Visa Application for Pinoys series continues this week with Schengen Visa. Filipinos who have experienced applying for visas to US, Europe, Japan, etc will relate to the agony and understand why Visa Application is one, if not the most major part of my RTW preparation.
My focus will only be for tourist visa application. If you’re studying, working, marrying, or visiting family, I’m sure there’s a whole other bunch of stuff you need to prepare. I can’t help you with it, sorry.
The following 26 countries are members of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Philippine passport holders are required Schengen visa to visit one or more of these Member States. This visa is valid in all Schengen states for a stay of up to 90 days within a six-month period for a visit, tourism or business. It is not valid for employment.
When to apply for Schengen Visa?
Applications can be made earliest three (3) months before the planned entry.
Where to apply for Schengen Visa?
Visa applications must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of the country of intended visit. If your plan is to visit several countries, visa application must be made at the Embassy/Consulate of the main destination country—meaning the length of stay in this destination is the longest. If the length of stay in each country is almost the same, apply at the country of first entry.
For application through the French Embassy, appointments may be set by calling the embassy at (02) 857.6924 between 2:00-4:00pm, Mondays to Thursdays.
Or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org providing the following information
- Name of Applicant
- Email Address and Contact Numbers
- Purpose of Trip
- Preferred date of appointment
I suggest to call for appointment because email can take a couple of days to receive confirmation.
Which embassy would you have a better chance of getting a visa?
While I have only applied at the French Embassy before and is now reading the same embassy website, I believe that they all follow a very standard procedure in processing the visas. I initially planned to apply at the Belgian Embassy this time so have done a little bit of reading on their website, the requirements, although worded differently, are the same as it should be. Some Embassy staff are friendlier than other I’m sure. They are not very friendly in the French embassy, especially the Filipino staff towards other Filipinos. I even had an experience where this Filipina speaks English in a French accent. Ha!!
How much is Schengen Visa? where to pay for Schengen Visa?
The visa-processing fee is EUR 60 (depending on the day’s exchange rate: approx Php 3,700). Children ages between 6-11 years old pay EUR 35 (Php 2,150). Children under the age of 6 are free of charge. The fee is non-refundable even if application is unsuccessful. Payments are made at the Embassy/Consulate when submitting your application and you need to have exact change. So I had to go down Starbucks to buy coffee because I had 4,000 with me and the fee that day was 3,730. Bring a 50 peso bill and several 20′s.
What are the requirements in applying Schengen Visas?
1. Signed and filled up Schengen Visa Application Form with photo attached, plus 1 additional photo.
- Taken against a light grey or cream background;
- Clear and of good quality;
- Printed on normal photographic paper;
- 45 mm high x 35 mm wide in size
- Taken with nothing covering the face, without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or a head covering unless worn for religious or medical reasons. The subject should have their mouth closed (no grinning, frowning or raised eyebrows) and the applicant should be facing forwarding, looking straight ahead.
2. Valid passport with 3 months validity from the end of visa duration. Photo copy of valid and former visas, if any.
3. Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and detailed itinerary. If you don’t have this, you have to write one on the spot before they will accept your requirements. Here is the cover letter addressed to the Honorable Consul I made in 2007.
4. Details of your trip
- Round trip ticket reservation. Reservations only.
- Itinerary of the whole duration including departure and arrival dates.
- Accommodations – hotel vouchers, seriously. If you’re staying with a good friend who is a French resident/national, then you need them to provide you with something called Attestation d’accueil (Certificate of Board and Lodging) and your host’s national identity card or residence permit.
Why I said good friend? Because it’s a lot of trouble for them to get this. If you have a French national host, just cut and paste below list for the document you needed from them. These are basically records of their existence in France such as title of property or contract of lease, utility billing statement as address proof, bank statements, medical records, pay slip, and finally they have to go to the city hall to have all these certified. Like I said, lots of trouble. :)
The attestation d’accueil is a form needed to be presented to the City Hall with the following documents:
- la carte nationale d’identité ou le passeport, ou la carte de résidence
- livret de famille de l’hébergeant
- justificatifs de domicile (EDF-GDF, facture Télécom, facture Eau)
- titre de propriété (taxe foncière) ou de location (taxe d’habitation)
- contrat de bail ou descriptif du logement
- 2 derniers bulletins de salaires ou justificatifs divers de ressources mensuelles (retraite, CAF)
- dernier avis d’imposition ou de non imposition
- noms, prénoms de l’étranger, date et lieu de naissance, adresse exacte, n° du passeport et sa copie, copie du document justifiant le lien de parenté s’il y a lieu
- attestation d’assurance médicale de l’hôte
- un timbre spécifique dit « timbre OMI » d’un montant de 15 euros, il sera demandé à l’issue d’une réponse favorable. Disponible dans les perceptions et chez les buralistes.(Attention : il faut autant de timbres que de personnes accueillies sauf s’il s’agit de l’accueil d’une même famille avec des enfants mineurs).
5. Proof of employment
- Certificate of employment stating monthly salary and approved leave of absence.
- If self employed, official business registration for current and previous year.
6. Proof of Income
- Income Tax Return
- Recent Bank Certification
- Photocopy of the last 3 months statement of Account of the same bank account.
- If someone other than yourself is paying for the the trip, then submit financial document of the sponsor instead.
7. Identity / Marital Status:
- Photocopy of First page of Passport and all relevant obtained visas
- Authenticated birth certificate from NSO. If married, bring photocopy of your marriage contract.
8. Travel insurance that covers the entire duration of your intended stay with minimun coverage EUR 30,000. The medical policies must state the following points :
- Medical attention and treatment will be given in case of illness or accident
- The injured or ill traveller can be transported home for treatment + body repatriation in case of death
- The insurance coverage is a least 30 000 euros (50 000 US dollars)
- The insurance must be valid for all 25 Schengen member states which should be listed on the policy
- The insurance company must be re-insured, the name of the re-insurer and his TOLL FREE phone number must be listed on the policy
- The policy must allow CASHLESS SETTLEMENTS of claims. The name of the company in charge of such settlements and their toll free number must be clearly stated on the policy.
Here is a list of Accredited Travel Insurance Company in the Philippines.
- ACE Insurance Philippines
- Chartis Philippines Insurance, Inc.
- Blue Cross
- BPI – MS Insurance Corporation
- Fortune General Ins. Corp
- MAA Insurance
- Malayan Inssurance Company, Inc.
- MAPFRE Insular Insurance Corporation
- Paramount Life and General Insurance Co
- PNB General Insurers Co., Inc.
- Standard Insurance Co.
- UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc.
- WorldWide Travel Insurance Plans
- Everest International Group Administrators Inc.
- Federal Phoenix Assurance Co., Inc.
How long does it take for Schengen Visa to be released? a.k.a. The Waiting Game.
Update: May 6, 2011 — So I had my appointment today and it went pretty painless. After receiving my documents, payment, and collecting my biometrics, I was issued a receipt to claim visa on May 17, 2011. So that is 10 days as they promised. I even lacked 2 items in the requirement and was told to just bring it upon claiming of visa. Oh, and they also gave back my passport. Great!
Maybe you have more questions but all that I know are already on this page. Sorry I can’t reply to all your followup questions.