6/24/2016

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SCHENGEN VISA - Requirements and Application Process via the French Embassy in Manila



For our European dream trip to happen this July 2016, we had to apply for a Schengen Visa.

The Schengen area includes the following European Union countries and other Schengen states. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

So if you are planning to visit any of these countries or states, then you need to get a SCHENGEN VISA. 


How to know which country to apply for a SCHENGEN VISA? 


A. If the applicant wants to visit several Schengen countries, the application for visa should be submitted to the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the longest staying period is planned or is proven to be the main destination for the whole journey.

B. If the applicant intends to visit several Schengen countries and stay everywhere more or less the same time, having no main destination, than the application for visa shall be submitted at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country of first port of entry. 

Source: http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kulkepviselet/Pristina/en/en_konzuli_info/Basic+rules+for+schengen+visa.htm



Since we are staying for 8 days in France and  in other European countries for less than 8 days, we submitted our our application at the French Embassy via VFS Global Manila.

Here are the requirements that you need to provide when applying for a Schengen Visa: 



NOTES TO REMEMBER: 

1. You need to download and complete the application form. You can download a PDF file here. Just click this link:  APPLICATION FORM

2. Provide a passport with at least 3 MONTHS VALIDITY after your intended departure from the Schengen area and PHOTOCOPIES of valid and expired visas and pages with stamps. 

3. A COVER LETTER is very important and you should provide your day to day ITINERARY during your short stay in Europe. 

4. PROOF OF ACCOMODATION: What we did here was we printed all our online bookings and reservations and arranged them in order.

5. Just like applying for any other types of visas, a round trip ticket airline reservation is required. We basically bought ours ahead of time though. (Claiming things will go as planned!)

6. If you are being hosted or have a family in France, then they must provide an invitation letter and supporting documents like BANK CERTIFICATES AND STATEMENTS to prove that they are responsible for your financial requirements during your stay in France. (Whatever they can provide to prove that they can accommodate you financially, include them in your application)

7. CERTIFICATE OF EMPLOYMENT is a must and make sure to provide a LEAVE OF ABSENCE form or letter from your employer. (Thank God, I was given leave!)

8. Income Tax Return. I provided them with my 2015 income tax return. You can ask your employer for an original copy.  (I don’t know why they still ask for this, but I was too scared to get denied!)

9. BANK CERTIFICATE and BANK STATEMENTS for at least 3 months must also be provided. It normally takes an hour to get if you are going to BPI. Bank Certificate costs Php 100.00 and statements are free!

10. For minors and students, please refer to the image. (Sorry, this doesn’t apply in our application. Lol… )

11. If you are married or civil partners, you must provide a copy of your marriage certificate and a copy of your birth certificate.

12. This is also very important, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE must be obtained and be part of your application. You can purchase this online at a fairly reasonable cost or you can purchase it at VFS Manila too!  Please ensure that the insurance company is Schengen approved.  

(Make sure that you have originals as well as a complete set of copies.)

13. And of course, lastly, do not forget to pay the VISA FEE of 60.00 Euros. In pesos that is around Php 3000.00 plus!

DAY OF OUR APPLICATION ( June 20, 2016): 

When you apply for your appointment, make sure to go to VFS Website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/france/philippines/index.html and book your appointment there.

But since we were in a rush, WALK-IN IS ALLOWED as long as you are going to avail of their PREMIUM LOUNGE.  That is an additional of Php 2000.00 per applicant but worth it to save a few days of anxious waiting.

We arrived as early as possible at VFS - Manila as their offices open at 7AM.

VFS Global Office Address:
France Visa Application Centre,
Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg.,
Don Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City
1231 Philippines

Phone Number: +63 2 790 4903
 

We walked in and indicated at the front desk that we wanted to avail of the Premium Lounge. We were assisted by the very friendly staff at VFS Manila - France and she checked all our documents to make sure we had all the documents before they give it to the French Embassy. That was so nice and convenient actually!

When you avail of the Premium Lounge you will also be given snacks while waiting for your BIOMETRICS. This was the last part of our application, they will take a picture and finger prints during this process. Afterwards, they will give you your receipt and a copy of the Biometrics.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE VISA PROCESSING? 

 2 – 5 Working Days

CAN YOU CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLICATION?

YES, at the back of your receipt, there is a sticker with a tracking number.  You can check the progress  of your application here : http://www.vfsglobal.com/france/philippines/track_application.html

WHEN DID WE RECEIVE OUR VISA?

JUNE 23, 2016 Total of 3 working days!

HOW TO GET YOUR VISA? 

You either get it via courier which would take up to 48 hours or you can claim it personally at VFS Manila from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.


But we were too anxious and we couldn’t wait any longer so we decided to claim ours at VFS and in GOD’S GLORY, there is a SCHENGEN VISA sticker in our passports!







3 comments:

  1. Angelo, ano inuna mo kunin na visa UK visa or Schengen? thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply Cyns. Yes we applied for UK Visa first since its our port of entry and exit in Europe.

      Delete

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