Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Europe: Applying for a Schengen visa in the Philippines


Visiting Europe is a dream for many. Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, you can visit most of Europe with a single visa called the Schengen visa.

There are twenty-six countries in the Schengen Area namely Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Although not part of the Schengen Area, you can also visit four microstates namely Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City that maintain open or semi-open borders with Schengen countries.

Update (02/12/2012): A Schengen visa will allow you to transit Romania within a period of five (5) days. From January 31, 2012, Bulgaria now allows visa-free entry to holders of Schengen visas with stays of up to three (3) months. Croatia temporarily allows holders of two or multiple entry Schengen visas to enter from January 1 to December 31, 2012.

Applying for a Schengen visa can be difficult at times for Philippine passport holders for reasons quite known to us. Note that there are rules on which embassy you should apply with for your visa. I've been to Europe on three separate occasions and had to apply with the Spanish, Portuguese and French Embassies respectively. Note also that the minimum processing period for a short stay visa is ten (10) working days and can take longer depending on the circumstances. So it's best to apply at least one month before your intended date of departure. Visa processing fees are also non-refundable so make sure you prepare the necessary documents to avoid visa refusal.

Where to Apply
If you are going to visit only one Schengen state, the visa application must be made at the embassy or consulate of that particular member state. If your trip will include more than one country, the visa application must be made at the embassy or consulate of the member state whose territory constitutes the main destination of the trip in terms of purpose or the length of stay.

One example, I had to attend an ICOMOS meeting in Portugal in 2010. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Portuguese Embassy in the Philippines. So I tried applying at the Dutch Embassy since Amsterdam was going to be my port of entry. Unfortunately, I was told that because my main purpose to visit Europe was a meeting in Portugal, I had to apply with the Portuguese Embassy which is in Jakarta, Indonesia. I tried calling the embassy there but the phone was on answering machine. The e-mail address in the website was bouncing.


After all those wasted long-distance calls, and because I had just a little over two weeks left before the meeting, I had no choice but to fly to Jakarta to personally apply for a visa at the Portuguese Embassy there. When the Schengen country you will visit does not have an embassy or consulate that issues visas in the Philippines, you will have to allot at least four weeks since your passport may have to be mailed to an embassy abroad.

The following are the Schengen states with embassies and consulates in the Philippines that issue Schengen visas. Some embassies represent other Schengen countries in the Philippines with regard to visa issuance. You can click on the links to read visa application procedures specific to the embassy:

Austria (plus Lithuania)
4/F Prince Building, 117 Rada Street
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8179191/8174992; Fax. No. (02) 8134238

Belgium (plus Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovenia)
6/F Don Jacinto Building, De la Rosa cor. Salcedo Streets
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8451869/72; Fax No. (02) 8452076

Czech Republic
Rufino Pacific Tower
6784 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8111155; Fax No. (02) 8111020

Finland (plus Estonia)
21/F Far East Bank Center
Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8915011/15; Fax No. (02) 8914107

France
16/F Pacific Star Building
Makati Ave. cor. Sen Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8576900; Fax No. (02) 8576951

Germany
25/F Tower 2, RCBC Plaza,
6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 7023000 / Fax No. (02) 7023015

Greece
12/F Sage House, 110 Rufino Street
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8174444/8173417; Fax No. (02) 8120202

Italy
6/F Zeta Building, 191 Salcedo Street
Legaspi Village Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8924531/34; Fax No. (02) 8171436

The Netherlands (plus Poland)
26/F Equitable Bank Tower
8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 7866655; Fax No. (02) 7866644

Norway (plus Denmark and Iceland)
21/F Petron Mega Plaza Building
358 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8863245/49; Fax No. (02) 8863244

Spain
5/F ACT Tower
135 Sen Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 8183561/8183581/8185526; Fax No. (02) 8102885

Switzerland (plus Sweden)
24/F Equitable Bank Tower
8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Tel. No. (02) 7579001; Fax No. (02) 7573717

Scheduling a Visa Appointment
The appointment procedures vary per embassy. Again, you can click on the links which I've conveniently placed above to read visa application appointment and application procedures specific to each embassy. The links are self-explanatory. But if you have any questions, it's best to call the embassy for appointment procedures.

For the French Embassy, appointments may be set either (1) by phone at 8576924 between 2 to 4 p.m., Mon-Thur; or (2) via e-mail at visa.ambafrance.manille@gmail.com. I did mine via e-mail since the lines were quite busy during appointment hours. When e-mailing the embassy, provide the name of the applicant, e-mail address and/or contact number as well as the purpose of the trip. Remember that appointments made through e-mail must be confirmed either by an e-mail reply or by a phone call from the visa section. You will have to wait for this confirmation before you can proceed to the embassy.

Other embassies will require you to call service numbers with charges per minute or per call. You can find these charges in the embassy website. And make sure to have everything ready when you make the call so that you don't waste any time.

