Ready to go for an adventure in Europe this 2018 or 2019? Want to follow the movie, Euro trip? Then here is what you need to know how to get the visa to fulfill your dreams! Get that Schengen Visa from your nearest stores!
Get details on how to apply, where, visa fee, list of requirements and more in getting a Schengen Tourist Visa.
Do check out our website’s category Guides and Travel Tips for more handy visa guides and traveling tips prepared by the 1Pisofare Team.
Schengen, where art thou
But first, what country is Schengen? Or is it a city? Fret not; we will explain it to you.
Normally, you will have a US Visa or a Korean Visa which is named after a country, but Schengen is not. Schengen is actually a place in Luxembourg where European countries agreed to have internal border checks abolished, consequently creating one visa needed to enter member countries by non-members. In short, you only need one visa to enter these 26 European countries!
And these countries covered by the Schengen visa are the following:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the microstate Liechtenstein.
Once you get the Schengen visa, you can also get in the cute microstates of Monaco, San Marino, and the holy Vatican City as they have open borders with the area.
Now to the nitty-gritty.
Things you need to know
Here are the essential things you need to know getting that Schengen tourist visa.
- Who needs a Schengen visa and duration of stay
- When and where to apply
- How much to pay
- Requirements for Schengen tourist visa
- Possible interview and what to prepare
Who needs a Schengen visa and duration of stay
If you are not from Europe, you most likely need one. To check if you are required, you may take a look at this list of countries. For Philippine passport holders, you definitely need to apply for the Schengen visa.
Once you will have this tourist visa, you are only allowed in the Schengen area for a maximum of ninety (90) days. After the 90 days, you may come back again after six (6) months, if you still have not gotten enough from the many countries to explore in this region.
When and where to apply
Before you purchase your tickets and look for cheap flights, it would be safe to get that visa first! It would be a disappointment if you booked ahead, but your visa was not approved or the length of time for visa application took longer than expected.
The earliest you could apply is three (3) months before the planned entry, but do check with the embassy/consulate you are applying to for further details.
Now pay attention to what embassy you need to apply, especially if you want multiple entries and/or you want to go to different countries in the Schengen area:
APPLY TO THE EMBASSY/CONSULATE OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE STAYING THE LONGEST. However, if you are staying similar days with each country you are visiting, then you need to APPLY TO THE EMBASSY/CONSULATE OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE GOING TO ENTER.
If applying directly to the embassy/consulate is inconvenient, you may check a partner Visa Information and Application (VIA) Center. Their website can be accessed >here<.
How much to pay
As of 2018, the processing fee for the Schengen tourist visa is 60 euros, roughly 3,840 Php at 64 Php per euro. If you go through the VIA, there may be a processing fee on top of it.
Requirements for Schengen tourist visa
Here is a lengthy list of requirements to get that coveted Schengen visa. There may be additional requirements from the embassy you are applying to, but here are essential paperworks you need to have:
- Visa application form (You may download it >here<). Fill out this form and make sure all required information are supplied.
- You should also attach a passport-format photo to the application form. What is a passport-format photo? Though if you go to a professional photography agency or studio they will know what a passport-format is, you may still need to know this:
- Should be full-face captured with a light background, colored.
- No smiling or grinning – mouth should be closed – face should have a neutral expression and forward-looking.
- No sun-glasses or head-covering such as a hat is allowed; face should not be covered in any way whatsoever.
- The photo should be clear and of good quality. Should be printed on photographic paper as well.
- The external dimensions should be 35mm in width and 45mm in height.
Remember, the photo must be recently taken.
- Personal identification.
- Your valid passport with at least two blank pages and validity of at least three (3) months prior to your departure. Photocopies of previous visas as well, if there are.
- Birth certificate. You may get this from the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly known as National Statistics Office).
- Photocopy of marriage contract, if married.
- Professional ID Card (PRC) for professionals such as but not limited to doctors, engineers, or nurses.
- Cover letter. This should state what the nature of your trip is as well as your general plan.
