Getting a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy: What You Need to Know

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The French embassy in the Philippines has just recently delegated processing of Schengen visa applications to VFS Global. Continue reading this article — including the Comments section! — for my personal experience and tips on applying for a visa, then head to my new article How to Get A Schengen Visa Through the French Embassy (2016) to learn all about the NEW procedure for getting a Schengen visa through the French embassy.
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To secure a Schengen visa for a trip to France, here’s a summary of what you need to do:

  1. Make sure you’re applying for a Schengen visa at the right embassy.
  2. Set an appointment through the embassy’s designated Call Center.
  3. Prepare the required documents.
  4. Go to the embassy at the appointed time to personally lodge your application.
  5. Wait for the results.

Should you be applying at the French embassy?

A Schengen visa allows you to travel to France and/or any of the other countries in the Schengen Area. In other words, once you obtain a visa from ANY of the Schengen countries, you can travel to ALL of the Schengen countries. That said, you can’t just apply for a visa in any Schengen country. The rule is: your visa application should be lodged at the embassy/consulate of the country that constitutes the MAIN destination of your trip in terms of purpose or length of stay.

  1. Are you traveling only to France?
  2. Is the main purpose of your trip in France, even though you will be visiting other countries?
  3. Is France the country where you will be spending the most time?

If you answer yes to any of the questions above, then, yes, you should apply for a visa at the French embassy.

Please note that “purpose” in no. 2 usually refers to business or some other official engagement. If you spend 3 days in France and 4 days in Germany, you need to apply for a visa at the German embassy, no matter how much you protest that the main purpose of your trip is to visit the Eiffel tower.

If you are spending equal time in 2 countries — say, 3 days in France and 3 days in Germany — that is when other factors are taken into consideration, such as where your flight from the Philippines will actually land.


Set an appointment.

First of all, you should know that:

  • The French embassy is in Manila. If you’re from other parts of the Philippines, you’ll have to fly there. No exceptions.
  • Applications may only be submitted 3 months prior to departure at the earliest. If you’re one of those people (like me) who want to prepare things well ahead of time, sorry, we will just have to deal with our anxieties till 3 months prior.
  • On the flip side of the coin: waiting times for appointments can sometimes take a month or more. Moreover, the embassy warns that while visa processing usually takes just 5-7 days from the date of interview, it’s possible it will take up to 8 weeks — for instance, if they ask you to provide additional documents. Procrastinate, therefore, at your own risk.
  • Your embassy appointment is when you will be handing over your requirements. Make sure you give yourself enough time to secure things like bank certifications and marriage contracts.
  • Visa application interviews are held from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Ready?

You can set an appointment by calling any of these numbers anytime from 8am to 6pm, Mondays thru Saturdays except public holidays.

  • For PLDT/Smart/Touchcard Subscribers: 1 (909) 101- 3333
  • For Globe/Innove/Touchmobile Subscribers: 1 (900) 101- 3333
  • For Bayantel Subscribers: 1 (903) 101- 3333

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Prepare your requirements.

Here are the documents you need to submit in support of your visa application:

  1. Signed Schengen visa application form with photo. (Get the form here. See the photo specs here.)
  2. Valid passport and photocopy of valid and former visas. Schengen countries require that your passport be valid a mere 3 months from the end of your intended stay. However, be aware that some countries (including those you might have a layover in) require 6 months’ validity.
  3. Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and proposed day-to-day itinerary. (See a sample here.)
  4. Round trip flight booking. (The embassy says not to purchase a ticket unless and until you’re given a visa, but as airline bargain hunters out there know, this sort of prudence is not always possible.)
  5. Proof of accommodations. You need to present confirmed reservations from the hotels you will be staying in. Most hotels in Booking.com will allow you to reserve without paying, and many even let you cancel up to a few days before your stay without charges. Paris hotels we’ve stayed in and recommend:
  6. Proof of employment. You need to submit:
    • A certificate of employment with monthly salary, and
    • A leave of absence form approved by your employer, OR
    • If you’re self employed, your official business registration for the current and previous years.
  7. Proof of income. You need to prove that you can actually afford your trip. This means you should submit a copy of your income tax return from the previous year (if you have one). In addition, most Schengen countries require that you have cash on hand equivalent to at least €34 per day of travel. (Of course, if you only have that much money in your bank account, that would raise some eyebrows, yeah?) At any rate, you should obtain the following documents from your bank:
    • Recent bank certification, AND
    • Statement of account of the same bank account from the last three months.
      If someone else is paying for your trip, it would be best to have him/her execute a notarized Affidavit of Support. See sample HERE.
  8. Proof of identity and marital status. This means a birth certificate and, if you’re married, a copy of your marriage contract.
  9. International travel insurance from Schengen-approved insurance companies with a minimum coverage of €30,000. See the following articles for more info: Travel Insurance for European TripsSample Itineraries and Prices from Blue Cross.
  10. Visa fee of €60, to be paid in cash, in Philippine pesos. The embassy will only accept the exact amount; they will not let you say “keep the change.” This means you’ll have to bring lots of change to make sure you can pay the exact amount as dictated by the day’s exchange rate.


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Special requirements:

  • If your purpose is to visit family in France, you’ll need to present proof of your relationship, such as birth certificates and/or marriage certificates, his/hers and yours.
  • If you’re staying with a French resident, you can forego #5 and instead submit an original “Attestation d’accueil” from the City Hall of the area where your host resides, PLUS a copy of your host’s national ID or residence permit.

You have to prepare TWO sets of documents: the originals in one set, photocopies in the other.

Tip from personal experience: don’t put your documents in a clear book. They won’t accept the clear book and you’ll have a hell of a time pulling all those papers out of the plastic sleeves while the embassy staff look on impatiently.

Show up at the embassy.

Before you ask, YES, you have to be there in person, even if you have a travel agency handling your application, because the embassy needs to get your fingerprints.

Please, please make sure your documents are complete — again, even if a travel agency prepared your paperwork. The staff at the French embassy are not known for their kindness and I have personally witnessed an elderly couple being grilled in a rather humiliating manner by one of the interviewers, all because they were not able to bring a bank certificate. Their agency had apparently overlooked the omission. Sometimes, you will be given additional time to submit lacking documents, but this may not always be the case. Some embassies take the position that if you did not care enough to make sure your paperwork was complete, that means you’re not serious enough about traveling to their country.

There is no actual prescribed dress code, but you need to look like you can afford the trip. Don’t try too hard, though: an ill-fitting suit that you’re obviously uncomfortable in won’t do you any favors.

As for the interview itself, when I was there in 2011, the process was: we first had to present our documents to one of the staff, who checked it for completeness. We were then interviewed more thoroughly by another member of the staff. Be prepared for questions from both. Make sure you know your itinerary and that, if necessary, you can explain why you’re going to this place or that. Be prepared for some snark if you’re from the medical professions or other industries prone to immigration, legal or otherwise. Unlike courts of law, embassies are not required to presume that you’re innocent until proven guilty.

At this stage, some visa applicants are already turned away, based on initial examination of their papers. If you’re lucky enough to escape unscathed, your documents will be accepted, your fingerprints taken, and you’re advised to return at a later date. This does not mean that they’ve already decided to give you a visa (as I presumed during my time). Rather, your application will be subjected to a more thorough study — you may even be contacted and asked to provide more information. When you come back at the appointed date, that’s when you’ll know the verdict.

Good luck!

 

Related posts:

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Getting a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy: What You Need to Know” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. Contents verified as of 02-April-2014.

 


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178 thoughts on “Getting a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy: What You Need to Know”

  • Hi!

    I need your opinion. I’m planning to travel to Europe in October, I’ve been to Europe 2 years ago on my own (Germany, Paris, Amsterdam), for a blogging competition I won and extended trip at the expense of my parents — I believe my VISA was approved by the German embassy because of the heavy support the German tourism board gave me that they’re financing my trip. My sidetrips were supported by my parents and technically were my sponsors, they wrote a letter and had it notarized and all.

    This year, however, I’ll be traveling with my boyfriend. He’s already a US citizen so no problem. I can afford my own travels, but as a freelance blogger, my bank statements arent exactly stellar. His parents have agreed to write a sponsorship letter on my behalf stating they will be funding both of us for the trip. They’re also local celebrities so I’m hoping this will strengthen my case. Because in a way, they will be helping out fund half the trip anyway.

    My question is, would I still need to prepare my ITR and personal bank statements showing the money from my bf’s parents? Or do you think their sponsorship letter + financial statements enough? I’d also like to note that my boyfriend and I are 25/26 years old. Not sure if that matters, but it’s quite the age that screams “theyre going to run!!!” but I plan to show my boyfriend’s contract with a TV network as proof that we’ll both return and my ties in the PH is exactly that, I have an actual life here.

