How to Apply for Schengen Visa in the Philippines via the French Embassy

UPDATED: 1/15/2016

schengen-visa-apply-philippines

It was always a childhood dream of mine to see Paris, France. Isn’t it delightful to see the sights of Champs Elysees, the smells of French bakeries, the interesting sounds of Moulin Rouge, and experience the love that envelopes the world’s romantic city? I finally got the chance to see Paris last year with my partner through a short side trip while I was visiting him in the UK. And because I have a Philippine passport, I had to acquire for a Schengen visa to travel to France. Read on how I got my Schengen visa.

What is a Schengen Visa?

As a Philippine passport holder, it is a given that we need a visa to get to anywhere outside ASEAN countries. A Schengen visa is the powerhouse visa that allows you to travel to all 25 countries in the EU area. It allows you access to the following countries: 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 and Switzerland. This makes organizing the grand Euro trip so much easier–you only need one visa to enter all aforementioned EU countries signed to the Schengen agreement.

I. Preparation

1. How Much?

Visa processing fee is 60 euros, or during my time, around Php 3,080. For children ages 0-6, it is free of charge whereas minors from ages 6-11 pay 35 euros or approximately Php 2,000. Visa processing fee c/o VFS is Php 1,333. Other charges may include SMS fee for updates for Php 220 and courier fee of Php 330 if you preferred the passport to be mailed to your door.

2. When to Apply?

Applications are accepted up to three months before your travel date. You should apply for your visa as soon as you’ve finalized your travel schedule (by the way, you don’t need to buy a ticket just yet, a booked reservation will do). I recommend to apply 6-8 weeks before your travel date for enough time allowance.

3. How to Apply?

Schengen tourist visa applications should be lodged at the embassy or consulate of the country of visit. In my case, my intention was to visit France only, so I did it at the French Embassy. If you’re planning to visit several countries, you apply for your application to the country you’ll be staying the longest. If the length of stay in each destination is almost the same, you should lodge the application to the country of first entry. 

*Update 1/6/16: As of December 9, 2015, all Schengen visa applications for France are already outsourced to VFS Global. For more information, you can check this link

You can book an appointment online or via call at +63 2 790 4903. Visa applications are open from Monday to Friday at 7AM to 2PM.

4. Where to Apply?

Update: Schengen visa applications for France are now done in VFS Global as of 12/9/2015.

The address of VFS France is: 

France Visa Application Centre,
Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg.,
Don Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City
1231 Philippines

Address of the French Embassy in Manila: 16th Floor Pacific Star Building corner Sen. Gil Puyat Ext. and Makati Avenue 1200, Philippines.

II. Application Requirements

Checklist of Documents to Bring on the day of your appointment:

  • Cover Letter. The letter must contain your travel details, purpose of your trip, and your plans to stay there, who you are traveling with, the details of your relationship with sponsor (if applicable), and the list of documents you’re about to submit to the embassy. The letter should be addressed to:
    • THE HONORABLE CONSUL
      EMBASSY OF FRANCE
      16th floor Pacific Star Bldg
      Makati Avenue cor. Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
    • Attached is my sample Letter to the French Consulate for the French Embassy.
  • Printed, filled up and signed Schengen Application form (download here) with 1 photo affixed (bring 2 photos)
    • Photograph Requirements – Most photo shops would already know the specifications needed for visa requirements-just tell them it’s for a Schengen visa. I had ours taken in Ayala Center Cebu.
      • recent photo taken within six months
      • 45mm x 35mm
      • White or cream background
      • Taken with nothing covering the face, without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or a head covering unless for religious or medical reasons. The subject should have their mouth closed (no grinning, frowning or raised eye brows). Applicant should be facing forwarding, looking straight ahead.
  • Confirmed Booking Appointment Letter. Print the confirmed booking, which will be sent to you by VFS via email.
  • School / Employment Supporting Documents – provides proof of coming back to the Philippines.
    • Student – a letter from your school or education provider confirming your enrollment and leave of absence
    • Employee – tax returns, pay slips, letter from your employer confirming employment, and confirming leave of absence.
    • Business Owner – tax returns, business registration documents (stating your name as business owner)
  • Financial Supporting Documents – documents that prove you don’t need to work while you’re in France. This can include bank statements, pay slips, credit card statements, property titles; within the last six months or so
  • Trip Details must include the following:
    • Roundtrip Airfare Ticket Reservations.
    • Planned Itinerary, detailing what you intend to do and places you want to see during your stay in the EU areas. (Read my Suggested Itinerary: Paris France blog post to help you plan an itinerary!)
    • Hotel Booking or Reservations. I suggest you book your accommodations at Booking.com where booking and cancellation is free. If you are intending to stay with a friend, provide your host’s passport, national identity card, residence permit and Certificate of Board and Lodging.
  • Personal Supporting Documents – proof of your identification details & personal circumstances
    • NSO Birth Certificate
    • Marriage Certificate, if married
    • Current Passport and Previous Passport, to see travel history
  • Travel Insurance covering the entire duration of your intended stay. Minimun coverage is 30,000 euros. 

