Philippine passport holders are required to get a Schengen visa when travelling to any of the Schengen countries.
To many Filipinos, Europe is a distant dream. Here are the steps to make this dream a reality.
List of Countries under Schengen Agreement:
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, Liechtenstein
Which Embassy to Apply:
You can apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy or VFS center that serves as your point of entry or to the country where you will stay longest.
In my case, we planned to visit Italy and go car camping and a 2 week trek in the Dolomites. We rented a car in Germany and drove to Italy and stayed there for 2 weeks. My point of entry was Germany but we stayed longer in Italy so I logged my visa application to the Italy VFS Processing Center (http://www.vfsglobal.com/italy/thailand/).
When to Apply?
Application can be made as early as 3 months before the departure date.
What Are The Requirements?
- Visa Application form duly filled in English and signed by the applicant.
- Two recent passport photographs (white background)
- Valid passport with validity of at least 90 days after expiration of visa requested and valid for at least six months from the date of the submission.
- Round Trip air ticket booking stating the name of all the applicants
You should only book your real ticket when you are sure you will get a visa, so if you book in advance, make sure that you can cancel the ticket. Without a fully refundable ticket, it is better to get a Thai travel agent to issue you with a tentative reservation, which the Embassy will accept as valid.
The easiest way to do this is go to a travel agency, asked them to book you a ticket for visa application. I got mine at Big-C On Nut on the third floor.
- For applicants invited by Italian friends/family in Italy: invitation letter and ID/passport copy with the page with the signature of the person who invites the applicant. In case the inviter is a non-EU citizen, a copy of passport and copy of the Italian residence permit is needed.
- Confirmed hotel booking for the whole duration of the trip.
Yes, most of you might think why would you book a hotel when you aren’t sure you will get a visa. But this is one of their requirements, and you MUST comply with their rules. I booked all my hotels on booking.com. There are some hotels without a booking fee or deposit and you are allowed to cancel your booking without any penalty. Some don’t even need Credit Card to book their hotels, so these are the ones to choose. Best to tailor-make your itinerary to match them, and then change everything once you have obtained the visa.
- Complete itinerary with dates and cities
- Proof of economic situation in the country of residence: statement of the last three months with stable transactions of the bank account of the applicant and copy of the original bank certificate dated not earlier than 15 days before the date of the submission.
The original bank certificate, you can easily get this at your bank. Go to your bank and ask them to provide your bank certificate for visa application purposes. They know what to do.
- Work Permit or any long-term visa in Thailand (Non B, Non O, Non-ED visa, Retirement visa, etc.).
Note: If you only have a tourist visa, the VFS staff will not accept your application.
Where to Apply?
Italy Visa Application Centre
191, Silom Complex Building,
15th Floor, Unit – C, Silom Road
Submission of Application is from 8: 30am -1200 noon (Monday-Friday) Except Holidays
If you have questions, be sure to call them at their Helpline NO. 66 (02) 118 7001 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a lot of people applying for a visa, so be sure to arrive there early.
How to go there?
Take the BTS and go to Sala Daeng Station. Silom Complex building is connected to Sala Daeng BTS.
60 Euros + Processing Fee. You can also pay an additional amount to receive SMS on the update of your visa application or to send your passport to you via EMS if you don’t have time to collect.
How long is the Visa Processing?
They usually tell applicants that the processing time is 7 to 15 working days. It is probably depends on how many applicants applying on that month or that season. For me, I submitted my documents on a Wednesday and I received a call from VFS informing me that my visa was approved on Friday. I received my passport sent to my office via EMS Tuesday afternoon.
If you decided to collect your passport at the VFS Center, the passport collection time is 1300 -1600 hours (Monday-Friday) Except Holidays.
Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Photos from Europe Trip.
Trekking in Val di Funes, Dolomites, South Tirol, Italy
The small village of Hallstatt in Austria