    I know you’re not like an expert but I would like to hear your opinion so I know what to prepare for 🙂

    Thanks!

    • Hi Camie,

      When I first applied for a Schengen visa at the French embassy, my bank balance wasn’t exactly the stuff of dreams either. In fact I don’t think it was even over 100k. Technically the Schengen countries only require you to have at your disposal 34 euros for each day of your trip, but of course your bank account should have more than that, otherwise it’ll look like you’ll spend all your savings on the trip, which might be a red flag.

      Anyway, my father executed a notarized affidavit of support — it mentioned what his job is, exactly how much he was going to give me for the trip, why he was giving me that money, etc. — and he also provided a copy of his financial statements. And that was enough for the French embassy. He didn’t have to actually transfer the money to me; my bank statements only showed my own money.

      So, to answer your question, I don’t think your bank statement has to show the money from your boyfriend’s parents. I think an affidavit of financial support and a copy of their financial statements will be enough to supplement your own financial statements. I do think that since your sponsors are not related to you, the affidavit has to mention why they are sponsoring your trip; that is, it’ll have to mention that you will be traveling with their son, who is your boyfriend, etc.

      If your parents are willing, it won’t hurt to have them execute an affidavit of support as well.

      As for proof of your ties to the Philippines, I think your boyfriend’s contract might help, although I can’t be sure if they will actually include it in your documents file since it’s not your contract. If you’re earning from your blog or if you have another stream of income, you can submit proof of that too. If you have property such as land or a house/condo, that will also help.

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem, actually. 🙂 Good luck and I hope to read about your trip soon! 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your reply! 🙂 this actually helped me ease up a bit. I also heard that writing a letter of intent (a cover letter of why you’re traveling and why you’ll come back) is also heaps useful so I’ll give that a shot too. I’m also applying for a UK visa but I think the French embassy will be easier to obtain first.

        Thanks again 🙂

      • Hi! I’m having problems with my schengen visa application, and I’m applying via the Italian Embassy. My trip is for business, but intended to extend for 5 days after the business trip. Like you, I don’t have a bank balance more than 100k PHP and they are requiring me to submit an Affidavit of Sponsorship from my Father as well. Aside from the once you mentioned on your father’s sponsorship letter, do you have any other tips that I can include?
        Thank you!

      • Hi Angela!

        Oh wow, I didn’t realize the Italian embassy would be so strict, especially as their economy isn’t doing very well and they could use tourist money! And 5 days lang naman! Anyway, I hope your application gets approved.

        My father’s affidavit was pretty straightforward. It said that he was partially sponsoring our trip as a personal gift to us, and it mentioned that my sister and I had already fully paid for our plane tickets and intercity train tickets, and that he would be shouldering our meals, accommodations, and other transportation expenses. It also mentioned that he was budgeting 60 euros per person per day of travel. Finally, the affidavit also stated that my father is able to sponsor our trip because he is “permanently and gainfully employed” in X company. That was basically it. Make sure that you provide your father’s financial documents to the embassy as well.

        Aside from the affidavit of support, try to beef up your own documents as well, like if you have any property, you can include that. If you haven’t already, ask for a certificate of employment from your company that mentions how much you’re earning.

        Hopefully that should be enough! Good luck!! And enjoy your trip. 🙂 🙂

  • Hi! you’re page has really been helpful I know my question is a bit irrelivant since you didn’t state that you had a boyfriend in france but just an opinion or maybe you know, my boyfriend is guaranteeing that I am staying at them and has the Attestation d’accueil but my parents are the one sponsoring me for this trip. will I still need my boyfriends bank statement or just my parents?

    • Hi HJ! My internet is crazy slow right now and I’m having trouble accessing the French embassy website, but I don’t think you’d need your boyfriend’s financial documents if he isn’t paying for anything. Sorry I can’t give you a more definite answer, but the embassy website has the list of documents, and if it isn’t there, then it probably isn’t required.

  • Thank you for the information, it’s been very helpful! I’m starting Med School in the fall and I’m going to visit my family this summer in France (my cousin is getting married!) I will be in France for 30 days (so I need around 3k in my bank account- I only have a few hundreds over that). I’m afraid that would not be enough for the embassy to qualify me for a visa.
    Would I still need to provide my financial information given that I am a student? Can I just provide proof that I am a student?

    Thanks in advance,

    Poor college student

    • Hi Jessi! Sorry for the really late reply, I’ve been having internet problems for over a week now. According to the list of requirements from the French embassy, students have to provide:
      – Proof of economic means of parents/legal guardian
      – Copy of passport of parents/legal guardian and affidavit of support and consent
      – Proof of enrolment and certificate of leave of absence if travelling during the school year

      Since you have your own bank account, I suggest that you include a copy of your own bank statement, but you should definitely get an affidavit of support from your family. Check out the French embassy website, there’s a lot more info there for specific cases like yours. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  • Hi!

    I’m a work from home writer and I’ve been saving up for 2 years now as i plan to visit Paris and Italy soon (hopefully next year!). By next year, I think I’ll have a little over 130,000 pesos saved up and I was wondering if that’s enough for a 10 day trip (5 days each). My plans are not set in stone just yet so I can continue saving if this amount is insufficient.

    I’m also a bit worried about my work status, my employer is from Canada and he is willing to provide me with COE with my salary and approved LOA. My concern is regarding my ITR as it is not updated since I started working from home.

    Would this be ok? Traveling to Europe has been a big dream of mine and I hope my ITR won’t prevent me from traveling. Any input or advice would be great.

    Thank you!

    Ces

  • Hi. I dont know what to write in the cover letter. Im not sure if ill make it short or lengthy. Ideally how many pages should that be? My itinerary is already detailed enough to fill a page. Pls help.

  • Hi! I found the format of your cover letter very helpful. I’ve already done mine before I came across your blog but I just had to redo it when I saw yours.
    My question is not on the application but on the note at the bottom of your visa which says “Kindly report to the French Embassy after your trip”. We intend to stay in England for a few weeks after the trip to Paris before going back to the Philippines. Do I have to set another appointment with the French Embassy in Manila when we get back? We live in Davao and we usually take connecting flights when we travel. Does it mean I have to be in Manila for a few days more after our trip so I could report to the French Embassy?

    • Hi Gigi! I don’t know what their policy is now but back in 2011, yeah, I had to stay an extra day in Manila to report to the embassy.

      • Thanks! Got my visa today. There’s no notation to report to the embassy after the trip. So I guess some policies have been changed.
        More power to you, smalltown girls midnight trains!

  • Hi! I’m so happy I came across your blog. I’m preparing the documents for my Schengen application right now, and I’m wondering.. regarding the bank statement; when is the perfect time for me to get it? Can I get it right after I set an appointment? Or should I wait a few days prior to my scheduled interview so it’ll be really recent? I requested one before but I forget if the bank statement has a validity period (say, a month) Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Tet! Thanks for your message. The bank statement doesn’t have to be very, very recent. I think last time I actually got mine before I set the appointment, just to be sure I have it on hand. 🙂 I don’t recall Schengen countries setting a validity for the bank statement (I’ll have to look it up later) but I know the UK embassy requires a bank statement within the last 6 months. So, for Schengen, I think a statement within 1-2 months should be fine. Good luck and have a great trip! 🙂

  • Hi! I just wanna ask some suggestions about my case. My boyfriend is a German, I met him on my previous job here in Manila. But right now, he is based in Taiwan. He wants to be my sponsor since he does have a good life in Germany but the thing is, the declaration of formal obligation can be secured from his home country. Is there any other way we can submit other requirements to show his sponsorship? If not, is a bank balance with 100,000 to 150,000 pesos enough as a show money? Is 100,000 to 150,000 show money enough if I will only present flight reservations with it? We will actually stay in Germany for just a short vacation with his family, just for a week. We will not stay in a hotel. Your reply will be highly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Cris! I assume you are asking about getting a visa for visiting friends/family in Germany, correct? I haven’t tried getting a visa through the German embassy, or a Schengen visa for visiting family/friends (my visas were only for general tourism), so I can’t speak from experience. Some people say the German embassy is more strict while some say it is not. On my first application for a Schengen visa (through the French embassy), I think my bank balance was also only around PHP 100,000, and that was for a 10-day trip, so I think that should be fine. Alternatively, since you will be staying with your boyfriend’s family, perhaps you can ask another member of his family who is in Germany right now to give you the Formal Obligation. Like I said, I don’t know much about this particular type of visa, but that’s probably what I would try if I were in your case. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      • In the French Embassy, do they really take it so serious when it comes to the flow of your money in the bank statement? Coz i have like 100-150,000 pesos CASH ON HAND.. if i deposit it one time on my bank account, would that be a problem?

