How to Get A Schengen Visa Through the French Embassy (2016)

.
SGMT France Paris Hotel de Ville

.
The French embassy in the Philippines has just recently entrusted processing of Schengen visa applications to VFS Global. Here’s what you need to know about the NEW procedure for getting a Schengen visa through the French embassy.

See if you are one of the people allowed to apply directly to the French embassy HERE.

Want to know about my personal experience applying for a Schengen visa at the French embassy? Read this article.
*

Basic steps
*

  1. Prepare your documents.
  2. Schedule an appointment with VFS.
  3. Go to the visa application center on your appointment schedule to submit your documents and have your biometrics taken.
  4. Wait for the result.
one week paris_php50000

http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/05/25/7-days-paris-budget/

When should you apply?

*
You can only submit your visa application within 90 days from your date of departure. For example, if you are leaving the Philippines on August 1, 2016, you can submit your visa application from May 3, 2016 onwards.

Things to take into account as you decide when to apply:

  • The processing time for a short stay visa is 48 hours from the time the complete application is received at the French Embassy, while the processing time for a long stay visa is 15 working days receipt at the French Embassy. If you are asked to submit additional documents, processing time may take up to 4 to 8 weeks.
    *
  • In 2015, the French embassy received almost 20,000 visa applications! (That’s actually why they decided to get the help of VFS for visa application processing.) Don’t take it for granted that there will be an appointment slot available anyday.

*

Is personal appearance necessary?

*
Yes! You will need to have your photo and fingerprints taken.

*

Will there be an interview at the French embassy?

*
According to VFS, “Applicants may be requested to appear at the Consulate for an interview.” So: there’s a good chance you won’t need to be interviewed.
_


*

What are the requirements for a Schengen Visa?

*
The following are the documents required for a short stay (less than or equal to 90 consecutive days) Schengen visa for the purpose of tourism. The documents must be in two complete sets — original and photocopy — and must be arranged in the order specified below:

  • Signed Schengen visa application form (download HERE) with photo (35mm x 45mm, white background, see detailed specs HERE)
    *
  • Valid passport, with photocopy of valid and former visas, pages of the passport with Immigration stamps and previous refusal stamps, if any. The passport must:
    • Have been issued less than 10 years before the date of application
    • Remain valid for more than 3 months from the end of intended stay in the Schengen area
    • Contain at least 2 successive blank pages facing each other
      *
  • Cover letter explaining the purpose of the trip (see sample HERE) and proposed day-to-day itinerary. Here are a few sample itineraries to get you started and inspired:
    *

  • Hotel reservations* for the entire stay in the Schengen area. 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 can recommend:
  • Round trip airline reservations (Philippines – Schengen Area – Philippines)
    *
  • Transfer tickets within Schengen countries (train, coach, flight reservations, etc) (updated 11 Oct 2016)
    *
  • If you are visiting family, proof of your relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
    *
  • Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer, or if self employed, official business registration (DTI Permit and /or SEC papers) for current and previous year
    *
  • Income tax return (latest)
    *
  • Personal bank certification (must be issued within the last month)
    *
  • Photocopy of the same bank account’s Statement of Account for the last three months
    *
  • For minors and/or students:
    • 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
      *
  • Identity/marital status
    • Marriage contract (if applicable)
    • Birth certificate
    • For non-Filipino applicants, a copy of Alien Certificate Registration (ACR)
    • For minors not travelling with either parent, a copy of the DSWD permit
      *
  • International travel insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation for the entire period of the applicant’s intended stay
    • Must be valid for all Schengen states
    • Minimum coverage should be EUR 30,000
    • Read my personal recommendation on: Travel insurance for European trips (no, I don’t get any commission from Blue Cross)
      *
  • Visa fee (see below)

*


*

*If you will be staying with a French resident, in lieu of hotel reservations you need to submit:

  • “Attestation d’accueil” delivered by the City Hall where your host is residing (the original must be presented)
  • Copy of your host’s passport or residence permit (if he/she is a citizen of a country outside the EU)
  • Proof of your relationship with your host (if applicable)

*

*For priests, nuns and missionaries, submit:

  • “Formulaire unique”
  • Certificate from the Apostolic Nunciature
  • Guarantee letter from French and Filipino congregation

*

If someone else is sponsoring your trip, see: Sample Affidavit of Support (for Visa Application).
*


_
This list of requirements has been determined to be complete and accurate as of 7 March 2016. If you are reading this at a much later date, please verify the list of requirements HERE. You can get a copy of the checklist HERE.


