Acquiring a Schengen Visa Philippines – A Full Guide

Last updated on December 2nd, 2018 at 05:55 pm

Schengen Visa Philippines? Is it really hard to get one?

Having a Philippine passport means that it is very easy to travel in Southeast Asia. But here’s the draw. It is difficult to travel with a Philippine passport to the rest of the world.

Out of all countries in the world, we can only go to 63 countries visa free.

For the last 2 years, Ruben and I have been traveling in Southeast Asia and Philippines became our base. This is our home, because Han, my baby, lives in the Philippines.

Even if we travel many times a year, we alway go back in the Philippines between all these trips. The Holiday Season is also our one non-negotiable. We always stay in the Philippines for the Christmas season.

This year, it is imperative for Ruben to visit home, so we decided that I should finally apply for a Schengen visa Philippines. The preparation didn’t start from there though. We have been planning and discussing about the Schengen Visa for Filipino passport for a year now.

Apart from all the Schengen Visa requirements, I also prepared mentally and emotionally. We knew it will only be a matter of time since we want to travel to as many countries as we can together. Plus, Ruben is from Europe so we’ll have to visit family. How to get Schengen Visa Philippines? Is it really hard to get one? Should we apply in Spanish Embassy Manila? How much is it the Schengen Visa fee Philippines?

Read here for Schengen Visa in Singapore!

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What is a Schengen Visa (Philippines)?

What does Schengen mean?

Schengen is composed of countries in Europe (currently 26 countries). These territories have no passport or other types of control in their mutual borders. Travel policies of these countries are the same.

All Schengen territories function as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes. These countries also come with a common visa policy.

UK is actually separate now, so you’ll need a UK visa to enter this area.

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Various types of Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa allows you to move within the whole Schengen zone. This is until the validity and time frame of your visa.

Here’s a list of all the countries that need a Schengen Visa:

Types of Schengen Visa:

1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

The Uniform Schengen Visa is a permit from one of the Schengen Countries to transit or stay in the desired territory for a certain period of time. You can stay for 90 days at the most, for every six month period, from the date of your entry.

You can visit the following countries with a Uniform Schengen Visa:

Map of Schengen Area
Members of Schengen Area. Source: Fullfact.org

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

Depending on the purpose of travel, the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to both the two categories “A” and “C”.

“A” category

This stands for the Airport Transit Visa. This allows you to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport. But, without entering the Schengen Country Area.

An Airport transit visa is mandatory. You need this to travel from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state. And this is usually through a change of flights in a Schengen Country airport.

“C” category

This stands for a Short-term visa. This allows its holder you to stay in a Schengen Country (Schengen Area) for a certain period of time. And this will also depend on the visa’s validity.

A “C” visa can be be further categorized as:

  • Single-entry

This visa allows you to enter a Schengen country (Schengen Area) only once for the certain period of time. Once you leave the certain Schengen Area you entered, the validity of the visa expires. This is even if the period allowed to stay in the Schengen Area is not over yet.

  • Double-entry visa

This applies for the same policy as above mentioned. But in this case, you can to enter the Schengen Area twice. This means you can enter the Schengen Zone, leave and enter again without any problems. Within the validity of your visa. Once you are out of the country for the second time, the visa expires.

  • Multiple-entry

This visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as pleased. But, this visa allows its holder to stay in a Schengen Zone for 90 days only within half the year.

This starts from the day you cross cross the border between a Schengen member country and a non-Schengen member country.

 
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2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV)

This visa allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa. In some other cases, you can travel in the certain Schengen States mentioned when applying for the visa.

Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified before. You cannot enter or transit through any other Schengen country that is not the first and final destination target.

This is for very peculiar cases. Usually for a humanitarian reason or under international obligation. And as an exception to the common USV type visa. This may be for someone who don’t have a valid travel document, but has to travel to a Schengen area for an emergency.

3. National Visas

The national visa of “D” category is for someone who intends to study, work, or live in one of the Schengen countries.

The national visa can be of a single entry. This is for to the people who are in need of live in a Schengen country for a certain period of time. And after which they must return to their country.