      • I can’t predict if they will take that against you, but since they (the French embassy, anyway) require a copy of the statement of account for the last 3 months and not just the most recent one, I would assume that, yes, it is something they take into consideration.

  • hi.. i got denied visa from Italian embassy bec, aacdg to them, the exit from schengen area is not ascertain..something like that.. i provide all the needed requirements, even big amount of money in the bank.. i guess i had a problem in my “rootedness” because i only present my COE and leave of absence. my only travel experiences were from 7 SEA countries that doesn’t require visa for filipinos.. i am single and 28 y/o, nurse, an only child.. i don’t have a property under my name since the land title is still under the name of my great grand father. Will the land title, even not under my name, be good to present to French embassy? I will be re applying at French embassy. I will also state that I have a 64 y/o mother and that’s the main reason I am not seeking job to other countries even though nurses are high demand abroad. i have a permanent status on the hospital i am employed. what can you suggest i add on my application. i am really broken hearted as i really wanted to visit paris and italy this year as part of my bucket list before 30 y/o. 🙁 thank you in advance for the reply..

    • Hi Jamie. I feel you! I was denied a US visa (story here – http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/02/09/us-visa-experience-manila/) for more or less the same reasons. And I have to tell you, I can’t compare the Italian and French embassies’ handling of visa applications, but the French embassy people were also rather strict. I think it will help that you mention your 64 y/o mother and that you will be taking care of her. The land title I think has to be under your name. Maybe you can also try asking your mother to execute an affidavit of support, saying that she will pay for part of your expenses, and then she can mention in the affidavit that you will be coming back to take care of her.

      Another option you can consider is adding another country to your itinerary and applying there. The Netherlands perhaps? Amsterdam is only a couple of hours’ train ride from Paris.

      • thank you for the suggestion regarding affidavit from my mother stating that i’ll be coming back to take care of her. I never thought about it. 🙂
        I never thought of applying through Netherlands or other country. I already have an appointment at French embassy this august. I am so anxious about this re application and i think my brain stop thinking and only considered France as second option haha! I think I would consider netherlands. But do you think i have higher chance in applying through Netherlands? Or should I stick with my plan B? 🙁

        Also, I will be travelling solo.. do you think this greatly affect my application?

        Regarding affidavit of support from my mother, will I still submit it even I have my own bank account?

        Thank you again!

      • Yes, I think it would be nice if you can submit an affidavit of support from your mother, even if you have your own bank account. That’s what I did for my first Schengen visa, I asked my father for an affidavit of support because his bank balance was more impressive than mine. 😀 Plus the affidavit will be a good venue for your mother to point out that you need to come back to take care of her.

        Traveling solo – I don’t know if it will affect your application, but I don’t think so. I think Europeans are rather used to solo travelers so it shouldn’t be a problem.

        I can’t say for sure that you’ll have a greater chance with the Netherlands, but I had an easier time with the Netherlands because I only submitted the documents, and the lady who accepted my documents just asked me a few questions about the documents, but it wasn’t intimidating, it wasn’t like the interview at the French embassy which was kind of scary because the staff there were unpleasant sometimes. Mind you, this was in 2011, so maybe the procedure for the French embassy has changed already. If you already have an appointment for August, just try it na lang, maybe you’ll have better luck. 🙂

  • thank you so much. My anxiety level did lower one bit 🙂
    I will do your suggestion 🙂
    Is it possible to be blacklisted if I reapply through French embassy and not on Italian embassy?

    Sorry makulet sa questions 🙂

    • I don’t think you’ll be blacklisted naman. But you have to make sure that you change your itinerary such that France will now be your main destination, you’ll have to spend more days in France than in Italy, otherwise they will just send you back to the Italian embassy. Glad to help. 🙂

  • Hi there, I don’t know if you have the answer to my question but i will go right ahead.. I am planning a trip to France in early October traveling from East Africa. Is the minimum of at least €34 per day the same for someone traveling from the East African countries?

    • Hi Irene! I’ve seen €34 being mentioned by travelers from other countries as well, but I can’t say for sure. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

  • Hello..good day..I am planning to visit France and my boyfriend will shoulder all the expenses I need..my question is..do I need to get a bank account if he have naman?and also.do I really need to have a leave of absence from my boss..because I worry they will not allow me to have the 90 days leave..help me please..I am worrying about this..thank you so much.. 🙂

    • Hi Aimmie!

      For visa applications, you really have to try to submit all the documents required by the embassy, otherwise you will risk your application getting denied. You can find the requirements for a short-stay Schengen tourist visa (via the French embassy) here: http://www.ambafrance-ph.org/IMG/pdf/short_stay_-_visit_en.pdf

      Bank account — The French embassy requires a recent bank certification and photocopies of the last three months statement of account of the same bank account, so you should submit that. In addition, if your boyfriend is shouldering your expenses, you need to submit a copy of his financial documents, as well as a notarized affidavit of support from him.

      Leave of absence — This is also required by the French embassy. Their list of requirements include a “certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer.”

      Of course, you can choose NOT to submit these documents but that will lessen your chances of getting your visa application approved.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thank you very much…. and also..about the purpose of travel is it okey if I say that I go visit my sister new family in france.although it’s my boyfriend shoulder all my travel expenses..?he is worry because if I say in embassy that he is the reason of my travel they will deny my application..

      • That’s your decision. In general, I advise people to stick to the truth because there might be consequences if they are caught lying. However, your strategy is for you to decide. Make sure you know the requirements for visiting family and/or a French resident. And if you decide to tell the embassy you’re visiting your sister, make sure you can answer if they ask you why it’s your boyfriend who is sponsoring your trip.

    • Yes, you can hire an agency to assist you with your application. However, the French embassy will make its decision based on the merits of your application — your documents, your answers, etc. — you don’t get “plus points” for going through an agency.

  • Hi! Goodevening!

    Ask ko lang paano po yung kukuha pa po ba ako ng dswd permit eh mag18 naman po ako sa aug. 12 then naka sched po yung appointment ko the same day ng bday. Tsaka po do you have sample affidavit of support? Tsaka po paano po yung sa airbnb po kasi ako magpapabook ng titirahan ko dun eh di naman po yun hotel mostly po entire house, appt., shared rooms po yung nandun ano po yung magiging proof of accomodation ko po dun?

    Thanks po! 🙂

    • Hi Alvin!

      I think you don’t need the DSWD permit anymore because you will already be 18 on that day.

      I have a sample affidavit of support but it needs some editing kasi may personal information dun. I will post it on Thursday or Friday, okay lang ba?

      For Airbnb, you get a confirmation email naman, di ba? You can use that as your proof of accommodation.

      I hope this helps! I’ll post the sample affidavit of support as soon as I can. Good luck on your visa application and advance happy birthday na rin. 🙂

      • Ahhh. Okay po! Yes po meron naman po. Okay lang po kung mga thurs po sana?Kung hindi naman po okay lang naman po sa akin ng fri.

        Thank you po! 🙂

  • hi poh, good evening!ask ko lang poh sana if pag may ung sister ko ay mag isponsor din ng travel ko sa paris as her birthday gift to me, do i need her bank statements and proof of income din po kc kasama k naman po xa mag papa interview at kame poh ang magtravel in paris once god allow us to have schengen visa po..i have my own documents naman din po na isubmit orginal kc my work naman poh ako..tapos ung mom namin is kasama din xa tapos ung sa sister ko din po na papers ang gagamitin nya., kailangan pa poh ba mag panotarized kme ng financial documents ng sister ko?my sister has a lot of businesses naman po here in philippines and she has a multiple US visa and we travelled most of the time in asian countries 2-3 asian countries a year..at twice-trice na din po xa nagkaron ng schengen visa before. help me naman poh, magpapa appointment na poh kc sana kme para sa french embassy this august.malaki kaya po possible namin na ma issuehan kame?salamat poh ngn marami sa sasagot..godbless poh!

      • Sis pwede dun sa financial documents ng sister ko ay xerox lang ang smin? Kc ung original po ay xa ang mag pass kc nga po kasama namin xa mag aaperance sis..please pakisagot naman po sis ng question ko po.thanks po

      • I think pwede yung xerox, kasi magkasama naman kayong mag-a-apply so she can show them the originals for verification. Alternatively, like for bank certifications and bank statements, pwede namang mag-request ng 3 copies sa bank.

      • Ah oo nga sis,, may bank certifications at bank certificate naman po ako ipasa din na under my name po..so hihingi nalang din kme sis ng sa sister ko na docu..khit ba sis sa mga business permit at itr iprovide ko
        Din sis? Sis do u have facebook? Can i add u up po? I will send u pm po, thank u so
        Much sis! Godbless

  • This blog is so helpful!

