Schengen Visa for Philippine Passport Holder
For Philippine passport owners planning to travel around Europe we need to obtain a visa. But first you have to determine which country are you visiting, because Europe is a large continent. Or you can click this link for more information. Check whether it is under the 24 Schengen European countries, as Schengen visa will be needed. Take note that a different visa is required to visit UK.
Since Schengen visa covers a lot of territory, you need to determine to which Embassy you will submit your documents. If you plan to visit only one country and no plans going around the neighboring countries obtain the visa at the embassy of that country, for example Athens, you have to go to Greece Embassy. For multiple destinations you need to apply for Schengen visa from the country you are spending MOST of your time. And if the duration of stay to each country is the same, apply at the embassy/ consulate of the country of your arrival inside European territory.
For Philippine passport holders currently residing in Japan, it is possible to score a Schengen visa even if you are applying outside of the Philippines. I will use my experience when i applied for a travel visa to Athens – Santorini via Greece Embassy.
Since the embassy do not allow walk-in applicants, make sure to call the embassy about your intention to visit a Schengen territory. Make an appointment for the submission of requirements. During the phone call, the embassy personnel will inform you if other documents are needed depending on your status and passport. And I strongly suggest, call the embassy for an appointment not less than 6-8 weeks prior to your itinerary as embassies tend to have full schedule. No hassle because embassy staff speaks English.
Approved or not the embassy will send an email about the result. For the applicants near the embassy or within Tokyo, after receiving an email from the embassy regarding your application, you can pick-up your passport at the embassy. Or you can bring A4 size envelope (one with JP post sign sold at convenience stores/ post office) during the appointment and they will just mail your passport to your address.
Prepare the necessary requirements.
(as per Greece embassy website)
- Philippine Passport
- 1 passport photo taken not past 3 months (within the last 3 months)
- Residence card
- Certificate of Employment
- Bank Statement Certificate (Or, photocopy of your bank book / s, make sure it is updated as indicated on the transaction dates)
- Travel Insurance
- Detailed Itinerary ( Sample Itinerary Athens- Santorini)
- Flight Reservation (two-way) with confirmation code
- Hotel Reservation with confirmation code
- Application Form
- A4 envelop (available in most of the convenience stores and Japan Post Office) *disregard if you plan to pick-up you passport at the embassy after the result.
- 7440 Yen (This was the total amount I paid during my application. It may change without prior notice)
⇒For visiting a family/ relative or friend, other requirements are needed.
⇒If you are traveling with a Japanese citizen spouse or relative you can have them sponsor you. Aside from the requirements listed above add the following documents.
- Photocopy of the Passport of your spouse
- Spouse’s certificate of employment
- Juminhyou (Residence certificate which can be claimed at the Shiyakusho or City Office)
- Proof of your marriage [one copy it can be either certificate of marriage or the report of marriage you received from the Philippine embassy
- Spouse bank statement or updated bank book photocopy of the last 3 months transactions will do.
- Spouse’s flight reservation tickets as proof. But they don’t require it.
After completion of the requirements, make sure to schedule a visa application appointment via email or phone. I suggest calling the embassy to make sure you got the appointment right. And call the embassy a month or two prior to your scheduled travel.
My fault was making the phone call to the embassy after I completed all the necessary papers for the application, which was a month before the scheduled travel. Unfortunately, visa application slots were full and was advised that the only available days for visa application would be two weeks prior to my travel. But still I was approved in a span of few days.
During the Application
› Arrive few minutes before the scheduled time because they tend to entertain the next applicant if the scheduled person is not yet present (the embassy’s door is locked, you need to press the doorbell, inform them your appointment and someone will open the door remotely)
› There are Filipino staff at the embassy who were kind and approachable. The Japanese staff reviews the documents and asks simple questions pertaining the documents and itinerary. The bank statement, flight details, duration of stay and hotel reservations are well scrutinized.
› After the assessment of the documents, there will be finger printing and a photo for the visa will be taken inside the office of the consul (this does not entail assurance of the visa approval). We really had hard time taking my finger prints, they even helped me from wiping my fingers with wet tissue, applying moisturizer and making me relax for few minutes. (But I wasn’t even nervous)
After all the effort in taking my finger print, another consul came in and told me “Have fun on your travel to Greece. Make sure to try visit winery and eat olives.. and that”. And so I thought, it was a favorable goodbye.