January 26, 2018 • 0 Comments
How To Apply For A Schengen Visa in the Philippines via French Embassy
Applying for a Schengen Visa
An update from last year, my visa trauma is almost gone (but not fully), I honestly still get nervous when I apply. Today, I’ll be sharing with you the process of acquiring a Schengen visa at the VFS via the French embassy. I hope this helps!
This guide is for applying for a Schengen tourist visa in the PHILIPPINES. If you need any other visa aside from a tourist visa, please check out other websites instead.
This is a continuation on my previous post regarding on how to secure a UK Visa. This year, I am applying once again to get a Schengen Visa to France (!!!) so I decided to share with you guys the usual process. First – why am I in the French embassy? Here are some tips to consider when applying for a Schengen visa:
- Make sure to apply for a Schengen visa at the correct embassy (i.e. Schengen country you’ll stay in the longest).
- Prepare the required documents before securing an appointment online.
- Go to the embassy at the appointed time (or 15 mins latest!) to personally bring in your application because biometrics and photo will need to be collected.
- Be patient and pray!
Off to the UK, Iceland and France in 2017
- WHEN TO APPLY FOR A SCHENGEN VISA?The rule of thumb is actually applying 3 months BEFORE your intended date of departure to give allowance of ironing details and gathering documents. I am set to leave for France next month (Feb 23, 2018) and I applied end of January. It usually takes 5-15 days for the decision to be made and THEY WILL TAKE IN YOUR PASSPORT! So make sure you don’t have any trips planned during the waiting period.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
- Schengen visa application form with photo. (35mm x 45mm, white background)
- Valid passport and a photocopy of valid and former visas. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months!
- Print a cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and proposed day-to-day itinerary.
- Reservations of round trip flight bookings and hotels as your proof of accommodations. Most sites such as Booking.com will allow you to reserve without paying, and many even let you cancel up to a few days before your stay without charges. This is very important! Your proposed travel dates must match the bookings. I had mine done with Globetrotters Travel Agency – they’re so efficient.
- Proof of employment. You need to submit:
- A certificate of employment with monthly salary, and
- A leave of absence form approved by your employer, OR
- Since I am self-employed, I presented my DTI and BIR documents plus my ITR.
- Proof of income. Of course you need to show them that you have funds that can actually pay for the trip. So make sure you have:
- Recent bank certification (within 1 month from date of application)
- Statement of account of the same bank account from the last three months.
- Proof of identity – bring over your birth certificate and if applicable, marriage contract.
- International travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000. Again, I got the help from the travel agency!
- Visa fee of €60, to be paid in cash (Yes, they don’t accept credit card!) I paid a visa fee of Php3,610 and a service fee of Php1,570.
Now, lets do it – Filling up the application form
Schengen Visa Application Form to be filled out online
To fill out an application form, you have to head over to the official website of the French embassy via https://france-visas.gouv.fr/ and create an account. Be very detailed and honest!
Schedule an appointment at the VFS Global website
After you’ve successfully filled out your application form, it will direct you to the official website of VFS Global so you can set your appointment.
No bags allowed inside!
Note that some embassies let their applicants bring in a bag (like the UK) – the French embassy does not so I had to bring over my bag to the locker area for an additional Php75.00.
Now, once you’re inside the VFS, bring a ballpen with you and prepare TWO sets (1 original and 1 photocopy) of ALL of your documents – even the flight and lodging reservations. They will return the original copies to you but of course, take in your passport during the entire process. After you settle the visa fee, you’ll be asked to wait so they can collect your biometrics (fingerprints and photo). After that, the waiting game begins!
Visa approved! | Schengen Visa 2017
As for my trip last year (Feb 2017), my visa came out 4 days after I submitted it. When I opened it, it had a note to show myself to the embassy when I returned – so I did! If you need assistance with your reservations, insurance and the application process, feel free to contact Globetrotters Travel & Tours or email firstname.lastname@example.org
with Nick Higson | in Méribel, a ski resort in the French Alps
We made it to France! Yahoo!
Schengen Visa for March 2018
UPDATE: I applied again this year because Nick and I are planing to go to France. Their notice said it will be released in “5-15 working days” but guess what – they released mine after TWO working days!
So that’s the process of acquiring a Schengen visa at the French embassy. It sounds overwhelming but you can do it! Quick, easy and slightly painless.