Because there are no European visa-free countries for Mauritania passport holders, Mauritanians who wish to visit the continent should apply for a Schengen visa. A Schengen visa grants its holder the right to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen area; a 26-country bloc that comprises of some of the most visited states in Europe, including France, Italy, and Germany. Today’s blog will provide an overview of how to apply for a Schengen visa from Mauritania. Read on for the Schengen visa requirements for Mauritanian citizens and residents, how to submit your Schengen visa application from Mauritania, and other critical information, including Schengen visa fees from Mauritania. 

How to apply for a Schengen visa from Mauritania

  • 1. Decide when to apply
    • While you don’t have to know exactly when you want to arrive in the Schengen area, you should have a general idea of when you want to leave for your trip, so that you have enough time to apply for your visa. 
    • The earliest you can apply for a Schengen visa for Mauritanian citizens and residents is 6 months before you travel; the latest is three weeks before. 
    • Gathering your required materials together can take time; for example, if your Mauritanian passport is expired, you will need to apply to renew it prior to applying for your Schengen visa. Similarly, depending on what type of Schengen visa you are applying for, you may need to request a visa invitation letter from someone in the Schengen area—these are things which take time; make sure you plan ahead so you have enough of it!
  • 2. Decide where to apply 
    • Because Europe contains zero visa-free countries for Mauritania passport holders, you will need a Schengen visa in order to visit most countries there. 
    • Applicants apply for their visa through the embassy, consulate, or visa application center affiliated with the Schengen state they intend to spend the most time in. 
    • For example, if you are planning a trip to both France and Italy, and you intend to spend 30 days in Paris and 60 days in Rome, you should apply for an Italian Schengen visa. 
    • If you plan to be spending the same amount of time in two or more places (say, 30 days in Spain and 30 days in Germany) you should apply for your visa through the country that represents your first entry into the Schengen area. So if you are entering the Schengen area by flying directly into Berlin, you should apply for a German Schengen visa. 
    • Once you know what country you should apply through, you will locate the entity in Mauritania responsible for handling Schengen visas (this will likely be in Nouakchott). 
    • For example, if you are applying for a French Schengen visa from Mauritania, you will apply through French Embassy in Nouakchott. 
    • Once you know the country and specific entity you should apply through in Mauritania, you can contact us if you have questions about the visa-submission process. 
  • 3. Decide what type of visa you need 
    • There are a number of different types of Schengen visas; the type you choose should best reflect your purpose for traveling. 
    •  Tourism, Medical, Cultural, and Business are just some of the types of Schengen visas available to you. For a complete list of Schengen visa types, click here.
  • 4. Decide how many entries you need
    • Schengen visas are available in single, double, or multiple entry categories. 
    • If you receive a single-entry Schengen visa, you will not be able to leave the Schengen area once you enter it without forfeiting your right to return to the zone on that same visa. 
    • Therefore, if you would like to enter, leave, and re-enter the Schengen area on your same Schengen visa, you will have to apply for either a double or multiple entry category. 
  • 5. Gather your required documents/materials
    • In order to get a Schengen visa as a citizen of Mauritania, applicants must fulfill a number of Schengen visa requirements for Mauritanian citizens and residents. These include the submission of a number of basic required documents and materials, including the following:
      • Passport (valid, with two blank pages) 
      • Passport photos (2) 
      • Proof of accommodation
      • Proof that you can financially afford your trip 
      • Proof of travel medical insurance
      • Schengen visa form for Mauritania
      • Schengen visa fee €80 EUR (around 3 405 OUGUIYA) for most applicants. 
    • In addition to the above basic required docs, applicants will also have to submit a number of supplemental documents based on the type of visa they are applying for 
    • For example, if you are applying for a Medical Schengen visa, you will have to submit a letter from the hospital in the Schengen area where you are having your surgery, confirming that it is indeed taking place. 
    • Please note that most countries require that original documents/materials written in a language other than their official language, English, or another commonly accepted European language be accompanied by an official translation into one of those languages.
    • For example, if you are applying for Schengen visa from France, and you are submitting an invitation letter in Arabic, you will likely have to submit an official translation of that letter into French, in order for it to be accepted. 
    • Please note that certain types of applicants (including most types of students) are exempt from Schengen visa fees (or subject to reduced ones). For complete information on Schengen visa fees, click here
    • Please note, in addition to handing in the above basic documents and materials, successful Schengen visa applicants from Mauritania will also have to fullfil additional requirements, including a background check.  
  • 6. Access your application 
    • The main part of your application is your Schengen visa form for Mauritania. 
    • How to submit your Schengen visa application from Mauritania depends on what country you are applying through, as different countries have different preferences in terms of accessing the application form.
    •  Depending where you are applying to, you may be able access the universal Schengen visa form, available here. Print out, fill out, sign, and submit this form, along with the rest of your application, at your visa appointment. 
    • Alternatively, the country you are applying through may prefer that you apply through their country-specific visa portal. France, for example, requests that all Schengen visa applicants to apply online, through the French visa portal, available here.
    • Similarly, if you are applying for a German Schengen visa, you should apply through Germany’s online visa portal known as VIDEX, available here.
    • Please note that even if you do end up applying online, you will likely be asked to print out a copy of your online form and bring it with you in person to your visa appointment (even if you have already formally submitted an electronic copy online). 
    • Contact us to find out which Schengen visa form that the consulate/embassy you are applying through would prefer you use to apply. 
  • 7. Schedule your visa appointment 
    • The majority of countries require Schengen applicants to submit their visa application in person, and the majority require applicants to make an appointment in order to do so. 
    • If you are applying online, you may receive a prompt to schedule your Schengen visa appointment at some point during your online application process. 
    • Alternatively, you may contact us to schedule an appointment with the embassy/consulate if needed. In rare cases, you may be allowed to simply drop off your application during normal embassy/consulate operating hours. 
  • 8. Attend your visa appointment 
    • In addition to formally submitting your complete application, your Schengen visa appointment is where you will pay your Schengen visa fees from Mauritania (if you haven’t already paid them online) have your photo and fingerprints—known as your biometric information— collected (unless you have previously submitted them within the last five years) and attend a Schengen visa interview. 
    • If you have already paid for your visa and submitted your biometric information on a previous Schengen visa application (and especially if you travel to the Schengen area frequently) you may not be required to come in person to hand in your application or interview. However, regardless of your circumstances and the nature of your application, you still may be asked to submit your application in person. 
  • 9. Await your decision 
    • The majority of Schengen visa decisions are handed down in as few as 15 days; occasionally, processing times can range from 30-60. 
    • If you successfully get a Schengen visa as a citizen of Mauritania, congratulations! You will receive a notice to pick up your passport (containing your visa) and be on your way. 
    • If you are rejected for a Schengen visa for Mauritanian citizens and residents, you have the right to appeal. For information on appealing a rejected Schengen visa, click here.