apply for a certain visa. Mandatory travel insurance for Schengen visas must have emergency medical benefits worth 30,000 Euros and shall be applicable in all Schengen countries.
Benefits of Schengen Travel Insurance
Buying a proper Schengen travel insurance plan for your Schengen visa, while mandatory, is also rather beneficial.
Discussed below are some of the most important basic benefits that come with a Schengen travel insurance plan:
Emergency Medical Treatment: Your travel insurance plan will offer optimum coverage for any emergency medical treatment you may have to undergo during your trip to the Schengen countries. This includes procedures for illnesses and accidental injuries as well as emergency dental treatments.
Repatriation and Medical Evacuation: If the policyholder or any of the insured members of the policy meets their demise during the trip, the travel insurance will cover the expenses for repatriation of their mortal remains back to the UAE. In case you are stuck at a remote location and require medical evacuation to a nearby hospital, expenses will be covered by your travel plan.
COVID-19 Cover: Most travel plans offer a COVID-19 cover as either an add-on or a basic benefit of the plan. The COVID-19 cover of your travel plan will offer compensation for RT-PCR tests, accommodation cost for quarantine of 7 to 14 days, as well as costs of medicines. Keep in mind that compensation is offered if the policyholder tests COVID-19 positive.
Flight-Related Covers: Your travel insurance plan can offer compensation for any extreme inconvenience you may face during your trip. The compensation here is provided for flights delayed for more than a certain number of hours, cancelled flights, and missed connection flights. You can expect these benefits with all the comprehensive travel insurance plans in the UAE.
Baggage and Luggage-Related Cover: If your checked-in baggage is lost or delayed during your trip, your insurance plan can compensate for it. Additionally, compensation is offered if you lose your luggage at any time during the trip.
Trip-Related Covers: Your travel insurance plan will cover the costs of all non-refundable pre-booked activities, accommodation arrangements, and flight tickets if your trip is cancelled due to an unforeseen reason. If you have to cut your trip short due to an unforeseen reason, compensation for all pre-booked non-refundable expenses is offered.
Types of Schengen Travel Insurance Plans
The following are the types of Schengen travel insurance plans you can consider getting as per your type of Schengen visa and the nature, duration, and frequency of your trip:
As Per the Duration and Frequency of the Trips
Single-Trip Travel Insurance: A single-trip travel insurance plan is ideal for short trips, with these plans covering only a single trip and expiring immediately after you return from your trip. Most insurance providers offer single-trip travel insurance for 90 to 180-day-long trips. The validity and maximum vacation days covered will depend on the insurance provider and the plan you choose. You can also extend the validity of your insurance plans if your trip gets extended.
Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance: An annual multi-trip travel insurance plan is valid for one year from the date of issuance and covers all trips taken within the validity tenure of the plan. Each trip insured by your annual multi-trip insurance plan may have a limit on the maximum number of vacation days during the tenure of the plan. Unlike single-trip Schengen travel insurance plans, annual multi-trip insurance plans can be renewed every year.
As Per Number and Types of Travellers
Individual Travel Insurance Plan: An individual travel insurance plan, as the name suggests, will cover a single traveller. These plans can be taken as single-trip or annual multi-trip travel insurance as per the duration and frequency of your visit. All basic medical, trip, flight, and baggage-related benefits are covered by these plans.
Family Travel Insurance Plan: A family travel plan allows you to insure the entire family travelling to the Schengen region under a single coverage. The policyholder can add their spouse and children to a family travel insurance and share joint coverage with them. Children younger than 18 years and older than 30 days can be added to these plans. The coverage is similar to that of individual travel insurance plans.
Senior Citizen Travel Insurance: These plans are specially designed for USA citizens (living in the UAE) older than 65 years of age and travelling to Schengen areas. Generic travel plans only cover adults till the age of 65 years, which requires seniors to get a special travel plan for their visits. The benefits of these plans are mostly similar to generic Schengen travel insurance plans.