    Hello! i will be travelling to france on November. So far these are the documents I have on hand.
    1.Bank book (bank statements for 6 months) and Credit card statements (3 months)
    2. COE and leave of abscence
    3.Contract to Sale (2 properties that I’m currently paying)
    4. proof of accomodation, ticket and insurance.

    Should i need to submit an ITR?

    Base from these documents, how far do you think I can be approved?

    And by the way, I have a boyfriend from spain that I will be travelling with, Should I also write that down on my cover letter? What documents should I present from my boyfriend that will help my application? Pictures, coversations etc?

    I really appreciate your response po 🙂 Thank you!

    • Hi Ramie!

      Just basing on the documents that you’ve prepared, it seems like you have a good chance naman of getting a visa. An ITR will help but I’ve tried applying for visas without submitting an ITR, and so far okay naman if walang ITR as long as you have your other financial documents.

      Regarding your boyfriend, I’m not sure, kasi he’s not living in France, so it’s not like you’re going to France to visit him, and you’re not gonna be staying in his house — parang you’re both tourists lang — so you won’t need documents like an Attestation d’Accueil. You can mention him in your cover letter kasi they’re gonna ask anyway who you’re gonna be traveling with. Are you going to Spain after France? If you are, they might ask for a copy of his documents, but if not, siguro just prepare your pictures and conversations, just in case the French embassy people ask for it, but I don’t think they will be necessary if you’re only staying in France and if he’s not paying for any part of your trip.

      I hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy France! 🙂

      • Hi,

        I appreciate your response and i apologized if it took time for me to reply. Anyway, my boyfriend decided to change our plan. Instead of france our point of entry will be in Denmark. He proposed to me that he wants to tie the knot ^^. So he plan that we could go to denmark to get married on a tourist visa (I dont know if that’s possible). But yeah, and i was wondering if it would make any difference with the set of requirements if I apply in Danish Embassy. 🙂

      • Hi Ramie! I think you will need to check with the Danish embassy website, but usually the requirements are similar.

  • Your blog is super informative 🙂 Thank you for replying to the comments, too. For the bank statement, is it the balance for 3 months or plus past 3 months? Example, I’m applying on September, should the statement show July to September or June to August? 🙂

    • Hi Jane! Thanks for your kind words! If you’re applying September, I think you just need the bank statement from June to August, just because the bank probably won’t have finalized your statement for the month of September. But if you can, I would recommend also getting a bank certification, which will reflect your current [September] balance and average daily balance for the year to date. Good luck with your visa and enjoy France! 🙂

  • Hi, have a good day! Ininterview po kme ng sister ko kanina lang sa france embassy sept 9..binigyan po kme ng stub at ang releasing ng passport is on sept 11 at around 11:30 am..kinuhanan po kme ng biometrics at picture at ung passport po namin is naiwan dun..pag po ba ganun ibig sbhin possible na may visa once kinuhanan ng biometrics? Thanks in advance sa sasagot po! Godbless

    • Hi Majoe! Really sorry ngayon lang ako nakasagot, I just got home. How was it? Did you get your visa? They get biometrics for all applicants pero meron pa ring nade-deny after that. I hope you got approved and you have a great trip. 🙂

  • Hello, I came across your blog while searching about visa applications – your blog’s very helpful and informative. I was told my visa was approved by the French Embassy (just today! So relieved!), with the condition that I will have to go back to them once I return to Manila. I saw in one of your replies in the comments that you also had to return to the French Embassy. May I inquire if you had to set an appointment as well and/or where do you have to go to show that you returned? 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thanks chersy. And congrats on your visa! 🙂 Yeah, I had to go back to the French embassy when I arrived back in the Philippines but I didn’t have to set an appointment. If I remember correctly, the embassy lady instructed me to come at around 11 AM (or maybe it was 12 noon) and I just told the guard I was reporting back. I went straight to the counter of the same lady who gave me the visa and she just stamped my passport. And that was it. 🙂 Enjoy your trip!!

      • Thanks for the reply! Oh wow, it’s that simple! 😀

        I think they put that condition on my visa since I recently went freelance, but they didn’t ask too much about it. Come to think of it, they didn’t really ask about the itinerary, but concentrated more on the Proof of Income (and the redundancy papers from my previous job :(). Thanks again – I also am going through your blog for tips. 😉

      • Yay. I’m excited for you! Paris is beautiful. And in the future, if you haven’t yet, try mo rin mag-Scotland, I’ve just been there and nag-ha-hangover pa ako, super beautiful.

      • Paris is the dream talaga! 🙂
        Ooh yes I have heard that Scotland is beautiful! That is definitely next up on our list – UK (haha new visa to hurdle). Shucks sige, sige, that means I really have to hustle (with work – well, finding one, gahh) to travel. But inspired by your blog, travel manifesto and IG, definitely can do this! 😉

      • Hi, can you pls further explain what do you mean they just stamped your passport when you report back to embassy.

        Can i still use the visa? because i’m still planning to go back and use the same visa since it is still valid and was not able to use the # of stay allowed. is it possible. thanks for your help

      • Yes, you can still use your visa. The stamp just stated “seen upon return” — probably just to note that I said I would come back to the Philippines and I did (and did not stay in Europe illegally).

  • Good afternoon!

    I was just wondering about the application requirements for VISA with regards to Financial support. I am planning to apply to our school’s practicum program which is going to be in France. It is a 6-week program and the school will provide the lodging and food. All we need to pay is the airfare and visa processing fee. But I’m worried because my parents aren’t employed nor have business. So there’s no way I can show an Employment certificate and business certificate from my parents. Though my father is a retired police man. He told me he can apply for loan to support my practicum. Will that be okay? Will it be possible for me not to be rejected from the visa processing? Thank you so much.

    • Hi! I think you just have to clearly show them where the money you would need will be coming from, so, yes, if your father gets a loan, and that money is deposited into his account, you can get a bank statement from your father, and then you will need official documents from your school stating that they will provide food and lodging. You should also think about where your pocket money will be coming from, whether or not that will be covered by your dad’s loan. It will be trickier, but I think as long as you can show that you’ve carefully planned out the financial details and that there is money available for every aspect of your stay there, you have a good shot. Good luck!

  • Hi po! Good evning! Ask ko lang po kasi ung kapatid ko ininvite sya ng asawa ko pong france ..and then my sister appointment september29 and then binigyan sya ng papers for her realising visa October1. Ang sabi nung nag intervew sa kanya kailang pag balik nya for her realising visa my flight ticket na sya at certificate for bank.. So bumili din kmi ng aswa ko ng flight ticket nya nung october 30 at kumuha narin sya ng bank cerficate nya.. Kanina pumunta sya po don sa embassy ng france sabi na denied raw sya.. Pero sinabihan sya na pwede pa sya mag-apela.. So ano po ba pwede naming gawing mag asawa po? Salamat po..

    • Hi Corazon! I think you will need to focus on why the embassy denied her visa the first time. Ano daw sabi ng embassy, hindi ba nagbigay ng reason for denial? Kung anuman ang reason, that’s what you will have to work on. Good luck!

  • I love your blog! I don’t know why I didn’t discover your site earlier but I’m super happy I stumbled into it. 🙂

    My ultimate travel dream is to go to Paris and South Korea. Ever since I read an article that’s pretty much like yours (50K for 1 week in Paris by this reporter in ANC), I knew I had to go. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing well in the savings department. I spent a lot this year, also because of traveling. Ever since I went on a solo-ish trip (I say solo-ish because it’s technically not solo, but I didn’t know anyone in the group) in April, I have been traveling at least once a month — and though I love my life so much more than I ever did, I have to admit that it’s killing my savings.

    Anyway, I still want to go to Paris and I want to do it before I hit 30 (I’m turning 27 next week). My real concern is the visa (and the bank statement). This is such a great help and I’m bookmarking this article and saving the letter template. 🙂 Just to clarify, did you buy the tickets first before you applied for the visa?

    Thank so much and happy blogoversary! <3

    • Hi Joy! Thanks for your kind words! I’m happy you stumbled onto my blog because that gave me the chance to discover yours too! I also partly travel for breakup therapy hehe.

      You know, ironically, I don’t travel as much now as I used to. Before, I would consider a Cebu Pac seat sale wasted if I didn’t book at least one trip — kahit Cebu-Manila lang, and kahit na I end up not using the ticket — until I realized I was burning money that way and I stopped. I’m not saying you should stop your monthly travels but it might be something you can consider, setting aside muna the smaller trips so you can go for bigger trips like Paris.

      Regarding the tickets, yes, I bought them before applying for the visa! Actually, almost all the embassies tell you not to do that because you would be wasting money if your visa application gets denied, but I only buy tickets when they’re on sale (I wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise) and usually the travel period is months away, whereas you can only apply for a visa in the 2-3 months before departure, so ayun, nagsusugal na lang ako.