There is also the multi-entry national. This allows you to travel in and out of this Schengen country, as you please. And also to travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without extra visa requirements.

To get a multi entry national visa, you must fall under one of the following:

  • An international student program will grant a visa for a period of not more than one year. This is when a student is about to start a full course of studies in one of the Schengen countries. The visa is for a period of one year with the possibility of extending it.
  • A pedagogical work at a higher institution or research center in any of the Schengen countries, of the person and its close family members. This is a professional who will travel in any of the Schengen countries due to its expertise. You can be a sportsman, an artist or any other professional of its kind. And with the purpose of sharing your expertise.
  • Emergency cases, like a medical condition that prevents the individual leave the Schengen Area at the designated time frame.

Note: Under Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council that came into effect on 5 April 2010, a third-country national holding a valid long-stay visa issued by a Schengen state may travel and stay in the territory of other Schengen states no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.
Schengen Visa Extension

Short-stay Schengen visa extensions are possible thru the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Journal of Laws of the EU of 2009 L243/1). You will have very low chances to get one, if you do not have a strong reason as the basis of you application.

According to the Schengen visa policy, these are the acceptable reasons to extend a Schengen short-stay visa:

Late Entry
Humanitarian Reasons
Force Majeure
Important Personal Reasons

 

How to get to the Spanish Embassy Manila

Spanish Embassy Manila is located in Makati area. To get to Makati, it took me 4 to 6 hours one way from my home in Angeles City. This is due to the strong traffic in Manila. It can even be worse on work days and rush hours.

When traveling inside Manila, there are a lot of options. There is always the public transportation. You can take a combination of buses and jeepneys to go to Makati. You can also go to Makati by or a taxi. For taxis, make sure you have your map with you. I make it a point to have a map open in my phone so I can check where we are headed, how much time we have, and if the car is taking the best route.

Traffic in Manila can be unpredictable so make sure you always have ample time before your appointment. A 6km car ride can take more than 20 minutes depending on the traffic. You want to come early or at least on time for your appointment.

Buses from Angeles City

Clark to NAIA 3 and Ortigas, Point to Point Bus System from SM City Clark

 

 

A new point to point system in SM City Clark allows you to travel directly in certain points in Manila. In my experience, it was fast and efficient, especially because there are bus schedules and only one stop.

From the Pick up Station, I took the bus to NAIA 3 (International airport) and Ortigas. This will cost you Php200 and it will drop you off in Ortigas Center, and you can take a bus or taxi from there.

There are also the public bus hubs in Angeles City, like from the Dau Transport Terminal or Marquee Mall.

The bus ride can take 2 hours to up to 4 to 5 hours, depending on what time you are traveling.

How to get Schengen Visa

Once you have checked the right visa you need, the next step is to make sure to pick the right Embassy for the application.

The general rule is that you need to apply at the Embassy of the country you are planning to visit the longest. If you are staying the same number of days between several countries, choose the one you’re entering first.

I was planning to stay longest in Spain. This is why I followed all the steps and requirements from BLS Spain for my application.

And yes, I did a research on where I should apply, and a lot of people mentioned Spain to be one of the strictest for entering Ethe hardest entrance for Schengen.

BLS Spain acts as a mediator and will process your application and the recording of the biometrics. If the Consulate feels that you need to appear for an interview, that’s the time that you’ll proceed with them.

The site will include all the information you will need. For more information, you can also check the official Consulate website of Spain.

This was also very helpful for me in understanding the whole process and the type of documents I need to compile.

I also suggest to do a lot of research and to read real application experience – that means blogs. Why? Because without reading and talking to other people, I wouldn’t be prepared for the fact that I need documents to prove my relationship with Ruben, more documents for why I need to come back, the interview process and so much more.

Based on their website, here are the main requirements for applying to get a short term visa for tourism purposes:

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Complete the documents required. Put all the documents in 1 large brown envelope (with the applicant´s surname, name and contact number written in bold letters on the upper left corner of the envelope).

2. The applicant must come personally on the appointment date and must pay the visa fee upon submission of the application.

