Don’t get me wrong but Schengen Visa Application do takes plenty of time and money. So I’ve listed below the things you need to do and some tips and tricks for you with my personal experience that comes with it.
So the original plan was to apply at the French Embassy. But I have a good friend from the Netherlands and that is when I found that the Dutch Embassy is quite not that daunting to apply.
First of all, in my opinion you should have by now have built your travel history– you previously have visas from other countries or have been travelling for quite some time already. This increases your chances of being approved.
Some Facts About Schengen Visa Application
- Processing Time: 15 days
- Validity: maximum 90 days within 180 days either consecutive or staggered
- Processing Time: maximum 15 days (got mine in 3 days)
- Number of Entries: Single, Double, Multiple Entries
- Where to Apply: VFS Global Office
- Address: Netherlands Visa Application Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City 1231, Philippines
Schengen Visa Application via The Netherlands Embassy Requirements
1 Complete Application form online– must be duly completed and signed
2. One Passport Photo with white background- it’s better to have your photo taken at the VFS because they didn’t accept mine.
3. Original Passport and one photocopy of passport pages- your passport must be valid 3 months after departure in the Schengen Area with 2 blank pages. Submit a copy of passport bio page and all pages with stamps and visas.
4. Cover Letter providing the details of your trip including a day-to-day itinerary- since there will be no interview to be done at the Netherlands Embassy, it’s important that you explain what you will be doing there. Also if you have something sketchy in your bank statements, it’s very important that you explain it at the cover letter.
5. Proof of Travel such as:
- Reservation plane tickets- don’t book any real tickets yet. Instead reserve your plane ticket here for $30.
- Accommodation Booking- you can always reserve your hotel/hostel at Booking.com or Agoda. Just choose something that has FREE cancellation in it so you don’t have pay for it when your application is declined.
6. Proof of Financial Means
Bank statements for 3 months, bank certificate, and credit card statements for 3 months if possible. You want to make sure and prove to the embassy that you have the financial means to cover your daily expenses.
7. Health insurance within Schengen area– It should be applicable for all Schengen States and cover the entire stay or transit period of the person. The minimum coverage is EUR 30,000.
8. Proof of Economic Status which could be: If employed: Proof of employment (ITR, Employment Certificate, Approved Leave of Absence) If self-employed: Proof of registration and commercial activity of the company (ITR, Bank certificates, company accounts, etc.)
9. Visa Payment of PHP 3,750 (80 Euro) and VFS Fee of PHP 1,620
4 Steps to Finish Your Schengen Visa Application via The Netherlands Embassy
- Gather all your documents. Make sure you have a photocopy of each.
- Set an appointment with VFS Global. They are the ones outsourced by the Embassy of The Netherlands to collect each applicants’ documents and biometrics.
- Show up on the date of your appointment with your documents and proceed as instructed by the VFS. Pay the Visa Fee and VFS Service Fee.
- Track your application here– normally the processing time is 15 business days but I got mine in 3 days! They will text and email you if your passport is ready for pick up at VFS centre or if you opted for delivery, then they will deliver it to your address. You will know the decision once you have your passport. They won’t text or email the decision.
So the validity of my Schengen Visa is from 19 Dec 2019- 03 Feb 2020. But I was only allowed 30 days within Schengen area. I arrived in the Netherlands on 21st December 2019 and got out of Schengen area on 19th January 2020 from Athens, Greece.
Pro tip: To be honest, I only said plain vanilla story on my cover letter. Like I was only coming to the Netherlands for 14 days. But in reality I ended up maximising my 45 days.
Ready to pack your bags now that you have your Schengen Visa. Time to hit the road! Read my latest article being one month on the road.