      I think you can ask travel agencies to make a reservation for you (without outright buying the ticket) but I don’t know if they can do that for tickets that are on sale. Also, as of the last time I checked, KLM will refund your ticket if your visa application gets denied, so that’s also another option.

      I hope you get to go to Paris and Korea soon! 🙂 xx

      • That Sagada trip was because of the breakup but the next trips were just because I had too much fun traveling. Hehe.
        I should probably listen to you. I ignore the Cebu Pac emails now so I won’t be tempted to grab discounted seats but I have yet to learn to say no to friends who ask me out on trips. That’s something I should work on, I guess.
        That KLM bit is so good to know! I might resort to that para sure. But yes, save muna! Thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it. 🙂 And oh, are you still based in Cebu? Cos I plan to return to Cebu for Sinulog.

  • Hi! I would just like to ask if I need to submit a cover letter when applying at the Netherlands embassy? It’s not included in the list of requirements on their website. Thanks in advance! More power!:)

    • Hi Crista! I didn’t submit a cover letter when I applied for a visa at the Netherlands embassy, it isn’t necessary. Good luck! 🙂

  • Hi!

    Aside from the notarized affidavit of support from your father, what are the other financial statements that you provided to support your dad’s claim? 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jona! I attached his bank statement to the affidavit of support. I think that was it, I don’t think I attached anything else like his certificate of employment or ITR, although you can do that if you want to beef up your documents. Good luck!

      • Thank you so much! I’ve applied earlier and will get the result next week. My worry is that I was denied by the Italian Embassy very recently. I hope it doesn’t affect my application. Thanks again!

      • You’re welcome! And…you’re probably the 3rd person I’ve heard being denied by the Italian embassy recently! Ang arte pala ng mga Italiano… I hope you have better luck with the French and I hope you have a wonderful time in Europe. 🙂

  • Hi!

    Kudos on the blog! I came upon your blog hoping to find answers to my questions re Schengen Visa, Hope you could help

    My Mom and I are invited by my Aunt to visit France this February 2016, she is married to a French National. She sent us the attestation d’accueil document and will arrive any day now. My dilemma is that I can’t provide a ITR since I am not employed as of the moment (for the past 6mos.) and I dont have properties under my name. I dont have problems with the other requirements just this one. I have P100,000 on my bank account and can easily get other documents. The ITR bit is the only thing that’s bet ween my plan ot visit Paris.hahaha! I have been reading blogs on how to deal with it but nothing have been that helpful.

    Hope you’ll be able to shed some light on this matter. Thanks!

    Ericka

    • Hi Ericka!

      If you don’t have an ITR, you can just submit other documents that will prove your capacity to pay for your trip, such as a recent bank certification and your bank statement (of the same account) for the last 3 months. Since the ITR is not only proof of income but also helps to prove ties to the Philippines, it would be great if you can also provide documents proving your ties. Like, if you’re not employed, what are you doing currently, what are your plans, etc.

      I don’t think the ITR is an absolute necessity — I’ve gotten visas without it — as long as you have other documents that will serve the same purpose as the ITR.

      Good luck!

  • hello

    Glad that I came across your blog it was pretty helpful.

    I have a question tho. I am traveling to Paris hopefully next year. I am also visiting other neighboring countries such as Bruges, Amsterdam, Prague but I am spending most of my time in Paris. I am worried that I cannot produce a bank statement. I am currently unemployed. I am traveling with my Mother and she will will shoulder ALL the expenses of the trip. She’s working as a Rapid a Response Nurse in the states by the way. This trip is also her long overdue graduation gift(graduated in 2014) lol or it could be a birthday gift cause my birthday is on March. I am very anxious that if can’t show a bank statement my application will be denied. What can I do regarding my situation?

    Thanks in advance

  • Hello! I was reading your blog and I think it’s very helpful for securing Schengen Visa. I have a question tho, I am planning to go to Athens on December to spend Christmas vacation and my birthday there. It’ll be a 17 day trip with my boyfriend who is Greek. He sent me an invitation letter stating that he will be the one to shoulder the accommodation, transportation etc. Also, my granma is also sponsoring me (since I am living with her not with my parents). We already have the affidavit of support stating that she will be my sponsor as her birthday gift to me. She has different bank accounts but the savings account that we’ll use has 528k in it. Do you think this is enough? Or do I have to show my own bank certification as well? But the thing is that I do not have much savings at the moment as i have been to 4 other countries this year too and I already spent too much on that. Other than this I can also show a proof of employment with approved leave, and an ITR. I am just worried and I want to make sure if I am on the right track. Hoping for your response!!

    Thank you!

    • Hi curiouslad! I haven’t personally tried getting a Schengen visa through the Greek embassy so I’m not really an expert on that, but I think 528k should be enough. (I think I only had ~100k or even less when I applied at the French embassy.) Good luck!

    • Hi Phoebe. They didn’t ask me to do that, so no, I don’t think so, unless the rules have changed recently.

  • Hi! I’m applying for a schengen visa at the Netherlands embassy and my cousin will be my sponsor, and I will be staying there at my friend’s place. I have prepared an affidavit of support based on the sample you provided. My question is, aside from my cousin’s bank certificates and statements, do I also need other documents to show our relationship? Or would his financial documents be enough as supporting documents. Thanks!

    • Hi G. I don’t know if it’s really necessary but I think it would be best if you prepare documents that show how you’re related to your sponsor. Anyway, the embassy will return it to you if they don’t need it. As a general rule, it’s better to over-prepare than to under-prepare. Good luck!

  • Hi! May I know why you should return to the French embassy after your Europe trip? I’m worried because we did not do that when we came home from Europe! I’m worried that we would be blacklisted or something. The travel agency did not advise us nor said that we had to go back. Plus, the staff at the embassy did not say anything about returning to the embassy either.

    • Hi Cheska! If the embassy didn’t instruct you to do so, then it probably wasn’t necessary in your case. I’m not sure what their rule for that is — I was asked to return by the French embassy (they stamped my passport “seen upon return”) but I wasn’t asked to return by the Netherlands embassy (or the UK for that matter).

  • Hi. I am planning to apply for a Schengen visa probably thru the Embassy of Spain. I have a question though regarding the documents required. For the “approved leave of absence”, is it really necessary? Will the embassy ask me to present a copy of it? I mean filing vacation leaves in my company is not really tough so long as we have available leave credits. I just feel uncomfortable disclosing details about this trip to anyone at work until my visa gets approved (hopefully). What do you suggest I should do? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Faye! An approved leave of absence is usually one of the requirements for employees. Regarding your question if it’s really necessary, I can’t be 100% sure that your application will be denied if you don’t submit it, but I’m pretty sure you will regret it if you get denied because you didn’t submit as many of the requirements as you could have.

      If I were in your place, I would secure an approved leave of absence (and a certificate of employment) and then just ask the people who have to sign it to keep it quiet for a while. Just be kind of self-effacing about it, tell them you don’t want other people to know because you don’t know if your visa application will be approved. 🙂 Good luck and enjoy your trip! 🙂

      • Thanks gurl. Yeah i have no problem submitting my COE as well, I can request in a breeze. Im still trying to figure out though how to keep it as private as I can haha! Anyhow, would you know if the embassy had called your company for verification of those documents? Im just a bit worried that our human resources do not usually answer calls for some reason. Hmm well they sometimes do, but most of the time they do not. haha!

      • 😀
        I’m not sure if they actually call the company… The people at my old company didn’t mention it to me so probably not. If ever they do call your company I hope your HR answers!

  • Hi
    I find your blog very informative and helpful. Btw i have an italian bf and he wants me to visit him, the main purpose of my visit is to have ivf procedure there( we have fertility problem and we planned to have a baby—we can only be a parent with the help of the doctors and we chose italy for the procedure to undergo) wla po akong travel experiences except for a six years na work abroad sa isang asian countries. Meron po akong bank account and willing syang dagdagan un kung magkano ang required show money ng italian embassy. Magkano po kaya ang kailangang show money for medical purose schengen visa? May possibility ba na magka schengen visa ako? Wala po akong aria-arian na maipresent. Willing po syang sumuporta sa kung anumang legal docs na kailanganin just for me to get a visa. Any suggestion po para maaprob ang visa po.

    • Hi Bing! I’m sorry I’m not familiar with the requirements for getting a Schengen visa for the purpose of undergoing a medical procedure. I think ang importante dun is yung mga documents from your boyfriend that state na sya ang sasagot sa lahat ng gastusin mo dun sa Italy and that he has the financial capacity to do so. I suggest i-Google mo yung website ng Italian embassy in the Philippines tapos tingnan mo doon ang requirements. If medyo complicated sya, maybe you will find it easier to get a respectable travel agency to process it for you.

