How to Apply for Schengen Visa via Norwegian Embassy

A few months ago, we received an invitation from my boyfriend’s childhood best friend to visit Iceland with him. My boyfriend hasn’t seen him in a decade, so it was an exciting proposition. Plus, we haven’t been to Iceland, nor do we know much about it. We wanted to see what Iceland has to offer, aside from, well, ice. We agreed.

The plan was to visit my boyfriend in London for three weeks, and make a 5-day side trip to Iceland. I have already accomplished my UK visa and would need a Schengen visa to enter Iceland.

Since there is no Iceland Embassy in Philippines, all Schengen visa applications for Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Sweden and Finland will be lodged via the Philippine Norwegian Embassy. Read on to know how I was able to get my Schengen visa. Since our intention was to visit Iceland, I will relate my experience and requirements I needed for Iceland specifically.

If you would like to know about applying for Schengen Visa via the French Embassy, read about my experience here.

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 under the Schengen agreement.

Although the Schengen visa allows access to the aforementioned countries, you will need to apply your visa to the country where you’ll be visiting. This isn’t so hard if you’re only intending to visit one country, but if you’re planning to visit several Schengen countries, you should lodge your application to your main destination, either on your first point of entry or the country where you’ll be staying the longest.

On my case, I was approved the Schengen visa via Norway but was able to use it to see Netherlands and France. Both trips were unplanned and decided when I was already abroad, but was able to come in both countries without a problem.

I. Preparation

1. How Much?

Visa processing fee is 60 euros, or during my time, around Php 3,500. For children ages 0-6, it is free of charge whereas minors from ages 6-11 pay 35 euros or approximately Php 2,000. This is good news as when I applied for my baby’s UK visa, fee for both adults and children were the same! 

I used the Self-Service Norway Application Portal wherein you are required to pay the 60 EUR fee online through credit card. On the day of the appointment, I also paid another Php 1,233 to VFS Norway for the agency’s processing fee.

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?

Again, I used the Self-Service Norway Application Portal. The website is pretty easy to use and straightforward. Filling out of the application form, setting the appointment date and payment of processing fee are done online.

Once this is accomplished, you can then print out the application form, receipt and cover letter from the Royal Norwegian Embassy (this serves as a confirmation and will be sent to you via email). You can then book your appointment and simply show up with the duly fulfilled forms and required documents at VFS Norway

4. Where to Apply?

Manila

All visa applications are handled by an outsourcing agency, VFS Global Norway, to make things faster and easier for the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila. Here’s the address for VFS Norway in Manila:

Ground Floor, Ecoplaza Building
2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension
Makati City, Philippines 1231

Cebu

Starting May 7, 2015, you can now apply for a Schengen visa at the Norway Visa Application Center in Cebu starting May 7, 2015. If I had known this earlier, I could’ve done it in Cebu instead of flying to Manila for my booked appointment was on May 6, 2015, just one day before! Here’s the Cebu Address:

Norway Visa Application Centre – Cebu
Unit 503, 5th Floor, Keppel Center
Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales Ave.
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000

Please be advised that visa applicants can walk in/go directly to the Centre in Cebu and submit their application after they have registered their application in the Application Portal. There is no need to book for an appointment before applicants can proceed.

5. Other Important Information

VFS Norway’s website has a tracking tool for visa applications, but when I tried to use them it doesn’t seem to be working.

VFS Norway has a hotline number (+63 2 790 4902), which was really helpful when I wanted to track my visa application You can call them Mon-Fri 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It takes them a while to answer, but Edelyn was really helpful. You can also email them at info.noph@vfshelpline.com.

If you wanted to contact the Royal Norwegian Embassy – Manila directly, you can call their Visa Section at +63 (0)2 317 2778, from Mon-Thurs, 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM only.

II. Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter. I did not need to write a cover letter for this application, as a cover letter is already provided for you and emailed after accomplishing the Online Application Form. You just need to affix your signature in the bottom of the page.
  • Printed, filled up and signed Schengen Visa Application Form or VAF (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 Appointment Date and Time. You can choose to book an appointment or come anytime as a walk-in.
  • 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.
    • 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 EUR. 