3. Always include 2 photocopies of the filled-up application form and 1 photocopy of the rest of the documents.

REQUIREMENTS:

1. Duly accomplished Schengen application form. You can download a copy of the application form here.

2. One (1) recent passport-size photo with white background (to be pasted on the application form)

3. Valid passport (valid for a minimum 3 months after the planned trip).

4. 1 photocopy of the data page of the valid passport and all previous visas and stamps.

5. Previous passports (if applicable).

6. For spouses of Spanish/EU nationals – Spanish/EU marriage certificate (issued not more than 6 months ago) recognized by the Government of the corresponding EU national. Marriages that are not registered/recognized by the corresponding EU Government will not be processed as an EU spouse visa. Only marriages recognized/registered by the corresponding EU Government are free of charge. The marriage certificate issued by the Filipino authorities (PSA) will have to be submitted duly authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

7. Minors: The corresponding authorization.

8. Proof of economic means: Bank Certificate, Bank Books, ITR.

9. If staying in a private residence invited by a relative/friend/religious congregation, OFFICIAL INVITATION LETTER issued by Spanish Police and photocopy of the sponsor´s passport and/or D.N.I., residence card, etc.

10. If employed: Certificate of Employment and authorization for leave of absence (original copies).

11. If self-employed: Business Permit, Registration, Company ITR (original and 1 photocopy).

12. For non-Filipino applicants, please present your ACR, ICR and re-entry permit (and 1 set of photocopies).

13. Airline reservation from an airline office:  detailed itinerary and confirmed hotel reservations  only itineraries with Spain as main destination (longest stay) will be processed

14. Travel Health Insurance
a. Minimun coverage of 30,000 Euros.
b. Must be recognized in all Schengen States
c. Validity period of the insurance coverage must be for the duration of the intended stay.

BUSINESS VISA

1. Please follow the Procedure and Requirements for Short-term Visa.

2. Additional requirements: d. Invitation letter in Spanish from the company in Spain. e. Letter from your company containing all the details pertinent to the trip: purpose of the trip, length of stay, the counterpart in Spain, who shoulders the expense.

NOTE: OTHER DOCUMENTS NOT INDICATED MAY BE REQUIRED

For my application, I planned to stay in Spain for 90 days. We knew it would be a tricky application. This is because I was requesting the longest possible I can, for my first visit. But we wanted to take the risk, since we’ll be spending money on the tickets, and it’s not very cheap to travel to Europe.

The Consulate has the power to decide how much time they will allow an applicant to stay anyway, so why not apply for the best right?

The best way to get your visa is to submit everything that you think will help your case. You want to prove why you have good reasons to travel to Europe.

I’ve submitted way more than what they need that will help my case. In this situation, the more the better.

 

My Visa Application for the Schengen Visa Philippines

1. Cover Letter

Even if this wasn’t required, I made sure I wrote a short yet succinct letter of why I wanted to travel to Spain.

You can check and download a copy of my Schengen visa cover letter here.

2. Flight Itinerary and airline reservations

Even if I knew that reservations were enough, I opted to buy my flight tickets in advance. I booked the flight with Emirates, which costed me around $800 for a round trip ticket.

Why did I opt to buy my airline tickets? I figured it “may” help the Consulate feel that I have a strong reason to go to Europe and leave on time. I knew that leaving Europe will be one of the strongest opposition they might ask me at the interview.

But this is definitely not required. The website itself mentions reservations to be enough. Make sure to check what are the airlines rules for reservation or for ticket refunds. I would be able to refund about half of the airline ticket price in any case that my visa gets rejected.

3. Travel Health Insurance

You need to get a travel insurance that covers 30,000 Euros for the duration of your trip. You can only get your insurance with an accepted European travel insurance organization.

I chose a Blue Cross insurance (now named as Pacific Cross), and chose the Tripguard Individual Plan, and under it, the Privilege Peso Plan which costed me Php 10,641 or $200. This insurance covers a total of 180 days.

4. Proof of Economic Means

Now there are various ways for you to prove how you will finance your whole trip. This can be through a form of invitation if someone else will provide for you. That person will need to submit financial documents.