- Particulars of your trip
- Itinerary of your trip – from the day you arrive up to the day you leave;
- Round trip tickets – reservations are allowed. Dates and flight numbers should be specified.
- Accommodation info. This should cover your entire stay in the countries of Schengen, from the day you arrive to the day you leave. Hotel vouchers, reservations or bookings may do. However, if you are staying with a friend who is a national to that country, there may be additional requirements such as a Certificate of board and lodging that would require your friend to submit their proof of nationality. Check with the embassy/consul you are going to apply for.
- Vacation leave approval or Travel authority for government employees. You may get that from your Human Resources department or your supervisor.
- Certificate of enrolment. If you are a student, you have to get one from your school, as well as approved leave of absence when traveling during school days.
- Travel insurance policy. This should cover health insurance and other untoward incident you may encounter during your travel in the Schengen region. You also need to purchase this from a Schengen-accredited insurance company. As for the health insurance, this should cover
- up to 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency;
- hospital care;
- repatriation of remains in case of death;
- emergency evacuation, accidental death, injury or disablement benefit.
It should also include other incidents such as:
- lost luggage;
- cancellation insurance;
- allowance beyond travel period; etc.
As long as you purchase the travel insurance policy from an accredited insurance company, you may already have all the needed requirements for this. This travel insurance for the Schengen visa could cost around 6,000 Php and up. Request for quotes from accredited insurance companies as necessary.
7. Proof of your financial sufficiency. These are evidences that you are going on a sight-seeing trip or any touristy activity, not for work or any illegal activity inside their borders.
- Certificate of employment. You may get this from your Human Resources department if you are working for a company. This must state your monthly salary and approval of your vacation leave for Europe.
If you are self-employed, submit your official business registration for the current and previous year. You may present the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Certificate of Registration form 2303, as well as your Financial Statement/Income Tax Return.
2. Payslips. If employed
3. Personal bank statement. This may differ from embassy to embassy, but usually they would require at least three (3) months of your bank activity. The bank statement should have your current balance, the date you had that account, and signature of a bank branch manager
4. Show money. This depends on the country you apply for. For example, Germany requires at least 45 euros a day and Netherlands 34 euros a day for the entire duration of your trip. For other countries, they may not specify it, so you would have to come up with you rough estimate of what you are going to spend there. It would be helpful if it is detailed to every day expenses from hotels, lodgings, activities, and transportation
5. Credit card, international if any
6. Traveler’s cheques, if you have.
7. Receipts or invoice of paid accommodations, if applicable.
8. Receipts or invoice of paid transportations, if applicable.
Possible interview and what to prepare
After finishing all these requirements and submitting to the embassy/consul, or with a partner VIA Center, you may be scheduled for an interview. Then you would have to prepare yourself with these:
- Photocopies of every single required document that you have submitted.
- You should be well-versed on the nature and the general direction of your trip, as the interviewer’s job is to find out whether you have suspicious activities aside from what is declared by you.
- You may search online for experiences of others who have done the same interview for the Schengen visa with the same embassy/consulate.
- Appropriate outfit for the interview – make sure you look like you have some money to spend to dispel ideas you are looking for work there.
After the interview if there is, then you would have to wait for the results – whether or not you are granted entry to your dream Euro trip. Days may vary, but it may be within one business week that you can hear from them.
As long as you are truthful with regards to your trip and compliant with the requirements, there is no reason your dream vacation will be denied. Now, enjoy the arguably most sought-after and romantic places of Europe!
Most embassies are located in Manila but if you are from Cebu and wants to travel to Nordic countries like Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Icelan, you can apply for the Schengen Visa in the Norway Visa Application Center Cebu with address Unit 503, 5th Floor, Keppel Center, Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City.
Related topics on 1Pisofare:
- Applying for a Japan Visa
- Getting a Korean Visa
- Applying for US visa (to follow)
- Applying for Australian Visa (to follow)
We hope this post on Schengen visa for Filipinos helps you in getting a head start on your dream Europe trip!