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How to Get a Schengen Visa for Filipinos

Europe is one of the regions that many people want to visit because of its rich culture, history and stunning views. I was able to get a visa through the Austrian Embassy.

how to get a Schengen Visa

I'll share my experience as I went through the process (during a pandemic!) and some tips as well.

How to Get a Schengen Visa

I was eager to travel again after more than two years of not going anywhere. My options in Europe were limited because I got two doses of Sinovac. At the time of my application (around late October 2021) few European countries accept Sinovac, one of them was Austria. So I decided to file my application there. 

You don't have to go to the embassy (in my case Austria's) to file your application. You go through VFS Global. 

Here's their website: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/phl/en/aut

The site is easy to navigate. You also need to create an account first before you can book an appointment. 

Once you have an account, you can start booking an appointment. Choose from the dates and times listed on the website. 

Requirements on How to Get a Schengen Visa

These are the documents I submitted:

  • Application form
  • Passport photo
  • BIR 2316
  • Certificate of employment
  • Payslips
  • Bank certificate
  • Bank statement (6 months)
  • SSS contributions
  • Grad school enrollment form
  • Itinerary (your itinerary should also include other Schengen zone countries you plan to visit)
  • Company ID
  • Accommodation bookings
  • Flight tickets (including flight/s within the Schengen zone)
  • Travel insurance
  • Valid passport
  • Cover letter

The documents you need to submit might be different depending on your situation. I'm a full-time employee so I had to submit some of the documents listed above.

You can view the full list of requirements here: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/austria/philippines/english/#Tourist-Visa

Click on the 'Documents Required' tab to download a PDF file of the requirements you need to submit.

You can make accommodation reservations through Booking.com, they provide a free cancellation option.

Submitting the Requirements

I arrived at VFS Global's office in Makati at the time of my scheduled appointment. There were only a few applicants when I went. 

The process was straightforward, they also asked for a copy of my vaccination certificate. The lady at the counter verified my documents and asked about my itinerary. I just told her the places I want to visit (whatever places were in my itinerary). I paid for the visa fee and waited for a few days.

VFS Address

Ecoplaza Building, Mezzanine Floor, Don Chino Roces Ave, Extension, Makati, 1231

Schengen Visa Fees

  • P4616 visa fee
  • P2308 visa fee for 6-12 year olds
  • P2324 VFS logistics fee
These are additional fees for extra services:
  • P450 courier fee
  • P4200 mobile biometrics service
  • P2500 schedule outside of regular processing time
  • P2500 walk-in appointment
  • P900 assistance with filling out forms
  • P400 collection of passport outside of regular hours
  • P170 photo service
  • P150 text message notifications

Countries I visited during My Trip

Here are the countries I visited (will update after I visit more :D), you can click on the links:

Tips and Additional Information on How to Get a Schengen Visa

  • It is up to the embassy if they'll give you a single, double or multiple entry visa. The Austrian Embassy gave me a multiple entry visa even when I didn't specifically apply for one.
  • The embassy might give you a shorter or longer stay and visa validity than the number of days you applied for. I was given an extra couple of days beyond the number of days I applied for.
  • The most important part of your application is your rootedness in your country of residence. I submitted a screenshot of my SSS contributions and grad school enrollment form because I thought these would help strengthen my "roots" in the Philippines. You can include properties in your name when you submit your application.
  • Make sure to first enter the country where you got your visa from. For example, if you got your visa from Austria you enter there first. I've heard from friends and acquaintances that they were asked more questions and spent more time in passport control when they entered a different country first.
  • There is no specific amount you need to have in your bank account to get your application approved. When you apply, the embassy doesn't want you to return home with nothing in your account. So when you apply, you need to have more than enough left in your account after deducting daily expenses and flight tickets. In my opinion a safe amount would be 80 euros a day + flight tickets. The amount will depend on the country you will visit, the daily amount could be higher or lower. 
  • Apply for a visa in the country's embassy where you will stay the longest in.
  • Don't buy your flight tickets in advance, a reservation is enough.
  • I recommend booking.com when making accommodation reservations. Some of the accommodations there allow you to cancel for free. 

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