General Requirements
Check with the embassy you will be applying with for their specific requirements. But to give you an idea, when I applied with the French Embassy late last year, the following documents were required:

(1) Signed application form for Schengen visa with photo (35mm x 45mm, white background) plus 1 extra photo
(2) Valid passport (3 months validity from the end of approved duration stay) and photocopy of valid and former visas
(3) Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip as well as dates and places to be visited
(4) Details about the trip:
(i) proof of accommodations (either hotel vouchers or if staying with a French resident: Attestation d’accueil plus copy of your host’s national identity card if EU citizen or residence permit if citizen of a country other than the EU);
(ii) Round trip flight ticket booking (please do not purchase your ticket unless your visa is granted)
(iii) Complete itinerary with departure and return dates
(iv) For family visit, proof of relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate)
(5) Proof of employment (if any):
(i) Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer
(ii) If self-employed, official business registration for current and previous year
(iii) For priests, nuns and missionaries, certificate from the Apostolic Nunciature and guarantee letter from French and Filipino congregation.
(6) Proof of income
(i) Income tax return from previous year, where applicable
(ii) Recent bank certification
(iii) Photocopy of the last three months statement of account of the same bank account
(7) Identity and marital status
(i) Photocopy of the first page of your valid passport and all relevant obtained visas
(ii) If married, photocopy of your mariage contract and birth certificate anthenticated by the NSO
(iii) If single, photocopy of your birth certificate authenticated by the NSO
(iv) For minors, notarized affidavit from one or both parents if they don’t travel with the child
(8) An international insurance (medical expenses and repatriation) covering the entire period of the person’s intended stay and valid for all Schengen states. Minimum coverage should be EUR30,000

Again, note that incomplete files may result to the refusal of the application. It's also best to prepare additional documents, particularly for proof of income, which may be requested for specific cases.

At the Embassy
On the day of your interview, make sure to be at the embassy at least thirty minutes before your scheduled appointment. You may not be allowed inside if you are late for your appointment. Also bring the exact amount for the visa fee. At the French Embassy, they require the exact amount in Philippine pesos and do not give change.

When I arrived at the French Embassy, I gave my name and appointment time to the guard who then checked it on their list. I was given a number and sat down in the waiting area for my number to be called. When your number is called, you proceed to the window for checking of documents and payment. You will then be asked to be seated again and wait for your name to be called.

When your name is called, you proceed to the designated window for your interview and submission of other documents. You will be asked about your trip, your purpose for going, your work and other pertinent questions which will help the consul decide whether you are qualified for a visa. First time travelers will have a difficult time since this raises alarm bells of the consul interviewing you. So you might want to get some passport stamps before applying for a Schengen visa. The rationale behind the questioning is for you to prove to the consul that you will return to the Philippines as stated in your submitted travel plans.

The consul may reject applicants as a result of the interview. If the consul is satisfied or will consider your application, they will collect your documents (except the passport) and proceed to record biometric data, particularly your fingerprints and a photograph that will appear on your visa (if granted). They will then issue you a slip which states the date and time that you will return. Remember that the French Embassy will not collect your passport. You will bring your passport with you on the scheduled date. Note also that this is not an assurance that your visa is granted.

When you return to the French Embassy on the scheduled date for claiming your visa, you will submit your slips and wait for your name to be called. Those called first are applicants whose visas have been refused. If it is refused, you will be asked to receive a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating why your visa was refused. Those whose visas are approved will have to wait a little longer as the staff affix the visa sticker to your passport. Again, this is the procedure of the French Embassy. Each embassy or consulate has different application procedures.

Honorary Consulates and Embassies Abroad
Unfortunately, honorary consulates are not authorized to issue Schengen visas. But they can point you towards the right direction. Here are the contact details of honorary consulates or Schengen states with embassies outside the Philippines:

Latvia
2253 Aurora Boulevard (Tramo), Pasay City
Tel. No. (02) 8332551/52-55; Fax No. (02) 8332358
E-mail: coltrans@skyinet.net

Malta
Room 1242, Megaplaza Building,
ADB Avenue cor. Garnet Road
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. No. (02) 6877245/8937042; Fax No. (02) 6877245
E-mail: maltaconsul.manila@gov.mt

Portugal
Jl. Indramayu nº 2A.
Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia
Tel. No. (0062 21) 31908030, Consular (0062 21) 3156 728; Fax No. (0062 21) 3190 8031

Slovakia
2nd Floor GCH Building
Tres Borces Street Mabolo
Cebu City 6000 Philippines
Tel. No. (032) 2329445
E-mail: srconsulatecebu@yahoo.com

119 comments:

  1. thanks Ivan. this is very helpful. btw, am a fan and i make it a point to read your blogs, FB

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  2. Thanks! It's important to know which embassy to apply with and what their specific procedures are which is why I came up with this post. Hope it helps :D

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  3. Hi ivan! Can you give me estimates on how much budget would be enough for a 4 days 3 nights tour in rome? E.g. Budget, accessible and recommended hotels,budget for food and transpo per day and show money for visa. Thanks!

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  4. thanks for sharing this Ivan. was trying my luck on a Turkish trip last year but the invitation came in late so I forgo it na lang.

    Salamat ng marami kasi i learned while reading through.

    God bless

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  5. Another tip is to just keep everything in a certain chronological order. I didn't realize the consuls at the French Embassy could be OC. ;)

    Find some of my booboos here, and try not to make the same mistakes i did:
    http://cheaptravelforwomen.blogspot.com/2011/05/schengen-visa-4-mistakes-you-should-not.html

    hope it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous4.1.12

    hi. what is this international insurance? is it like a bond?

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  7. I live in deepest Palawan, does that mean, i must go to Manila twice, once for application/biometric data and second time to collect the passport ? Can the passport with the visa (hopefully) not be sent out by courrier ?

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  8. Ivan you say "Round trip flight ticket booking (please do not purchase your ticket unless your visa is granted)" , do you mean a full price air ticket, they cost hundreds of thousands of pesos. I can only afford fixed date tickets. How can i have a ticket booking without purchasing a ticket ?

