For Filipinos who intend to travel to Europe will be required to apply for a Schengen Visa. Europe and Schengen visa may sound intimidating but guess what, I made it and a lot of people made it to Germany and other European countries included in Schengen. What I will tell you today will help you acquire a Schengen Visa.
Processing Tourist Visa In Germany
Processing a tourist visa in Germany can be very intimidating for people especially in the low or middle class family but the fact is it’s not really hard as long as you have the complete requirements in your hands before you set the appointment at the German Embassy in Manila.
Now the question is, what are the requirements? Are these simple requirements? Yes! These are simple requirements. Basically if you have a job, a business (doesn’t have to be big as long as you’re paying your taxes) or studying and you know someone in Germany then it will be a lot easier for you. There are different types of Schengen Tourist Visa all you have to do is choose what you think is applicable for you. As for me, I chose visiting a relative/friend since I have my sister in Germany so it’s easier for me.
What I will talk about are few helpful tips you have to know before your appointment. So, my sister requested at their local government office a formal obligation or they call it “Ausländerbehörde” from their area of residence. Through this, I didn’t have to put a large amount of money in my bank account to prove that I can finance my stay in Germany because that paper means that they take full responsibility on your 90 days in Germany. If you have read the requirements already it asked you to bring your flight itinerary. My first mistake on my first trip was, we bought the ticket in advance not knowing if I will be approved or not. Buying the ticket is a no no, what you can do instead is go to travel agencies and ask if they can book a reservation ticket for you or go online and do it yourself. Discuss with them your date preference as you will use that in your interview and will serve as basis on your visa, date of arrival and departure. Then, I requested for my approved leave of absence signed by our Chairman of Human Resource or anyone who is authorized in your company.
In some cases, there are applicants that don’t actually have a job. I would suggest to plan your vacation ahead and start looking for a job, the embassy do not require you to have the best job in town even if you’re a waitress or works in a fast food company as long as you’re paying for taxes then you should be okay or you can plan ahead of starting your own small business like Ready To Wear clothes or mini groceries or anything like that so you can prove that you’re returning to the country. Even if in your heart, you know you are going back to the Philippines but we are also aware that there are these other people who never came back.
For all the traveling I did, I made sure that I use AXA Schengen Insurance. It’s just basically located everywhere in Europe. Easy to access and easy to pay online by using either your debit or credit card. Price is affordable too and no hassle if you want a quick purchase. Make sure that you get a 30,000 euro coverage for your 90days stay. AXA Schengen Insurance will help you compute that in their website so don’t worry about it.
Once all required documents are in your hands then you are ready to go for the interview. Be there at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment and make sure you wear a business casual attire. It always give a good impression about you. Put a little bit of make up, not too much but a light or day make up to make you look presentable. It always make a difference. Anyway, the interview will only last for about 5 minutes. Be precise with your answers, listen carefully, stay calm, be friendly but don’t over talk as it might cause your rejection.
When I entered the embassy, I was asked to leave my gadgets to the security, no cameras and no cellphones allowed. Make sure that you have the 60 euro visa fee but converted in peso. Bring the exact amount so check the euro to peso exchange rate from time to time. You might feel nervous but you don’t have to. Just get your number and wait for it to get called. Be friendly even to the security guards as they can help you when you have questions.
I imagined my interview to be like going on interviewers office or cubicle, be able to sit down and talk but hey its going to be a quick interview. When my number got called, I stood up in the window and my interview began. I was asked few questions like how long I plan to stay in Germany, who am I visiting, what’s my relationship with my sponsor, where do I plan to go when I get there, what’s my flight itinerary and how many siblings I have. The questions were very general and easy to answer. I finished my interview in about 5 minutes. I was told to wait for up to 2 weeks as they will mail my passport back. The visa stamp should look like this:
In my experience and as what I have seen before, once they take your passport after the interview it would be 90% passed otherwise they will give your documents and your passport back and inform you to complete the said requirements then comeback after. I received my approved visa after 7 business days via mail.