“A Schengen visa is a document that you require if you wish to travel to any countries part of the Schengen zone. 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, Switzerland.

From: http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

Before visiting any European country under the Schengen area, one has to acquire a Schengen visa. In our case, Italy is our main destination on May 2017. This means we’ll be staying more days here than the other countries listed on our itinerary. You may also apply with the first Schengen country or the first point of entry. Since our friends found it easy to apply with CKGS or Cox and Kings Global Services, we’ve chosen them to submit our applications. So here’s a step by step guide on how we acquired our Schengen visa to Italy.

Steps on Applying a Schengen Tourist Visa to Italy from Dubai

A. Apply your visa not earlier than 90 days before your scheduled date of arrival. Click here to check if your nationality requires a visa to enter Italy. Since we are Filipinos, we need to have a Schengen visa before going to any Schengen country.

B. Gather all documents required mentioned in this checklist provided by CKGS.

Documents required via CKGS Application Center

  1. Application form duly completed and signed. You can either download the form here or fill up the online form available in their site. You need to register an account and use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. We tried the online form but the field for the first point of entry has an error so we just fill it up manually.
  2. 1 passport size colour photograph, white background. Photo specifications here. 
  3. Original and 1 photocopy of passport valid for 90 days from the return date. Issued less than 10 years ago, at least 2 free pages (face to face)
  4. Photocopy of UAE Residence Visa valid at least 90 days from the date of intended end of the requested visa.
  5. Previous Schengen, USA, UK visa photocopy.
  6. No Objection Certificate from local sponsor or employer which mentions: your name and designation, name and designation of the managerial signatory, applicant’s monthly salary, start of employment date and no objection to travel in Italy on travel dates. It should be address to the Consulate General of the Republic of Italy and not to Italy CKGS just like what my first NOC stated! (FIRST REASON why we need to set another appointment date!haha.)
  7. Company License and Employment Labor Contract (YES! They also need this! When we applied our Greece visa, VFS Global did not require it.)
  8. Bank statements for the last 3 months. Note that it should be on a bank letter head or photocopies with original bank stamp.
  9. Confirmed hotel booking or letter of invitation of the Italian host or details of private accommodation. The SECOND REASON why we set for another appointment was the incomplete booking details we’ve provided. Since all our accommodations are under a barter agreement apart from three, we thought that by simply printing the email conversations will be fine. But we’re totally wrong! It should mention the check in and checkout date, booking confirmation, address and contact of the accommodation. It was very easy if it’s booked from booking.com as the confirmation from them is complete.
  10. Medical travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euro inclusive of repatriation flight. We applied with AFC holidays in Karama and paid AED 165 for 60 days. One month cost AED 110 but we’re traveling for 31 days from April 28 to May 28 (Imagined my regret! It’s only a day guys and yet we paid for 2 months!haha) You can also apply a travel insurance with MetLife in Garhoud whichever is convenient to you.
  11. Copy of Flight Booking or airline tickets.

C. Before we gather all the above documents, we already set our first appointment at CKGS on March 16. They have until 7:00 pm appointment which works perfect for employees. I suggest you to only set an appointment if you’re 100% sure that you can COMPLETE all the documents above beforehand. BOOK your appointment here.

D. Pay online. After booking our appointment, we chose to pay online but you can also pay directly in the Center on your appointment day. Bring an exact amount. Each person cost AED 357 including SMS service fee.

On the Appointment Day

  1. Make sure to have all the required documents as stated in this checklist along with the appointment date confirmation and receipt (if paid online). Be there at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time. CKGS is located next to Sofitel Hotel downtown and a few steps from Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro Station. We got lost during our first appointment since we brought a car. It’s better to take the train.
  2. Present your appointment letter and documents. The security officer will check your documents first before letting you inside. When everything’s fine, she will accompany you inside and will be given a number.
  3. Wait for your number to be called. There were like 6 applicants before us so we waited for around 45 minutes. Though there are signs of mobile needs to be switch off, the Center wasn’t really strict. There’s even a lady who’s talking nonstop over the phone!
  4. When it’s your turn, the agent will check thoroughly all the documents. It is worth to note that the agents in CKGS are the kindest and most accommodating we’ve encountered here in Dubai but they’re strict when it comes to checking the documents (of course!).
  5. When everything’s fine, you will be asked to go directly with the biometric scanning area. And then you’ll be given a receipt that you need to keep and show when collecting your passport.

Passport Collection

E. Our second appointment date was on March 23, Thursday. The CKGS will email and send you a SMS (if availed) when your passport is ready for collection. Don’t forget to bring your emirates id and receipt upon collection. Visa has been approved after a week from date of appointment.

Schengen Visa Application Dubai

Final Notes

Please note that we are not connected with CKGS or Italy Consulate. The guide above is based on our own experience. With complete and accurate documents submitted, anyone can find it easy to apply a Schengen visa with CKGS. We can’t wait to visit Italy and the rest of European countries on our list! Like our Facebook page  or follow our Instagram stories on April 28 – May 28 for live updates of our month long travel 🙂

*Main featured photo courtesy of Doc Gelo Santos. He traveled Italy for 2 weeks. Visit his blog to fuel your wanderlust. Thanks Doc for allowing us to use your photo 🙂