Enthralled by El Nido

I found my paradise in the Philippines.

Spellbounding Siquijor

A brave girl's first ever solo trip was to this mystical island.

The Quiet Charm of Cagbalete Island

Outdoor serenity at its best.

The Rugged Beauty of Islas de Gigantes

The off-the-beaten rockin beauty of Northern Iloilo.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Schengen Visa Application at the Czech Embassy Manila


As I write this post, I am still trying to absorb the fact that I already have my Schengen visa. It still seems unreal haha! ;) Not too long ago, I was so stressed trying to complete every single thing in the requirements list. I would even spend my rest days from work researching and trying to finish my itinerary. That's the most grueling part. Making a DIY Euro trip itinerary was difficult I almost gave up. I'm so glad I did not!

see you soon, Praha! photo by praguecitytourism.cz


Scheduling your Appointment:

Setting an appointment with the Czech Embassy is very easy. There are no costly phone calls unlike the other embassies.
  • You simply just have to go to their website or click here. Go to the link For lodging a visa application
  • You will receive an email to confirm your reservation. If you don't do this within an hour, your appointment will not be confirmed.
  • Print your confirmation email. This will grant you your entry at the Embassy. Now, you're good to go! ;)
Update as of October 1, 2015,  Schengen visa application times:
Tuesday and Wednesday
Requirements:

It's up to you whether you want to complete your requirements prior to setting your appointment or you want to do it after getting one. I've noticed that they always have immediate availability since they don't get as many applicants as the other European embassies. As for me, I only started taking the requirements seriously right after I set my appointment. I only had 12 days to prepare all of these.
  • Schengen Visa Application Form. You may download it from this link.  Instructions on how to fill-out the form correctly can also be accessed through that link. Also double-check additional instructions in Embassy's information board once you get there.
  • 1 piece Passport size (3.5 x 4.5 cm) picture in light background. It should be pasted/glued in the designated space in the Application Form.
  • Original Passport. It should be valid for at least 3 months after your intended date of departure from the Schengen area.
  • Accommodation Confirmation. I booked all of mine in Booking.com. All free cancellation and no pre-payment. No obligations even if you don't get a visa which is perfect.
  • Official Bank Certificate. The Official Bank Certificate must include a paragraph containing waiver of rights to release information to the Embassy of the Czech Republic - Visa Section or at least similar to that.
  •  You must also include any of the following documents to support your Bank Certificate:
    •  Bank Statements with transactions for the past 3 months
    • Copy of passbook showing transaction history
  • Roundtrip flight reservation/booking. You don't have to purchase your tickets yet. All you have to do is secure a booking at any airline of your choice.
  • Travel medical insurance. Follow this link for more details of the requirements by the Embassy. I got mine from Malayan for only for Php 2,310 for 45 days. They are the cheapest that I found. Keep in mind that your coverage should be the number of days of your stay plus 15 days.
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Leave Approval from your Employer or Direct Manager.
     Other Supporting Documents you may present:
  • Payslips for the past 3 months
  • Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316*
  • Credit Card Statements for the past 6 months*
  • Photocopy of your previous passport visas and stamps
  • Photocopy of your Birth Certificate
They won't necessarily ask for all the other supporting documents I've mentioned. They asked me for my birth certificate which I don't have with me! So, I just offered to give them the first 3* on the list. After that, they were already satisfied. They no longer asked me for anything. They didn't even bother to ask me about my previous passport to check more of my travel history.


The Interview:
  • The guard collected our appointment confirmation email and we were asked to turn-off our phones before entering the embassy. 
  • He then told us to prepare our documents and the exact amount of the visa fee while waiting for our interview turn.
  • There is a small interview room so it'll just be you and the consul(s). Other applicants won't hear a thing.
  • When the consul(s) are already satisfied with your documents and with how your answered their questions, they will ask you for the visa fee which is PHP 3,030 during my time of application.
  • Then they will collect your biometrics (fingerprints).
  • After this, they will ask you to just wait for your receipt outside. Along with the receipt is some sort of a claim stub.

Passport Pickup:
  • Their processing of Short-term or Schengen visa usually takes 5 to 15 working days.
  • There will be no definite date as to when you will get the result. You will need to follow-up on the status of your own application via phone at least 5 working days from the date you applied.
  • Follow-up calls can be done at these times only:
    Monday through Thursday 2:00pm – 4:00pm
    Friday 9:00am – 12:00nn
  • Passports may be picked up at these times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 nn to 1:00 pm unless otherwise stated.
5 business days after my application, my passport is already good for pickup. That fast!

weee! I am so going to Europe!!! :)


Honestly, I wasn't very sure whether I'm going to get a visa or not. Especially when I remember how shocked the Consul was when I told her I'll be traveling alone in Europe haha. I also had some doubts because my new passport currently just have Thailand stamps, India VOA and Korean Visa. I forgot to show them my old passport which has 5 years of my travel history because they didn't ask for it.

But hey, all my doubts were unfounded because I was granted a visa! Woohoo! :)

Thank you very much, Czech Embassy! DÄ›kuji! :) 


Embassy Address:

Embassy of the Czech Republic
30/F, Rufino Pacific Tower
6784 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, Philippines 
Telephone: 811-1155, 811-1156


While preparing for this trip, I always remind myself the mantra: If you can't stop thinking about it, don't stop working for it. I dreamed about going to Europe for the longest time. Now, I am one step closer to that dream. ;)




All our dreams can come true, if  we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney