Many readers have been asking me about Schengen visa application so I decided to do a series of posts about getting one from the different European embassies.

I previously wrote a piece on how to apply for a Schengen visa at the German Embassy and Schengen visa at the Dutch Embassy which includes a brief intro about Schengen visa and the different types of Schengen visa.

This time I interviewed a fellow Pinoy travel blogger, Shawi, to enlighten us about how to apply for a tourist Schengen visa at the French Embassy in Manila for Philippine passport holders. Note that Schengen visa application is pretty standard so you can learn a thing or two here if you’re applying for one soon regardless of where the French Embassy is.

 

 

A recent study published in The Economists shows that France is one of the easiest countries when it comes to Schengen visa application approval. So you might want to apply at the French embassy when you’re planning a major eurotrip to have higher chances of bagging that seemingly elusive Schengen visa.

Shawi wants to add quickly though that applying for a Schengen visa at the Austrian Embassy was more relaxing, and the staff friendlier.

NOTE: This article will only focus on tourist visa application.  If you’re going to France to study or get married, you need to prepare a set of other documents. Please check the French embassy website for more info.

 

 

When can I apply for a Schengen visa at the French embassy?

You can apply as early as 3 months before your planned entry.

 

How do I apply for a Schengen visa at the French Embassy?

*All applicants are required to set an appointment before coming to the French embassy in Manila.*

Since April 2012, the Embassy of France will be accepting bookings for appointment for visa applications solely via its call center.

To book your appointment, check the numbers to call here and follow the instructions.

You may call from Mondays thru Saturdays, 8am to 6pm except public holidays.

After booking your appointment, make sure you appear on time on your scheduled interview, complete with all the requirements in the chronological sequence that they set.

 

 

What are the requirements for a Schengen visa application at the French Embassy?

WARNING: Applicants submitting incomplete files are at a high risk of denial.

 

1. Application Form

Signed Schengen visa application form with photo (35mm x 45mm, white background)

 

2. Your Identity

Valid passport which should be valid 3 months from the end of your intended stay (so at least 6 months if you’re getting a 3-month Schengen visa) and photocopy of valid and former visas.

 

3. Purpose of Travel

Write a cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and proposed day-to-day itinerary. Interestingly, meticulous as they are, they did not actually look for my cover letter, which I did not have in hand should’ve they asked. (DJ’s tip: Always have it! Just in case they ask.)

 

4. Details Of Your Trip

− Proof of accommodations

For tourists: hotel vouchers (for your entire stay in the  Schengen area). I had a friend (who’s working in a travel agency) book me a hotel stay (which they call “dummy booking”) for two weeks. We agreed to have it canceled once I got my visa. My hotel booking was in France only. (DJ’s tips: You can also reserve a hotel online without paying anything and cancel it as soon as you have your visa. Note that reservation is different from paying the full price of the hotel. DO NOT pay full price for visa purposes. You can reserve via Booking.com or Hostelworld.)

If visiting or staying with a French resident: “Attestation d’accueil” (delivered by the City hall where the host is residing – the original must be presented) + copy of that host’s national ID or residence permit (if citizen of a country outside the EU).

− Round trip flight booking (DJ’s tips: Please DO NOT purchase your flight ticket unless your visa is granted; you can get a flight itinerary from most travel agencies for visa purposes. Here’s how you can easily book a roundtrip flight reservation without paying the actual flight.)

− For family visit, proof of relationship with the host (birth certificate, marriage certificate…)

 

 

5. Proof of Employment

− Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer

− If self employed: official business registration for current and previous year

− For priests, nuns and missionaries: certificate from the Apostolic Nunciature and guarantee letter from French and Filipino congregation

 

6. Proof of Income

− Income tax return from previous year, if applicable

− Recent bank certification

− Photocopy of the last three months statement of account of the same bank account

 

7. Identity / Marital Status

− If married: photocopy of your marriage contract and birth certificate

− If single: photocopy of your birth certificate

− For minors not travelling with either parent, a copy of the DSWD permit

 

8. Travel Insurance

An international travel insurance (medical expenses and repatriation) covering the entire period of the  person’s intended stay  and valid for all Schengen states. Minimum coverage should be EUR 30,000.

(DJ’s tips: I have been using Care Concept insurance for the last 2 years. It’s an affordable German travel insurance you can easily buy online within 5 minutes and you will receive your insurance documents via email. A 30-day Care Economy travel insurance would cost you only 46 euros. It fits the requirements of the embassies perfectly. The best part? You can get REFUNDED FULLY if your visa get denied. Most travel insurance companies don’t do this. Choose Care Economy or Care Visa Protect. Don’t forget to include the liability and accident insurance when filling up the form.)

