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 *
Prepare your documents.
Schedule an appointment with VFS.
Go to the visa application center on your appointment schedule to submit your documents and have your biometrics taken.
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.
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.
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:
Pay the necessary fees at any Unionbank branch. *
One day after payment, book an appointment with the Embassy through VFS. *
Go to the embassy on your scheduled appointment and submit your requirements. *