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  9. Hi Martin, you can check with the French Embassy but I believe someone will have to pick it up. What you could do is request assistance from a travel agent so that they could pick-up the passport and courier it to you. On the ticket, when you make a reservation with the airline or a travel agent, they print out the booking for you. You do not pay for this. It's just a booking. You pay for the ticket after you get the visa.

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  10. @Anonymous, international insurance is travel insurance, not a bond. Basically that's medical and accident insurance for international travel.

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  11. Anonymous8.1.12

    What I don't quite understand is when applying for a VISA at what moment should one show proof on the international insurance and the buying of air tickets? Since one will not know BEFORE the second visit to the embassy if the VISA will be granted or not it seems unreasonable to buy the insurance and tickets before. Is the procedure such that one goes on the second visit and then, in case of granted VISA, one need to come back a third time with the insurance and tickets to get the actual visa in the passport? I would be so grateful of you could help to clear out this point so we know how to prepare for the VISA application.

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  12. The tickets should not be purchased. You need to bring a print out of the unpaid booking with a travel agent. Unfortunately for the insurance, you will have to pay for that beforehand. Ask the insurance company if it could be refunded if the trip doesn't push through.

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  13. Anonymous8.1.12

    Oh thanks Ivan! Great help! This is certainly information that the embassy should make available in their VISA application procedure description. So let's hope all will go well now. It seems as if everyone is not so lucky to have a VISA granted.

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  14. Juliet Siytangco8.1.12

    This is very useful. Thanks for posting.

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  15. If your first stop is Italy, you don't have to go thru an interview. We just applied late last year, and all you have to do is schedule an appointment, pay the fees, and a courier will pick up from you, and deliver the documents to the embassy here, and later back to you after roughly three weeks. Fyi

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  16. This is truly helpful. Complete and concise. Thanks so much, Ivan, for the information and for writing it in such a manner that it would be very easy to understand even by the unseasoned traveler.

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  17. Anonymous12.2.12

    Hi ivan, do i really a have to book my hotels/accommodations already? Im planning a trip and doing it online by myself (not through the travel agency) If i buy/book online but get rejected of the visa... i wont be able to get a refund. Pano na yun? and for airline tickets.. im buying online too.. i dont think i can book without paying for it agad right? Help please :)
    thankS!

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  18. Anonymous13.2.12

    Hello Ivan, I'm planning to visit Portugal just for a tour. Do they require like a minimum amount in your bank account? and do I really have to fly to Jakarta? If so, do I have to wait there for at least 10 days to be mailed to my residence in Jakarta?

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  19. On hotels, best to check with the embassy you are applying with. I know what you mean about making online reservations. If they really require bookings, and your visa is denied, you will have to take the hit. It's usually just a reservation fee. So just cancel the booking so you don't get charged for the full amount.

    On airline tickets, I strongly suggest you ask the help of a travel agent to make a provisional booking for you. Refunding a "book and buy" plane ticket is not going to be easy if your visa gets denied.

    On Portugal, I'm not sure about a minimum in your bank account, maybe just enough to prove that you can afford the trip. If you have a lot of time to spare, you need not fly to Jakarta. You can courier your passport and application requirements to them. Try calling them too. I hope they answer their phone now.

    If you plan to fly to Jakarta to apply, expect to wait at least 10 days. Or you could fly back to Manila and courier your passport back to them. It all depends on how much time you have before your trip.

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  20. hello Ivan, im so glad to see your post. iv been applying for schengen visa through mail and normally id get result only after 3 months and theyre all rejections. I applied twice and it's total of 6 months! (they had my passport all those times) So now I am going to Jakarta to personally apply because it's so hard to contact them. When we call them they'd want us to email them, and when we email, they really dont answer our questions. So this month I plan to go to Jakarta to apply personally. Could you tell me how the process was in Jakarta when you applied? Did it take long? I applied for friend visit coz my boyfriend lives there and I want to visit him. I have sponsorship letter. I'd really appreciate your reply very much!!!

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  21. shy boy18.2.12

    hello mr. ivan, would you know if processing time would shorten if one opt to travel only in one of the countries in Europe (not applying for Schengen visa)?
    they say p.time has gone to 2-3 months due to the upcoming Olympics. though this applies to Schengen visa application.

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  22. Nope, processing time will be the same regardless of how many countries you plan to visit because Schengen countries no longer issue their national visas. UK is not part of the Schengen area. They issue their own visa.

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  23. shy boy21.2.12

    thanks a lot for answering swiftly! my mom needed this info since she has little time to inquire

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  24. Anonymous9.3.12

    thanks for all info ivan it helps a lot..im going to apply schengen visa probably nextweek.have a few stamps in my passport already.i have canadian visa been in canada twice already.have australian visa too.stampls from thailand,singapore,and malaysia countries..is all the stamps of my passport helps na hindi na nila ako pahirapan sa interview or its possible wala ng interview? thanks a lot..

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  25. Anonymous19.3.12

    hello, with visa appointments, do they give a confirmation number? or will their reply that appointment has been confirmed suffice? thank you

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  26. Anonymous19.3.12

    hello! do you need a confirmation number (for the appointment) or their reply (via email) will already suffice as proof of your appointment? thank youuu

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous22.3.12

    I have a single entry in my Schengen visa valid for 30 days. Will I be able to go around in the Schengen member countries and back to my point of origin without a hassle ?

