How to apply for a Schengen visa from Saudi Arabia

If you’re a citizen of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia looking to visit any of the 27 countries in the Schengen zone, you’ll need a Schengen visa. This goes for Saudi passport holders residing both within the Kingdom itself and abroad — i.e., legal residents of Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S., Saudi Green Card holders, and so on. So to help get the ball rolling on your Schengen visa application process, AXA has put together a few simple guidelines for you.

How do I apply for a Schengen visa from Saudi Arabia?

Applying for a Schengen visa is fairly straightforward and similar in most countries — the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia included.

The first thing you’ll need to decide, however, is what type of visa works best for you. And this will depend on what kind of trip you’re taking.

A short-stay visa (i.e., a Type C Schengen Visa), for example — issued for trips lasting up to 90 days (within a 180-day period) — is the most common. For stays of three months or longer, you’ll need a national (aka Type D) visa. And if you plan to visit the Schengen Zone frequently, you’ll need the aptly named multiple-entry visa.

You can learn more about which type of Schengen visa works best for you here.

Once you know which visa you want, you’ll need to apply for it no more than six months and no fewer than 15 days prior to your trip.

But give yourself plenty of time to prep too. Because you’ll also need to have a bunch of paperwork, submit a Schengen visa application form, and schedule and attend an in-person interview. More on all that below.

How much does a Schengen visa cost in Saudi Arabia?

Schengen Visa costs are universal.

A standard Schengen Visa for one adult — in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere — costs €80.

Children between the ages of 6 and 12 get a 50% discount (i.e., €40). The Schengen Visa is free for children under the age of 6.

In some cases, the fee may also be waived for:

  • participants in certain seminars, conferences, sporting, cultural, and/or educational events (25yo or under);
  • students/teachers on certain study and/or training trips;
  • certain professionals traveling for the purpose of scientific research.

NOTE: You also may have to pay extra administrative and/or service fees associated with your visa center and/or the corresponding officials. Visa fees are not reimbursed if your visa is refused.

What documents do I need to apply for a Schengen visa from Saudi Arabia?

In terms of documents, you’ll need the following:

  • a Schengen Visa application form
  • your passport (no older than 10 years and valid for at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen Area)
  • a copy of your passport (A4)
  • at least two passport-style photos taken within the last 6 months
  • a travel and medical insurance certificate (covering you up to costs of €30,000)
  • your full travel itinerary
  • proof of sufficient financial means (for your entire stay in the Schengen area)
  • proof of accommodation (for your entire stay in the Schengen area)
  • a letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • proof of paid visa fee (IMPORTANT: your application will not be processed if you don’t include the receipt from the required visa fee!)

Depending on your status and the nature of your trip, you may also need:

  • proof of your civil status — i.e., marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc. (if applicable)
  • a cover letter explaining why you are applying for the visa, the length and nature of your stay in the Schengen Area, etc. (if applicable)
  • copies of previous Schengen visas (if applicable)
  • birth certificate and proof of parental consent for minors (if applicable)

You may need to provide proof of a pension or property income if these happen to be sources of income.

If you’re traveling from Saudi Arabia to the Schengen Area for work, you might also need:

  • an employment contract (and/or certificate of annual leave) from your employer
  • a business license
  • business bank statements

And if you’re traveling as a student:

  • a certificate of registration from your University, school, or college
  • your student ID card
  • a copy of your registration certificate signed and stamped by the university and/or school (if applicable)
  • a transcript of your grades (if applicable)
  • proof of sufficient financial resources for your stay (if applicable)
  • proof of employment (if applicable)
  • evidence of the financial stability of your parents (if applicable)

Make sure NOT to staple any of the documents. And have some extra A4-size copies of everything just in case too.

NOTE: AXA is always doing its best to provide you with the most reliable and updated information available. However, you should be aware that the consulate of your country of choice may modify the specific rules and regulations concerning its visas at any time. Consequently, we can not be held accountable for such changes. So always be sure to double-check with the appropriate embassy or consulate as to the most recent terms and conditions in effect at the moment of the submission of your visa application.

Do I need travel insurance when applying for a Schengen visa from Saudi Arabia?

