Prior to your trip to Greece or any state from the Schengen Area, you need to secure a visa called Schengen. This is a document that is issued by the appropriate authorities for visit/travel to and within the Schengen Countries.
A Schengen visa allows you to travel to the following countries:
The interesting thing about being a resident in Dubai is that there is no need to make one's way to The Embassy of Hellenic Republic located in Abu Dhabi since we can proceed directly to VFS Global in Wafi Mall to make an entreaty for the said visa. This not only saves our time but saves our money as well in terms of transport cost.
It is advised to apply 90 days before your scheduled date of arrival in Greece so be cautious of the dates when applying.
Here are the recommendations you need to follow.
1. Print the Visa Application Form (you can download it online on VFS Global website, free of charge) and fill out the form completely. Do not leave blanks, you may place N/A if it is not applicable.
2. Schedule an appointment date. You need to set online the appointment date because that is the only way they can cater you. They do not entertain walk in applicants due to the enormous amount of tourists applying for a visa that they are accepting every day.
If you need to reschedule your appointment, please remember to do so 48 hours before your original appointment.
The following details are required while booking an appointment:
3. Be ready with your complete documents.
Bank Statement for the last 6 months (we paid AED20 from ENBD)
Overseas Medical Insurance (got ours free from Enaya; no need to purchase from other agency if you have this)
Printed copy of your Roundtrip Ticket and Accommodation (with complete address and phone number)
Passport (validity minimum 90 days from the date of expiry)
Residence Permit (must be valid for at least 3 months after the date of departure from Greece)
Two recent passport sized photographs (not older than 6 months from the date of application)
Photocopy of your passport details and your UAE residence permit (also previous Schengen Visa if applicable)
Visa Application Form (already filled out)
4. Proceed to WAFI MALL. (VFS Global is located in Level 2)
People typically spend 25 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the number of applicants on that day.
Be on time during your appointment. Wear comfortable/decent (not really formal) clothing during this application. The time frame of the process includes the period for delivery of passports to the Embassy (max 1 week) and the decision making is max 15 days or less.
5. Prepare payment of visa fee in cash (AED).
The cost of the Tourist visa amounts to AED 240. There is an alternative option and that is to avail the Premium Service Fee which costs an additional AED 250 which I do not suggest since there is no extensive difference from the regular one. We were seen immediately with the methodical system; we were not kept waiting because the flow of the application was fast.
A service fee of AED 100 was included and an additional option, a Courier Fee of AED 30 was presented wherein I strongly suggest since the passport will be delivered to your doorstep and there is no need for you to go back to Wafi Mall and claim your passport.
6. Stay calm and compose yourself.
There is nothing to worry though. When I had my biometrics, my finger scanning took me almost 5 minutes due to the fact that one of my fingers is "scarred" and it is unreadable. The lady was tired from positioning my finger back and forth wiping it in between scans and just accepted it as it is.
7. Keep your receipt.
You may need to present your receipt upon claiming your passport when it is available so do not lose it!
8. Pray and wait.
As what the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait". So learn to be patient and start thinking of what travel essentials you might need to bring on your Greek travel.