If you are from Lebanon, you will likely need a visa in order to enter the Schengen area; a 26-country bloc of some of the most visited destinations in Europe. Because Lebanon is not one of the countries that has visa-free access to the Schengen area, Lebanese people who seek to visit places like France, Italy, and Spain will likely have to apply for a Schengen visa from Lebanon in order to enter the zone. Today’s blog will therefor examine the Schengen visa application process for Lebanese citizens and residents. Readers will learn about the available Schengen visa types for Lebanon passport holders, as well as the general application requirements for Lebanon citizens and residents. If you are considering traveling to the Schengen area from Beirut or elsewhere in the country, you will also find the answers to some of the most asked questions related to applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Lebanon, including, “Where do you apply for Schengen visa from Lebanon?” and “How much does a Schengen visa cost from Lebanon?”.

Schengen Visas

  • A Schengen visa is required for entry to the Schengen area for applicants from states who do not have visa-free access to the zone, who seek to travel to multiple countries there.
  • Apply for your Schengen visa from Lebanon through the Schengen country you intend to spend the most time in on your trip to the area. For example, if you are planning on visiting France and Spain, but you intend to spend more time in France, you should apply for a Schengen visa from France.  
  • If you intend to spend an equal amount of time in two places, you should apply for a Schengen visa from the country you are first entering the Schengen area zone through. For example, if you plan on spending 30 days in both Spain and France, but you will be first entering the Schengen area by flying directly into Paris from Beirut, then you should apply for a French Schengen visa (rather than a Spanish one). 
  • Once you know what country you are applying through, you will lodge your Schengen visa at that country’s embassy or consulate (or via the visa application center affiliated with that country). 
  • After you decide what country you are applying through, you have to decide what type of Schengen visa you need. There are a number of different Schengen visas or types for Lebanon passport holders, which are universally available to applicants from all countries. The type of Schengen visa you apply for reflects your reason for traveling (such as for business, travel, and sports). For example, if you are traveling to France for the purpose of seeking medical treatment, you should apply for a French Schengen visa for Medical purposes. (For a complete list of Schengen visa types, click here).
  • Once you decide what type of visa you are applying for, you must also select the entry category (Single, Double, or Multiple). If you intend to enter and exit the zone throughout your visa validity period, you will need to apply for, at minimum, a double entry Schengen visa. For more information about Schengen entry requirements, click here.

Apply for a Schengen visa from Lebanon

  • 1. Determine when you are travelling 
    • If you are applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Lebanon, you should have a general idea of when you need to leave for the Schengen area. 
    • Applying for a Schengen visa can take time, so you will need to make sure you can gather all of your documents and complete all of your visa-related tasks before you leave. 
    • In general, applicants should submit their application no earlier than 15 days (just over two weeks) before they need to depart from Lebanon (and no earlier than 6 months before). 
  • 2. Determine where to apply 
    • Where do you apply for a Schengen visa from Lebanon? Once you know the country you are applying through, you can find out where specifically in Lebanon to lodge your Schengen visa application. 
    • For example, if you are seeking a French Schengen visa from Lebanon, you will apply through the visa application center affiliated with the French consulate in Beirut. Similarly, if you are applying for a Schengen visa to the Netherlands, you will apply through another visa application center affiliated with the Dutch embassy in Beirut. 
    • Once you know where to apply, you can contact the people in charge for critical information that can help guide your application process. For example, many Schengen countries will only select documents that are written in English, one of their own official languages, or another common European language (popularly accepted languages include French and Spanish). If you are applying from Lebanon to a Schengen country, and some of your documents are in Arabic (such as if you received an invitation letter written in Arabic) check with your application destination to see if they will accept it without a certified translation (they likely will not). 
  • 3. Assemble your required documents 
    • Schengen visa requirements for Lebanon citizens and residents demand the submission of the following documents and materials: 
      • Passport (valid, with space for your visa)
      • Schengen visa application form
      • Passport-sized photos
      • Proof of financial subsistence 
      • Proof of accommodation
      • Proof of travel medical insurance 
    • The above list does not include the various supplemental documents/materials related to your specific visa type, which you must submit in addition to the required items above. 
    • For example, if you are applying for a Schengen Business visa, you will need to submit a letter from the person/entity you are traveling to do business with, essentially confirming the nature of your business and inviting you to the Schengen area. For a full list of Schengen visa types, and the various corresponding supplemental documents, click here.
  • 4. Access your application 
    • As you can see above, the Schengen visa application is one of the basic required documents all Lebanese visa-seekers must provide. 
    • Depending on what country you are applying to, you may be able to submit the universal Schengen visa form, available here.
    • However, some countries have individualized, country-specific visa application portals that they prefer applicants apply through. For example, France prefers that applicants for French Schengen visas apply by creating an account on their online visa portal, accessible through this link.
  • 5. Schedule your visa appointment
    • Most Schengen countries require visa applicants to make appointments in order to officially submit their applications. What this means is that if you are applying for a Schengen visa, you usually cannot simply drop off your visa application at the embassy/consulate of the country you are applying to. Instead, you will have to make an appointment in order to submit your application and complete other in-person tasks related to your application procedure. 
    • If you are applying online, through a country specific visa portal, you will likely be asked to schedule a visa appointment at the end of your online application  procedure. 
    • Alternatively, you can simply contact the embassy/consulate or visa application center that you are applying through to schedule an appointment. 
  • 6. Attend your Schengen visa appointment 
    • In addition to formally handing in a physical copy of your application, your Schengen visa appointment is where you will submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photos), pay your visa fee (if you haven’t already) and attend a short visa interview. 
    • If you have previously applied for a Schengen visa from Lebanon or another country that required you to submit your biometric information (within the past five years or so) you will not have to submit this information again). 
    • Similarly, if you travel frequently on Schengen visas, you may not need to attend a visa interview. 
    • However, even if you do not need to pay your visa fee, submit to an interview, or have your biometric information collected, you will likely still need to appear in-person in order to formally submit your application. 
  • 7. Await your decision 
    • Most Schengen visa applicants receive a decision on their application within 15 days of submitting it (sometimes it can take up to 30 days, and in rare cases even 60). 
    • If you are approved for your Schengen visa from Lebanon, congratulations! You can pick up your passport (which now contains your Schengen visa) and be on your way. 
    • However, if your application is rejected, do not despair! Rejected Schengen visa applicants have the right to appeal. For more information on the appeal process, click here.

How much does a Schengen visa cost from Lebanon?

  • The cost of a Schengen visa from Lebanon is 80 EUR for most applicants (around 141 593 Lebanese pounds).
  • Lebanese students, diplomats, and other categories of visa holders may be able to receive their visa at reduced or no costs. 
  • Contact the Schengen state you are applying for to find out the currencies and forms of monies they will accept, prior to attending your Schengen visa appointment. 
  • For complete information about Schengen visa costs, click here.