Yep. Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement in order to be eligible for a Schengen Visa — from Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the world. And your plan must also meet a certain level of criteria:

  • You must have coverage not only in the country you plan to visit but across the entire Schengen Zone.
  • Your plan should also cover you throughout the whole duration of your trip.
  • It should include potential medical and/or repatriation costs and have a minimum coverage of at least €30,000.

You can learn more about mandatory medical insurance coverage for a Schengen visa here.

Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance?

AXA offers you three comprehensive plans that will not only meet all your visa application needs but also help make your trip from Saudi Arabia to the Schengen zone a safe and worry-free one.

First off, all three AXA plans meet the mandatory requirements for obtaining a Schengen Visa from Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, purchasing a plan is quick and easy —it can all be done online in a matter of minutes.

The AXA travel insurance certificate can then be downloaded (and/or printed) online instantly. Our certificate is accepted by all Schengen member countries’ embassies and consulates.

And, in most circumstances, AXA will refund your insurance fees if your visa is refused. We’ll only ask that you provide official documentation — from the relevant embassy, consulate, or visa application center — explaining why your visa was refused.

What type of plans does AXA offer?

AXA plans include:

1) Our Low-Cost option, which starts at as little as €22 per week and covers up to €30,000 in medical expenses, emergency hospitalization, and repatriation costs. “Low-Cost” is our most affordable plan and meets all the criteria required to apply for a Schengen visa. And it covers you in all 27 countries of the Schengen area (as well as in four European microstates — Andorra, Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino).

2) Our Europe Travel plan, which starts at €33/week and offers extended coverage up to costs of €100,000. It meets all the criteria required for a Schengen visa. Moreover, it covers you in all 27 Schengen countries, the European microstates, all EU countries (including Cyprus, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Romania), and the UK. It also offers guarantees such as coverage of search and rescue costs, repatriation in case of an emergency, and the arrival of a companion to assist the hospitalized or sick traveler if he/she is alone (i.e. insurance, transportation, and accommodation).

3) Our Multi-Trip insurance starts from €328 per year. It also meets all the criteria required for obtaining a Schengen visa and offers the same extended guarantees as our Europe Trip plan. However, this annual plan is perfect for those planning to travel to/within Europe from Saudi Arabia frequently (as well as for those with a multiple-entry Schengen visa). And it too covers you in the 27 Schengen countries, the European microstates, all EU countries (including Cyprus, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Romania), and the UK.

How do I book my Schengen visa appointment if I live in Saudi Arabia?

If you live in Saudi Arabia, to obtain your Schengen visa you must book an appointment for an in-person interview and biometrics collection (i.e., fingerprints and digital photography).

The interview is held at either the consulate and/or embassy of your country of choice or a corresponding visa application center (see below). Have all the necessary documents above ready for your interview.

If you’re planning to visit more than one Schengen country, you should submit your application to the consulate of the country where you plan to spend the most time.

Certain Schengen countries also provide online visa services where you can submit an initial application (often through third-party companies) — so make sure to check with your particular country’s consulate website.

Meanwhile, Schengen countries like France and Germany use outsourced visa application centers via companies like VFSGlobal.

In Saudi Arabia, VFSGlobal has centers in Al Khobar, Aramco Dhahran, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

How to apply for a Schengen visa for specific countries (in alphabetical order)

To help make your Schengen visa application process from Saudi Arabia that much smoother, AXA also has detailed step-by-step guidelines for each of the 27 Schengen countries. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.


Other countries

How early should I book my Schengen visa appointment in Saudi Arabia?

Schengen consulates and embassies in Saudi Arabia will usually require that you schedule an appointment for your interview 4 to 6 weeks in advance. So give yourself plenty of time to gather all the necessary paperwork and, if need be, take time off work and/or school.

How long does it take to process my Schengen visa application in Saudi Arabia?

It generally takes atleast15days to process a Schengen Visa — in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else. However, it may take some embassies up to one or even two months — depending on your particular situation and various other factors (the time of year, holidays, etc.).

Which consulate should I apply to if I am traveling to multiple countries?

You should apply to the Schengen country where you’re planning to spend most of your trip. If you’re staying an equal amount of days in two (or more) countries, apply to the country you plan to enter first.

What should I do if my visa gets refused?

If your visa is refused you have the right to appeal to the authorities in the Schengen member state where you applied.