  • Hi. Good day.
    I am planning to visit france again,i went there 2yrs ago with my previous company. My question is im not working at the moment because my husband told me to stay with our kids,so hindi ko na maipprovide yung COE,but my parents and siblings matagal ng residence sa cannes. And husband ko nandun din working sa luxury yacht.may maissuggest ka ba? Thank you in advance

    • Hi Reighn!

      You only need to provide a COE if you are employed, otherwise it’s not really necessary. If you are visiting your husband or your family in Cannes, ask them to give you an invitation letter and an Attestation d’accueil. Submit documents that show your relationship to them, such as birth and marriage certificates. Even if you’re not working, whatever your husband earns and owns is also legally yours, so you can use his financial documents as proof of income. Make sure to submit birth certificates of your children as well.

      Good luck!

  • Hello!

    Thank you for your blog. I find many helpful tips on successful schengen visa. My bf and I are thinking of travelling together and I thought Paris France would be a great place to visit. But my problem is I don’t have job at the moment for almost a year now. I worked in South Korea before for two years, then Australia for two years and New Zealand was my last employment for two years as well. I haven’t extended my contract in New Zealand because I need to take care of dad who is sickly and my nephew. So I don’t have job currently and I don’t have a bank account, no ITR, no properties, etc. But my bf who is an American citizen and runs his own company willing to sponsor and shoulder all my expenese. Can my bf write a letter to the french embassy stating that he’s shouldering all my expenses and have the letter notarized along with his financial statements? I’ll write a letter as well stating that I am definitely going back to Philippines because of my dad and nephew. I’ll have it notarized. Do you think these would work? What’s my chances of getting my visa approved?

    • Hi Rose!

      I think those are good ideas. I can’t estimate your chances of getting approved, but definitely, your boyfriend will need to execute an affidavit of support and attach his financial documents. I’ve also just learned that if the sponsor and the visa applicants have a non-formalised relationship (such as boyfriend/girlfriend), some embassies would require a photocopy of the bio data page and travel history of the sponsor’s passport, so make sure to prepare that as well.

      Good luck!

    • Hi JC! I don’t know if they ever approve for 1 week lang, but 30 days seems to be the most common, tapos pag-second time mo na’ng mag-apply ng Schengen visa, magiging 1 year na.

  • Hello, i read your blog and all the comments from the start, and still wondering is 100k enough as a show money? If i got less than let’s say 60-70k cash sa savings + credit cards, plus (stocks and ORCR of my car) can it be a way to strengthen my chances?

    I am just 8 months in my current work kasi kakalipat ko lang din, pero i’ve been working for the past 5 years na. I’m 25 y/o.

    I am planning to have one week (7 days) trip. This will be my second to the last goal country that requires visa (the other one being the UK, hehe). kaya mejo gusto ko paghandaan.

    Travel history: HK, SG, Macau, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Mainland China, and the United States(visa still valid), Turkey (visa still valid), Japan(visa still valid),

    Can you give me some recommendation which areas can i still improve so i will have a greater chance of being approved kahit single entry lang! hehe.

    I am in the midst of choosing either French, German, Netherlands embassy sana. As much as possible ayoko din sana dumaan ng VFS, gusto ko ako yung mismong pupunta ng embassy hehe.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi thebachelor24,

      The French embassy hasn’t really specified a particular amount that you should have in your bank account in order for you to get a visa. In fact, it’s best not to think of it as “show money” — rather, what they are after is proof that you can afford your trip. So it’s not just a matter of how much money you have but what you are planning to do on your trip, where you are going to stay, etc. It would be impossible for me to assure you that a specific amount is enough because the people reviewing your visa application will be looking at the entire situation and not just your bank balance.

      What I would suggest is you prepare an itinerary (even just a provisional one) and make a budget based on that, and then make sure that you have more than enough in your bank account to cover your expenses. And yes, the fact that you have stocks and property will help.

      For what it’s worth, I think you have a good chance of getting a visa because of your extensive travel history.

      Also, France and Netherlands now go through VFS for visa application processing, so…Germany? 🙂

      Good luck!

  • Hi, there! Do we really need to return to the embassy after the trip? Also, if we had only around 2 weeks for the Eurotrip, what places do we NEED to make time for?

    • Hi Belle!

      I don’t know if everyone has to return to the embassy, but in my case I was specifically instructed by the lady at the French embassy to show up. If you don’t receive the same instructions (especially now that VFS is handling visa applications), then I think you don’t have to.

      As for the places that you need to make time for, I would urge you to go to those places that are personally meaningful to you. For example, if you’re Catholic and you would like to see the Pope, try to be in Rome on a Wednesday so that you can go to a papal audience. If you like Van Gogh’s paintings or his life story touches you somehow, go to Amsterdam and visit the Van Gogh museum. Also, it would depend on when you’re going — you can see the tulips in Amsterdam in spring, the lavender fields in Provence in summer, Oktoberfest or the Christmas markets in Germany, etc. Finally, consider practicalities too, like how easy it would be to get from one destination to another. I know it’s not a straight answer to your question but I hope it helps. 🙂 Travel to destinations that touch your heart.

  • Hi hope you can help me with my queries. I have appointment at vfs this coming april 20, i think i got all the requirements ready now. Only thing is i am separated to my husband now and my annulment is on going. My english boyfriend is my sponsor he sent me all supporting documents. I mentioned to my application that im separated but on my passport im still using my x husband’s name. Question is do i still need to show our marriage contract or just show them the proof that i filed my annulment.. im just scared that they will question me about that.. hope u can help me with this.

    • Hi Joemarie. Yours is a complicated situation and I am not an expert on it but I will just tell you what I think. Since your annulment is still ongoing, that means you are still legally married. In that case, I think it’s correct that you stated in your application that you are separated. I don’t know if you have to submit your marriage certificate, but I would strongly suggest that you bring a copy with you, just in case they ask for it. I also think it would be advisable for you to bring proof that you have filed for an annulment, because that will sort of help explain the context of your relationship with your current boyfriend. I don’t know if they will question you about it but you will just have to prepare yourself for the possibility that they will because, like I said, it’s a complicated situation. If they do ask you about it, just answer truthfully and try to explain it thoroughly. There are a lot of people with situations similar to yours and hopefully the Embassy people will understand. Good luck!

      • Thank you soooo much for what you have said. Im a bit relieved now…. i just wish and pray that everything will be ok…. thanks a lot and Godbless

  • Thank you soooo much for what you have said… im kinda relieved now…. i will surely do what you have suggested i just hope and pray that everything will be ok… thanks and Godbless..

  • Hi.. i got my passport today and unfortunately it was refused becoz they have doubt that i will come back here. I am planning to reapply and i will just add my daughters birth certificate.. do u think this is enough to prove them that i will come back here. Hope u can help me…

    • Oh no, that’s too bad! I don’t know if it will be enough but I think your daughter’s birth certificate will help. Also: anything else that proves that you have ties here in the Philippines — real estate and other properties, certificate of employment and approved leave of absence, any future events that you have committed to attending here in the Philippines, perhaps proof that you and your daughter are very close and that you will never leave her for long, etc.

  • Hi, I just read your page today. I had submitted my application form for schengen visa to French embassy. I got my passport they refuse. They told me I didn’t show Cover letter. but now my aunt called to embassy. They told we can prepare and submit document that we did not submit around 3 weeks. should I prepare all documents again? My uncle will sponsor me all expenditure. So me or my uncle should write cover letter?

    • Hi kheng_khy! The cover letter should be written by the applicant — you — and not the sponsor. If you were instructed by the embassy to submit additional documents — as part of your original application — then you don’t have to prepare all the other requirements again. On the other hand, if they told you that your application has been outright denied and that you should reapply, then you will have to prepare all the documents again. If you’re not sure what they want you to do, it would be best if you get in touch with them and ask them to clarify because they are the ones who really know your situation and what can still be done about it. Good luck!

      • hi i have a question and i hope you can help me.
        i have two bank accounts- one is 6 years old and with 200k bal. the other is like a month old -with 50k balance. should i submit both bank certificates? or will it be counted against me – i mean with the one month account. also is it okay if i only submit a bank statement for the 6 yr old acct. and just a bank cert for the month old acct. and again will this be taken against me. thanks.

      • Hi Monette! I don’t see any reason why your one-month account should be taken against you, since the bulk of your money is in your 6-year account anyway. Both a bank certificate and bank statements from the previous 3 months are required (see here: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2016/02/27/schengen-visa-french-embassy-new/). In the case of your new account, just ask your bank if they can give you a statement for the past month, and if they can’t, then just note that down in your application. Hope that helps.