The required amount you need to show based on the Spanish Consulate website is € 73,59 per person per day, with at least a total of € 661,50. I used this to calculate how much money I need to show for my application. I had this in mind while saving money for the trip, even if I know I wouldn’t spend this much money. Especially because in Spain, I’ll be staying with Ruben’s family.

As a proof of economic means, I showed them everything. Not only the amount required, but all the records I have for proof.

You can get a bank certificate within the day (This is with BPI), and you’ll need to pay about Php 100 each certificate. I have 2 accounts, a Peso and Dollar Savings account, so I requested for a certificate for each. You are not required to show any document (apart from identifications of course) to get one.

Bank certificates are not enough. It is best for you to provide your Bank Statements too. Print bank balances for about 3-6 months prior your application.

5. Employment Leaves and Certifications

If you have a job, you need to make sure to show all the proof you can provide for your work. Make sure to include letters or certificates of your leave of absence. This must be company authorized documents.

Since I work online and I have a business, I provided business permits, ITR and other sales proof. You have to make sure you are giving them all the reasons to understand that you will not be visiting Europe for work. This is if you are trying to get a Short Term Tourist Visa. You’ll also have to show proof that you have strong reasons to come back to the Philippines. That you will leave the Schengen area when you are supposed to leave. I would say this is the most important requirement and for you to prove. Although, you’ll have to provide all the required documents.

6. Travel Itinerary and Hotel Bookings

Another very important requirement, you need to show the proof of your whole itinerary in Europe. Usually, this will be a list of flights, details of tours (if you are taking any), all receipts and documents to prove these, and documents and confirmation of all your hotel bookings.

Here is an example of a Travel Itinerary and Hotel Bookings.

For my application, I have to provide a Carta de Invitacion from Ruben’s parents in Europe. I have no travel itinerary as I’m trying to apply only to travel in Spain and to show them that someone is inviting me to go there.

But since I want to travel around Europe if possible, I made sure I checked the option to get a Multiple Entry Visa. This will allow me to go in and out of Spain, thus travel in other parts of the Schengen area. I mean why get a single entry visa, if I can travel to many countries, right?

If you are getting an invitation like me, make sure to factor in the time to get this invitation shipped to you. In my case, it was a document from the police station from Spain (€80), and we had to pay €50 for them to send the document to my home in the Philippines. Total costs €130.

The letter took less than a week to come to me. I made sure to factor in about 10-14 days waiting time (as advised from Spain) when thinking about when I need to schedule my application.

7. More proof of “rootedness” to the Philippines

A permanent work in the Philippines will be a good proof of rootedness. If you own a car or have a home you own, these are also solid proof that you have a strong reason to come back to the Philippines.

Since I don’t have any of these, I have to provide a strong proof about my son, Han. I printed photos of us, his school certificates (to show that he is currently studying), and to prepare to explain this in the interview.

8. Additional documents

As I have to prepare everything I could think of that might be questioned, I made sure I also printed photos of Ruben and I plus some pages from our Instagram account, to show that our relationship was real.

Ruben is of course one of the biggest reasons I’m entering Europe, and for couples, they usually ask questions related to your relationship.

Make sure you a have the original copies and then a copy of all the documents you are submitting. I felt like I was sending them too much documents, but better be sure. They want to see that you have a receiving copy of everything.

 

When to Apply for a Schengen Visa

You can only apply for 90 days at most before your planned entry to the Schengen Area. I applied in June 15, which gives me about one a half months before my flight.

Why would you like to apply as early as you can?

This is to give time for the whole process. For the Spanish visa, the whole process takes about 15 business days. Also, if they have to ask you for more documents, or you get a refusal as a decision, you’ll have time to appeal. Or to do a re-application in case you feel that you can apply again with better proof of documents.

Should I go to a travel agency to help me?

Now this would be a decision that you have to make. During my interview, there are a few agencies who are helping clients to go to Spain. Yet, there is no special treatment or real advantage (or proof that you’ll get approved), if you are applying through an agency.

There is an additional fee to employ their service (which can cost around $200). And they will sell you on how they are experienced on looking at possibilities of how to check your requirements properly. However, everything will still depend on you. You have to appear in person in the BLS Spain and to the Consulate to submit your requirements and get an interview. I opted to prepare everything myself.

