Visiting Europe is on top of many people’s bucket list but getting a Schengen (EU) Visa is one of the hardest things to do. Aside from a US Visa, the Schengen States (European States) are very strict in terms of giving entry to foreigners.
There are 26 member states under the Schengen area. These are:
Schengen Visa Countries List
* Czech Republic
When you get a Schengen Visa you will be given an entry to any of these 26 Schengen states. (Take note that the United Kingdom or UK, despite being part of the EU, requires a separate UK Visa and is not part of the Schengen member states.) Other states that are not part of the EU but a Schengen member state are Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.
If you are holding a Philippine Passport, you will need to prepare a lot of documents when applying for a Schengen Visa in Manila.
Here are the documents that you will need:
* Completely filled-up Schengen Application Form. You can download it here.
* Airline Booking Ticket (round trip)
* Hotel Booking (Agoda, Booking.com)
* Itinerary (if you will visit several Schengen states)
* Bank Certificate
* Bank Statement (3 months)
* ITR (Income Tax Return)
* Salary Pay slips (3 months)
* Certificate of Employment (CoE)
* Travel Insurance (i.e. Blue Cross)
* NSO Birth Certificate
Note: While not all will be required, it is best to have all these documents ready when applying so that you have a better chance of being approved or you avoid being called back later on to submit additional documents.
Where to apply for Schengen Visa?
There are two options for this — (1) one is to apply from the Schengen state where you will first arrive (entry state) why you fly to Europe OR (2) apply from the Schengen state where you will stay the longest during your entire trip.
Let’s say you are going to Paris, France for 3 days then fly to Rome, Italy for 5 days and then go to Amsterdam for 2 days before flying back home. You can either apply for a Schengen visa at the French Embassy (first country of entry) or at the Italian Embassy (longest stay of the trip).
Do I need to get a Travel Agency?
Not really but if you don’t have time then it would help to get one. Also, the travel agency will assist you in booking a flight and a hotel so that’s another advantage. Take note though that the travel agency will also charge a premium fee for them to do this for you.
What are the types of visa can I apply for?
For the most part, you’re likely looking for a short stay visa or tourist visa. This is the main focus of our article so we will stick to this topic at the moment.
How do I schedule an appointment?
You may check with the respective European Embassy for the schedule of appointment. Your travel agency can also help you with this. For some embassies, there’s an online scheduling like the German Embassy (https://www.visa-germany.co.za/visa_applications/before_you_start)
How long does it take to apply and get approval?
It depends on the queue. Sometimes it can be as fast a 1 week but sometimes it can take longer like 1 month. The average is about 2 weeks. The processing is not really the problem but more on getting a schedule for the personal appearance or interview.
How much does the visa cost?
Some countries charge only $50 while others are higher. You need to check with the agency or the embassy. In some instances, you are required to pay the processing fee in the bank first before you can be allowed to sked an appointment.
Note: We will regularly update this article with additional information. You can leave a comment below and we will try to answer them for you.