Another Schengen visa application experience, this time I applied at Swiss VFS Riyadh https://www.vfsglobal.ch/switzerland/saudiarabia/
Background prior to my visa application:
– I had been issued previous Schengen visas from Czech Rep (twice) and one from Spain, check out my previous blogs.
– I have an existing valid US and UK visas on my current passport.
– I already visited 10 countries in the Schengen area in the past 2 years.
– I plan to travel to Switzerland this Eid holiday July 2016
Actual documents i submitted:
1. Completed visa application online, printed and signed, attached 1 photo
2. Appointment confirmation letter
3. Original passport + copy of data page and previous Schengen visas
4. Employment letter attested by Chamber of Commerce
5. Exit/reEntry visa copy
6. Iqama copy with official English translation
7. Bank statement for 6months with original stamped by the bank
8. Copies of my credit cards front page
9. Travel insurance original
10. Flight booking
11. Hotel booking (cancelable from booking.com)
12. Introduction letter (not required but helpful)
20/04/16 – I registered my profile at Swiss VFS Riyadh website, completed Schengen visa online application form and printed it and signed including the complementary page and I pasted 1 photo (size 35x45mm). Then schedule my appointment to be on 02/05/16 and I was automatically assigned at 11:45am slot.
02/05/16 – Monday I submitted my documents at VFS Center Riyadh, paid visa fee total SR363 cash, they collected my biometrics data (digital photo and finger print scan), eventhough my previous biometrics is still valid as per VIS it should be valid for 5 years. Its high season when I applied so it was crowded and i spent 1 hour inside VFS instead of just 15mins. Late afternoon I received an email that my application has been forwarded at Swiss Embassy for assessment.
03/05/16 – Tuesday at Swiss Embassy, my Schengen visa was issued and pasted on my passport, however they did not forwarded it immediately back at VFS center.
05/05/16 – Thursday before lunch time I tracked down my visa status online and glad to know that my passport has been dispatched back at VFS Center, however I only received after 30mins a sms and an email stating that my passport is ready to be collected at VFS center, at 1pm I went to VFS center to collect my passport, visa was issued for 90 days stay valid for 6months multiple entry (i requested 1 year validity on my visa application form and intro letter, thanks anyway!). I noticed that the visa has not been stamped by Swiss Embassy so i sent email to them to confirm if stamp is not required, based from my own google search i found out that Swiss Schengen visa does not contain stamp, unlike other Schengen states which always put stamp or signature or dry seal on top of the visa sticker.