Application Process Schengen Visa Philippines

You need to go to the BLS Spain website to get a schedule to submit your application. There is no way you can visit without a prior schedule.

Print the email of your schedule as they will ask for it in the office. They mention in the site that you can’t bring any bags or belongings with you. Yet there are lockers in the office for keeping luggage.

It is not allowed to use your phone while waiting for your submission. Make sure to come on time. Once you enter the BLS Spain office, everyone gets a designated number. There are about 3 windows, each with one person who will examine your documents and ask you a few questions.

BLS Spain acts as a middle person for the whole application process. They will make sure you have the complete requirements for your application. Now, if you don’t have full requirements, you can still opt to submit your application.

Only schedule an appointment once you have completed everything you need to submit. For me, I scheduled everything and then had to reschedule because my Carta de Invitation didn’t come in time.

After them checking all documents submitted, you will be given another number to wait for your turn to have your biometrics logged.

During my submission, they gave me back copies of my documents and documents for Han. You will also make a payment in the window where you submit your requirements. You can pay to get text messages and also pay if you want your passport to be sent to you.

 

Schengen Visa Fees Philippines

You can see all the visa Consular fees here. It costs around $67 or Php 3,560 to get a visa for an adult. I paid a total of Php 5K php for my application. After the biometrics, you will get your application form back.

You will also get instructions to follow if the Consulate requires you to appear for an interview. With the Spain process, you will receive a text message from them. If you don’t get any message after 3-4 days, then that means you have to automatically go to the Consulate for interview.

First timers are usually required to go for an interview. I was instructed to wait around 12 noon to 3PM that day for a text message. The whole submission process took less than an hour.

My application only took longer because they had to take my biometrics a couple of times. My finger prints weren’t registering on their system. But apart from that, process can take much shorter.

As expected I got text messages from them in the afternoon. First, to confirm that they have received my application. Second, to let me know that they are expecting me to come for an interview.

No schedule is required for the interview.

Yo need to go directly to the Consulate office, Mondays to Thursdays, 8 to 8 30 am. I decided to take a day to rest, before heading to my interview.

 

 

INTERVIEW DAY

At the Consulate, it’s actually a little bit funny that you need to come at 8-8 30 am, when the office opens at 9 AM. But you can make sure that there a good number of people who will come early. It’s definitely a must to come ahead of time. I came at around 8, and there were about 20 people waiting.

The security will take your gadgets, log your name and reason for visiting. You will then get your numbers and allowed to enter the building (Consulate is at the 5th floor). Security guards know how to properly check your papers.

There are available chairs while waiting for your turn for the interview.

I thought there is a personal face to face interview, but there isn’t. I prepared to show all my charm and prove to them that I deserved to get a visa, but NO. I stood on a window, much like a cashier window. They will have your documents on their end, and everyone in the room can almost hear the whole interview.

The whole interview took about 5-10 minutes. It is very important to answer briefly, assertively, and to have full of confidence with your answers. Make sure your answers also match the documents that you sent. You have to make sure that you say the truth, without any contradicting information. Your purpose is to make the interviewer confident that you are sincere in your application to visit Spain.

The Interview Proper

The interviewer was a female Spanish officer, about 40-50 years of age. She was Multilingual and very fluent at it. She can speak Spanish, English and Filipino.

I was first asked why I want to visit Spain. My immediate answer was tourism. (Yep, that’s what all the websites mentioned to say. Ha!) I answered that question very briefly, which I felt wasn’t enough after the interview. It is best to show them with your words and actions that you are very enthusiastic about visiting their country.

I also mentioned Ruben as a reason for visiting Spain. They asked me how was I related to the host (the one who invited me to Spain, Ruben’s mom).

Everything felt perfect until they asked me about work. I read somewhere that I shouldn’t mention that my whole business was online unless necessary. So I mentioned that I run a Social Media Agency (which is true), which is proven with all the documents I submitted.

And this was where the interview went not so well. The interviewer looked like she didn’t understand my work and business at all. She started to ask what I do in the business, who my clients are, and her face showed total confusion as she flipped through my documents. Then she asked me how long the business has been running.

