How to Apply Argentinian Visa in the Philippines
As a Philippine Passport holder, we can enter 6 countries in South America visa free: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia. Brazil, and Suriname. But with a dream to be in Patagonia – the end of the world, Philippine Passport holders have to apply for visa to enter Argentina. And this is what I just did.
Applying for Argentinian Visa in the Philippines is straight forward and easy. But the staff in the Argentinian Embassy is very meticulous and strict, so make sure you prepare everything carefully or you have to go back again and again.
Here it is a simplified step-by-step guide on How to Apply Argentina Visa in the Philippines:
Step 1 – Prepare Required Documents
(All documents should be printed in A4 size)
- One (1) Duly accomplished application form (FSV-EFILI-2017, fsv-english transaltion)
- One (1) recent passport size photo
- Valid passport & photocopy of the information pages
- Letter of Request by applicant stating the reason for the travel, signed by the applicant with FULL NAME including MIDDLE NAME IN BLOCK LETTERS (ALL-CAPS)
- Original and notarized Certificate of Employment indicating the following: full name, passport number, position, brief description of work duties, monthly salary & duration of leave.
- If self-employed, DTI Registration, SEC or Mayor’s Permit, or Certificate and Articles of Incorporation and general information sheet for the current year.
- Original Bank Certificate with corresponding Passbook or Bank Statement for the last three (3) months of the current year.
- Detailed day to day itinerary – click to see sample
- Hotel Bookings, from the hotel or online booking website (indicating the name of the applicant) or
- If staying with a friend, letter of invitation written in Spanish duly notarized and legalized by Collage of Writers in Argentina
- Flight Bookings, round trip ticket from the airline or website (indicating the name of the applicant)
- For minors traveling alone, Affidavit of Support from parents, DSWD Permit (must be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs), birth certificate and parent’s government issued ID with picture(passport, Driver’s License and other)
- Other documents may be required as needed
Step 2 – Submit Application and Pay Visa Fee
Submit your documents to the Consular Section at the Argentinian Embassy. The unfriendly Filipina lady at the window will check your documents and let you know if complete. No need to bring your passport during submission, only when you return for interview.
Once your application has been checked and accepted, you have to pay the visa fee at BPI located in Tordesillas, 2 blocks away from the embassy. The visa fee is Php7,500 ($150) as of July, 2017. You have to go back to the Consular office to submit the proof of deposit.
Then wait for call or email as to when you have to go back for interview, they said within 10 days. But they emailed me 2 days later, and scheduled the interview for 3 days after.
Note that payment is non-refundable and do not guarantee the granting of the visa. The decision will be made on the basis of the documents submitted, obviously.
Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Manila – Consular Section
8th Floor, Liberty Center, 104 H.V. de la Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel: 845.3218/3219/3238 Fax: 845.3220
Argentinian Visa Fee: USD150 (Php 7,500)
Filing Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Monday- Friday)
Visa Release Hours: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Monday – Friday)
Step 3 – The Interview & Visa Release
Bring your passport and go back to the consulate office on the scheduled date and time.
My interview was conducted by an Argentinian Consul. It felt more like an interrogation though. They are so thorough and asked about everything on your application. Here are some of the questions asked:
Did you prepare your own itinerary? You did not go with a travel agency? How many days will you be there? Where are you going? Why are you going? How are you traveling around Argentina? Do you know how long it will take from Buenos Aires to Cordoba? What are you doing in Cordoba? Are you meeting anyone in Argentina? Is your friend Argentinian? Bring your original passport, and the original documents (if applicable).
Having said that, if you are able to answer all the questions convincingly, as I did, you’ll be issued a visa. The interview took about 2.5 minutes. My passport with visa was ready for pickup after (2) working days.
Notes and Other Tips
On Filling Up Application Form
- Name that appears in the documents should be in accordance to the passport of the applicant
- Erasures are not allowed
- Don’t write outside the boxes
- Everything should be in capital letter (including your email address)
- Date on the application form (when you sign your name) must be the date when you submit your requirements, otherwise, they will make you full up another one
On Business Papers
For self-employed, when submitting copy of SEC Registration, including all pages of the Articles of Incorporation, all the pages of the latest General Information Sheet.
Proof of Financial Capacity
Aside from Bank Certificate, you can also submit other form of savings. One of my friend submitted a certificate of savings from their company’s coop.
How Much Money Needed?
How much money does one need to apply for visa? This is a question often asked by readers. We don’t know because there is not one embassy that put the exact amount needed in their website. If I were to make an estimate, my formula would be $200 x # of Days. For example, for 30 days trip, you should have more than 300,000 pesos in your bank.
You can book hotel rooms on Agoda that can be cancelled for free. I use this all the time to apply for any visa.
For a fee, my friendly travel agent will make flight reservations valid for 3 days. You can email the friendly travel agent.
Letter of Invitation
If you are staying with in an Argentine residence (not hotel), you must submit a letter invitation from your host. The letter must be formal and shall meet the following requirements:
- It is written in Spanish.
- Addressed to the intervening consular authority (E.g. Al Sr. Cónsul de la Republica en Filipinas).
- Contains all personal and contact details of the inviting person in Argentina: name and surname, DNI, address, telephone or mobile number and email address.
- Contains all personal and contact details of the foreigner invited to Argentina: name and surname, nationality, date of birth, type and passport number, telephone or mobile number, email address and any other contact details in the residence.
- Explain the reason for traveling, relationship of the invited person with the host, duration of stay in the Republic, place of stay and estimated dates of arrival and departure.
- Express that the signatory will be responsible for the departure of the said foreigner once the permitted length of stay expires.
- Include the paragraph: “Como invitante de extranjeros, he leído y comprendo los términos de establecidos en el Capítulo VI de la Ley 25.871, artículos 116, 117, 118, 119, 120 y 121”.
- Contain the signature of the host, certified by the corresponding Notary Public and relevant Public Notaries Association.
- Send the original, by post, to the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Manila – Consular Section
- Photo is recent and reflects the current appearance, clear and in color, reproduces skin tones accurately and is properly exposed with no shadows.
- Photo clearly identifies the subject. Photo should be 4×4 cm (40 x 40 mm) or passport size with the head centered and about 80% of the whole photo size.
- Head is directly facing the camera with full-face view.
- Do not digitally enhance or alter the photo to change your appearance.
- Photo is sharp without any visible pixels or printed dots. Face should be in focus with neutral facial expression.
- Photo is taken in plain and white background, free of shadows and not cropped out using a photo retouching tools.
Your visa may require supporting documents. After the assessment you will be given a period to comply for the additional documents. Bring the documents or email it to the Consular Section for the next round of assessment. To avoid delays all supporting documents should be submitted at the time of application.
It’s crazy how thorough they were. They would scrutinize everything, even your itinerary. In my itinerary, I indicated flying from BA to Iguazu, so they asked me for my flight booking. I told them I decided to take the bus so I had to revise my itinerary.
At the end of the day, even if the staff in the embassy were strict and stern, they are diligent and meticulous. So once they accept you application, you are almost assured that visa will be granted. The processing time is also reasonable. Mine took less than 10 days.
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