  • Hello..galing po ako sa Vfs yesterday.. they ask my original invitation kaya po Di pa ako nkapg apply ng visa..sabi sa Vfs yun na lang kulang. Ko na documents.. ask ko po how much the visa then they said 6,080 peso..ang tanong ko po bakit ang mahal and sure po ba magrant schengen visa ko if kumpleto na kahit mgbayad ako ng ganon?thanks po..

    • Hi Maan! To answer your questions:

      Bakit ang mahal? — Ang usual visa fee po ay 60 euros (for short-term visa) at ang service fee ng VFS ay 26 euros. Mga P4,500 lang po yun so tanungin nyo po ang VFS kung bakit naging P6,080.

      Sure ba ma-grant Schengen visa…? — Hindi. Nagbibigay sila ng visa base dun sa information sa mga documents mo. Usually ang tinitingnan nila is: meron ka bang financial capacity to pay for your entire trip, malaki ba ang posibilidad na hindi ka na babalik sa Pilipinas, at kung tourist visa ang ina-apply-an mo, talagang tourism lang ba ang pakay mo dun o baka hahanap ka ng trabaho.

      Good luck Maan!

      • Thank you po sa reply..tinanong ko na po sa embassy why 6,080 then madami po sila sinasabi service charge etc.then sponsor po ako ng bf ko na Maltese citizen.. kaya nga po ngtataka ako bakit any mahal kahit yung mga kasabay ko ganon din bayad nila…wla po ako work and single mom po ako.. gusto po ng bf ko mameet family nya kaya invite nya ako..possible po ba magrant ako kahit wla ako work dito?and my letter of assurance naman bf ko na pababalikin nya ako dito after 1month..thanks po

      • Hi Maan! I think marami din namang nabibigyan ng visa kahit walang work dito as long as okay lang yung documents. I think ang kailangan mo lang talaga i-prove — aside from yung financial capacity, which is sagot ng bf mo — is na babalik ka dito sa Pilipinas at hindi ka mananatili dun beyond the validity of your visa. I think it will help din na single mom ka, kasi your child is still here in the Philippines, so malaki ang chance na babalik ka.

  • Hello there. I’d like to ask kung saan nag papa-notarize ng Affidavit of Support? My partner will be sponsoring my travel kasi. We’ll be travelling together. He is a French citizen and residing here na in Manila. We’ll just gonna copy your format for Affidavit of Support.

      • hello po, pwede mag-ask kasi mag-ssubmit ako ng documents para sa au pair visa sa france and 1 yea rng contracta ko sa host family ko. mas mabuti po bang maggawa nalng din ako ng notarize letter from me and my host family. para katibayan na uuwi ako after 1 year of contract . salamt po

      • Hi Nicole! Sorry, di kasi ako familiar sa requirements para sa au pair visa, pero I think naman makakatulong (or at least hindi makakasama) kung magsusubmit ka ng notarized letter galing sa host family mo. Good luck!

  • Hi, I already have the original copy of the “Attestation d’accueil” from my french boyfriend, tanong ko lng po kung kailangan ko pa ng invitation letter from him?

    • Hi Jevy! The requirements checklist only mentions the attestation d’accueil, a copy of his passport, and proof of your relationship BUT I think it won’t hurt if you get an invitation letter from him as well. Good luck!

      • Hi! thank you for the reply. I got my Schengen Visa last week just 3 days after I’ve submitted my documents at VFS. 🙂 Also, they’re asking me to report to the French Embassy after my trip.

      • Yayyyy!!! So happy for you. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to let me know, and about reporting back to the embassy as well. Have a wonderful trip. 🙂

  • Hi, i just submitted my documents at vfsglobal and the waiting begins! :-)please assure me of my chances of approval.. To prove intent to return- i submitted my COE, approved leave, 2 titles and 1 contract to sell (with me as buyer) to prove financial capacity is my 250k enough, with supporting bank statements. And my COE with compensation showing gross annual income of 1M. Thanks so much

    • Hi Maria! Well, I can’t really assure you of anything, but based on what you said, I think you have a pretty good chance of getting a visa. Good luck and enjoy your trip! 🙂

  • Hi! My parents and I are planning on a trip to Europe (8 countries/15 days) and we actually had a talk with our travel agent but I am still worried because I’ve been unemployed ever since I graduated last oct 2014. I have some freelance works but I don’t have ITR or any proof that I can support my trip. Our travel agent said that an Affidavit of support and bank statement will do. Do you think po ba na maapprove visa ko? And pwede nyo po ba ako bigyan ng idea on how I am going to prove them that I have no plans on staying in Europe. Lastly, Kailangan po ba attorney gagawa ng Affidavit of support? or kahit ako nalang then pa notarize? Can you give me a copy po ng Affidavit? I would really appreciate if masasagot nyo. Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Hi Bea,

      If you are going with your parents and they are paying for you trip, then they can just provide you an affidavit of support. You can also submit proof of the income you have from your freelance work, such as your bank statement and any contract/agreement you have with the people you work for. I can’t guarantee that you will be given a visa but if your parents are paying for the trip, you probably have a good chance.

      Proof that you have no plans of staying in Europe — that will usually involve documents to show that you are gainfully employed (or have a steady source of income) here in the Philippines, that you have property here, that you have family here, etc. It will also help if you have traveled outside Asia before and you’ve always come back to the Philippines after your trip(s).

      You can create your own affidavit (sample here: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/08/06/sample-affidavit-support-visa/) and have it notarized or you can have an attorney make one for you. (The latter will probably be more expensive.)

      Good luck!

  • Hi, may interview ba? What questions did they asked you? Very tricky ba questions nila like sa US interview? Sino ngiinterview? Foreigners din?thanks.

  • Hi! im a registered nurse in ph & i am wondering if they are as strict as the US embassy when it comes to granting tourist visa to nurses like me? Or would it better if I apply as my husband’s dependent (housewife) thank you:))

    • Hi Cheese! Sorry for the late reply, the past few days have been really busy. I’ve been trying to think of nurses I know who have gone to France, but I think most of them were working in another country, so I can’t really say if the French are as strict as the US when it comes to nurses. However, I *think* the French won’t be as strict, because it’s much more difficult to stay in France illegally to work as a nurse — for one, you would have to speak French. So, anyway, if you are working as nurse in the Philippines, you can’t hide that because they will want to know what your job is. But if you’re not working as a nurse and you’re currently a housewife, then maybe you can just say you’re a housewife and only bring up the nursing thing if they specifically ask you what you studied in college. And either way, just make sure that your requirements are complete and that you can show that you have ties to the Philippines so they will know that you are definitely coming back. Good luck!

      • Thank you so so much, really appreciate your response:))

        Just one more question, my husband started working in kuwait july of this year with residency stamp on his passport, can he still apply here in ph for schengen visa? We wanted to apply together & its also more convenient on his side. Thanks again in advance.:))

      • Hi Cheese. The French embassy website says: “The Embassy of France in Manila is only competent to process visa applications of persons residing habitually in the Philippines, the Federal States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. If you have been residing for the majority of the year outside the Philippines, you must lodge your visa application via the Embassy/Consulate of the place of your habitual residence.” However, I’m not sure about your husband’s case because, even though he has a residency stamp for Kuwait, he only started living there in July, so technically he hasn’t spent the majority of the year there. I suggest you call the French embassy to ask them directly, since the final decision will be theirs. I hope they will still allow your husband to apply here. Good luck!

  • i was thinking the same thing. Ill call the embassy tomorrow just to be sure. Thank you again for the insights. Hope everything goes smoothly.;))

  • Hi! I read your article about 1 week in Paris for 50k.

    Did you accomplish everything, from visa application to your tickets and to your stay in Paris all by youurself?

    Could you recommend a travel agency to assist me in preparing/processing docs kor applying Schengen visa and also for the ticket purchase in an affordable price.

    Thanks in advance!

    Janette

    • Hi Janette!

      I’m very sorry for the super-delayed reply, I have just been really really busy. Yes, I did everything myself. If you get a travel agency, I don’t think it will be possible to spend just 50k since of course the agency will be charging you for their efforts.

      I know it can be intimidating, thinking of doing everything by yourself, but if you just take it one step at a time, you can do it!

      For tips in getting affordable plane tickets, see this article: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/04/30/piso-sale-cheap-flights/

      Good luck!

    • Hi Karen! I don’t think you *have* to book the train tickets prior to getting a visa, although in my case I already purchased them as soon as the bookings opened so I could avail of cheaper fares. Good luck!