Now, the tricky part. I have been freelancing online since 2012. But, the business under the name Gamintraveler, has only been officially filed for a year and a half ago. So I mentioned the business is 2 years to make sure my answers alighted with all my tax and business documentation. Which should suffice. But when I mentioned it was only 2 years, I was questioned how I provided for my baby for all the years before that.

This was followed with questions about how old my baby is and who will take care of him while I was traveling.

As I poised to explain everything further, she mentioned that my answers were enough, and the interview was done. She wrote ‘2PM’ on my application and told me to come back at 2PM.

So yes, I expected that it means I need further interview. In my mind, there was no way that was the ONLY interview I was going get. I have 3-4 hours to kill. So yes, after getting some coffee, I went to a computer cafe, and printed even MORE DOCUMENTS. I printed more proof for everything I felt the interviewer wasn’t satisfied.

I printed contracts with clients, freelancing contracts from 2013 (yes years before now), and a whole lot more. Proof that will help answer questions like what I do for clients.

Most of the time, I feel like I was printing too much proof when really they will only spend a few seconds with those documents. But again, better to submit MORE than to have less.

I, together with a few people, who got back at 2PM, were ushered in time to the interview window. There, we each got our visa rejection letter.

Yes, I was refused to enter Spain and a visa for Europe.

Yes. 2PM means you were rejected. I was not sure what to feel about that. There was really no way to even give them more papers, as they just gave the documents of refusal, to make sure we signed it, gave back our application forms and our passports.

That was it. It felt rushed and the news didn’t register at all. Good thing, I was very well informed that an appeal is possible and that I am entitled to one. I asked them how to do it.

I felt they weren’t sure if I should appeal. The Filipino guy who gave me my refusal paper for signing asked me if I believe I should appeal, to which I gave a SOLID EFFING YES.

The refusal form have check boxes of the reasons why an application got refused. They told me I have 30 days to appeal, and to come back anytime from 1PM, except Fridays.

At first, I thought to appeal right there and then (call me EMO), but good thing I decided to go home and think deeper.

Went home, told Ruben the news and how devastated I was. And I was actually very down and gloomy for the next couple of days. It was a year of mental and emotional preparation, summed up by less than 5 minutes of windows time to answer why I should go to Spain.

I know in my bone that I should get a Schengen visa Philippines. The only question was how long would they allow me to stay in Spain as I was applying for 90 days.

Preparing for the Remonstrance

A remonstrance is when you appeal and request to get reconsidered for the application. I took a week off before going back to Manila to submit my appeal.

My reasons?

1. I was really down.

2. I didn’t know if my documents were enough

3. I wanted to give myself some space and time to take it all in. And in a few days more and more requirements can come to mind, so I can come prepared.

We made sure we ask around to help us with the remonstrance. I spent a lot of time researching and reached out to friends who got their visas from the Philippines.

I kept repeating the interview in my head. Also, I made sure I understood every part of the refusal form given to me. They checked 4 reasons why my application got rejected:

1. Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided

2. You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence, for the duration of the intended stay of for the return to the country of origin or residence or for the transit to a third country into which you are certain to be admitted, or you are not in a position to acquire such means lawfully

3. The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable

4. Your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained

Now, I strongly know that some of these reasons were wrong. For one, I have way more money than what they required for the stay in Europe. Also, I provided the required Carta de Invitacion, which legally, should suffice the conditions of my stay in Spain.

There are a lot of reasons an application can be turned down. I made sure I had a very strong appeal letter, plus I’ve included EXTRA documents to further prove my points.

I wanted to show them that I was sincere with my application, that I prepared my documents. But I also made sure in my tone in the letter, that I strongly believe that I should get the visa. That’s the only result I want to achieve in submitting my appeal.

To support my letter, I provided more documentation about the following:

1. I added back Han’s documents to my application. During the BLS review, they removed all of Han’s documents saying those are not needed. However, I added them back to show them that Han is really studying in the Philippines.

Also, to prove that I will come back to Philippines, I printed ALL MY FLIGHT TICKETS from 2 years ago, since Ruben and I started traveling together. It may feel excessive, but I wanted to show proof that I have never left Philippines for more than 3 months.