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  28. As long as you don't exit the Shengen area, there shouldn't be any problem. Routine border checks in some countries if you are going around by car. But train and domestic EU flights should be fine

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  29. Anonymous27.3.12

    can i just ask if you presented any confirmation number if your appointment at the french embassy or did their reply (from your email) already suffice?

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  30. Anonymous28.3.12

    here in NYC, the French consulate requires 100.00 US dollars a day for the length of ur trip. but dnt count on it, i have a friend who went to UK and applied for a french visa for only one day, but he was told his money was not enough, he had 1k US bucks then.

    choose a consulate that is vey lax in approving VISA, ur main destination is where u are staying the longest or if ur staying equally in all the countries ur main destination is ur port of entry.

    so if u guys are planning to go to Portugal u dnt have to go to Jakarta to apply for a visa, just choose a country where they have an embassy in the Philippines and make that a part of ur itinerary.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous11.4.12

    hello ivan, can i ask for a sample cover letter you have presented/provided to french embassy as one of the requirements or can you give us an idea on how to do it or is there a format on how to do that cover letter they required?...thanks for the help in advance

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  32. Anonymous13.4.12

    hi!what if my sister will shoulder all my expenses during my stay in Spain?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous17.4.12

    Hello Ivan, is it possible to get a non-Schengen visa if I only plan to visit one country for Business, e.g. Poland? That is, I'll just get a Poland visa from the Consulate of Poland in Manila. I found it in www.poland.ph site.
    It's quite a big hassle to apply for one since you have to go through KL and the lead time is 1 month.

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  34. Unfortunately not since the borders in the Schengen area are open. To get a visa for Poland, you apply in the Dutch Embassy. I already noted that in the post above with a link to instructions

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  35. For another person sponsoring your trip, you will need to get their proof of income and letter saying they would support you I suppose.

    On Portugal, if you are attending a meeting or conference in Portugal for example, you cannot apply in another embassy since that is your primary reason for going to Europe. Other embassies won't accept your application.

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  36. Anonymous17.4.12

    Hi Ivan, I tried to look at the Dutch embassy information and this was posted:
    According to the MoU, Dutch Consul cannot issue following types of visa:
    - issued in connection with work (work/business)

    I need to travel for training (no compensation provided) in our company branch in Poland. My assumption though is that the statement above shouldn't apply to me. Do you have any idea if my assumption is correct?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous21.4.12

    Hi Ivan, nice infos from you. Kindly give me an idea if it's possible for us Filipinos working in Singapore to request for a schengen visa from the embassies here, or do we need to go back to the Phils.? awaiting for your reply. my compliments.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous22.4.12

    Hello Mr. Henares I want to ask a question sir. hope you answer. :)

    I've been in Japan, Beijing, Bangkok,Singapore, & Malaysia. I hav sponsor bank statement that i think is enough for 2 weeks. The problem is i'm just an Personal Assistant w/o ITR, my salary is cash every month,from my boss who's a u.s/filipino citizen. My interview is on May. Do you think i'm qualified? Thank You sir, and God Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous22.4.12

    Hi Ivan,. I just wanna know more about going to Italy. My bestfriend is a US Navy and she goona be base in Italy on October and she wants me to go there this year. Shes sponsoring all the expenses. Im currently working here and im a philippine passport holder. Im just kinda worried coz getting a visa is not the really easy....
    What are the things to do, or consider? Im confused....
    Thanks.... God bless...

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  40. 1. If you have a work permit or are a permanent resident, I think they will allow you to apply in Singapore.

    2. Applying for a Schengen visa without the necessary documents will be very difficult. you have to prove that you are employed since without proof, you will make them think that you will go TNT.

    3. Again, you will have to prove to them that you are not going TNT. So make sure you have all the documents ready proving that your friend will finance the whole trip, and that you have enough reason to return to the Philippines.

    Again

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  41. Anonymous11.5.12

    hello, i would like to ask about sponsored visit visa of family.You still need to show your bank account summary even the referee will be the one paying everything all the expenses. ?and i am employed this time.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous16.5.12

    hi ivan,
    was able to get a multiple visa from the embassy of greece. originally, i planned to go to greece. but now i am planning to go to france instead. will this be a problem?

    ReplyDelete
  43. If it's a single entry visa, just make sure you don't leave the Schengen area. If it's a multiple entry visa, you'll be fine.

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  44. Anonymous17.5.12

    hi ivan,please advice naman recently i won trip to paris yung price for 1 lng gusto ko kc isama yun fiancee ko the problem she is not employed and yung business nya is hindi na nag ooperate ano yung ibang way para hindi sya mapagisipan na mag tnt do you hav a tel.number so i can talk to you thank you so much god bless:)

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  45. You will need papers to prove everything. Bank statements, proof that the business belongs to her even if she's not the one operating it. Other than that, I don't know what can be done because they are very strict.

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  46. Hi, would you know if the consulate of portugal in cebu is still in business? CAuse they wont answer my calls or return my emails.

    Would I rather go for sending my files to Jakarta?

    Also, do you know which bank I could send euros in? [for paying my dues to the embassy of portugal in jakarta.

    thanks! panxsolajes@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous12.6.12

    hello kuya ivan..
    just wana know kung ano po process ng payment for visa? 1st time ko po kasi mag apply ng schengen visa,,sa netherlands embassy..wait ko poh sagot mo..
    THANX

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  48. Hi Ivan,

    Is there a way to apply for a schengen visa and not do the interview (I have previously been granted schengen visa before.)