Complete submission of these documents will be helpful in obtaining that visa, but does not guarantee visa issuance; but missing or incomplete supporting documents may result in a Schengen visa refusal.

III. Appointment

 

I came in VFS Center 30 minutes before appointment at 8AM, and deposited my bag to the baggage counter before coming in to VFS France. Since they weren’t that busy they had me come in immediately anyway without having to wait. I presented my documents to the counter, where the VFS pointed out I had a few missing documents. Thankfully, you can now photocopy, print, scan, use the internet, book tickets, accommodations and car rental, buy travel insurance and more at the main reception area of VFS Center through Vasco. I was able to retrieve missing documents at Vasco and went back to VFS France, and they were quick to process them. After submitting the docs, I paid at the cashier the total amount of Php 4, they had my biometrics taken–fingerprints, photo, the works. I left the center at exactly 9:30AM, and would have finished earlier if I hadn’t been so lenient with my papers. 😉

Ecoplaza Bldg has great food choices at Eco Eats, such as Jamba Juice, Yellow Cab, Max’s, Teriyaki Boy and more. I stuffed my face here with great food–who knew visa processing can make you so hungry?

IV. Waiting Period & Results

I am impressed about how quick the processing was for my visa! I received an email that day that my visa has been dispatched to the embassy. It should look like this:

Visa application, ref no.______ has been dispatched to the France Embassy Manila on 1/11/2016 for processing.

Two days after, I received another email:

‘Processed visa application ref no. ______ is ready for collection at the VFS France Visa Application Centre between 2-4pm M-F,
If opt for courier, please disregard this message.

‘Processed visa application ref no.______ has been couriered to you via 2GO Express on 1/14/2016.’

Kindly wait for 24-48hrs if within Metro Manila area.

Additional delivery lead time for Provinces and remote areas applies.

You can track your application via the VFS Website.

Need help in planning your Paris, France itinerary? Read my blog post, Suggested Itinerary: 5 days in Paris, France to help you!

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79 thoughts on “How to Apply for Schengen Visa in the Philippines via the French Embassy

  1. The Filipino staff at the French embassy have had a reputation for being masungit way before I applied for a visa back in 2011 and I guess nothing’s changed! I was lucky to be interviewed by a woman who was strict but generally fair; some of the people in other counters weren’t so fortunate. Makes you wonder why they’re like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agreed! There is only one word i can distinguished that Filipina in window 5, RUDE! she is so rude, she doesn’t act like professional.
    Mas okay pa nga yun french national they are friendly and accomodating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Thera! I think the same Filipina handled us on our applications. She isnt the nicest person, or maybe it was her period? Hehe

      Like

  3. Hi, I hope you answer soon since I am going to have my interview first week of August and you are the only one who has same situation as I am. I live in Mindanao area and I want to ask if your authorization letter needs notarized. And was it the only thing needed for someone else getting your passport for you? Thank you so much I hope to hear from you.