_
How much is the visa fee?
*

  • Schengen Short Stay Visa – 60 euros
  • Airport Transit Visa – 60 euros
  • Long Stay Visa – 90 euros

Source: French Embassy

In addition, you need to pay the VFS service fee, which is 26 euros per application.

(If you’re interested in the Airport Transit Visa, learn more about it HERE.)

*

Make an appointment at the VFS

*
Click HERE to book an appointment and view the instructions from VFS on what to do on your schedule of appointment.

Things to remember:

  • Print out your appointment confirmation letter and bring it with you on your appointment.
    *
  • Your documents must be arranged in the order specified in the CHECKLIST.
    *
  • After you pay the visa and service fees, keep your receipt — you will need this to retrieve your passport after your visa application has been processed by the French embassy.
    *
  • You can opt to have your passport delivered to you by courier (for an extra charge, of course).

*

Wait for the results

*
You can track your application HERE.

*

Good luck! 🙂

*

 


Did you find this article useful? Please share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our page (it’s free!) for useful travel tips and updates.



stgmt_logo_18
How to Get A Schengen Visa Through the French Embassy (2016)
© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. Contents verified as of 7 March 2016.

 

 


If you like Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains or found any of the articles here helpful, please consider helping us out — at absolutely no extra cost to you — by booking accommodations for your future trips at Booking.com (← use this link) or through the Search box below:



Booking.com

 


 

24 thoughts on “How to Get A Schengen Visa Through the French Embassy (2016)

  1. Hi dear, i have a little bit of a silly question,
    do i need to submit the original dti permit? and land title photocopy too is okay, right?
    also, how is it that they asked for the permit of current and previous year when the dti permit is good for 5 years? do they mean mayor’s permit or something… well, just in case you have an idea about this..
    oh, lastly, could i submit/attached to my application papers my insurance investments (first page of the contract?) (bec its 10 years on-going and it might be able to convince them i have financial capability and that i would return in one shot), what do you think?
    thank you!

    • Hi Lay! You have to bring the originals of all your documents but I believe they will return them to you and only take the photocopies. The checklist said DTI permit, not mayor’s permit, but I guess it won’t hurt if you bring the mayor’s permit too, and if the DTI permit covers both the current and previous year then that should be fine. I think it’s a good idea to bring your insurance investment papers as well (originals and photocopies) and other types of investments (like mutual funds and UITFs). Good luck!

      • I find its so kind of you to always reply and give a good personalized answer to each of us. So, thank you and thank you! I wish you well,
        xx

      • You’re welcome, and thank *you* for taking the time to leave this comment. Not everyone does. All the best to you. xx

  2. Hello there! About the round-trip airline reservations, does it have to be paid already? I’m a little bit hesitant to have a fully paid roundtrip ticket without having the approval yet.

    • Hi Peach! I think you only need reservations, not an actual fully paid ticket. It’s not elaborated in the current checklist of requirements, but the previous list of requirements from the French embassy (see HERE) specifically said “do not purchase your ticket unless your visa is granted.” (In my case, the airline was holding a sale so I took a chance and just bought the ticket even if I didn’t have a visa yet. You can imagine how scared I was when I applied for a visa!)

  3. hi, its me again. i came from the older version of this post and I see airline tickets are now required? I’d like to ask, is it favorable to book tickets even before the visa was granted or not? Thanks xx

    • you can apply under FRANCE embassy if you’re travelling to Greece, Monacco and austria. You can check it under France Embassy checklist 🙂 its the same requirements as per French Visa

      • Thanks for your input, Ricardo! To clarify — you can apply at the French embassy if you’re going to any of the Schengen countries (including Greece and Austria) BUT your itinerary has to include France, and France should be your main country of destination. If you are only going to Greece/Monaco/Austria but your primary destination is not France, you cannot apply at the French embassy. Also, Schengen countries generally have similar requirements but may have slight differences; for example, some embassies require a cover letter and some do not. So it would be wise to check the specific requirements of the embassy where you are applying.

