I’ve just applied a Schengen Visa on 27 Sep 2011 through French Embassy in Doha. This is my third application (the first and second applications were in July 2010 and Feb 2011 respectively) and I find no changes in visa requirements (at least for business trip purpose) and processes, except for slight changes in visa form and visa fee to suit with current exchange.
Different embassies may apply different Schengen visa requirements and processes so requirements and processes here may not be generalized (for example: Germany Embassy in Doha requires that anyone planning to travel to Germany, Finland, Norway, Slovenia and Austria to apply Schengen Visa through a (WorldBridge) Schengen Visa Application Centre in Al Sadd, Doha)
As per French Embassy – How to get visa? website, the required documents for a short stay or transit visa :
- Visa application form duly filled in and signed by the applicant,
- Two applicant’s recent passport size photos WHITE background (Personal Note: from Googling I came to know that passport-size photo for French Embassy is 3.5cm x 4.5cm)
- Copy of the passport and of previous Schengen visas
- Bank statement (last 3 months) showing salary transfer
- Copy of flight booking (round trip)
- Copy of hotel booking or of the « attestation d’accueil » stamped by French authorities
- Copy of travel insurance covering all medical expenses and repatriation up to 30000 € (Personal Note: For Qatargas employee and his/her dependents, just get an insurance certificate from HR)
- Copy of the invitation letter from the company in France in case of business trip
Non Qatari citizens have to attach also:
- Copy of the resident permit
- A letter from the sponsor showing clearly the monthly salary, the position in the company, the purpose of the trip, the starting date and the duration of the professional contract. This letter must state to guaranty the return of the applicant to Qatar after the trip
Please bear in mind that:
- Original passport must be shown when applying for a visa
- In order to take fingers prints and picture (new biometrical procedure), every applicant over 12 years must submit his own application.
- Administrative and security process before answer varies from a nationality to another and can reach 15 days. (Personal Note: Being an Indonesian, it takes 10 calendar days)
- Separate application form must be filled in for children; regardless of their age and even if they appear on their parent’s passport.
French Embassy requires that applicant makes an appointment online throught its official website. Nevertheless it’s not followed strictly. Once submitted all the required documents to one of the two counters, I was asked to pay visa fee and have finger prints taken and then given a slip. I shall come back in 10 days time to submit the original passport. Afterwards, visa (pasted on to passport) can be collected within the same day at the soonest or two days maximum. At the time of application visa fee is 60 Euro (paid as 303 QR).
French Embassy in Doha:
West Bay, Diplomatic Area, keep on “Al Corniche” following the Sheraton Hotel.
French Embassy, PO BOX 2669, DOHA, QATAR
Phone : (00 974) 4 402 17 77, Fax : (00 974) 4 402 17 01, email : email@example.com
The Embassy is closed on Friday and Saturday
Opening hours to the public :
consular section : 8h – 12h
visas section : 8h30 – 10h30
Map – Coordinate: 25°19’48″N 51°32’12″E
Visa section is located on the basement. Mobile phone is prohibited to bring in. Leave it at security post.
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985. The Schengen Area operates very much like a single state for international travel with border controls for those travelling in and out of the area, but with no internal border controls.
The Schengen rules were absorbed into European Union law by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999, although the area officially includes three non-EU member states—Iceland, Norway, Switzerland—and de facto includes three European micro-states—Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. All but two EU member states—Ireland and the United Kingdom—are required to implement Schengen and, with the exceptions of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania, have already done so. The area currently covers a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (1,664,911 sq mi).
Implementing the Schengen rules involves eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states. The rules include provisions on a common policy on the temporary entry of persons (including the Schengen visa), the harmonization of external border controls, and cross-border police and judicial co-operation.
Whether a passport or an EU approved national identity card is required for identity checks done at airports, hotels, or by police, depends on national rules and varies between countries. Occasionally, regular border controls are used between Schengen countries.
To know all countries where Schengen Visa is valid, click Wikipedia – Schengen Area.