Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pinoy's Guide in Acquiring a Schengen Visa

If you heard about the word Schengen, it could mean that a person is securing a visa or is traveling to Europe. It may sounds like Chinese to you, but it is actually a village in Luxembourg who became famous because it is the place the Schengen Agreement was signed on June 15, 1985 by the five countries —Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.. Today, it is the unifying factor that contributes to two agreements among European states in 1985 and 1990.

That's why, if you're traveling to a European country such as Madrid or Barcelona, you need a Schengen visa. With this visa, it allows you to have a multiple entry to any country of the member European states. So, I can go to France to see the famous Eiffel tower or see the romantic city of Italy or perhaps in Switzerland to see the Einstein Museum in Berne.

Two years ago, the Spanish Consulate in the Philippines have implemented the courier delivery service so all visas that was processed can now be delivered at your door steps. But if you are like me who had expedite the visa processing, you will be personally have to get your visa at their office in Makati. If you are a new applicant, you need to prepare documents prior to submission to the Spanish Embassy in Manila. You can see application form here. In my case, I'm on a short stay and for business purposes, I have prepared the following:

* Schengen Visa Application Form ( xerox in 3 copies)

* 2 x 2 photo (blue or white background)

* Passport (xerox in 3 copies)

* An Invitation letter from my host (Conference invitation)

* Airfare tickets and Itenerary

* Travel Insurance

* Hotel Booking

Before I miss, you need to pay P3,600 for your visa. But when I go there to fetch my visa, Effective July 3, they have raised the amount to P4,100. Yes, you have read it right, I have already my visa.. thank God and that's exactlly 10 days of processing.

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