We, Filipinos, as Philippine passport holders, are required to get a VISA first before we can enter the borders of most if not all European countries particalrly 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 Manila because it was the country where I stayed the most. To log your application online, please visit German Emabassy Manila
German Embassy Address:
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, P.O. Box 2190, Makati CPO, 1261 Makati, Metro Manila, Philippinen.
25/F Tower II, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Ave. 1200 Makati City, Metro Manila.
Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 9.30 am.
Monday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Friday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm
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 (“Verpflichtungserklärung”) or Invitiation, if Visiting a Friend. However, You can still receive a visa even without a formal obligation. For this, you must submit proof that you are able to finance your travel yourself.
- NSO issued Birth Certificate
- Travel Insurance
How long did it take to get the Schengen VISA approved?
- 3 days from the date of interview, the passport with 30-day multiple entry Schengen VISA approval was returned to me via courier
- The most recent update from German Embassy Manila as of 2019, the average processing time now is 2 weeks
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” or “Verpflichtungserklärung” from a German Citizen, Proof of Fund or Bank Statement is no longer required.