How to get a Schengen visa for Poland in 4 simple steps

The World Youth Day will be held in Krakow, Poland this year. In response to a reader inquiry, I’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide for getting a Schengen visa to visit Poland.

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In the Philippines, Schengen visa applications for Poland are handled by the embassy of the Netherlands.* Thus, many of the steps and requirements are similar to the ones for getting a Schengen visa at the Dutch embassy.

* There is no Polish embassy in the Philippines. Rather, the Polish embassy in Kuala Lumpur represents Polish interests in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and the Philippines. In the Philippines, there are honorary Polish consulates in Manila, Cebu, and General Santos City, but they do not process visa applications.

You can lodge your visa application no earlier than three months before the start of your intended visit. For example, if you are scheduled to depart for Poland on July 25, you can submit your Schengen visa application from April 25 onwards.

Here are the 4 basic steps to getting a Schengen visa for Poland:

  1. Pay the necessary fees at any Unionbank branch.
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  2. One day after payment, book an appointment with the Embassy through VFS.
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  3. Go to the embassy on your scheduled appointment and submit your requirements.
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  4. Wait for the results.
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Visa Fees

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As of 01 January 2016, the visa fee for adults is PHP 3090, to be paid in cash at the submission window inside the Visa Application Centre/Embassy.

In addition, you also need to pay the VFS Global Logistics Fee (PHP 630) and the bank charge (PHP 100) — a total of PHP 730 to be pre-paid at any Unionbank branch.

For payment at Unionbank, use the bank payment form for Poland and Latvia.

Verify current visa fees HERE (click on the Visa Fees tab).

Schedule an Appointment

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You may book an appointment after you have paid the VFS and bank fees.

Steps:

  1. Visit any branch of Unionbank, present a copy of your passport, and pay the fees. Inform the bank officer that you are paying your fees for the Netherlands Embassy under the VFS Global holding account. Keep a copy of the receipt (you will need to submit it later).
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  2. Wait for one (1) business day after payment.
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  3. Book an appointment. You have three options:
    • Call VFS at +63 2 789 4903.
    • Email info.nlph@vfshelpline.com with your complete name, passport number, contact numbers, and preferred date and time of appointment. Indicate whether the request is for long stay (MVV) visa, Caribbean visa, tourist visa, family/friends, business, or for an appointment for legalization of documents.
    • Book appointment online HERE. When scheduling an appointment online, enter your bank receipt number and passport number without spaces in the receipt/sequence number tab. For example, if your Unionbank reference number is UB123456, and your passport number is XX123456, the receipt number you should enter in the Receipt Number tab is UB123456XX123456.

Note: For tourists, although the scheduling of appointments is facilitated by the VFS, the actual appointment will be at the:

Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands
26/F BDO Equitable Bank Tower
8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

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At the Embassy

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Go to the Embassy on your appointed date and time and submit your requirements. Your biometrics will also be taken while you are there.

You can download the documents checklist HERE.

Requirements:

  1. Schengen visa application form — filled out and signed (download HERE)
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  2. One passport-sized photo — recently taken, not used in previous visas (see photo specs HERE)
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  3. Current passport with at least 2 blank pages and at least 3 months validity upon return
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  4. Previous passports
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  5. Roundtrip airline reservation with Passenger Registration Number (or reservation number) and travel itinerary
    • Airline itinerary should cover entry and exit to/from The Netherlands and all Schengen countries of destination
    • Reservation should prove that stay in the Schengen area will not exceed 90 days
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  6. Travel medical insurance coverage (€30.000) — must cover the entire period of intended stay and be valid for all Schengen States (for more info, read: Travel insurance for European trips)
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  7. Accommodation — hotel confirmation or hotel voucher in all Schengen states of destination. The following are the best accommodations in Krakow based on TripAdvisor ratings (as of 26 February 2016):
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  • Hotels
  • B&B and Inns
  • Hostels, Apartments, and Other Specialty Lodging
  • If joining a cruise, reservation certificate and copy of ship’s itinerary
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  • Any other land or tour arrangements and tour itinerary
    • If you are joining the World Youth Day, secure a copy of all the activities/events you will be joining.
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  • Proof of financial means of the applicant — one or more of the following documents may be submitted:
    • Bank certification, bank books
    • Recent personal bank statement or balance over the last three months
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  • Proof of occupation
    • If employed:
      • Certificate of employment
      • Certificate of leave of absence
    • If self-employed:
      • DTI/SEC registration of business
      • Mayor’s permit
    • If student:
      • Proof of enrolment
      • Certificate of leave of absence if traveling during the school year
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  • If minor:
    • Notarized affidavit of support and consent of parents [especially of the parent(s) not traveling with the minor] or legal guardian
    • Photocopy of passport of parents or legal guardian
    • Proof of economic means (bank statement) of parents or legal guardian
    • Birth certificate of the minor
    • DSWD clearance (if travelling without both parents)
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  • If travelling with spouse and/or children:
    • Marriage contract
    • Birth certificates of children
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  • For spouse of EU nationals travelling with or meeting the EU citizen:
    • Proof of marriage: marriage contract, marriage certificate
    • Photocopy of the EU national’s passport
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  • For non-Filipino applicants who have valid residence status in the Philippines:
    • Copy of Alien Certificate Registration (ACR)
    • Re-entry permit
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  • Photocopies of all originals including passport bio data page

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Although the following documents are not included in the VFS checklist, to be prudent, please also prepare:

  • Consent form (download HERE)
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  • Documents mentioned in the Annexes to the Commission Implementing Decision establishing the lists of supporting documents to be presented by visa applicants in the Philippines
    • Proof of will to return
      • Copy of employment contract or social security contributions (if relevant)
      • Copy of real estate property – title-deed (if relevant)
      • Proof of family ties in the Philippines (e.g. marriage certificate)
    • If participating in a commercial fair, congress, or cultural/sports event (such as the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland)
      • Letter of invitation from the organizer
    • If visiting family or friends — proof of sponsorship
      • Letter of guarantee, invitation letter or hotel reservation
      • Proof of relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate)
      • A photocopy of the bio data page of the passport and/or travel history of the sponsor in case of non-formalised relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend)

Note:

  • Enclose all of the above documents in 1 long brown envelope. Do not write anything on the envelope.
  • With the exception of some documents, the embassy will return the originals and keep only the copies.
  • Other documents may be required by the Embassy on a case-to-case basis.

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Await Results

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The processing time for a Schengen visa is 15 calendar days.

If you availed of the optional SMS service, you will receive an automated confirmation feedback message in your mobile phone and email at various stages of the visa application life cycle.

You may also track your application by sending an email to info.nlph@vfshelpline.com with the following details:

  • Complete name (as written in your passport)
  • Appointment reference number
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth
  • Date of submission

Good luck!

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How to get a Schengen visa for Poland in 4 simple steps
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