As a Philippine passport holder, we, Filipinos, are required to get a VISA before we can enter the borders of most, if not all, European countries, particularly the Schengen member countries of Europe.
If you are planning to visit Europe, It is highly recommended to secure a Schengen VISA for you to be able to move freely, as free as a bird, in 26 countries within the Schengen Zone.
Let us say you want to visit Eiffel tower of France, and you also want to visit Vatican of Italy, and all other beautiful cities in Europe, Schengen VISA is all you need to explore each and every country in Europe.
What is a Schengen VISA?
A Schengen VISA is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries.
Which countries in Europe are in Schengen Area?
These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the 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 and Switzerland.
Where to apply for a Schengen VISA?
You should log your application to the embassy of the country where you will stay the longest. In my case, I submitted my application at German Embassy because it was the country where I stayed the most.
What are the requirements for Schengen VISA
- VISA Application Form
- Certificate of Employment
- Proof of Fund – Bank Statements
- Approved Vacation Leave from your employer
- Flight Reservation (not paid yet)
- Formal Obligation or Invitiation, if Visiting a Friend
- NSO issued Birth Certificate
How long did it take to get the Schengen VISA approved?
- 3 days from the date of interview
How long did I prepare for my Schengen VISA application?
- 3 months or 90 days
What are the interview questions from German Embassy?
- Generally, the questions are related to your submitted documents.
Let me share with you the interview I had with the consul of German Embassy in Makati. Below were the questions that were thrown at me:
Q: How long have you been working?
A: 3 and a half years in my present company, 24 years for a number of companies of various capacities and positions.
Q: Are you going to Germany alone?
A: NO, I am leaving with the other person being interviewed on the other window.
Q: Have you been to other countries? When and where was the most recent?
A: YES, Mainland China back in February 2014 – It also requires VISA to enter mainland China.
The interview proper was completed in 3 to 5 minutes. It was the preparation of requirements that took me like 3 months.
My VISA application had been made easier though because I had a “Formal Obligation” from a German Citizen. In fact, if you have a “Formal Obligation” from a German Citizen, Proof of Fund or Bank Statement is no longer required.