  • Hi there. I was recently granted a Schengen visa thru the French Embassy, and like the one posted above, it also has a stamp that says Kindly report to the French Embassy after your trip. In addition, some notes were stapled to my passport, one reminding me to personally report to the embassy upon completion of the trip, and the other just a general reminder of what other documents may be asked of me (hotel reservations, return ticket, budget) upon entry to the Schengen states. My question is, what did they ask of you when you appeared at the embassy? Do I need to make an appointment? It would be my first time to go to France and I am the only one in our family that has a stamp like that. Im not sure if it’s because it’s the first time I applied for a Schengen visa or because I am currently not working. Thank you in advance.

    • Oh and I have another question pala, sorry, di ko naisama dun sa isa. I was granted a multiple entry visa, valid for one month, with a duration of stay na 20 days. Multiple entry means I can enter the Schengen region more than once di po ba? hehehe. And the duration of stay na 20 days means that is the maximum number of days I can stay within Eu per trip. In my understanding po, kumbaga, if I go to let’s say to France, and I stayed there for 2 weeks, and went back to Manila, I can return to France or any other Schengen state again after a week and stay there there for another week, without securing a new visa, because I have a multiple entry visa, as long as it is within the validity dates (one month) and that I dont exceed the 20 days limit. Tama po ba? Kasi po our original trip lasts for 18 days, which is within the 20 days na duration of stay. However, I plan to visit another state (Iceland), so I was think I have to exit the Schengen region and go somewhere easy and visa free for us that is relatively near Eu, and then enter again, just so I dont exceed the 20 days allowed duration. Again, my visa is valid for 1 month with multiple entries. When I asked a friend po kasi, she told me I have to get a new visa if I want to do that. But I doubted her answer because the visa is multiple entries with 20 days duration for 1 month. Thank you po and sorry kung medyo nakakalito ang question ko. =)

    • Hi kca! First of all, sorry for the super-delayed reply, I’ve been very busy. For reporting to the French embassy after the trip, I didn’t have to make an appointment, I just went there, showed my face to the lady who gave me the visa, no questions, she just stamped my passport “Seen upon return” and that’s it. 🙂 Enjoy your trip!

      • Hi there! Thank you so much for your response. Esp regarding the duration of stay. Thanks for that article. Im getting so much inspiration and help from your blog. Im excited to celebrate the New Year in Paris. Thank you again and God bless! More travels for you!

      • Ay wow! I can already imagine the Eiffel Tower lighting up, with fireworks overhead. So excited for you! Enjoy your trip! And thanks! 🙂

  • Hi. I came across your blog after searching in Google about French visa application. I have just one question, because I never bothered asking the ‘cranky” French consul today, and somehow you have stated it here, that even though they took my passport, it’s not guaranteed that I will be given a visa, right?

    By the way, I’m a Filipino and I’m currently living and working here in Brazil. And I just applied for a French visa today in Rio. I still have two documents that I need to submit to them but there was no mention if I was denied or will be given. I guess, I’m taking into account my experience when I applied for a US visa. They will not take your passport kung denied. Or may congratulations pag bibigyan ka ng consul. Pero ang Frenchie kanina…super suplado! So hindi na ako umimik nung binigyan nya ako ng papel at sinabi na isubmit ko na lang yung kulang sa email nila. Super stressful! Kaloka!

    Do you happen to know what they will do if you’re denied of a visa. This waiting game is nakaka-wrinkles! haha

    Thanks for the very helpful blog. More power!

    • Hi Dinhs!

      Sorry for the super-late reply. I hope you’ve gotten your visa by now.

      I don’t know if it’s the same process there in Brazil, but here in the Philippines, yeah, they take your passport and that’s not a guarantee that they’ll give you a visa. Nalito din ako the first time I applied at the French embassy kasi naka-experience din ako sa US embassy, they gave me back my passport right away (kasi denied hehe). So when I went to the French embassy, and they took all my documents including my passport, sobrang happy ko pa afterwards, akala ko sure visa na. Hindi pa pala. 😀 When I went back to get back my passport, may mga kasama ako na for claiming din na hindi nabigyan ng visa.

      Anyway now, here in the Philippines, the French embassy visa applications are handled by VFS na, so talagang kukunin nila yung passport and other documents mo, and they will pass them on to the French embassy for review. You’ll find out na lang when you get back your passport. Nakaka-anxious talaga!

      Have a good trip! 🙂

  • Hi! How many days po ang itinerary nyong sinubmit kaya binigyan kayo ng 30 days ME, sagad ba na 30 days? Kapag ako nagsubmit ng 7 or 18-day lang na schengen itinerary (3 countries, major stay in France) automatic po ba na 1 month ang range at 30 days ang valid stay na ibibigay sa akin or kung ilan lang nakalagay sa iti? Gaya s UK ko 7 days lang inaply ko and yet 6 mons pwede magstay. may way ba na makakuha ng 6 mons kahit less days lang stay, aside for my trip po kasi this december, may balak ako bumalik by march or april next year? Thanks!

    • Hi Proveto! I don’t know, I think prerogative lang nila yun, I don’t know if you can request for a specific period of validity. Yung first Schengen visa ko, 1 month validity lang yata yun, 30 days stay, tapos yung second visa ko, 1 year na yung validity, 90 days stay. So feeling ko they will give you a longer period of validity for subsequent applications na, once you’ve proven na pumunta ka na doon at hindi ka naman nag-overstay. But that’s just my theory, baka rin may ibang embassies lang na mas generous sa visa.

  • Hi! would like to share our experience on vfs france manila. We lodged our application Nov 14 Monday. Received sms Nov 18 Friday that our passports were ready for pick. Nov 21 Monday went to vfs with such anxiety and anticipation, our visas were granted!!!!:)))) Booked our ticket ahead of time and it was all so worth it. My husband & I were very anxious about the processing time because he only went home for the visa application and he needs to fly back to work on Nov 25th. But the processing was very timely & smooth:))

    Thank you for all the information & insights! Will celebrate our first wedding anniversary in europe!:)))

    Good luck & Godbless everyone!

    • Yay!!!!! I’m very happy for you! Oh wow, first anniversary in Europe. Wishing you both all the best, on your trip and in life.

  • Hi, me and my husband will be applying for Schengen Visa at the French Embassy. My question is do I still need to have an Affidavit of Financial Support from my husband even if both of us will travel at the same time? Will wait for your reply. Thanks!

    • Hi Sherry! I haven’t come across a specific guideline about that in their website. I do know a friend who was traveling with her husband; they applied for a visa together, and she wasn’t asked for an affidavit of support from her husband. However, if I were in your shoes, I would probably just prepare an affidavit, just to be sure, because I think it’s better to over-prepare than to have regrets later. Anyway, it’s easy to enough to make an affidavit and have it notarized. 🙂 Good luck and enjoy your trip! 🙂

  • Hi me and my whole family including my 5 years old son and a 3 years old planning to have europe tour on Augusts summer kasi sa Paris that time,we have businesses and complete docu of our ITR and assets,pgdating b nmn sa VFS iinterviewhin pa kme with the kiddos or wejust havego submit our documents,may malaking chance kaya kame na maaprove?

    • Hi Rich. You will only have to submit your documents at VFS. Whether you will be subsequently called for an interview will be at the discretion of the French embassy — not everyone has to go through an interview. As for your chance to get a visa, I can’t really say, but if your documents are complete, particularly those pertaining to your finances and your ties to the Philippines, I don’t see any reason why they would deny your application. Good luck!

  • Hi, I am planning to attend a conference this June 2017 in France. Will I not be allowed anymore to apply for a visa this April since I will only have 2 months left?

    Also, I am a freelancer without ITR and COE, however, I will have a sponsor for my expenses. I wonder if the proof that I will have a sponsor to cover all of my expenses will be enough instead of having a COE and an ITR?

    Thanks!

    • Hi John,

      Of course you can still apply for a visa. The *earliest* you can apply for a visa is 3 months before your departure — meaning you cannot apply 4 months before, but 2 months before your trip is fine.

      Get your sponsor to make an Affidavit of Support to formalize their intention to pay for your trip. However, an ITR and COE are more than just proof of financial capability — they also help prove that you have ties to the Philippines and that you are likely to come back (and not stay there illegally). If you’re a freelancer, try to submit proof of that and show that it’s a steady source of income, using your invoices, for example, or your PayPal transaction history, or whatever way your clients pay you.

      Good luck!

  • Hi there can i ask why do they need you to report after your trip? I got approved a visa like yours with a stamp and a “kindly report after your trip” what happens if i go there? Or not? My reason is i am not based in manila.

    • Hi Shepinaywander! I think they just want to make sure that you came back to the Philippines. I’ve heard that some people were *not* instructed to report to the embassy, so I don’t know if they actually keep track, or if there are consequences if you’re told to report but you don’t. But I would recommend that you play safe na lang and just report to the embassy. (Actually, I’m not based in Manila either, so I can definitely relate.)

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