DIY Quick-Tips on Successfully Getting a Schengen Visa from German Embassy Manila

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Applying for a Schengen visa can be a tedious and confusing process, but by arming yourself with the right information, you can complete your requirements in an organized manner. Below is the step-by-step process on how I applied for my Schengen visa at German Embassy Manila, I hope it helps!

Do Filipinos need a visa?
Yes. For the list of countries whose nationals need or do not need a Schengen visa, read this here

What is a Schengen Visa?
It is a document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to   and within the Schengen Area. Once you get a Schengen visa, you can enter one country and travel freely anywhere within the Schengen territory.

The Schengen Member States are:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Where to apply for a Schengen Visa?
If you plan to apply for your Schengen visa application at the German Embassy Manila, your main destination should be Germany or the maximum period of stay in the Schengen States must be in a German City only.

In other websites that I’ve browsed through, they say that you can apply at the German Embassy Manila if Germany is your point of entry or exit. However, I called the German Embassy Manila, they said that you can only apply to them if your main destination is Germany (meaning, your longest stay should be at a German City). Don’t take it from me though, verify it first.

You can also apply for a Schengen Visa at the following embassies in Manila: Greece, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic and Netherlands (among others).

When to apply for a Schengen Visa?
Applicants are free to apply up to 90 days prior to their date of travel.

How to apply for a Schengen Visa?
It took me a month to complete all my requirements. It was stressful, but totally worth it! Follow these 3 easy steps on how to apply for a Schengen visa. Ready? Because, I am. J

Step 1: Secure your approved leave of absence

Submit a well-written vacation request letter to your supervisor. If you want a copy of my request letter, just comment below. J

Step 2: Prepare all the required documents

Tip: Photocopy everything! You don't want to bid farewell to your original ITR, right?
1.  Passport
- Must be valid for at least another 3 months upon the conclusion of travel and must contain (2) two empty pages
- Photocopy of valid and/or other previous passports

2.  Photo
- 2 current passport pictures.
- The background should be neutral and light (a neutral gray).
- The size of the face from the bottom of your chin to the hairline must be between 1 ¼ inches and 1 3/8 inches. 
- For more information, click here

3.  Application form

4.  Plane ticket booking reservation
- I called the reservation hotline of Cathay Pacific on August 9, 2016 (Hotline: 1800- 8739-5117). I asked if it was possible to reserve it until September, but, the agent advised that she can only reserve it until August 31, 2016. No need to go to a travel agency and pay for the reservation.
- You may call them free of charge from Mondays to Fridays, 8am-5pm and Saturdays, 8am-12pm.  
- Turkish Airlines, on the other hand, allows their clients to reserve through their website but will expire after 48 hours. For visa application requirements, this is impractical because you cannot be certain that the consul will approve your application before it expires, right?

5.  Hotel booking reservation as proof of accommodation
-  I booked mine at 
-  Find a hotel that doesn't require a prepayment, bank details, and more importantly, no cancellation fee!  
-   Please be careful when reserving at, their interface is not user-friendly. I accidentally booked 2-nights-stay at the Corner Hotel in Frankfurt, consequently I paid 5090 PHP! Luckily, the universe was on my side, Deutschland approved my visa. Haha! 

6.  Day-by-day itinerary
- I didn’t join any group tour, so, I prepared a comprehensive itinerary including tourist attractions and restaurants I want to visit, weather, my budget per day (86 EUR/day), time of sunset and sunrise. 
- I also included that I will join a free walking tour. 

Sample itinerary

7.  Visa fee
- Non-refundable 60 EUR

8.  Bank Certificate and Statement of Account as proof of income
- How much money do you need in your bank account to apply for a Schengen visa? Now, this is the tricky part. There is no certain amount, but it will depend on the length of your stay in Europe. This website helped me plan my budget. 
- Always remember that your bank balance should be sufficient without the need of working there or requesting assistance from the government. So, your bank balance should have more than your planned expenses
- I went to BDO to ask for a bank certificate and statement of account for 6 months. I paid 100 PHP each. I got mine within the day. 
Sample of estimated expenses. 

9.  Travel insurance with benefits coverage of 30,000 Euro
- I opted for Blue Cross, now known as Pacific Cross. Once you go to the website, click on Buy Now, then fill out the application form. You can pay using your debit/credit card. 
- No need to go to their office, they will just email the insurance.
- I paid 2,026.50 PHP (39 EUR)
- My advice is to print it in color. So, it will look like an original copy. ;)

10. Your rootedness in the Philippines
- Certificate of Employment with approved leave of absence, letter of approved leave of absence, and ITR from previous year. 
-  I submitted my 2014 and 2015 ITR.

11. NSO Birth Certificate
- Must be issued within a year. I paid 350 PHP to get my NSO birth certificate which was delivered to me via courier, which I received after 3 working days. If you go directly to NSO, it's a lot cheaper (100 PHP, if I'm not mistaken).

12. Cover letter
- Should you include a cover letter if the embassy doesn’t ask for one? Yes. The cover letter is a tool that summarizes your itinerary and serves as an appropriate avenue for stating your interests on applying for a Schengen visa. 
- Avoid including a lot of superfluous information that is of no interest to the consul.
- If you want a copy of my cover letter, just comment below. J

Here’s my total expenses:

Passport Picture
90 PHP
2026.50 PHP
Bank certificate and SOA
200 PHP
Visa Fee
3080 PHP
Birth certificate
350 PHP
5746.5 PHP
Step 3: Setting an appointment to German Embassy Manila

After obtaining all the requirements, you can now book your appointment at the German Embassy. Here’s the link of German Embassy's Visa-Appointment

I’m grateful that everything can be done online these days, except for getting the bank certificate. That's it! I hope you find what you are looking for. Good luck on your visa application!

You can also read my separate post on how to prepare for your first Schengen visa interview. It will give you an idea on what to expect, including tips and suggestions to help you prepare for this interview. 

Tschüss! Rori Xx

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