How to Apply for Schengen Tourist Visa for Filipinos (1)

Thank you to the Embassy of Switzerland for the expedite processing of my Schengen tourist visa.

Who's traveling outside of Asia real soon? I AM! But with my sister this time around, chaperone lang ang peg. :) Remember the annual Travel Tour Expo held in SMX last February 2015? My mother went to the said event and she decided to get my sister a debut and graduation gift in a form of a travel package.

The Priceless Europe package is from Rakso Travel, click here for complete details.

Before paying the full amount for the tour package, we needed to apply for visa first. When going to Europe, travelers from the Philippines are required to obtain a Schengen visa to enter one of its member countries. You may apply at least 3 months before the planned trip.

As I've read in other blogs, it is suggested that you apply at the country of first entry. Based on our group itinerary, we are entering Europe via Italy. But our Rakso travel agent suggested and insisted that we submit applications at the Embassy of Switzerland because it is easier to book an appointment there compared to the Italian Embassy.

By the way, prior our application, I already had travel plans for Japan from March 9-20, 2015. At first I was quite hesitant to submit my passport, feeling ko kasi hindi siya lalabas in time for my flight but all went well naman after I submitted my papers together with a letter requesting for expedite processing and attached my roundtrip tickets as proof that I needed my passport on or before March 8, 2015.

Before compiling documents, make sure you sign up and make an appointment with TLScontact. TLScontact is the authorized tourist visa application center of the Embassy of Switzerland in Manila. They're located at Unit 7B New Solid Building, 357 Sen. Gil J Puyat Avenue Makati City, Philippines. After registration you need to compile the following documents in the order as they appear below:

  1. Visa application form, print in A4-sized paper, download here.
  2. Two recent passport-sized pictures; 3.5x4cm, must have collar and white background.
  3. Passport
  4. Photocopy of the passport which includes biographical and important reminders page and ALL the additional pages which contains visas and stamps (valid and expired).
  5. Old Passport
  6. Photocopy of the OLD passport which includes biographical and important reminders page and ALL the additional pages which contains visas and stamps.
  7. Travel Insurance - International travel insurance must have a coverage of at least €30,000 / $50,000 / ₱2.5M and must be valid for the entire duration of the intended stay including entry and exit from any Schengen countries. Click here for a list of accredited local insurance companies in the Philippines.
  8. Copy of roundtrip flight ticket reservation -- OPTIONAL
  9. Copy of accommodation/hotel reservation -- OPTIONAL
  10. Travel itinerary -- Travel Tip: Embassy of Switzerland strictly follows the itinerary provided so some of you might have noticed that our visa is valid only for 13 days. We were hoping to extend for 2-3 days but since itinerary was provided by travel agency, we had no choice but to stick with the group 'til the end of our trip. As per travel agency, we have an option to extend but we should've informed them in advanced so that they can fix our itinerary.
  11. Income Tax Return - BIR Form 2316 (employed) and 1702 (self-employed)
  12. Affidavit of Support -- For sponsored trips. In my case, sponsored by our generous parents. Thanks Mama and Papa. ♥♥♥
  13. Bank statements or certificates addressed to the Embassy of Switzerland (see sample of my certificate below)
  14. Bank Passbook -- They will not get your passbook, they just need to check and compare it with the bank statement you submitted. 
A photo posted by Czarina Maye (@czarinamaye) on
We submitted our documents to our travel agent last February 20, 2015 and she was able to secure us an appointment with TLScontact by the 27th.

What to expect during your appointment? Arrive at least 30 mins. earlier than your scheduled appointment. Our appointment was 10:30AM and the place is quite packed (probably because it was a Friday) with only 3 agents accepting/processing the documents, 1 manning the biometrics booth and 1 for the cashier. Since we were traveling with a group, our agent was the one who submitted our docs so all we needed was to wait for our turn to get our biometrics.

What to bring? Apart from the docs, prepare ₱4,546.00 per pax for the visa processing fee. That was the rate we paid last February 2015, it might change depending on the rate so please check first before going to TLScontact.

How long does it take to process a Schengen tourist visa application via the Embassy of Switzerland (TLScontact)? Minimum is 5 working days to 4 weeks. Mine took roughly around 4-5 working days so at least I was able to push my trip to Japan. :)

P.S. This application is for Filipinos currently based in the Philippines only. If you have any questions, just 'LIKE' my Facebook page and you may send me a PM there. Thanks! :)