    Like

  4. hi,
    have a good day! my sister,my mom and me are planning to apply schengen visa in French embassy this coming august,, ung mommy ok po ay under ng sister k sa documents nya, expensed po ng kapatid k ung mommy k kc ung sister k po ay my mga businesses dito sa pinas tapos she have multiple visa of us and she travelled all the time.tapos kme naman po ng mommy ko is lagi din travel but in Asian countries lang po with my sister parin.i have my own docu po to present coz I have job naman po here In Phil.possible kaya po maisuehan kme ng visa? lalo at ung kapatid k is kasama dahil she got schengen visa na din po before..plz pki sagot naman po ng mga questions ko.salamat pp

    Like

    1. give it a try! it looks like you have a high chance of being approved a visa. Just make sure you bring enough good documentation and proof of your ties here in the Philippines 🙂

      Like

  5. malaki kaya po ang possible
    na ma issuehan kme
    ng schengen visa? we want to visit Paris po kc for 10 days,, at ung sa booking po ba ng hotel na ipresent sa embassy is kailangan 10 days din po na book sa hotel sa Paris? salamat po

    Like

  6. Hi,, katatapos lang po ng interview namin sa france embassy knina, sept 9..na encounter din po namin ung girl dun sa window 5 at mejo my pagka strict po talaga xa, she’s not friendly..
    Kinuhanan po kme ng biometrics at picture na, tpos pinapabalik kme sa sept 11 para sa passport namin,,naiwan na
    Po kc passport namin dun..sadya po ba iniiwan na ung passport dun? Pag po ba kinuhanan ng biometrics at picture it means approve po sa visa? Thanks po in advance, godbless po

    Like

    1. No, taking the photo and biometrics does not assure that your visa is approved. You have to leave the passport there because that’s when they stamp in your visa. You will have to wait until sept 11 to know if your visa is approved or not.

      Like

      1. oo nga po, hoping and prAying for the best results on friday po..
        If ever my kulang po sa requirements na pinasa, un po ba ay cnsbi nila na ipasa or email or send it to them po..!?

        Like

  7. Hi, thanks for the info! Lucky enough to find this blog. I just want to ask kasi this will be our first time to travel aborad. We haven’t tried even outside Luzon or outside the country. We’ll apply for 7 days Paris trip and it’s purpose is for a honeymoon travel. But by the time I am going to apply visa is I am single, and our wedding will be past two days before the trip. May conflict ba doon? Kasi I’ll be applying a visa SINGLE and If ever na approve I’ll be travelling to Paris MARRIED already. Hope to hear from you, Thanks!

    Like

    1. Thank you! I apologize though as I don’t have knowledge with that. I think it shouldn’t be an issue though, changing the surname and marital status sometimes takes months in Philippine documents!

      Like

  8. Hi there,

    Hi! Good day I am thinking to apply a tourist visa in french embassy I visit paris last Dec 13 2015 I stay 3 days and off to Spain after, now I am back here in Paris again my schengen visa issued from Spanish embassy I have twice granted schegen visa my last one will expire 25 jan 2016 it is multiple actually amd I a, planning to apply in french embassy,

    My question is how long it will take if I apply short stay? Would you recommend long stay, my partner is british national, I visit london also last year. I will come back in the pholippines just to apply french visa I am still holding a phillipines passport.

    Thanks if have a good day ahead

    Like

  9. Hi ! I have applied for a Schengen visa for France ,its been more than 5 days and it still says processing when i track my application. How should i know the results?

    Like

  10. Hello. Good day. Are those the requirements for the French Schengen Visa above? 😊 And do you think I can be able to get my visa immediately? Because my flight is on March 23 and my appointment is on March 14. 😭😂😊 thank you! I hope you can reply.

    Like

  11. Hi, I was just wandering if there’s a specific size of bond paper I should print my cover letter & application form in? Thanks in advance!

    Like

  12. Helo. Im planning to apply for schengen visa france. My fiance will be my sponsor. Just wanna know all the documents needed or requirements. He will pay for everything. Hope somebody can answer my question. Tnx in advance

    Like

  13. Good day! I am Rose. I have a french fiance. I am planning to apply for a short stay visa to get married there, I just want to ask if I will have the same requirements you have listed above. And what will be the chances for granting a visa.
    Thank you… Hope to hear your reply soon.

    Like

  14. Good day 🙂 magaaply po aq ng short stay visa papuntang France. Me and my boyfriend planning po namen magpakasal SA France . yan din po ba yung mga requirements. Thank you po.