    Thanks

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  49. Anonymous27.6.12

    Hi sir! What if my boyfriend is sponsoring my trip to Spain and France.. I'm currently unemployed what do I need for the visa application? My boyfriend and I are planning to go there together. I also don't have much in my bank account. Since he's paying for all the expenses of the trip so I still need to show a bank cert? Thank you so much

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  50. Hi... I try to get visa on Austria Embassy and Netherland... Unfortunately I got bad luck k... I always denied... Now will try to in Sweden embassy... Pls help me what you will be I do... My email is yamyamcou@yahoo.com

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  51. Hi... Ask lang po... Twice na ko nag try sa interview Austria Embassy in at Netherlands.. Parehong denied... Now try ko po Sweden ano po ba dapat Kong gawin.yung.lababo. Mhigpit ba sa Sweden embassy pls help. I tourist lang apply ko.. Wala pki email ako.. Yamyamcou@yahoo.com ty

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello Ivan, i just like to know..
    because my boyfriend is from czech and hes going here this month but were planning to get married in czech.. ist easier for me to get visa if were going to get married here? and should i apply for a tourist visa? because i am working here in the philippines. pls do help me thankyou in advance.

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  53. Hi Ivan. For Spain, if you are applying for the Schengen without the benefit of a travel agent, do you call for an appointment? Or do you submit the documents first then wait for an interview appointment? It was not clearly stated in their website. Thanks!

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  54. Anonymous20.7.12

    sana nabasa ko na to dati pa bago ko magapply ng schengen visa, sa monday ko pa lang malalaman yung reulta. Sana positive result!!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous22.7.12

    Hi, I had Schengen visa b4 2009 ini sponsor ako but d ko npuntahan un d ko nagamit visa ko. Now me and my bf wants to travel around Europe do u think it's easy for me to apply a Schengen visa again w/ out sponsoring na taga Sweden? At nag apply ako nun sa Bangkok kupa pinadala ung mga requirements kasi wala tayung Sweden consulate that time.

    Ang tanung ko madali nalang po kaya mag apply Ulithi since my visa naman ako b4? Thanks

    Jam.

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  56. hi Ivan...helpful blog here...just got my Schengen Visa for Italy...I was just wondering if I should purchase the one tickets now or can I buy cheaper flights online...strict ba pagdating sa airport??I mean should the booking reservation be the same with the actual flight?? sobrang strikto kasi ang Italian embassy.. :(

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  57. Anonymous23.7.12

    Hi Ivan,If Im planning to leave the country on November will that be fine if I apply the visa end of Aug?I just dont know about this Im new to processing all these documents.thanks!

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  58. Hi Ivan! I have obtained my Schengen visa finally. But I was wondering what to expect with immigration at the airport when I land. Could you kindly please elaborate? I have a one way ticket to Geneva Switzerland, but I don't have a return ticket yet because I will be deciding where to go next (either US or Colombia) once I land there.

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  59. Hi sir Ivan, what if I obtained a visa from the french embassy, and for some reasons..a few weeks before my intended departure date, I wanted to change my country of entry...would my Schengen visa still be valid? THANK YOU!

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  60. Trish29.7.12

    Hi Ivan! We're planning to go to Europe in May of 2013. When is the soonest time we can apply for a Schengen visa?

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  61. @Not Important: NO RETURN TICKET -- you'll be in trouble! Better buy return ticket before flying. You will have trouble not only to Schengen immigration but also in NAIA Immigration. They might not let you fly.

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  62. @JB, yes it's fine for as long that they didn't require you to report back to the embassy.

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  63. @miriam ubaldo, I suggest you don't. If you're denied several times in other embassies, you'll most probably get denied again at another one. The Schengen computer system is shared among all these countries. So unless your circumstances change, it's a waste of time, funds and effort.

    ReplyDelete
  64. @Not Important, I agree with @grotesque, you might not even be allowed to leave the Philippines without a return ticket. And yes, they will also question you in Geneva.

    ReplyDelete
  65. @Trish, earliest application date depends on embassy. But I think it's three months. Best to call them to be sure.

    ReplyDelete
  66. @Hidalgino, just make sure you have a return ticket and you'll be fine. Also be clear at port of entry what your plans are.

    ReplyDelete
  67. hi ivan, just wanna ask if i'll still be needing a visa if i'm just going to visit Netherlands for only 3 weeks or a month? cause all i can read is 90 days or so.. what do i need like papers or documents if i'll be visiting Netherlands? thank you. hope you will answer my queries asap.. much thanks, and God bless :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. You will need a visa even if you will just stay for a few hours. Don't know where you got that impression. Imagine the mad rush of Filipinos going to Europe if a visa is not required! Please see Dutch Embassy website for exact requirements. Link is above.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Anonymous6.8.12