 

 

How much is the Schengen visa processing fee?

The visa fee processing fee is 60 euros (prevailing peso equivalent), payable in cash. Please ask the exact amount to bring when you book your appointment via their call center.

 

What should I wear to the interview?

Anything presentable. I only wore a pair of jeans with a nice blouse. The other applicants dressed to the nines. (Editor’s note: Agree. Look very presentable. Bawal ang mukhang yagit!)

 

How is the interview like?

The embassy has 3 windows. First, they will ask for your passport, flight and hotel bookings. Secondly, they will take your biometrics, fingerprint and a digital photo.

The third window is where the actual interview takes place. The interviewer is a Filipino who takes a look at your documents, makes sure they are in order, and asks the questions.

During my interview, he only asked about my previous international trips, where I’ve been the past few months. He also asked how long I intended to stay in France, to which I replied 2 weeks (which concurred with my flight and hotel bookings).

 

Are the interviewers really scary?

In fairness to the interviewers, theirs is a tough job. With the voluminous applications they receive each day, I think it takes quite a skill to foresee whether an applicant will overstay or not.

If you do not really intend to overstay, then the interview should just be a breeze. Just be your natural self and they’ll see right through your sincerity. Once you clam up, you might be giving away hints that you have other motives.

 

How long does it take for the Schengen visa to be released?

From the day of the interview (May 2), mine took 7 working days before my visa was released. UPDATE: The French Embassy website states that processing time can be as fast as 5 working days unless further verification is needed.

 

What if I get denied? What can I do next?

I am grateful that I have never been denied visas.

Like most embassies I guess, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you intend to come back to your homeland, and not overstay in their country. It wouldn’t hurt to follow the old proverb, “Try and try until you succeed.” :)

 

Super duper thank you to Shawi for sharing her experience to us all.

If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments section below.

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DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do you think?

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299 Responses to “How to Apply for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy and get it in 5 days” Subscribe

  1. christine July 14, 2015 at 6:13 PM #

    Hi i am christine ask ko lang po sana kung posible ba ako mabigyan ng schengen visa kait na unemployed ako at walang business. Single mom po aq. Ung kaibgan kung babae ng invite sa akin lahat po ng gastos sagot nya pati plane ticket q. Resident na po sya dun. Twice na po narerefuse ang visa ko.and i am planning to apply for the 3rd time. Pls give me hints..
    Your blog is very helpful. Sana mabigyan nyo po ako ng advice. Thank you in advance.

    • DJ Yabis July 15, 2015 at 6:20 AM #

      You need a job or a business to show. It’s a requirement. Without them you will get denied all the time.

  2. K July 3, 2015 at 5:49 PM #

    French Embassy in Singapore – Will they call you to pick up your passport if it reflects in the their website that the decision of your visa has been made?

  3. kitel July 3, 2015 at 12:31 PM #

    hi DJ, I’ve applied for the care visa protect. could you advise me on which one to submit together with my application? they sent me few emails that contain mostly in german and confused which one to print out. thanks!

    • DJ Yabis July 7, 2015 at 7:48 PM #

      print the english one. theres also an english one,

  4. Joy June 25, 2015 at 12:09 AM #

    Hi, how do I refund the travel insurance in case I get denied?

    • DJ Yabis June 30, 2015 at 7:44 PM #

      Just email the travel insurance and attach your denial letter as proof

  5. Alexandra June 24, 2015 at 8:25 PM #

    Hi I want to apply tomorrow for a tourist visa to arrive France on the 10th of July is it too late? For the visa to come before then?

    • DJ Yabis June 30, 2015 at 7:44 PM #

      Maybe. Check if there are available slots for visa interview first as that usually fills up fast.

  6. Mary ajoy June 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM #

    Hi, have a good day! We are planning to visit in paris france this coming august or september with my sister and my mother, and then we will visit to belgium for some couple days and also in amsterdam.my sister will provide our documents because she will shoulder our expenses in trip.she travelled a lot and she has multiple visa of us and me and our mom travel also but in asian countries only..is there any chance that we can have our schengen visa? Thanks so myuch

  7. Sharina June 23, 2015 at 6:50 PM #

    Hi dj

    Am sharina i have a good friend in czech republic who asking me to come and visit her in czech she will support everything (acommodation ,food and etc that i need to see her she is a doctor… But my problem is i only have a passport i dont have bank account what should i need to do??….

    Thanks ahead and have a good day:)

  8. Jobelle June 19, 2015 at 9:33 PM #

    Hi! Thank you for your information.
    Ask ko lang in my case. Kauuwe ko lang dito sa Pinas this June from abroad kasi nga me and my fiancee is planning to go on trip this end of July. I want to visit his homeland Netherlands. Almost complete na din yung requirements ko except the proof of employment. Kaka exit ko lang kasi doon sa pinagtatrabahuhan ko dati because of end of contract and ayaw ko na talaga magrenew doon. and now i am looking for a job to get that coe. But in case na di ako mahire and di ko mabigay yung coe. Sa tingin mo ano dapat ko gawin? Anyway, he is my sponsor he will pay for all expenses . Thank you sana matulungan mo ako.

  9. Jaymee June 11, 2015 at 6:06 PM #

    Hi! Tanong ko lang.. NakaStudent visa ako dito sa thailand. Pwede ba akong mag apply ng schengen visa sa French o Spain Embassy dito o kelangan ko pang umuwi ng pinas?

    • DJ Yabis June 13, 2015 at 7:57 AM #

      If you have a residency card in Thailand, yep!

  10. MJ June 10, 2015 at 9:57 AM #

    The 3 Embassy call centre numbers are not working. Im always receiving an automated response: the number you dial is incorrect. Is there another way to book appointment? :-(

    • DJ Yabis June 21, 2015 at 8:32 AM #

      Will check if there’s an updated one. Go to the embassy website as well.

  11. Jhoy June 3, 2015 at 8:45 PM #

    Hi, i’ve been interviewed po kanina. I’m still nervous and wanna ask lang po some few things.

    They asked for my cousin’s passport copy and my parents business permit. But i dont have it, but they never asked to give it to them when i get back. Do you think they will “denied” the papers in that case? But actually my uncle is the one inviting and process the permit in france that is why we pit my uncles passport. I will go there for my cousin’s wedding.

    Thank you for the response.

    • DJ Yabis June 4, 2015 at 9:53 AM #

      I dont know. Just wait for the results.

      • Jhoy June 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM #

        Thank you Sir!

  12. majah sursigis June 1, 2015 at 11:20 AM #

    Ask ko lang panu kumuha ng extract of birth certificate?and saan ko pwede kunin?me and my french bf are planning to get married this year in France hope you will help me

  13. Marel May 26, 2015 at 11:28 AM #

    Hi, im just wonderinf if my point of entry going to paris is London, do i still need to reserve a ticket going to paris as a requirement of getting a schengen Visa? At present i am in the process of applying ofr a UK visa. and if ever i will be granted, i will be flying to UK first before going to France

    • DJ Yabis May 27, 2015 at 6:04 PM #

      Yes, just reserve a flight ticket that goes to Paris for your Schengen visa application because it is independent of your UK visa application.

  14. Marose May 16, 2015 at 7:20 PM #

    Hi i have an appointment next week. How long does it take? The whole process thing? Whole day ba or like couple of hours lang? And i gave wrong email add of my brother, how to correct it? Or okay lang kahit hindi na i-correct?

  15. joel May 14, 2015 at 3:15 PM #

    For travel insurance are you buying more than the actual days you will stay in schengen states

    • DJ Yabis May 14, 2015 at 4:36 PM #

      No you just buy the actual days you are in Schengen.

  16. jay May 8, 2015 at 9:23 AM #

    Hi dj, upon purchasing of travel visa are you adding 15 days more than the intended length of stay? Thanks

    • DJ Yabis May 10, 2015 at 7:23 AM #

      you can’t add after you get your visa.

      • jay May 11, 2015 at 11:36 AM #

        My actual plans is 17 days. But then the agency is telling me another 15 days should be added.. And i should get the 45 days. Ois this true?

        • jay May 11, 2015 at 12:05 PM #

          Hi dj, my bad it should have been travel insurance. Thanks!

  17. angie May 7, 2015 at 9:04 PM #

    Hi. This is really helpful. Thanks a lot. For the proof of income, are the bank statements necessary or with an ITR and bank certificate do? Thanks againQ!

    • DJ Yabis May 10, 2015 at 7:25 AM #

      ITR works and just bring your bank statements as well

  18. maeann April 28, 2015 at 5:43 PM #

    hi again! what if my entry point would be france, and i will exit from sweden back to manila. would it be just okay bc i have my schengen visa? thanks!

  19. Jaydee Maka April 25, 2015 at 2:40 PM #

    Hi Dj.. you have a great forum down here. &
    Please i’d like to know if it’s advisable for me to use one of those free flight reservations for my visa application, that give you 48 hours & then cancel your reservation if you don’t pay.?
    Actually I booked a flight on friday, and my interview will be on monday.
    Finally, Does the embassy call the flight agencies to confirm your booking?

    Thank you

    • DJ Yabis April 26, 2015 at 8:09 AM #

      Sure you should do it. No they wont call the agency.

  20. Shani April 23, 2015 at 8:37 AM #

    Hi dj
    How to track my visa status in online…?

