How to Apply for Multiple-Entry Schengen Tourist Visa for Filipinos

OMG. It's been a while! Hello to all my readers! After getting married, giving birth, and actually enjoying the life of a stay-at-home mom I am finally back to blogging. My apologies for the extremely long hiatus, 2 years to be exact! It's just hard to find time lately specially now that my son is almost 15-months old and his current favorite playmate is me and only me alone. Moving on to the much more important topic...

I have a new passport and my first "stamp" is our approved 1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa that we applied through VFS (via The Netherlands). There's a rule before that you should submit your application in the country of entry but I think that doesn't apply now. Today, you should apply where you're staying the longest. Here's the step-by-step guide on how you can apply for tourist visa on your own without the assistance of travel agencies:

1. Download and print (in A4) the checklist here. You don't need to provide all documents mentioned here though. I will share another list of the docs we presented in a little while.

2. Fill-up the online form here and print (in A4 too!). It's highly recommended that you fill this up using a computer, much easier to than writing.

3. Prepare your passport and photocopy the personal details page, expired visas, and entry/exit stamps.

4. Present Evidence of Legal Residence - So we asked the admin of our building to give us a proof of residency certificate. You may also add an original copy of your PSA birth certificate. Another option is to present copies of billing statements.

5. 35x45mm passport photo with light grey, pale blue or white background.

6. Proof of Travel - We presented our roundtrip airline tickets as well as hotel bookings together with a sample of our itinerary. Please do take note that they ask for hotel bookings if you plan to visit other Schengen countries. We failed to present our proof of transfers though, as in train or airline bookings. Because.. it's gonna be expensive to book when we're not even sure if our application will be approve.

You also need to request for bank statements, make sure you keep the receipt from the bank because some look for it. For employees, you need to present an employment certificate with approved leave of absence within the duration of your trip.

7. Travel insurance that at least covers €30,000 and is valid all throughout the duration of your trip.

Since I'm a stay-at-home mom and can't produce other documents, I requested my husband to provide an Affidavit of Support for both me and my son. Of course I needed to ask my husband extra copies of his bank statements apart from mine as financial proof that he can indeed support all expenses for the trip.

Another document that was asked from us was to provide a letter of consent from my husband that he's allowing me and my son to travel abroad. I think this is totally optional since we already have an affidavit of support but then the lady from VFS insisted that we write one in case our application ends up in the hands of different consuls. Maybe they don't process group bookings? I'm not so sure.

Once you've completed all documents needed, you need to register and schedule an appointment with VFS.

What to expect once you're in VFS? You'll need to line up for verification and your number. Please take note that bags are not allowed inside so it's best that you leave your stuff in the car or have a companion willing to carry and wait for you outside. They do have lockers for rent but then I read somewhere that she lost her phone after leaving her stuff in the locker so better be safe than sorry!

Once they call your number, just approach the counter and they will check again your papers. Please make sure you have the original document and extra copies of your submitted docs. You wouldn't want to to pay extra charges whatsoever. I remember we needed extra photocopy of the passport and they charged us at least ₱10.00 per copy. If in case you forgot one of the needed docs, VFS will give you an hour to produce it or else you'll need to setup another appointment for your application. If you need access to printers, there's a shop across VFS that can help with the printing.

Last but not the least, you must prepare at least ₱6,000 per person, that's inclusive of courier delivery straight to our house so we don't need to go back to pick up our passports. After payment, you'll need to wait for your biometrics to be taken so yes you need to be present even if you're applying as a group. It takes 15 working days to process each application. We applied last March 12, 2019 and got our passport on the 20th of March so it was processed for less than 7 working days.

P.S. If you want a multiple-entry visa, you basically just need to ask for it by ticking the right boxes in the application form. This isn't my first time to travel to Europe but we're lucky enough to get a multiple-entry visa valid for 1 year. ;) Goodluck with your application, Travel Junkies!