    Like

  15. Hello! If you don’t mind my asking, you planned to go only to France. Did your visa say Valid for France only or Estat schengen?

    Like

  16. Good Morning, I’m about to apply for Schengen visa, I have all the requirements but I am worried with one, as I don’t have ITR, I work in a travel agency, I have my COE with monthly salary, leave of absence. Do you think I’ll get refused without ITR? 😦 please helpppp. Thanks in advance

    Like

    1. You can still submit whatever you have 🙂 having an ITR will strengthen your application but that doesn’t mean no ITR means an instant refusal.

      Like

      1. you need to apply in manila, applying via Cebu Consulate is not possible. I think the only visa centers here for Schengen are for Norway and Italy

        Like

  17. Hi hindi ba Gnun khirap kumuha ng schegen visa.. I’m planning to apply in 2weeks at first travel q to.. Plss.. Reply at marmi poh ba na refuse Sa visa

    Like

    1. I don’t think so 🙂 as long as your requirements are complete and there’s no good reason for doubt, you should get a visa with no problems

      Like

  18. Hi your blog is very informative just got a message from them that the passport is ready for pick up at VFS office but they cant say whether it is approved or not I applied last June 3 2016 and got the message today. When you got the same message did you receive your passport the next day? Thanks and best regards

    Like

  19. I got my Schengen Visa already last week and went to VFS yesterday again to get UK Visa. Do you think having schengen visa will make the process shortened i mean like less than 15 days.

    Thanks Pretty

    Like

    1. hmm, i won’t think so! It probably won’t shorten your processing period, but it definitely will strengthen your UK visa application.

      Like

  20. hi kararating lang approved uk visa ng mom at pamangkin kong minor de edad. sponsor silang dalawa ng kapatid here in uk, during the application sa uk isang documents lang ng ate ko ang ginamit nilang dalawa..ang tanong po sa pag apply sa france ganun din po ba kaya? or kilangan tag isa silang documents galing sa sponsor ang ipasa.TIA

    Like

  21. Hello, were planning to visit Paris from London. do I still need to get a visa if it is a Day tour only in Paris? if so, is it still okay to apply visa if my ticket is booked for first week of aug? Thank you!

    Like

  22. hi my mon and niece apply for uk visa sponsored by my sister and got thier uk visa approved last sat. during the uk application they only submit one copy of sponsored document for booth of them , is it would be the same to submit only one copy from thier sponsored when applying to french schengen visa?

    Like

  23. Hello!Your blog really informative, Thank you!
    I would like to ask,.if how much do i need in my bank account (or statement of account) if I will travel France for 1 month or 3 weeks..do you have any idea how much would it range?..I know that I still need a bank statement even if i have a sponsor in France…Or Do you think 100k would be enough?I would really appreciate if answer my questions..Thank you!

    Like

    1. 100k will be sufficient, I’m sure! As long as your account is more than 6 months 😉 good luck with the applications.

      Like

  24. Hi, nag apply po ako sa netherland embassy at may sponsor po ako at denied po. Balak ko sana magre apply dis week. Kaso ang problema ko sa una dont have strong ties sa philippines kasi unemployed po ako. Ano po magandang gawin? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon

    Like

  25. Hello! 🙂

    May i know the how many days was the visa issued to you? I mean, are they giving exact visa duration based on your intended travel dates during application? what if plans changed and pushed back a bit?

    also, do you think 80-100k is enough to cover everything for one week trip to Paris *including airfare and hostel*

    Thank you!

    Like

    1. Yes, that should be enough! 80-100k is pretty good already, covering everything. Also, I was given 2 week visa on my first application. on my 2nd, I was given one month and on my 3rd I was given 3 months. I think I would apply for a one-year visa on my next application 🙂

      Like

  26. hi! do you have an idea what’s the maximum days/months stay in Schengen countries? is it possible that I will be approved for 60-90 days or more stay? what should I do to help my chances?

