How to Apply for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy for Philippine Passport

Friday, July 07, 2017

#WalkwithChaMikeinEurope #honeyMOONWALKwithChaMike

Never thought that applying for a Schengen Visa is actually fast! Yes after submitting our requirements at the VFS.Global we were told that the earliest day that we can get the results is at least 5 days. But lo and behold after 2 days we already got a text that our passports were okay for pick up. I was a bit worried at first that we might have been denied but it was a relief when we found out we were approved. Yay! And we were even given multiple entries! For one month nga lang. hahaha. But at least they were gracious enough to grant us a multiple.

Schengen Visa and Territories
If you will be traveling to Europe and you are a Filipino you will be needing a Schengen Visa. Schengen territories cover the majority of European Countries. Below are the complete list of the Schengen Member State:

Czech Republic

When to Apply for a Schengen Visa
You can apply a Schengen Visa approximately 3 months before your intended travel.

Where to Apply a Schengen Visa
You can apply at any Schengen Embassies provided that you will be staying in that particular country. If you will be staying in several Schengen territories you should apply in the country of first entry or the country you will be staying the longest.

Applying A Schengen Visa at the French Embassy
Before anything else, you need to think about the countries that you will be visiting, from there you can decide on what embassy you can apply. Based on research and crowdsourcing I learned that the easiest country you can apply is France, hence try applying at the French Embassy. I do have a number of friends who got denied at the Italian Embassy. 

How to Apply a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy
For tourists like me you should apply for a short stay visa. It is a stay of no more than 90 days within any period of 180 days within the Schengen area.

Step 1: Complete the requirements
Kindly take note that they require two sets of supporting documents:
1 set of original documents
1 set of photocopies in A4 format (photocopies must not be stapled)

a. Fill out and sign the application form for a short stay visa
Download the form HERE

b. Attached your colored photo on the application form
35mm x 45mm in white background

c. Passport valid at least six months from the date of entry
This also includes photocopy of all valid and former visas

d. Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip
You can include a brief itinerary with departure and return dates of all the places you will be visiting. Below is a sample of our itinerary.

e. Round trip flight ticket booking for each country
Kindly take note that this is not the actual ticket, you can get a ticket booking at any travel agency. On our end, we took the risk and bought the tickets (Philippines-Europe-Philippines) first before applying for a visa (but I tell you, this is not advisable.) For the inter-cities/inter-coutries within the European region, we asked the help of a travel agency to fix the ticket booking because we didn't want to purchase these tickets ahead of time as we are not yet sure of our actual itinerary (e.g. Vienna, Austria - Venice, Italy)

f. Booking reservation of all the hotels you will be staying throughout the duration of your trip
We book all our hotels thru where we didn't need to confirm and pay for our reservation plus cancellation without charge is also possible. 

g. Certificate of Employment
Kindly include salary, it would also help if you pass an approved leave of absence

h. Income Tax Return

i. Bank Certificate
Also pass a copy of the last three months statement of account of the same bank account. If you are wondering I had a savings of around P200,00 in my bank account at that time. Some says they got approved with only P100,000 in their account. 

j. Identity/Marital Status
-if married, photocopy of your married contract and NSO birth certificate
-if single, photocopy of your NSO birth certificate 

k. Valid worldwide travel insurance
This is for the duration of the visa and valid for all Schengen states with a minimum coverage of Eur 30,000

l. Visa Fee worth $67 for short stay visa
If you will be getting a travel agency, like us to help fix your papers additional service fee is required. We paid around P500++  

Step 2: Book at Appointment
After completing all the requirements you can now book an appointment. It is mandatory to book an appointment to submit your application at the VFS Visa Application Center. Here are the ways in scheduling an appointment:
    Thru their website HERE
    Thru the Embassy's Call Center Hotline: +63 2 790 4903

Step 3: Submit the requirements at the Visa Application Centre
Take note that personal appearance is mandatory, visa applicant must come in person to submit his/her own application. Arrive a few minutes before the time of the scheduled appointment for security checks.

Address: 16th Floor Pacific Star Building, Buendia corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Opening: Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm
What to Bring
a. Printed appointment letter
b. All the file containing all required documents sorted out in the order of the checklist of the documents
c. Payment fee

Procedure in the visa centre
i. Security
ii. Waiting Area
iii. Submission Counters
iv. Courier Service
v. Payment of the visa and service fees
vi. Biometrics

Step 4: Wait for their confirmation
After the biometrics we were given receipts that we need to present when picking up our visa. We availed of the mobile update that cost 200 each so that we could be aware of the status of our application. And believe it or not we already got a text from the consulate 2 days after our scheduled appointment.

So if you want your visa to be approved pronto just follow our steps and hope for the best.

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