Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa in the Philippines

by Shawi Cortez

Previously, I wrote about my boo-boos when I applied for a Schengen visa in the French Embassy. Here, we take another look on how to apply for a Schengen visa, but in the Austrian Embassy.

The Austrian Embassy is discouraging applicants to have their visa application processed by travel agencies, as they have higher risks of refusal.

The visa application has to be filed in person, with all the authentic documents in hand.

When I applied for a Schengen visa last year (2012), I only had to request an appointment through an email.

However, in a recent visit to their website, they have implemented a new system if you wish to schedule for an appointment. To book an appointment online, please visit https://appointment.bmeia.gv.at/?Office=Manila

What are the requirements for a Schengen visa?

After successfully booking an appointment, prepare the following documents to bring with you:

1. Application form completed & signed by applicant or legal guardian

2. Passport (+ photocopy of data page and previous Schengen visa) valid 6 months beyond expiration of requested visa and with at least one blank page to affix it

3. Old (expired) passports

4. 2 recent & identical color photographs
35mm x 45mm in dimension, well contrasted, frontal facial view, neutral facial expression, mouth closed.

5. Marriage certificate, if applicable + photocopy

6. Flight reservation, corresponding to intended duration of stay stated on the application

7. All-risk travel insurance + photocopy, valid for all EU-countries, Norway and Switzerland, with a minimum medical coverage of Euros 30.000,--, and valid for 15 days beyond your travel itinerary.

Be informed that you may be asked by the immigration authority to present a valid insurance policy upon arrival.

Apart from all major insurance companies in Austria, the following Philippine carriers are accepted (in no particular order & subject to change without notice):
- Fortune General Insurance Corp.
- Federal Phoenix Assurance Co.
- Blue Cross
- EVEREST Int’l Group Admins.
- MAA Insurance
- Paramount Life & General Insurance Co.
- World Wide Travel Insurance Plans
- PNB General Insurers Co., Inc.
- ACE Secure
- Malayan Insurance
- MS Insurance Corp.
- Standard Insurance Co.
- UCPB General Insurance Co.,Inc.
- CHARTIS Philippines Insurance, Inc. (for Travel Guard, formerly AIG Assist Travel Plans)

8. Proof of accommodation at your travel destination(s)
e. g. hotel reservation(s), lease agreement of host, extract from land register of host

9. Sufficient financial means
- bank certificate, recent
- bank book dating back one year + photocopy
- proof of employment
- leave of absence, approved by employer
- pay slips of previous 6 months + photocopies
- business license (in case of self-employment) + photocopy
- tax statement for the previous year + photocopy

10. Consular fee in cash, non-refundable and payable upon submission of application
(please provide exact amount)

How much is the Schengen visa processing fee?

€60, payable in cash, depending on the prevailing Peso rate.

Any suggestions on what to wear to the interview?

Smart casual. You don't have to overdo it, other applicants even came in jeans.

What do I expect during the interview?

Compared to my French embassy Schengen visa application, my interview here was more relaxed. Perhaps due to the Austrian's hospitable culture, they are more interested in relationships. The ones who came before me were asked personal questions. When it was my turn, I was asked about how I was related to my sponsor host.

Are the interviewers strict and scary?

After my experience with the French Embassy, I made sure that I brought all my documents. Austrian embassy is not really strict with that. The interviewer even returned some of my papers, saying "Nah, we don't need that." I only had one missing document (my host's residence permit), and he said, "I'm gonnna give you a Request for Amendment, you can just send that to us through email within a week. Once it's in, that's when we start processing. You don't need to come back to submit it."

How long does it take for the Schengen visa to be released?

5 working days. Part of the suspense here is that they don't tell you if you've been approved or denied. When I received a call from the Austrian Embassy, all they said was that my passport was ready for pickup. I had to wait until my passport was actually in my hands, and I had to leaf through the pages to find my coveted Schengen Visa.

Any further suggestions?

Lessen your chances of getting denied: Like most embassies I guess, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you intend to come back to your homeland, and not overstay in their country.

General Information

Here are downloadable forms from the official website of the Austrian Embassy for more information on Schengen visa requirements:


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...