    Hi Ivan,
    I just want to ask to you please hope you can tell me. mag apply ako for Schengen Visa, For tourist going to New caledonia shorts Visa. para makama ko na ang Bf ko and meet his family and friends dun sa lugar nila at mapuntahan ang magaganda lugar dun, sa New caledonia. na gather na lahat ng documents as stated sa requirements for Application Schengen Visa. Travel Insurance, bank Account at kung anong naka saad dun, at yung Documents galing sa Bf ko kasi sya yung sponsor ko.
    Pinadala ng Boyfriend ko lahat ng Kekelanganin ko which is lahat ng documents eh stable naman lahat na galing sa kanya. pero may worries ako kasi wala akong work for years almost 7yrs di ako tamad ha:) just from y Partner in the past, just had been a housewife :) so anyway, my point ko is Bago lang kasi kami ng Bf ko a year from now,tapus wala akong previous Job back ground, pero may property ako, ma cover kaya yun na ma grant yung Visa ko pag isubmit ko yun? kasi yung gf ng kapatid ng BF ko na deny sya yung eto lang 31, completed naman sya sa requirements at may work pa sya sa company ang mali lang daw sa kanya yung date ng ticket namin. which is Pareho kami ng nakalagay sa form namin kasi isa lang ppunthan namin. so before that without me knowing na na deny yung Visa nya. after na naka pag appointment nah ako for my Visa application. which dapat this thrusday young appointment ko sa Embassy, so with bad weather dito samin nag try ako mag call for cancellation my Appointment. kaso di ako maka get through. naka connect na ako after 30mins na cut off na pala for Appointment cancellation. which nag try parin ako kausapin yung nasa line na icancel yung Appointment ko. kasi may mali sa Ticket namin. pero di ko na cancel ng formal, what do you think na magiging stand ko? mag pa pa re appointment kasi ako sometimes this month after correcting the tickets date. please Ivan hope you can help me with all of this Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anonymous7.8.12

    Im married to a US citizen but i have a Philippine passport and we have been living in the UK since the military relocated us here a few months ago. We want to visit Sweden. How hard will it be for me to obtain a visa? Will I need it for Ireland as well? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  71. sounds logical now :) anyway, thank you so much.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Anonymous8.8.12

    Hi ivan,i just got my denied application visa netherlands,the reasons is hindi sapat ung fund ko etc.bf ko sponsor sakin,ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin i have note na pwde ako mag lodge an objection with the minister of foreing affairs within 4 weeks of the date decision was given july 30,kung pwede rin po ba hindi ako maglodge or appeal? hindi ba ito nakaka epekto kung re apply ako uli in the future? Kung mag apply ako uli siguraduhin kona tama lahat ng papel ko,kung apply ako schengen visa pwede sa lahat ng europe country wala ba ito problema kung netherland ang entry ko? Pls.advice namn po para may idea ako sa tama kong gagawin,umaasa ako sa reply mo,thank you god bless. Yen

    ReplyDelete
  73. While you could lodge an appeal, it's usually difficult to get decision overturned unless you can prove to them you have a steady income flow that will allow you to travel to Europe. A sudden increase in cash balances won't make a difference since cash can be borrowed to beef up your bank account.

    A Schengen visa will allow you to visit Schengen countries only. Please read the article because the list is there.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous14.8.12

    can a filipino passport holder with german visa visit poland? please answer ASAP.:)

    ReplyDelete
  75. Anonymous14.8.12

    Good day sir ivan,i have plan to apply tourist visa in netherlands,wala po ako idea kung magkano dapat ang fund amount sa bank na kailangan? Mayron po akong property house and lot d nmn kalakihan pero ako ang principal buyer,at mayron akong check bank account,ang savings accnt ko nsa 400k. Sapat n po ba ito para ma grant tourist visa ko? Sponsor bf ko from netherlands, pls give me some advice para makapag prepare po ako,maraming salamat godbless.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Anonymous15.8.12

    ama filipino passport holder and have my german visa currently. but a friend of mine invites me to go to poland with his car. do I still need a visa? how much is it cost? please answer me. many thanks. keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Anonymous20.8.12

    Hi po, i'm at my 4th yr in college, don't have ITR but I have my own online business. I am currently saving up and my target is Php 250,000. I am currently halfway na po but the big problem is I don't have ITR. Baka po magtaka ung consul where I got the money? Pahelp naman po kuya baka may advise kayong mabibigay sakin :( I will be traveling with my dad who has ITR but it shows little income kasi he is a free lancer. More convincing po ba ung bank account kesa ITR? Thank you po in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  78. (1) Germany and Poland are in the Schengen area. With a single entry visa, once you enter, you can visit all countries in the area, for as long as you don't exit.

    (2) Bring your bank statements and proof of your online income. Hard to get a visa on online income alone though. You need to prove to them that you are going back.

    ReplyDelete
  79. what if me and my husband have 2 denials from UK embassy... Is it possible for us to have Schengen visa????

    ReplyDelete
  80. Anonymous23.8.12

    Hi, Ivan. It's not quite clear to me: roundtrip flight ticket booking but you also said not to purchase the ticket unless your visa is granted. *confused*

    ReplyDelete
  81. Anonymous24.8.12

    hello po i'm planning to apply schengen visa sa france, ang problema ko is its been 4 months nung wala me job, ngclose kasi and also my tita asked me na alagaan na lang siya since she undergone mastectomy she's an old maid, pero noong andoon pa ko england plano ko na po magtravel sa france kaya lang d natuloy, ng hanap po ako ng travel agency and nakita akong promo nila paris at rome for 7 days... i have a 350,000 on my account.. ang problema ko lang is wala akong maipakitang certificate of employment..thanks po

    ReplyDelete
  82. That situation can lead to denial of visa. You can try your luck though.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Get your ticket booking from a travel agent.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Anonymous27.8.12

