Visa Application Series:
How to Apply for Schengen Tourist Visa in Austrian Embassy for Filipinos Part I
Have you ever dreamed of flying to Europe, breathing the European air while you casually eat Sachertorte in a traditional and world famous kaffeehaus (coffee house) in Albertinaplatz, Vienna with musical notes of Mozart playing sweetly in the background? Have you ever fancied yourself walking along the Tuileries then later climbing up the Arc du Triomphe to have the best view of Paris and Tour Eiffel at night? If yes, I am sure you have more vivid pictures in your head where you want to go once you landed in Europe. But first thing first. If you are a Filipino regular passport holder, you have to apply for a Schengen tourist visa to be able to enter the European Union.
Who wants to go to Europe? Raise your hands!
It was the last day of June in the current year when I first applied for a Schengen visa. Unlike my previous travels where agencies and organizations processed my application and the entire preparation for my trip, it took personal effort and appearance in applying for my Schengen visa. When people learned that I managed to get my visa approved in just two days, I began to receive inquiries on how I did it. Hence, this post. For reference to my fellow Filipino visa applicants, here is my post on how to apply for Schengen tourist visa in Austrian Embassy and how you may also get it in two days.
WHAT IS A SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA?
In a nutshell, it is a 90-day tourist visa valid to 26 countries in the Schengen zone. Countries included are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. This visa provides free and borderless travel within the Schengen region.
WHEN TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA?
You can already apply for a Schengen visa as early as three months before your desired departure date. If you are already certain of going, I highly recommend that you start processing your application as early as you can. Most, if not all, Schengen embassies require an appointment for visa application and interview, and believe me when I say that the schedule really gets filled very fast. Better secure an appointment as early as you can so you will not feel rushed. Furthermore, once you get your approved visa, you can book cheaper flights because there is still ample time prior your departure.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA?
You can apply to any of the 26 embassies of the countries in the Schengen region. If you are visiting several Schengen countries, you must apply only to the country you will spend most of your time in. In some cases, I have read others applied to the country they entered first.
Is there a higher chance of getting your visa approved if you apply to certain embassies? Some told me that some embassies are friendlier and more lenient than others. Well, I cannot really tell from my experience since I have only applied to one as of now. However, I believe that when a Filipino applicant fully prepared all the necessary and supporting documents for his/her Schengen visa application and have answered clearly and truthfully the interview questions, then the chance of receiving a passport with a visa stamp will be high.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA APPLICATION?
Even though some countries have unique additional requirements, most embassies require the following for a Schengen visa application:
PRIOR SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION
- A completely filled out application form. You can download it from any Schengen embassy website or you can also find it here.
- Two recent passport-size, full-face photo with a white background must be attached to the form. Photo must be taken within three months of application.
- Original passport valid for at least six months with at least two blank pages. Copies of previous visas can also be attached.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION
- Proof of travel: copy of round-trip airline reservation with passenger registration number and itinerary
- Proof of financial means: bank certificates, bank books, bank statements, credit card statements
- Proof of occupation and will to return: copy of employment contract, ITR, DTI registration of business, copy of real estate property titles
- Proof of family ties (if traveling with spouse/children: marriage contract and birth certificate from NSO)
- Proof of accommodation: hotel accommodation, detailed day-to-day itinerary of the planned trip, invitation letter (if any)
- Proof of sponsorship (if any): proof of relationship with the sponsor, letter of guarantee, invitation letter, copy of the bio page of the sponsor’s passport
- All-risk travel medical insurance policy covering up to 30, 000 Euros, the sum depending on the number of days you are staying in the Schengen region + 15 days
- For students (since I still belong to this category): proof of enrollment, certificate of leave of absence, copy of academic calendar, proof of economic means of parents or guardians, proof of occupation (if any)
- Schengen visa fee of 60 EUR for short-term (90 days) visa
Too many requirements, right? Feel like giving up? Don’t! Just imagine yourself being here.
Tour Eiffel, Paris, France
Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
lunch with my student colleagues in Vienna, Austria
It seems fun taking my summer school in Europe, but getting there was no easy cake. I spent an entire week busy, stressed, and blaming myself for procrastinating too much. You will soon find out why.
HOW TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN VISA AT THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY
Since the purpose of my travel is to attend a short summer course in Vienna, it follows that I would be spending most of my trip in Austria. Therefore, I applied for my Schengen tourist visa to the Austrian embassy in Makati:
Austrian Embassy Manila
8th floor, One Orion Building
11th Avenue corner 38th street
Bonifacio Global City
Telephone: (+63/2) 8179191
Fax: (+63/2) 8134238
TIPS IN APPLYING SCHENGEN VISA AT AUSTRIAN EMBASSY MANILA
- Make a reservation in the embassy ahead of time. Slots can easily get filled up, so the earlier you apply, the better.
- Bring all your required and necessary documents. Incomplete application would result to a slow process, frequent trips to the embassy, or worse, getting your visa denied.
- Arrange your documents in order. When you arrived in the embassy floor, another guard will approach you and give a slip of paper with the correct sequence for your documents. Be sure to follow them accordingly.
- When something is unclear, do not hesitate to ask questions.
- Bring exact amount of money for visa fee. In many Schengen embassies in Manila, they require exact and full payment in peso equivalent to 60 euros. They do not give change. Imagine my surprise when the Austrian embassy do give change! They are totally cool.
THE TOURIST VISA APPLICATION PROCESS
Once you have finished arranging your documents in order, wait for your name to be called. You will be summoned to a window and an Austrian consul will receive your application. She will ask basic stuff regarding your trip and be sure your answers are consistent to what you have written in your application.
You will pay the 60 euros visa fee then she will ask you to place your fingers and get your prints digitally. Next, she will ask you to go back to your seat and wait for your name to be called for an interview.
The second part of the Schengen Tourist Visa Application Series will soon be posted on this blog. Please go back to gongjumonica.com and read the interview session and timeline of my entire application. Or better, subscribe via email and get blog updates straight to your inbox.
Do you also dream to travel to Europe? Where would you like to go?