My wife and I just received our Schengen Visas today, and to help other Filipinos who would also like to visit the Schengen Area, let me share our experience getting it. We were planning to visit Austria and Germany in May so we figured two months before our planned trip would be a good time to apply for the visa.
Since we were planning to enter the Schengen Area via Austria, and are potentially spending equal amounts of time in both countries, we decided to apply at the Austrian embassy. The Austrian Foreign Ministry Website was very detailed with the requirements so it was a good starting point in our preparation.
For reference, these were what I brought with me to the Austrian embassy.
- Duly completed Schengen application form
- Passport (actual, and photocopy of page with personal details and all visas contained)
- Japanese Residence Card (actual, and photocopy)
- 1 passport-size photo (35 mm x 45 mm)
- Bank account (actual, and photocopy or cover, and activities for last 6 months)
- Print-out of hotel reservations
- Print-out of health insurance (we got one from AXA Schengen)
- Print-out of proof of employment with details about the start of employment, position and income
- Print-out of flight reservations
- Print-out of itinerary with details about destinations, and hotel reservations
- Prepaid self addressed envelope, (Letter pack from the Japan Post Office)
- € 60 in equivalent yen (7,680 yen)
Note that this is a summarized list and may only be applicable to my case when I applied in March 2016. Make sure to refer to the embassy website for more details, and other requirements, that may be applicable to your particular case.
Before visiting, I called the Austrian Embassy to confirm if I needed to make reservations before visiting, and what time they accept applications. Looks like I can just visit them during normal weekdays, anytime from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. For people closer to Nagoya or Osaka, looks like they also accept applications via VFS. As I was currently based in Tokyo, I just applied at the embassy.
We arrived there at 9:30, and there were two people who came in before us. There was only one person manning the window, and looks like she is the one doing everything — from receiving the applications, to verifying the documents, to approving the applications. She would call the applicants once in a while to ask for additional documents, or to get fingerprints.
Luckily, not many people are applying for visa here in Tokyo because Japanese people, and most foreigners, do not need visa to visit Europe. I believe the ones who were there before us were university students one from Russia, and another from China — most likely applying for visa for a conference in Vienna.
It was a small room so we can hear all the conversations, not to mention the lady behind the window was speaking through a microphone, so others could know some details from your trip. 🙂
At around 11:00, she called us to inform us our documents looked fine, and they would mail us our passports with the visa on it. We got the visa one week later, and that’s it!