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 had to fly to Manila to get my visa done, as the Cebu option was still not available on my time of application.

I scheduled for 8:00AM and arrived 30 minutes before. I was asked to fill up a registration form of some sort by the guard before coming in. They checked my bag, and told me that I could come in with my phone as long as it is switched off. You are not allowed to use the phone or any electronic device while inside VFS.

Upon inside, I was given a priority number ’11’, but since the Norway window wasn’t so busy, they called me ahead to approach the window. I submitted all my requirements and when the officer saw that everything was well in order and complete, he proceeded to ask for the VFS fee of Php1,233. I also asked to have the passport couriered to me so that was another additional Php500. They gave me a receipt to which they told me I need to present when I redeem my passport. The officer told me I could get my passport within 2-5 working days. Not bad, I thought to myself. Afterwards, I waited until I was called by biometrics to have my picture and fingerprints taken.

I was very impressed with the whole proceeding. It only took 30 minutes, from the time I arrived inside their premises until I left.

IV. Waiting Period & Results

I was told that I will be informed via text and email that my passport is ready. And since I was promised I will get my Schengen visa within 2-5 working days, plus given the swift processing on my appointment, I was confident I could get it way before my UK trip. I had availed of the courier service, which would take another 2-3 working days. Alternatively, you can pick up the passport at VFS yourself or someone could pick it up for you, provided that they present a letter of authorization, the receipt, the authorized person’s ID and a photocopy of your identification (two valid IDs).

To my dismay, processing took longer than expected–after several follow-up calls and emails to both VFS Norway and Royal Norwegian Embassy from a paranoid like me, I was finally informed via email that my visa was ready with the email from the embassy:

Dear Ms ___________,

The Royal Norwegian Embassy has the pleasure of informing you that your application for a Schengen visa has been approved for repeated entries __ days stay in Schengen between the period ________ and _______.

The visa has been issued in accordance with the round trip flight ticket reservation and travel medical insurance submitted along with the application.  The visa cannot be issued for additional days.

Please pick up your passport at Norway Visa Application Center, VFS Global, Ecoplaza Bldg. Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City between 2pm and 4pm from the next working day.

Thank you.

Kind regards,
Royal Norwegian Embassy, Manila

I got my visa after 14 days, exactly the day before I am scheduled to leave for HK!

Moral of the story, apply way ahead especially during summer time!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “How to Apply for Schengen Visa via Norwegian Embassy

  1. Hey sis. I’m also from cebu. Just wanna share that i already applied my schengen visa last Oct. 9 through VFS until now I havent received any updates. Like you i was told that it will take 2-5 days. Should I be worry? honestly I cannot sleep well bec of this. Crap. hahaha. Anyway 15 days if i dont hear anything i would really need to call them. I applied through danish embassy by the way. Great blog you have! 🙂

    Like

      1. Hello, I emailed the embassy today and i’m very glad they approved my Visa! I will wait until my passport will arrive here in Cebu tomorrow. 🙂

        Like

  2. Hi, Been wondering if I really need to make a cover letter (details of my intention for the trip) etc. Or the cover letter is just the same form with the photo and signature downloaded from the site?

    Confused. Thanks in advance.

    karen

    Like

  3. Hi, is it necessary to have medical insurance? I converted eur 30000 and it summed up to a million pesos. Do we have any insurance lower than what is required?

    Like

  4. May possibility po ba na ma deny ako kasi wala ako work and never pa nagka work since pagka graduate ko last May 2015? Parents ko ang nag su support sakin kapalit nun pag tulong at pag alaga ko sa bahay .. Mag a apply po kasi ako ng Visa for Norway pero sagot po lahat ng Boyfriend ko .. Kahit po ba ganun malaking factor parin kung may work ako o wala? Thank you po

    Like

  5. Useful suggestions , I learned a lot from the insight ! Does someone know where my assistant might get ahold of a blank cerfa N 14076 01 Application for Schengen Visa form to use ?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s