    Hello. I'm going to UK soon. My sister and her family asked me to go with them to Spain for 4-5days stay. Is it possible if I'll just apply for a schengen visa in England? or do I really have to apply for one in Manila?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Yes, by practice, you have to apply in your country of residence. Only Filipino passport holders with residence or work permits in the UK are allowed to apply in the UK. You can ask your sister to check with the Spanish Embassy in London to be sure.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Anonymous28.8.12

    hello good afternoon po, im planning to apply schengen visa.SWITZERLAND(3 days) Italy (3 days) and Malta (4). i've read an article na sabi e magapply ako kung saan mas madami ung araw na andoon ako at sa Malta un. may malta embassy po ba dito sa pinas? if wla san embassy po ba ako pwede magpasa ng application ko dito sa pinas? salamat po ng marami

    ReplyDelete
  87. Anonymous28.8.12

    hello ask ko lang po it ok if i just present my employer's letter kahit walang itr?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Anonymous28.8.12

    Hello po ask ko lng kng mgkano ang bbayaran ph bumili ng travel insurance..thanks po hope you reply..

    ReplyDelete
  89. Anonymous29.8.12

    hello po sir Ivan, we will try to invite our parents here in italy, meron nmn po sila property jan s pinas at bank deposits, at the same time meron din po kming konti dito ng sister ko, magkano po ba minimum deposit required? and which is better bank guarantee(fiduissione ) or bank deposit?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Macky31.8.12

    sir ivan, nag apply po ksi ako sa isang land based agency, gsto ko lang maka sure, pag working visa po ba sa greece, need pa rin po ba mgpunta sa embassy? or sila na po bahala lahat? sabi ksi nila next week visa stamping na kami, gsto ko maka sure kung working visa eto.. baka tourist lang ksi eh, 4mos na nga po ako sa pag aantay.. may possibility po ba tama po ang sinabi nila? tnx. more power!

    ReplyDelete
  91. hi po sir ivan! I really need ur brilliant advise on what to do kac first time ko mag apply ng short term permit for skilled workers who wish to look employment in norway. Ok ba ang sudden increase ng bank acct. ko? last aug. 22 kac na recv ang transfer ng sister ko who is my sponsor pero mag pa book ako ng apointment maybe by 2nd week of sept.thank u po in advance sa reply.

    ReplyDelete
  92. anne6.9.12

    did anyone have tried booking with agoda.com or some other selling agent online? some offer free cancellation,is it safe? how can i be sure of that free cancellation when booking is made online and being paid through credit card, what about the billing and cancellation whereabouts?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Anonymous10.9.12

    magandang araw po! Went to Netherlands as tourist last May and arrived last August, how many months can i apply again for visa back? coz experienced summer there gusto din po sana winter din... my mistake is single entry na-applyan ko dati coz its me n my daughter's first time to apply for visa kaya medyo andun un fear na madeny pa kya took single entry.

    ReplyDelete
  94. hi kuya ivan..what if im planning to study in switzerland..same din po ba ang process nun? or mahihiarapan po ako makakuha ng visa?? thanks kuya ivan :)

    ReplyDelete
  95. elyneogarte13.9.12

    hi ivan can i ask you?how i can i book my ticket without purchase untill the visa approval not finish yet?which airlines i can booki have appointmen ton friday pls could you help me for it sir ivan

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi! i just want to ask, i had an interview in swiss embassy, they took my passport and told me that it will be delivered 5 days after, but its been more than 7 days now, will it affect my application if i follow up the status of my passport?

    ReplyDelete
  97. Anonymous26.9.12

    when is the best time to re apply after the denied visa,i mean the time frame?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Anonymous26.9.12

    Hi ivan i just want to ask in your case how was your application of visa in jakarta? If i am living here in singapore can i apply in jakarta instead in singapore even we have the emebassy of netherland?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi! I met a Spanish family online who wanted to learn English. They invited me to Spain this coming May 2013 as my host family. They will pay for my plane tickets, food, lodging and other expenses for my 2 month stay there. They will write a letter of invitation for that and send copies of their proof of employment. However, I'm worried if my visa will be approved. I recently passed the PNLE and I'm waiting for my license which will be released next year. Will that affect anything? I am also a freelancer so I don't have a proof of employment aside from the money transfers that I receive twice a month in Cebuana lhuillier. How much money will I need in my bank account? Is 50,0000php enough for a 2 month stay if all expenses will be covered?

    ReplyDelete
  100. Anonymous27.9.12

    Hi Ivan wanna ask lang my friend want to invite us to her wedding in spain, what documents do i need for my schengen visa? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  101. ms.blue1.10.12

    Hi ivan! Just wanna ask something hope you can answer my question.. I have a german boyfriend and he wants me to get schengen visa at cz embassy, is it possible for me to get the schengen visa at cz even if my sponsor a germany resident?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Anonymous4.10.12

    Hi ivan! Kudos to your site, its very helpful especially to those tourist applying for a tourist visa. Me and my husband are planning to have a european tour nxt yr, France as our first country of destination. My question is, how much money should be needed for my "bank records" (like a show money for the sake of bank certificate.) Thanks and hoping for your kind response. u can reply thru my email, chiniya23@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  103. Anonymous4.10.12

    Hello Ivan, I was applying a aupair in france but the france philippine embassy denied my application? I dont know yet what was the reason,wala namang problema sa french embassy kasi okay na,ano po ba ang possible reason bakit nakaganon? sa nag interview ba yon? trip nilang i denied ang application mo? please give me some reason? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  104. Anonymous10.10.12

    hi ivan...my bf and i plan to visit in PRAGUE..do i need a schengen visa for it??? is it possible i can get a visa??? my BF is an american citizen?? thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  105. i have a plan to apply for a shengen visa, but as far as i read some of the blogs i did saw that the visa applicant must currently working or have a current business.. i have all the necessary requirements needed just do not have the employment certificates.. my problem is i was resigned from my work 2 months ago,although i have money from my bank account and my auntie and her husband to be in norway will be the one to sponsor me.. my intention to visit is to attend their wedding on december,,, do the norwegian embassy will allow me to have a shengen visa??? thanks and more power sir ivan