    Like

  27. I work in ABUDHABI before 5 years and two months nakarating na din po ako ng London 3x kasama ng amo ko nkakuha po ako ng Schengen visa multiple”C” sa France Embassy sa ABUDHABI till Nov.17 this year ang expired now I’m staying in Phils Cancelled na ang visa ko sa ABUDHABI I’m planning to go to France Paris for 4 days then going to Sweden for 10 days ask ko lang may hahanapin pa ba sakin ang immigration ntin dto sa Pinas or hiningin?incase ano po kya para mapaghandaan ko?second pagpasok ko ba ng France at Sweden wla po bang magiging problema I mean may documents ba silang hahanapin sakin incase maliban sa visa ko?by the way i go by train pagpunta sa Sweden to explore pls help me nman po hope to hear from you Thank you so much!

    Like

  28. Is it still the same procedure? Is there a change? Ive been reading/looking at their website and i cant find other requirements. thanks.

    Like

  29. Hi! Nakapag apply na po ako ng visa way back october 2015. Tapos na denied po ako. Hopefully this coming october i will try again. I am a student po, Pano po ako mag sa-submit ng proof of income ng parents ko? Im thinking of applying a tourist visa, but the thing is, yung mom&dad ko po is nasa Paris. And i am planning po sana to book a hotel, hindi po ako mag sstay sakanila kasi medyo maliit po yung apartment nila and ang mahabang process po kapag kukuha sila ng douments sa goverment don. Conflict po kaya if malaman nila na yung sponsor ko is nasa Paris din? Ano po supporting docs ang kailangan ko isubmit? Hope you’ll reply soon. Thank you!

    Like

  30. Hello, may question is meron akong business dito sa manila pero almost one year pa lang nag ra-run and also i have boyfriend na Australian citizen and we have a daughter who lives with me, may chance po kaya na ma approve ako sa visa? Pero kompleto naman po ang requirements ko,baka ma question lang about sa boyfriend ko na hindi pa kmi kasal pero may anak na? And magkalayo kami he is working back in Australia but he is supporting us since then. Thank you po

    Like

  31. Hello, planning to travel Europe with my cousin, I have a question…My cousin and I are unemployed (we just graduated college) and this EuroTrip is our parents’ gift for us, for the financial statement, do we give our parents’ financial statements or ours? Thank you I hope you reply, I’ve been wanting to go to Europe for 4 years and i finally have a chance….

    Like

  32. Hello. I have a boyfriend in germany, and he invited me to go to german, i would like to apply for a schengen visa not a fiancee visa.. anyway i dont have a work here in philippines but he supported my financially. We met 4x here in phililippines as well as in Singapore. I would like to know if is it possible to get schengen tourist visa.

    Like

  33. Question:.im planning a trip sa france and its my first time so .how can i get a shenghen visa and what documents needed if my french bf will sponsor me?and how much money needed on the savings account po?thank you and hoping for you reply..;-)

    Like

  34. hello po, ask lng po sana ako patungkol sa Schengen Visa. boyfriend ko po kasi gusto travel to Europe with me. He is an American, sa kanya wala po prob kasi passport lang need. Ung sakin po kasi pinay may required. Ung Health Insurance po pano po yon? okay na po ba ung insurance natin dito? o sadang kukuha tayo sa consulate health insurance kasi di po ba need na valid siya from other SChengen countries. Plan po kasi namin trvel, from Paris, Switzerlnd, Italy and some other countries.. good timing na po na mag apply ni Visa now sa Feb pa kasi plan namin papunta don?
    Thank you po in advance sa responsniyo.

    More power!!

    Like

  35. Helpful suggestions ! I was enlightened by the details . Does someone know if my assistant might be able to grab a sample cerfa N 14076 01 Application for Schengen Visa copy to use ?

    Like

  36. Very informative blog. I have a question though, did you also attach your train tickets from UK to France?
    My parents and I got our UK visa and our hosts in the UK are planning to bring us to France, Belgium and Netherlands.

    We only have the hotel reservations in France and Belgium and our round trip plane tickets from Philippines to London. Will that be enough? Or need talaga ang train tickets to France?

    Hope to receive a response from you. Thank you so much in advance. 🙂

    Like

    1. To add, meron na kaming travel insurance and other requirements. Naka book na din kami appointment sa VfS this month.
      Only prob lang is wala kaming train tickets na ma.aattach sa application.

      Like

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