Filipinos Applying For Schengen Visa from Japan

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.

Schengen Area Map
Schengen Area Map
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. πŸ™‚

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!

How about you? How was your experience applying for Schengen visa? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne says:

    Hi,
    I am also here in Japan and planning to take a vacation in Germany (first European trip). Just want to know where did you reserve your airline tickets for visa application? I have no ideas where since I always book my tickets on airline’s official website. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Anne, I booked mine from Expedia. I just printed the booking from Expedia and used that when applying for Visa. Hope this helps. Enjoy your first European trip!

      Like

      1. Anne says:

        Thanks Enrico!
        By the way, when you booked your ticket at Expedia, have you already paid for your tickets? I read some pinoy forums that they reserve their tickets first (approx 2 weeks reservation) then they book upon visa approval. I am not sure if I have to take the risk since the tickets are pricey. Do you think it is easier to apply schengen visa here in Japan?

        Like

      2. May be good advice to reserve first then book upon visa approval. I took the risk luckily visa got approved. As for applying for visa, I would say much better to apply here in Japan. Less lines as the local Japanese never have to apply for visa to those countries, unless for studying or working in Europe. Enjoy your trip!

        Like

  2. Anne says:

    Thanks again! Maybe I’ll try to do that. But if I can’t find any travel agencies to reserve at least 2 weeks of air ticket, option is to take the risk. you’re article helped a lot since I could hardly find someone here in Japan shared the experience of getting a schengen visa.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ava Yamaoka says:

    Hi! I plan to travel to Europe,too and hope to get my Schengen visa from here in Japan.
    May I know if you have the Japanese documents like kouseki tohon, residence certificate, bank accounts etc issued in Japanese translated and certified?
    Or did you bring them as is in the Austrian embassy?
    Thanks.

    Like

    1. At least for my case when I applied at the Austrian embassy last year, I didn’t need to have the documents translated and certified. Might be a good idea to call them and confirm just to be sure. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Ava says:

    Thanks a lot

    Like

  5. Audrey says:

    Hello! I’m also a resident here in Japan and am planning to have a trip to Austria in mid June. Do you think it would be too late to apply for a visa around the second week of May? I’m just worried that it might take too long to process. And regarding the bank statement, how did you request for it at the bank? How do you call it? Is it torihiki meisaisho? Thank you so much!

    Like

    1. Hi Audrey, I think one month is enough but just to have buffer for any issues, applying earlier is always a good idea. For the bank account, if you have the bank book, I think that should be fine. I didn’t so had to get the documents from the bank. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

      Like

  6. Audrey says:

    Thank you Enrico! I can’t apply earlier than a month. My schedule is too tight so I’m crossing my fingers hoping that there won’t be any delays on my visa processing. Thanks again πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Hope it goes smoothly! Enjoy your trip!

      Like

  7. Rae says:

    Hi! Did you and your wife apply for separate visas and therefore had to prepare separate documents like bank statements? Or can you apply as a family and have shared documents?

    Like

    1. In our case since my wife also works, we thought it would be simpler to prepare separate sets of application. We applied together but we both have complete sets of the required documents. Not sure how it works if you apply as a family set. Hope this helps.

      Like

  8. Hi! Just a question. how did you fulfill the bank account/ bank statement requirement? Did you bring your passbook to the embassy? Do banks in Japan issue bank statements?

    thanks

    Like

    1. Banks in Japan do issue bank statements. I think I brought both just to be sure. πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. dessa says:

    Hi, my husband and I are both working here in japan.. We worked here for 2 years from 2014 to march 26 then we worked in bangkok and went back here πŸ™‚ again πŸ™‚ We have applied US visa in thailand and was denied. they suggested to apply in our home country. Now I wanna take the risk again to apply for schengen visa. My husband’s sister is now working in germany and so we plan to visit her but we just want to apply the visa without declaring a family member but just as tourist. However, I am worried since we just arrived only for a month now and my husband has 1 year residence visa only then the chance would be low? May I know how many years you have in your visa when you applied?

    Like

    1. Hi Dessa. I think as long as you can prove you intend to return to Japan, and that you have all the required documents, you should be fine. Try your luck again maybe you’ll be luckier this time. Besides, I think EU is not as strict as the US. Good luck to you and your husband!

      Like

  10. Mae says:

    Hi, how long does it take to get a travel insurance from AXA? Thanks.

    Like

    1. The way I remember it, it was pretty quick, and it’s all online.

      Like

  11. Jasna says:

    Hi Mr. Pangan, read your page and it was really encouraging. The thing is I’m new here in Japan (2months) but I plan to visit Europe because I have a two weeks vacation this coming August. My bank account is not really big but probably enough to cover my 5 days trip. Is there an amount you could probably advise for a show money? I wasn’t able to apply in our country because of the strict requirements for Filipinos. Would you recommend to apply to the same embassy (Austria) though I really plan to visit Germany? Or is there any embassy for Schengen member states that can easily approve visas? I would appreciate your advise. Thank you very much.

    Like

    1. I think the rule is apply at the Embassy of the country where you are entering or the country where you are spending most of your time. So if you plan to visit Germany, you may need to apply at the German embassy.

      Like

  12. Pauline says:

    Hello,
    Is it possible to not have an airline ticket reservation? because it’s risky, what if the visa gets denied and I wouldn’t be able to refund it?

    Like

    1. I thought about that before when we applied but it was clearly stated in the requirements. When you buy the ticket, make sure it’s refundable.

      Like

      1. Pauline says:

        Do they email you when you need to get your passport? Or do you have to call them? they told me to call them to know if I can get it the next day or not. So I’m not sure, I hope I get approved

        Like

      2. In my case, they just mailed us the passport so no need to call them and. I need to go back to the embassy to get it. If the instructions you got were to call them, then maybe that’s what you need to do. Hope you get it!

        Like

    2. Pauline says:

      Thank you so much for your advice and also for replying fast πŸ™‚ I got my visa.

      Like

      1. Congratulations, Pauline! Enjoy your trip!

        Like

      2. Jasna says:

        Hi Ms. Pauline,

        I was following your visa application and congratulations by the way😊 Could you kindly advise me what should I do to have better chances of approval? I’m just new in Japan and I’m planning to vist my fiance in Germany on December. Thanks in advance.

        Like

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