    ReplyDelete
  106. jr gregorio26.10.12

    Hi sir I would like to ask how long should my travel insurance? Can i just have it for just the days I intend to stay in France?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi Ivan, my company will be sending me to Monaco for a 2 weeks company related activity. This will be on the end of Nov or start of december.I checked the monaco websites on the net and found none. My question is if France embassy will handle the visa applicatin for monaco and if do you have a knowledge on how long is the visa processing? How long is the lead time to get an appointment if the france embassy will process?Since it we are following schedule, my worry is I will not get the visa on time? I been to several countries including Uk and US and income wise have a capacity to finance my trip. I have a good IT job in Phils and its a good proof that I will be back.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hi Sir, in addition, I am not sure if you have a knowledge on this subject-our company involves in selling telecom solution and we got a proj in Monaco. The company assigned me to assist in installing the solution for two weeks. I won't receive any salary from the company in France. Do I need additional procedure aside from applying for the business visa? I got this from their requirement and I am not sure if I fall into this category.

    Attention: For stay within a French company involving a special/temporary mission, consultancy or training, the
    host company in France has to obtain an authorisation letter from the Labor Department (Direction Régionale
    des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et l’Emploi – DIRECCTE) prior to any visa
    delivery. Further information can be found on www.travail-emploi.gouv.fr

    ReplyDelete
  109. Anonymous1.11.12

    Hi Ivan, I'm planning to travel this coming December (first week) to Italy, I am currently working in Singapore. I tried to make an appointment at the Italy embassy here but the earliest appointment I can get is nov 30. Is there anyway I can get an earlier appointment in Manila if I file my application there? Can you recommend any good travel agency that offers visa assistance who handles EU visas.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Anonymous2.11.12

    hi ivan
    after waiting 4 almost 2 months i got a call from french embassy then savi punta daw ako sa ofis nila ng 12 noon wth my passport.. wat is that mean? is my visa approved?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Anonymous5.11.12

    hi, i'm planning to apply for korean visa since i live in mindanao is it possible i can show personally to apply but in claiming can they just mail on my address thank you

    ReplyDelete
  112. angela blanca18.11.12

    hi sir, i’m planning to go and visit my mom in belgium.. she sent me some documents like photocopy ng ssn, passport and resident i.d, ITR, bank statement, payslip and ung document na pinirmahan ng mayor ata un sa cityhall sa brussels.. cya ung sponsor ko sa tour.. ask ko lng kasi employed po ako, ung HR nmin pwede magbigay ng Certificate of Employment but they no longer give Cert of LOA.. i can be approved for a 15-20 days na paid leaves pero wala tlga sila ibibigay na certificate ng approved leaves ko.. pwede po ba kaya na i-declare ko na lng na unemployed ako since nanay ko naman po magbabayad ng lahat or declare ko n lng po ung offiz? tumatawag po ba sila sa HR to verify ung approved leaves or ung Cert of Employment lng vverify nila.. thanks po
    anytime po pwede na ko mgpasched ng interview ito na lng po tlga sa employment ko prob ko.. thanks po

    ReplyDelete
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  114. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  115. Anonymous5.2.13

    Good day sir Ivan, I am kinda hesitant if I need to cancel my appointment on Feb 11th since I read that 'application may be made at the earliest 3 months prior to intended journey' and my target is March 24th, will they refuse my visa since it will only take a month after an interview date?
    And for a travel booking from airline, is it just a print out itinerary before payment at the airline website? Cause I cant book if its not paid. I have a print out itinerary from Etihad Airways. Is this enough?
    I badly need a piece of advice. Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Anonymous11.2.13

    Hello Ivan! Me and my family of five are visiting Europe this April and this will include a land trip mostly in France and a cruise to Scandinavia. Most of our trip will be in France but I heard from a friend that we need not have a personal appearance in the French embassy (for our Schengen visa application) because this is our fourth time to visit Europe (since 2008). The last time was last year and we had our visa from Italy. Is is true that we need not appear personally?Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Hello Ivan,

    I will be going to schedule my interview at the german embassy on March 9, 2013.

    I got all my requirements except for the ITR.
    I have my Certificate of Employment and Letter from my employer approving my intended leave.

    The embassy requirement for ROOTEDNESS in the Philippines says:

    Proof of Employement, i.e. most recent income tax return, certificate of employment, letter of approved leave of absence.

    I started working in the company last January 2013 and because of that I am not qualified for an ITR.

    Is there an alternative papers that i can give them?

    Please help.
    Thank you






    ReplyDelete
  118. Anonymous3.10.13

    hi mr ivan. i'm applying for a schengen visa - netherlands for the second time. i was invited by a relative during my first visit and was granted. now, i'm planning to bring my wife and son for a 6 - days tour. how possible that our visas will be granted?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Anonymous1.11.13

    hello Mr. Ivan,

    i need help regarding visit visa to portugal...wala kasi embassy dito sa phil... is it safe to mail my passport and requirements to portugues embassy un Jakarta? please help shynecdo109@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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