Your Guide on How to Apply for a Schengen Visa – It’s about time!!!


 

So you have been to quite a number of Asian countries and your wanderlust self is asking you to go on another adventure and this time, you would like to step into another continent…Europe! What are the first 3 countries that come to your mind if you think of travelling to Europe? I know –  France, Italy and Germany. Do you know that you can apply for one visa to enter these 3 countries and not only to these 3 but 23 other European countries.

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

You can also use your Schengen Visa to travel for a maximum number of days to Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Cyprus. You can also use your Schengen Visa to get a Turkish Visa online.

A Schengen visa is an authorisation issued by a Schengen State with a view to:

  • transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180 days period (“short stay visa”),
  • transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States (“airport transit visa”).

 

There are different kinds of Visa, Below is a Guide on how to apply for a Tourist Visa.

My last Schengen Visa…Am I cute in the photo? lol #Lookup

When Should I apply?

It is safe to apply one – two months before your intended travel.

Where Should I apply?

A Schengen visa allows you to travel freely within all Schengen countries. Although they all have the same visa rules and procedures, there are rules about where you should apply.

If you are planning to visit several Schengen countries, application must be made at the Embassy or Credit Agency of the main destination country which is the country where you are going to stay the longest. If you are going to spend the same number of nights in two – four Schengen countries, you need to apply with the consulate of the country where you will be entering first.  Some countries are particularly strict on this aspect and might refuse you entry to their territory if the rule is not followed.

Let us say you are planning to go to France and Italy, the accredited agency that accepts and submits your application to the French Embassy is VFS France Dubai/VFS France Philippines and the accredited agency that accepts and submits your application to the Italian Embassy in Dubai is Cox and Kings and to the Italian Embassy in the Philippines is VIA PH.

You should submit your documents to VFS France if:

  1. France is the only country you are going to;
  2. France is the main destination or the country where you are going to stay the longest during your trip to Europe;
  3. You will stay in France for 4 days and you will also stay in Italy for 4 days but France will be your first port of entry.

What are the documents required?

  • Application form – Fully completed in English, signed and dated by the applicant. If the applicant is under the age of 18 both parents must sign the form.
  • 2 Two passport photographs (no longer than 6 months old)
  • Original Passport – Validity of at least 90 days from the date of expiry of the requested visa (and issued less than 10 years ago). Passport must have at least two successive free pages (facing each other).
  • UAE residence visa – Validity of at least 90 days from the date of expiry of the requested visa.
  •  One copy of personal data page of the passport, Previous Schengen/ UK /US visas and UAE residence visa. If the applicant is the under age of 18, both parents must provide a copy of their passport, the child’s birth certificate and a non objection letter.
  • Original letter from the local employer stating purpose of travel, position,monthly salary and begin date of employment in the UAE (Salary certificate/NOC).
  • Copy of last three months personal bank statements (Original and stamped by the bank). Your bank statement should have at least a minimum of 7500 AED a month closing balance. If you have a higher amount would be great especially if it is your first time applying. This amount is only an estimate. This does not guarantee that your visa will be approved based on your bank statements but would be a factor.
  • Copy of Hotel Booking. I suggest booking your hotel online through booking.com or hotels.com. Make sure that the hotel booking is flexible which means you will not be charged unless you cancel one day before your trip. 
  • Copy of ITINERARY prepared by the travel agency (for those going on tour).
  • Copy of Overseas Medical Insurance policy + Repatriation, evacuation cover (minimum coverage equivalent to €30,000) valid for all Schengen countries. You can apply insurance online through Allianz Assistance. 
  • Copy of Return Air Ticket or PNR (Booking printout) – You can get a reservation  from the airline or through a travel agency. Make sure that you Do NOT pay for/buy the ticket until your visa has been granted. Note that Embassy does NOT and will NEVER require a booked return ticket to be submitted during the application process.
  • If you are travelling with your spouse and children – Copy of Marriage Certificate/s and Birth Certificate/s.

If you are invited or going to be sponsored by a friend or family member living in the Country where you will be visiting, the following should be submitted:

  1. Original Affidavit of Support legalized by the sponsor’s municipality. Make sure it is the original, so they should ship this document to you.
  2. Proof of Nationality – Photocopy of the sponsor’s resident or ID card (front and back) and Photocopy of the sponsor’s birth certificate or marriage certificate.
  3. Recent proof of financial capacity of the sponsor
    • If Employed – Proof of employment and salary slips in the last 3 months and last income tax return assessment.
    • If a Businessman – Business registration, bank statements of private bank and their company’s bank account in the last 3 months.
  4. Invitation letter explaining the reason for their invitation, the duration of your stay, where you will stay, their email, address, and contact number, and an assurance that you will not overstay there.

How do I apply? 

  1. Check your passport – your passport should be valid for at least 3 months counting from the day you will leave the Schengen area and you must have two successive blank pages (facing each other)
  2. Go to the website of the Embassy or the accredited Visa Agency to register and then download the application form. You must already have an itinerary as to when and how long you will visit. There are other Schengen Countries where you can fill out your application online.
  3. Prepare your all your documents. The documents are usually the same for all Schengen Countries.
  4. Schedule your appointment on the same website where you have downloaded your application form or applied online.
  5. On the date of your scheduled appointment, you should submit all the necessary documents in support of your visa application in person. Do not forget to bring your appointment letter on the your scheduled appointment. Your biometric data (digital fingerprints and photo) will be captured and you will be asked to pay the non-refundable visa fee and a service fee by VFS for the deposit of your visa application. Some countries require the visa fees to be paid online. The Visa Officer will check if you have all the required documents.
  6. Once you have submitted your application, you can choose either to receive your passport back by courier or you can collect it at the visa counter.
  7. You will receive an sms or an email on the same date that your passport has been sent to the respective agency where you applied for processing. 

How long does it take for a visa to be released?

To my knowledge, for Filipinos, it usually takes minimum 3-5 business days and maximum 10 business days depending upon the Schengen Country’s Consulate. However, you must check the appointment schedule first as there are times, especially during peak season that it may be hard to get appointment from the Embassy you are applying.

How can I follow up on my application? 

You can check the Track Your Application page of the Embassy or the Accredited Visa Agency to check the status of your application.

How long is the Validity of the Visa they will give?

As to how many days your Visa will be valid depends upon the Schengen Country and we really cannot tell. I first applied for a Schengen Visa in 2010 and the German Consulate gave me 1 month multiple visa. My succeeding visas were valid for 3 months and 6 months and then 1 year from different Schengen Countries. There are times when a Schengen Country will give you the exact number of days you have mentioned on your application.

Visa holders are NOT allowed to live permanently nor work in Europe, they only have the right to travel as a temporary visitor.

If you have been issued a single entry visa, you can only enter one time to any of the Schengen Countries within the validity. If you exit the Schengen Zone, you need to apply again for a Schengen Visa to re-enter. If you have been issued a multiple visa, you can enter, exit and enter again to the Schengen Countries within the validity of the Schengen visa issued on your passport.

Travel Resources

To Book your flights:

Airfarewatchdog

FlyDubai  

SkyScanner 

Expedia 

Vueling.com 

To Book your Hotel:

Booking.com 

Hotels.com 

Trip Advisor 

Agoda.com 

Starwood.com 

To Book Your Train: 

RailEurope 

Eurail 

Travel Agency in Dubai: 

South Travel & Tourism Deira, Dubai

Telephone: 042956452 Email: jhur@southtravels.com

Disclosure

As you have noticed, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase at NO extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I have used and firmly believe in. I really appreciate your support as this helps me make more of these travel guides.  Thank you.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask on the comment box!

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