As Per the Purpose of the Visit
Student Travel Insurance: Students with a USA passport visiting the Schengen region for study purposes from the UAE require a student travel insurance plan. These plans are specially curated to suit the unique needs of students. Covers like sponsor benefits and semester fee cover are a part of student travel insurance for the USA Schengen visa in addition to other basic plan benefits.
Business Travel Insurance: These specialised plans can be utilised by travellers visiting the Schengen region for business or work-related purposes. A remarkable aspect of these plans is that they offer coverage for your gadgets like laptops, tablets, and others. Additionally, all generic benefits of travel insurance plans are also included as a part of the coverage of these plans.
Processing Time for the Schengen Visa
It generally takes up to 15 days for a Schengen visa to get processed. Once you get a response from the visa centre, you can go ahead and pick up your visa sticker or get it stamped on your passport, as required. It may take up to 45 days for Schengen visas to get processed in some cases. However, this practice is not common and highly depends on the applicant concerned. Just make sure that your visa application is error-free and that all required documents have been added to the stack.
When Should You Apply for Schengen Visa?
It is recommended to apply for your USA Schengen visa immediately after making concrete plans for your trip. This is because getting your Schengen visa can take some time, and you may also encounter some hick-ups along the way. Your visa application may have some errors or there may be another necessary document that has to be submitted. This is why it is smart to plan and leave a little margin to handle all plausible errors patiently.
Given below are the application fees for Schengen visa as per the applicable category:
Fee in EUR
Fee in AED
Minors younger than 6 years of age
Minors between 6 and 12 years of age
USA diplomats and holders of a service passport
A family member of EU national or EEA national
Validity of Schengen Visa for USA Passport Holders in the UAE?
The validity of your Schengen visa will depend on your chosen type of visa – Type C or Type D visa. Covered below are the key Schengen visa validity details for each type of visa.
Type C Schengen Visa
Also referred to as the short-stay visa, a Type C Schengen visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days. There can be three types of Type C Schengen visas – single entry, double entry, and multiple entry visas. Given below is their validity information:
Single-Entry Schengen Visa: A single-entry Schengen visa allows the visa holder to enter the Schengen area once for a maximum duration of 90 days. The visa validity expires either after the completion of 90 days or after your exit from the Schengen region, whichever comes first.
Double-Entry Schengen Visa: The double-entry visa allows the visa holder to exit and enter the Schengen region twice. The maximum stay validity of this visa is 90 days, counting from the date of the first entry into the Schengen region.
Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa: A multiple-entry Schengen visa, as evident from the title, allows an individual to enter the Schengen region multiple times.
This visa is valid for a maximum of 90-day-long stay within a period of 180 days. As a result, the visa holder can enter and exit the Schengen region as many times as they please, although they won’t be able to stay beyond 90 days in each 180-day cycle.
Type C multiple-entry visas can be valid for up to 5 years.
Type D Schengen Visa
These are special national visas issued to candidates who need to stay in the Schengen region for durations longer than 180 days. The visa validity here may go up to 1 year as per the purpose of the visit and the length of the stay. Some examples of Type D Schengen visas are student Schengen visas, work Schengen visas, Schengen visas for research work, and so forth. It must be noted that Type D Schengen visas can be single-entry or multiple-entry visas.
Limited Territorial Validity Visa
This visa is valid only for the Schengen countries specifically mentioned and not all Schengen countries like general Schengen visas. This visa is only offered in special cases (mostly on humanitarian grounds). The holder of an LTV visa is allowed to visit only the mentioned countries on the visa itself.
Being a USA passport holder, you will not need a short-stay visa to enter the Schengen region for durations lesser than 90 days. However, a long-stay visa has to be obtained to stay in a Schengen country for more than 180 days.
To ensure smooth and quick processing of your visa application, research properly about the type of USA Schengen visa you will be required to apply for as per your purpose of visit and arrange all the necessary documents before applying for the visa.
Since travel insurance is mandatory with your Schengen visa, you would need to get a suitable plan for the same. This can be done with policybazaar.ae, your insurance partner, and secure your trips. You will find an array of options to compare on our user-friendly platform where you can take your pick and buy the plan within minutes at the most cost-effective prices.
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