Apply for a Schengen Visa from the Philippines
Filipinos are avid travelers and Europe is one of their favorite destinations. Europe’s magnificent arts and architecture, rich history and natural wonders all act as magnets for tourists from all over the world. But if you are planning to visit one of the Schengen nations, as a citizen of the Philippines, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa.
A Schengen visa allows you to travel to the 26 European countries bound by the Schengen agreement, for the purposes of tourism, business, education, medical treatment, etc. More than 170,000 people from the Philippines applied for a Schengen visa in 2017, with the rejection rate being just 7%, according to the European Commission.
Who Requires a Schengen Visa from the Philippines?
People holding passport issued by the Filipino authorities are required to apply for a visa to enter the Schengen territory. However, certain categories of visitors are exempted from requiring a visa. These include:
- Nationals of Schengen nations, currently living in the Philippines.
- Nationals of countries that have a visa-free regime with the Schengen states, but are currently living in the Philippines.
- Filipino passport holders who have dual citizenship, where one of the nations is a Schengen state or a nation that has established a visa-free regime with the Schengen zone.
What are the Different Types of Schengen Visas?
Before applying for a visa, it is important to decide the type of visa most suited for the purpose of your travel. Here’s a look at the different types of Schengen visas:
- Tourist Visa
If the purpose of your visit is travel and sightseeing, then this visa category is suitable for you. This visa allows you to stay in the Schengen zone for a duration of up to 90 days, within a six-month period.
- Business Visa
This visa is suitable if you are traveling to the Schengen zone for business-related activities, such as conferences, meetings, trade shows, etc. In case, you are being sponsored for this business trip, you need to attach an invitation letter from the person/organization inviting you.
- Study Visa
If you wish to attend an educational course in a Schengen nation, such as a language course, or take part in a seminar, you need to apply under this category. The course being attended must be shorter than three months in duration.
- Medical Visa
This category is suitable for those who wish to undergo medical treatment in one of the Schengen nations. You will need to provide your medical reports and an appointment letter from a doctor or hospital in the Schengen zone for this visa.
- Transit Visa
A transit visa is issued to those who wish to travel through the Schengen zone for the purposes of changing their means of transportation for an onward journey.
- Visa for Visiting Friends and Family
If you wish to visit your friends or family living in one of the Schengen countries, you can apply for this visa. You will need an invitation letter from the friend or relative you will be visiting, for this visa.
How to Apply for Schengen Visa from Philippines
- After deciding the type of visa most suitable for you, the first step is to select the embassy or consulate you need to apply at. You should apply for a visa at the embassy of your destination country. In case, you are planning to visit more than one country, it is recommended to apply at the embassy of the country you would be spending the most time in.
- The next step is to collect all the necessary documents and submit them with the completely filled and signed visa application form. It is important to remember that all the information in the application form must be correct to the best of your knowledge. Any mistake could lead to the rejection of your application.
- After this, you need to book a visa interview appointment and attend it. The interview appointment can be booked online as well as in person at the embassy.
- After attending the interview, you will need to submit the visa processing fee. The visa fee can be paid via cash, credit card or debit card. However, some embassies do not accept payment through credit cards. So, check before paying.
How Much Does a Schengen Visa from the Philippines Cost?
|Category||Fee in EUR|
|Children below the age of 6 years||Free|
|Children aged between 6 and 12 years||35|
There are certain categories of applicants who are exempted from the visa fee, such as:
- Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports
- Children and spouse of EU citizens
- Researchers traveling to the Schengen zone to conduct scientific study or exploration
- Students and accompanying teachers, traveling for educational purposes.
It is also important to remember that the visa processing fee is non-refundable, even if visa is denied.
When to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
The earliest you can apply for a Schengen visa is three months prior to your date of travel. The application processing at the embassy generally takes 15-20 days. However, if your application needs further investigation, it can take even 30 to 40 days. So, it is recommended to apply for a visa as early as possible.
Is Travel Health Insurance Necessary for Traveling to the Schengen Area?
Yes, to travel to the Schengen zone from the Philippines, you are required to have travel health insurance, with a coverage of at least €30,000. The insurance must be valid in the entire Schengen zone and cover you for medical emergencies, such as an illness or accident.
What if the Visa Application is Rejected?
In case your visa application is rejected, you will be informed of the reasons for the denial. It is always a good idea to go through these reasons before applying again, since it will help you avoid repeating the same mistakes. However, if you feel your visa application has been wrongly rejected, you can appeal against the denial at the embassy.
If you are unsure about any details, it is always a good idea to contact the embassy of your destination country.