  21. Cristy April 12, 2015 at 8:22 PM #

    Can you work or look for job in France while under a schegen visa?

  22. Angela April 12, 2015 at 1:24 PM #

    Hi! We’re planning to visit France and Italy May 25 to June 10. Do you think we have enough time to get our visas if we apply now? Thank you for your very helpful site.

  23. tris April 11, 2015 at 3:22 PM #

    Aak ko lang pa ano requirements kung housewife?nakapunta na ng sk,hk,malaysia and singapore,kasama ko po husband ko.Salamat!

  24. rannie March 31, 2015 at 12:58 AM #

    Hi..im planning to go to France in 2nd week of July 2015. However my passport will only be released on May 15. Will i still have enough time to get visa approved before July? Can i call the embassy now for visa appointment and can i choose my own date to make sure i have the passport with me? Also if i avail of a flight reservation now, what cost will prevail, the ticket price on the date i reserve or the price when i will be paying for it? Thank you and God bless for making this blog.

    • DJ Yabis March 31, 2015 at 8:16 AM #

      Yep you can call them now and try to choose an appointment date. Just get the flight reservation 10 days before your visa interview.

      • rannie April 1, 2015 at 5:03 PM #

        Thanks DJ. Im quite worried now. I just called the embassy for appointment however they cant process it until i have my passport no.and issued date. My passport will only be released on May 15 just having 1 month and half to process for visa before the intended flight. Do you think i can still get it having an idea that i should have an appointment at least 3 months before the planned flight. This is an urgent trip and can only leave for that specific date. Please tell your thoughts DJ. Thank you.

  25. jhoanhonorica March 23, 2015 at 2:28 PM #

    Hi.. just wanna ask po in my case that our appointment would be April 16. Taz ang sbi q by May kmi mag travel with my hubby. But suddenly the plan changes na sa June or July n kmi mag travel. ok lang b yun n as if nkpag pa appointment n kc ako? thanks for anyone who is willing to answer. .. and God bless your blog!

    • DJ Yabis March 24, 2015 at 2:10 AM #

      Yep. You can apply 3 months before your trip so it should be fine.

      • eman March 30, 2015 at 7:29 AM #

        Hi! Looks like my question same as her. My appointment will be tomorrow (Wish granted to get a visa). All my documents are ready and dated. My flight plan for France is on April 30. I am currently working abroad and I am here in Pinas for appointment only. Now if ever my request will be granted, can I change the plan flight for another date? In my present employer I have to give a one month notice before leaving them. Hope I can get a right answer.
        Thank you and more power.

        • DJ Yabis March 30, 2015 at 9:35 AM #

          Sure as long as it falls on the validity of your visa.

  26. Ooy March 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM #

    I am Thai and I already have a tourist visa to the UK but while I’m there I would like to go visit Paris with my boyfriend
    Isit easy to get a schengen visa to France for a few days as I alresay have a UK visa
    Please help me ?
    Thank you

    • DJ Yabis March 24, 2015 at 2:10 AM #

      As long as you have all the required documents, you should be fine.

  27. April February 25, 2015 at 7:13 AM #

    Hi DJ, I am only staying in Paris for 5 days. Will mostly stay in UK. If I get the travel insurance for my Schengen visa from your link above (care concept), it computes for a 5 day coverage. My question is do I still get the minimum EUR 30,000 coverage? Thanks!

    • DJ Yabis March 10, 2015 at 5:58 AM #

      Yes you do. It’s valid for any length of stay.

  28. Nina February 18, 2015 at 10:38 PM #

    Is it possible to request for a multiple entry Schengen Visa that is valid for 3-5 years? I plan to travel to Europe at least once a year for the next 5 years and it would be great if I could avoid the hassle of applying for a visa every time I want to visit. Thanks!

    • DJ Yabis February 19, 2015 at 7:51 AM #

      Hi Nina, no. Unless you are a business traveller. =(

  29. Sughnomores December 25, 2014 at 2:22 AM #

    Any tips for people who doesn’t live in Luzon? I live in Cagayan de Oro which means I have to go all the way to Manila just to apply for a visa. Staying there for 7-10 days seems a bit too much and what if it will somehow get delayed? Do I have no other choice but to stay there that long?

    • DJ Yabis December 30, 2014 at 3:09 AM #

      There’s no other way. I know it sucks. You can have your passport delivered though so you dont have to wait in Manila. Just double check with the embassy if this is an option.

      • siddiq March 2, 2015 at 4:38 PM #

        Bro, which insurance we have to secure for a 12 days trip to Europe. There were many for example,visa care, holidays care, car care etc?

        thanks

        • DJ Yabis March 10, 2015 at 5:53 AM #

          Care Economy is the best.

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