  4. Hi. I would like to ask for the word format copy of affidavit of support to be used for visa application 🙂

    Thanks! 🙂

    PS Your blog is really helpful 🙂

    • Hi Val! I just sent a copy to your email. Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m really very happy when my blog is able to help someone. Good luck with your trip! 🙂

    • Hi Ren! I’m not sure if everyone has to make a personal appearance after the trip, but I did, and a reader who went to France this year also had to report back to the embassy.

  5. Hi! Your blog is really worth-reading. 🙂 By the way, I’m Lady Barlongo. I just recently applied for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy and unfortunately, I was refused for the 2nd time around 🙁 year 2013 was the 1st. And I am going to re-apply again. I need to provide more supporting documents. Bc the reason why I was refused are as follows: the intention to leave the country before the visa expires cannot be ascertained and the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable.

    Do you have any tips or suggestions on how To make my application stronger? And about the affidavit of support is it coming from the one who will sponsor my trip and will be notarized on that country? I didn’t understand how it works. Im sorry. I wanted to know, though. I really really like to go to Paris.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Lady Joevil!

      First of all, I’m very sorry for my super-delayed reply. And I’m sorry about your visa application being denied, na-try ko din yan nung nag-apply ako sa US before, nakakainis.

      For your visa application, you really have to prove (as much as you can) that you are only going there as a tourist and that you plan to come back to the Philippines. Documents that would possibly help: plane tickets that you already paid for; paid tickets to the attractions that you will be visiting (for example, you can buy tickets to the Louvre online); a detailed daily itinerary that includes — if you are going to different cities — the trains you will be taking; a detailed budget. To help prove that you are coming back to the Philippines, you should also show proof that you have a stable income here, so that includes a certificate of employment and approved leave of absence, proof of healthy finances (bank account statement and certification, investments, etc.), properties here in the Philippines, and if applicable, marriage certificate and child’s birth certificate.

      The affidavit of support should be executed by the person (if it’s not you) who is paying for your trip and, yes, it should be notarized in the country where that person is located, because the notary public will have to witness him/her signing the affidavit.

      Don’t be discouraged. I have friends whose applications have been denied and eventually got a visa. You might also want to consider trying other Schengen countries and just dropping by Paris once you have the visa.

      Good luck!

  6. Hello,thank you for your blog! I am planning to apply for shengen visa for france,I was wondering do you have any idea how much money should I have on my account in order for them to grant me a visa?my friend has 200k on his account and has all the needed documents but he was denied. Thank you so much!

    Paulo

    • Hi Pau!

      Some Schengen countries set a minimum amount that you should have in your bank account to pay for your living expenses during the trip — depending on the country, that amount could be somewhere around 34 euros or 45 euros per day of your trip. BUT that’s only for your living expenses. Of course your bank account should have more than that, otherwise they will wonder why you’re spending all your money on travel. And that’s where it gets tricky, because as far as I know, no embassy has actually stated the total amount of money you should have in your bank account.

      I actually just recently found the bank cert that I submitted back in 2011, when I first applied for a Schengen visa at the French embassy, and I had 47k pesos and 629 usd in my bank account. I was paying for that trip myself, but I still asked my father to make an affidavit of support stating that he would give me cash equivalent to 60 euros per day of the trip. I think that’s what convinced the French embassy people to give me a visa.

      Also: I think your itinerary will matter. If you’re a budget traveler, and you’re staying in hostels, and doing free tours and stuff like that, then I think a lower bank balance will be acceptable. But if you’re staying in big-name hotels and planning on shopping and going to expensive attractions, then they will expect you to have more money in your account.

      What I do nowadays is this: whenever I apply for a visa, I make (and submit) a budget for my trip that is as detailed as possible, and I make sure that my total budget is less than half of the amount I have in my bank account. I think that’s what’s most important: that you can show the consulate that you are a responsible person, that you have enough money for all the things you plan to do on your trip, and that you have enough income here in the Philippines and you’re not desperate enough to stay in their country illegally.

      I hope that helps. Good luck!

Share your thoughts!