We’re going on a holiday and I can’t wait. Weeee! 🙂 After getting my visa, I started counting the days until the day that we’re flying out of here. We’re going to Greece once again to visit The Greek Mister’s family, eat loads of Greek food and be lazy by the beach. It’ll be fun, I’m sure of it!
Even if I’m married to The Greek Mister, I still need to apply for a visa because I haven’t changed my passport. Although not much documents are required from me, I still go through the same process. So in this blog post, I’d give you the information on how to apply for a Greek Schengen visa as a normal applicant and as a spouse of an EU citizen.
But first, what’s a Schengen visa?
If your passport is from a country listed on this website (click here), you will need a Schengen visa. A Schengen visa is a document that you require if you wish to travel to any countries which is part of this agreement. Once you have this, you may enter the Schengen zone and visit as much countries you want within the validity of your visa. The duration of your total stay in Schengen countries shall not exceed 90 days in a period of 6 months, starting from the date of first entry.
The Schengen countries are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, LAtvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
In case you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you have to apply for a Schengen visa at the Embassy/Consulate of the country which is either one of the below:
- Your main destination, the Schengen country where you will spend the longest time based on your itinerary.
- The country which is the first point of entry if you are spending the same amount of days in several Schengen countries.
So for example, you’re going to France, Italy and Germany and your first point of entry is Rome but you’re staying the longest in Paris. You can either apply for a visa from the Italian embassy based on the first-entry rule or apply for a visa from France embassy based on the longest stay rule.
Note: As an ex-travel agent, a passenger of mine decided to apply for a visa from the German Embassy even if his destination is Paris. I advised him not do it and apply for a visa from the French Embassy instead but according to him, he has done this numerous times and never had a problem. So on the day of his flight, the immigration officer in Paris asked for the passenger’s itinerary, hotel reservations or any proof that he is actually going to Germany and staying there the longest. Passenger can’t show any proof so he was asked to take the same flight back to Dubai and was not allowed to enter Paris. So yeah, you have the option to not follow these rules and just hope for the best. If you’re lucky, immigration officers won’t check it but if not, then your whole holiday plan is ruined. Better safe than be sorry right?
Anyway, back to the Greek Schengen Visa Application from Doha. Here are the steps on how to do it:
I. GET AN APPOINTMENT.
Send an email to gremb.doha[at]mfa.gr with your name, nationality and passport number to get an appointment. The appointment given to me was 3 weeks after the day that I sent the request. So do plan your holiday in advance.
II. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS.
Once you’ve received your appointment, you can now start preparing your documents which are the following:
- Completed application form.
- Original Passport and photocopy of the passport, must still be valid for at least 6 months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen area, issued within the previous 10 years and containing at least 2 consecutive blank pages.
- Residence visa (original and photocopy) or residence permit ID, must still be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
- Photocopies of your previous visas, if any. It could be Schengen, UK, US or Canada visas.
- One recent passport photo with white background.
- Confirmed flight reservations.
- Proof of financial means, bank statements and payslip.
- Employment certificate indicating your date of joining, current position and monthly salary.
- Travel medical insurance. Covering the entire period of intended stay, valid for all Schengen States, covering any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgency medical attention, emergency hospital treatment or death during your stay (min. coverage €30000). Holiday Guard or RSA Travel insurance usually covers the Schengen visa requirements.
- Accommodation reservation.
III. SUBMIT YOUR DOCUMENTS.
On the day of your appointment, you are required to PERSONALLY appear at the Embassy of Greece to submit your documents. Applicants are required to submit their biometrics when applying for a Schengen visa which will be done on the day of your document submission. Fingerprints and photo will be taken.
You will also have to pay the visa fees during this time: QR270 per adult and free for children below 12 years old.
After submission, you will be given a paper which you need to present when you collect your passport.
Click on this link for the location of the Greek Embassy in Doha.
IV. COLLECT YOUR PASSPORT.
The embassy will give you a call once your visa is processed and you can then collect your passport afterwards. I got a call 2 days after I submitted the documents. 2 days!!! That’s probably the fastest visa processing I’ve ever done.
V. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
For visa applicants who are married to EU nationals, the process is the same. As for the requirements, I only submitted the first 8 documents on the list as mentioned above and my husband had to write a letter to the embassy stating that he will be traveling with me during this trip. I’ve also submitted my husband’s passport copy and our marriage certificate. Lastly as a spouse of an EU national, visa application is free.
If you have any questions about Schengen visa application that I was unable to answer on this post, you can refer to this page where I’ve answered the most commonly asked question about this proces: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION.