You are on page 1of 7

EUROPE SERIES: How to Apply for Schengen Tourist Visa in Austrian

Embassy for Filipino Passport Holders?


SCHENGEN TOURIST
APPLICATION

VISA

FOR

FILIPINOS:

THE

PREPARATION

AND

It was the last day of June in the current year when I first applied for a
Schengen visa. Unlike my previous travels where agencies and
organizations processed my application and the entire preparation for my
trip, it took personal effort and appearance in applying for my Schengen
visa. When people learned that I managed to get my visa approved in just
two days, I began to receive inquiries on how I did it. Hence, this post. For
reference to my fellow Filipino visa applicants, here is my post on how to
apply for Schengen tourist visa in Austrian Embassy and how you may
also get it in two days.
Who wants to go to Europe? Raise your hands!
Have you ever dreamed of flying to Europe, breathing the European air
while you casually eat Sacher torte in a traditional coffee house
somewhere in Vienna with Mozart music playing in the background? Have
you ever fancied yourself walking along the Tuileries then later climbing
up the Arc du Triomphe to have the best view of Paris and Tour Eiffel at
night? If yes, I am sure you have more vivid pictures in your head where
you want to go once you landed to Europe. But first thing first. If you are a
Filipino regular passport holder, you have to apply for a Schengen tourist
visa to be able to enter European Union region.
WHAT IS A SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA?
In a nutshell, it is a 90-day tourist visa valid to 26 countries in the
Schengen zone. Countries included are Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. This visa provides free
and borderless travel within the Schengen region.
WHEN TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN VISA?
You can already apply for a Schengen visa as early as three months before
your desired departure date. If you are already certain of going, I highly
recommend that you start processing your application as early as you can.
Most, if not all, Schengen embassies require an appointment for visa
application and interview, and believe me when I say that the schedule
really gets filled very fast. Better secure an appointment as early as you
can so you will not feel rushed. Furthermore, once you get your approved

visa, you can book cheaper flight tickets because there is still ample time
prior your departure.

WHERE TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN VISA?


You can apply to any of the 26 embassies of the countries in the Schengen
region. If you are visiting several Schengen countries, you must apply only
to the country you will spend most of your time in. In some cases, I have
read others applied to the country they entered first.
Is there a higher chance of getting your visa approved if you apply to
certain embassies? I cannot really tell from my experience since I have
only applied to one as of now. However, I believe that when a Filipino
applicant fully prepared all the necessary and supporting documents for
his/her Schengen visa application and have answered clearly and
truthfully the interview questions, then the chance of receiving a passport
with a visa stamp will be high.
SO WHAT THEN ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA
APPLICATION?
Even though some countries have unique additional requirements, most
embassies require the following for a Schengen visa application:
I. PRIOR SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION
A completely filled out application form. You can download it from any
Schengen embassy website or you can also find it here ___.
One passport-size, full-face photo with a light background must be
attached to the form. Photo must be taken within three months of
application.
Original passport valid for at least six months with at least two blank
pages. Copies of previous visas can also be attached.
II. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION
Proof of travel: copy of roundtrip airline reservation with passenger
registration number and itinerary
Proof of financial means: bank certificates, bank books, bank statements,
credit card statements
Proof of occupation and will to return: copy of employment contract, ITR,
DTI registration of business, copy of real estate property titles

Proof of family ties (if traveling with spouse/children: marriage contract


and birth certificate from NSO)
Proof of accommodation: hotel accommodation, detailed day-to-day
itinerary of the planned trip, invitation letter (if any)
Proof of sponsorship (if any): proof of relationship with the sponsor, letter
of guarantee, invitation letter, copy of the bio page of the sponsors
passport
Travel medical insurance policy covering up to 30, 000 Euros, the sum
depending on the number of days you are staying in the Schengen region
+ 15 days
Schengen visa fee of 60 EUR for short-term (90 days) visa
For students (since I still belong to this category): proof of enrolment,
certificate of leave of absence, copy of academic calendar, proof of
economic means of parents or guardians, proof of occupation (if any)
Too many requirements, right? Feel like giving up? Dont!. Just imagine
yourself being here.
PHOTO

HOW TO APPLY FOR SCHENGEN VISA AT THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY


Since the purpose of my travel is to attend a short summer course in
Vienna, it follows that I would be spending most of my trip in Austria.
Therefore, I applied for my Schengen tourist visa to the Austrian embassy
in Makati:
Austrian embassy Makati address
Photo of me studying with classmates
Looking fancy, huh?
I may seem to be having fun in my studies in Europe, but getting there
was no easy cake. I spent an entire week busy, stressed, and blaming
myself for procrastinating too much. You will soon find out why.
TIPS IN APPLYING SCHENGEN VISA AT AUSTRIAN EMBASSY MANILA
Make a reservation in the embassy ahead of time. Slots can easily get
filled up, so the earlier you apply, the better.

Apply for your visa application


Bring exact amount of pesos for visa fee. In many Schengen countries,
they require exact and full payment in peso equivalent to 60 euros. They
do not give change. Imagine my surprise when the Austrian embassy do
give change! They are really cool.
Arrange your documents in order. When you arrived in the embassy floor,
another guard will approach you and give a slip of paper with the correct
sequence for your documents. Be sure to follow them accordingly.
THE PROCESS
Once you have finished arranging your documents in order, wait for your
name to be called. You will be summoned to a window and an Austrian
consul will receive your application. She will ask basic stuff regarding your
trip and be sure your answers are consistent to what you have written in
your application.
You will pay the 60 euros visa fee ten she will ask you to place your fingers
so she can get your prints digitally. After that she will ask you to go back
to your seat and wait for your name to be called for an interview.
The second part of the Schengen Tourist Visa Application Series will soon
be posted on this blog. Please go back to gongjumonica.com and read the
interview session and timeline of my entire application. Or better,
subscribe via email and get blog updates straight to your inbox.

SECOND POST
INTERVIEW AT THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY
TIMELINE OF MY SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA APPLICATION
18-23 June Prepared most of the required documents for visa
application. Kept on sending follow-up emails to my Austrian school for the
remaining papers needed.
24 June, Wednesday night I finally received all the required documents
for my summer course, especially the visa invitation letter and letter of
acceptance from the school. I immediately went to the Austrian embassy
website to secure an appointment, but to my dismay the next available
date was July 7! From here, I started sending emails to the Austrian
embassy seeking for a request to expedite my visa appointment schedule
and application process.

25 June, Thursday morning I called the embassy first thing in the


morning, but received a noncommittal answer. I sent another email
addressed to the consul and also asked for assistance from the school to
contact the embassy of my behalf. By this time I was already feeling
down. The embassy is closed every Friday and if I wont hear any positive
news from them, I thought I would be doomed. The day ended without any
response from them.
29 June, Monday morning I received an email from the consul inviting me
to go to the embassy the next day for my visa application. She invited me
for an appointment at 0830. I couldnt contain my happiness!
30 June, Tuesday morning I was more than an hour late from my
appointment, but the embassy wasnt very strict with time. Maybe it is
because there were only a few applicants on that day. Anyway, I
approached the security personnel and he gave me a piece of paper to
write my name, purpose of visit, and appointment schedule. He also asked
me to arrange my documents following the embassys preferred order.
Soon, my name was called. I smiled and greeted the friendly consul
behind counter 1. I gave her all my documents and she quickly scanned
through them while asking me basic questions like my purpose of travel,
length of stay, accommodation, itinerary, etc. It is highly important that
visa applicants perfectly know these as confused or uncertain answers
might rise doubt and suspicion regarding the real purpose of visit in
Europe. You dont want to be mistaken as someone planning to stay illegal
there!
Next, she asked for my bio/fingerprints. Everything went smoothly here.
Then I paid for the consular fee. This is something I found different from
all the posts I have read about Schengen visa application. Unlike other
embassies in Manila who dont give a change and strictly require
applicants to bring exact amount, Austrian embassy gives change.
01 July, Wednesday afternoon I received an email from the consul
informing me that I could get my passport with approved visa on Thursday
afternoon from 1300 to 1430. I really prayed that I would get
02 July, Thursday afternoon I cannot make any other excuse aside from
the horrible urban traffic that day, but I was late again. Arriving few
minutes before the embassy closed, I went to the first counter and
greeted the consul. She recognized me and immediately looked for my
passport in her desk. She presented it to me and explained what the visa
entailed. In less than five minutes, I was back in the car with a Schengen
visa stamped on my passport. Hooray!
03 July, Friday Bought flight tickets
05 July, Sunday midnight (GMT +8) Flight to Austria

05 July, Sunday afternoon (GMT -1) Arrived in Austria. Hello, Europe!


06 July, Monday morning Started my summer course. Hello, jetlag!
So to summarize, I managed to get a Schengen visa approved in just two
days. I am so grateful to the Austrian embassy for understanding my
predicament and making a special case for me. Imagine not having any
appointment scheduled, but was still able to get a visa shorter than the
regular working turnaround. I am so lucky! However, I also believed that it
is also because I have prepared all the required documents and all the
possible supporting documents I could think that they might need. I ended
up with very thick application papers, but I dont care. Better to have
more documents to support me than having insufficient information which
would therefore require more days to settle.
THE INTERVIEW
Unlike other embassies where they schedule the interview on a separate
day, the Austrian Embassy Manila holds in on the same day. After you pass
you application and documents, got your biometrics, and pay the required
visa fee, you will be asked to sit and wait for your name to be called for
the interview.
THE PROCESS
Unlike the submission of documents to an Austrian consul, the interview
is conducted by a Filipino staff. It takes 5-15 minutes depending whether
she has many questions to ask you.
WHAT TO WEAR
There is really no prescribed attire for the interview, but I highly
recommend to wear semi-casual clothes. No shorts and slippers. Coco
Chanel said it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Surely you
do not want the consul to give the consul any reason to doubt you. I dont
have anything against those who wear shorts and slippers and if wearing
them will jeopardize your visa application, I am sure you would reconsider
what to wear in your interview.
QUESTIONS ASKED
If you are worrying if they would ask you about the political and economic
conditions of Austria or whichever Schengen country you are going to, you
may stop now. The interview is mostly about you so as long as you
perfectly know
TIPS:

Before going to the interview, know your visa application by hand. You
should know by heart everything that you have written in your
documents. Many times applicants do not prepare well or are nervous,
thus the inconsistent answers and stammering. This could cause the
embassy to doubt your papers or intent to travel and is the reason why
some applicants get rejected.
Do not be late. Being punctual shows your interest to go their country as
well as respect for their time. Even though I was expected by the Austrian
embassy Manila despite being late, I heard many embassies here which
do not accept late-comers.
Smile. It sounds simple, but it really works wonders. I heard some
embassy staff could be mean-looking, but dont be discouraged. Greet the
person good morning/afternoon and smile in moderation. I have observed
that people in the Austrian embassy are friendly and more approachable.
Be honest and sincere. I cannot stress this enough, but honesty and
sincerity is really important when applying for visa. Be sure to look the
person in the eye as you talk and answer truthfully. The staff are in the
service for a while and could detect if you are lying, so better just be
honest.
Should there be anything that seems unclear to you, dont feel shy to ask.
Feel free to ask questions, just not the obvious or stupid ones.