There is always one big question for travelers whenever they want to go to Europe. Which embassy should I get my visa from? One tip I got from a friend is to apply at the country where I will be spending most of my days and of course, your point of entry- in this trip, France. Not to waste any time, I passed all my documents to the travel agency who, first and foremost, inspired me to visit Europe and scheduled a visa application interview at the French Embassy in Makati.
Here are my tips in getting a Schengen Visa:
- Pass all the necessary documents to your travel agent.
Submitting the complete requirements will lessen the hassle and time of waiting. Make sure to double check with the travel agency or the embassy’s website what they require.Secure an application form online, make sure to fill out all the applicable details, and print it.
- Bring ONE passport photo taken with light background and full-face capture.
- A passport valid for at least three months and has two blank pages left.
- Print out your latest bank statement. At least 6 months should reflect in the statement.
- For travelers without a sponsor who resides in any Schengen country, must provide a certificate of employment, income tax return, reference letter from employer, proof of legal entity of company.
- A plane ticket reservation with return flight should be secured.
- Itinerary of your whole trip should be presented together with hotel bookings and such.
- Be on time for your scheduled interview.
It is always best to be there at least 15 minutes early just to iron out all your documents and to prepare & boost yourself for the interview. While waiting for the embassy to open, there are coffee shops where you can kill time. In my experience, I almost did not make it in my appointment.
- Dress accordingly.
Dress professionally and appropriately. Neutral colors and smart casual outfits would be the suggestion. Avoid striking patterns and colors.
- Answer only what is asked by the consul.
Volunteering information is highly discouraged. During my interview, the consul asked basic questions: “What do I do for living?” “How long will I stay?” and “Who was I going with?” Giving the corresponding answers granted me a visa and the most pleasant thing you will hear during the interview is when the consul tells you, “Please extend your hand for the thumb scan. Your visa application will be processed.”
- Don’t forget to SMILE and say THANK YOU!
There is nothing sweeter than a happy face and a simple gratification. They say first impression lasts, but I say, consistent character and positive attitude would go a long way. Going home with or without the visa, thank the consul still. Who knows, he might change his mind.