Ruben and I try to travel slower, but after 2-3 months, we always come back to Han.

2. I explained the blogger part of our work. Now in my previous interview and application, I never really mentioned or explained in detail that I was a blogger. I didn’t initially feel confident that they would like the idea that I can do all my work online.

What I didn’t realize was that it could be the perfect reason for why I’m always traveling, and why I go in and out of the Philippines. So apart from printing some photos of Ruben and I traveling together, I printed travel guides that we wrote.

I printed our blog’s about page, and work with me page. I printed email conversations and invitations from hotels too. This can prove that we have been invited to travel and create photos and videos for hotels and tours.

Normally, it is advised to have a brief letter of remonstrance.

You need to be brief and exact on what grounds you feel were wrong and why you are appealing to get your visa. But since they gave me 4 reasons for the rejection, I answered all of them, and mentioned all the documents that help prove my point.

I used 2 papers for my whole appeal letter. You can download a copy of my remonstrance here.

I put all my additional documents in a large brown envelope. It felt like I was resubmitting a new application. But I wanted to make sure I give my very best for the remonstrance.

APPEAL DAY

This is more of a submission day. You’ll be given a number, the guards will make sure your appeal is stapled in front of your additional documents.

No, at this part, the consulate will not take your application and passport again. They said to wait for an email from them about the appeal.

This was my third time of going to Manila to process the visa. I feel there was a lot of vagueness in the whole process. So you need to make sure to ask questions all the time.

Shouldn’t I know the exact waiting time to get an answer?

Luckily, the security guards were very nice and very well experienced and happy to help. I asked them questions about what should I do next and some re-assurance with the process. They mentioned I need to give them 15 days to decide. And whatever the decision is, they will email me.

My plan was if I failed the Remonstrance, I will re-apply. I have some time before my flight.

I was able to put the remonstrance out of my head after submitting. Nothing was in my hands anymore.

SCHENGEN VISA PHILIPPINES – RECONSIDERATION

After 3 days, I got an email (almost missed it), that they are reconsidering my visa application.

A BIG YES DAY FOR ME!

They asked me to go back and submit my passport for the processing of visa. So yes, back to Manila for the fourth time, only to leave them my passport. They informed me I needed to come back after 7 days to get my passport back. At this point, I was super positive yet nervous for the results.

The guards reassured me that if they requested for my passport back, it should mean that I was getting my visa.

All I had to do was wait and give them enough time for the decision.

After 7 days, I did not receive any feedback from the Consulate. I emailed to make sure I can go back and collect my passport. They answered the next day, and assured me that I can go back Friday.

GOING BACK FOR MY VISA SCHENGEN FOR FILIPINO

And now, the day we were all waiting for. I came 11: 57am to the Consulate office, 3 minutes before they closed shop. ha!

The security guards already know my face!

I hurried up to the Consulate office and there it was — my passport. They gave it to me and you’ll have to read the sticker yourself to see all the details.

And the final verdict:

Type C Visa, 90 Days Duration, Multiple Entry! I WAS SO HAPPY!!!

Not only will I be able to go to Spain, I will be able to travel around other countries for 3 months. It was such an amazing feeling!

To everyone of you guys who followed this story, who has shared to us their support online and on Instagram, thank you so so much!

I am so excited to meet Ruben again, this time to see him in his home town, to meet his family and to finally travel and write about Europe!!

Sending you guys love and again, many thanks for all the support to everyone!
Goes to say that determination can pay off!

Follow us here and on Instagram to not miss our first Europe trip together!

Signing out, and sending you love,

Rachel

 
 
 
 
Rachel Pregunta is the content strategist and web designer for Gamin Traveler.
Rachel Pregunta

Rachel is the second half and co-founder of Gamintraveler. Born and raised in the Philippines, Rachel started freelancing on the digital marketing space in 2012. Upon meeting Ruben thru Couchsufing, she started to travel around the world, and together they built Gamintraveler, a blog on travel destinations, couple life and how to be a digital nomad. She also runs a 5-figure digital agency which focuses on Instagram and Visual Marketing.

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