UAE: Residents must wait until December to get Schengen visas for some European countries, though delays ease – News

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



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Published: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 06:00

Residents of the United Arab Emirates wishing to travel to Schengen countries may have to wait until December to obtain visas for some European countries, although the processing time has dropped significantly for others.

Travel industry executives in the United Arab Emirates have seen 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 the applicant’s documentation.

Bitto Peter, Director of Operations, Al Ghazi Tourism, said they are receiving many requests for visas to visit these 26 countries. “However, due to the heavy rush of the previous months, the waiting time persists,” said Peter.

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

“For countries like Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Poland and others, getting a visa can take at least 15 days,” Peter added.

Travel experts have also noted that UK visa approval takes almost 5-8 weeks.

During the summer holidays, people had to wait until September for visa appointments as the travel industry experienced a “revenge trip” as it reopened after post-pandemic restrictions eased.

Travelers exploring other destinations

Some travel managers 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, head of Galadari International Travel Services.

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

Libin Varghese, Sales and Marketing Manager, Rooh Tourism, said some residents choose to travel to the Caucasus region due to delays in Schengen appointments.

“Residents opted for Georgia, Azerbaijan and neighboring countries, as well as Eastern European countries such as Serbia, Albania and Monte Negro. However, there are a lot of untapped countries that we get requests for,” Varghese said.

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

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