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How to Apply for Germany Schengen Visa for PH Tourists (2022)

How to Apply for Germany Schengen Visa for PH Tourists (2022)

Located in the heart of central Europe, I’m sure that Germany is one of the European destinations that is on the top of your bucket list. After all, with its rich history and landscapes that are not limited to the Berlin Wall, Chalk Cliffs in Rügen, and Château de Neuschwanstein (among many others!), there is always something to discover. Thankfully, it’s easy to get there as a Filipino — you just need to apply for a Germany Schengen visa.

What to Do in Germany…?

Come and check out this list of the top things to do in Germany which features the best activities and tours to do in places like Berlin, Munich, and more!

RELATED READ: Germany Travel Guides

Before we go on with the detailed Germany Schengen visa guide (for single, double, and multiple entries), read through some of these disclaimers:

  • NO ONE can give you the guarantee of your Germany Schengen visa’s approval — not even a lawyer, a consultant, a travel agent, or an embassy employee. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely going to be a scammer; so, what I’m rather offering you here is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that visa. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • There are different types of Schengen Visas (for fiancé, work, study, etc.) but my main focus for this article will be a Schengen Visa for tourism purposes only. To see a list of requirements for other types of visas by the embassy, go here.

Schengen Area

A Schengen Visa is a document that allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area or Zone for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in any 6-month period. This Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries (22 European Union member states and 4 EFTA member states) that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders and they are namely:

These 26 countries are namely:

[1] Excluding Greenland and the Faroe Islands
[2] Excluding overseas departments and territories
[3] Excluding Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and the Caribbean Netherlands
[4] Excluding Svalbard
[5] With special provisions for Ceuta and Melilla

There are certain nationalities worldwide that are exempted from applying for a Schengen Visa, but as Philippine passport holders, in order to visit one or more of these Schengen states, we are required to apply for the visa. (Remember, Schengen Tourist Visa holders are NOT allowed to live permanently nor work in Europe, they only have the right to travel as a temporary visitor within the allotted timeframe indicated on their visa.)

» READ: How to Stay Longer in Europe

NOTE: It helps to mention that there are non-Schengen members in Europe that allow entry to their country if you have a Schengen Visa, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, and Vatican City.

HOWEVER, you must check these details beforehand since their rules might have changed. Plus, customarily, only multiple-entry Schengen visas are allowed. For starters, you can check this list for a list of countries you can visit with a Schengen visa.

» When should I apply for a Schengen Visa?

Apply as early as 6 months before your planned trip date departure.

You can apply several days before your trip, sure — but it’s always best that you give enough time for the embassy to look into your application. After all, you wouldn’t want to make plans only to have the embassy provide you with a visa that has a validity period that’s NOT within your intended travel dates.

» Where should I apply for a Schengen Visa?

For Schengen visas that have the main purpose of visiting a friend/family/national or reuniting with a fiancé/husband/etc. in a Schengen state, naturally, you should apply in the corresponding Embassy of the country where that person comes from.

Meanwhile, if you are planning to visit several Schengen countries for your trip, your application must be made at the embassy of the main destination country — meaning, the country where you will be staying the longest. If the length of stay is almost the same, it’s best to apply for the country that you will first fly or enter in.

So as an example, you must apply at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Manila only if according to your Europe itinerary, you will be staying the longest and/or have any of Germany in your itinerary.

» Which Schengen embassy will I have a better chance of getting a Visa?

There’s no such thing as an embassy that would easily give away Schengen visas. But, if it is a question of timelike which Embassy can you get application results the quickest — then that would be an easier query for me to answer, which then leads us to the question…

» How long does it take for Schengen Visa results to be released?

To the best of my knowledge, the following Embassies usually release visas earliest in an average of:

It can surely take longer if they need more documents or details from you.

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Application Process for Germany Schengen Visa

Step 1: Determine the type of Germany Schengen visa you need to apply for

There are various types of Germany Schengen visas out there that you can apply for: a visa for residence, a visa for family visits, a visa for visits to friends, a visa for studying, a visa for work, a visa for being a spouse, etc.

For this particular guide though, I will only be discussing the requirements for a short stay (less than 90 days) tourist visa since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself.

So if you have a different situation or purpose of visit, it’s best that you head over to this page for more information.

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Step 2: Register with the German Embassy via VIDEX

You first need to visit the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany’s VIDEX website — this is basically where you will accomplish, download and print your visa application form (to be submitted later to VFS during your appointment).

To do this:

  1. Go to VIDEX website and complete all five (5) sections by filling it up with your personal and travel information as requested.
  2. Once done, simply click the blue “Continue” button at the bottom, and a pop-up will show. Click “Download PDF” to download your filled visa application form.
  3. Print this .PDF file under its actual size (see print settings here).

Some important things to take note of:

  • Under ‘Name at birth‘ of section 1 – Personal details, this should be filled in with your middle name. For example, if your name is Juan Cruz Santos, you should input “Cruz” (your middle name) under ‘Name at birth’.
  • For date of birth, use the German format: date.month.year
  • Don’t forget to input your telephone or mobile number AND email address under section 2 – Contact data which details your address.
  • For your passport details, input Philippines under ‘Issuing state’, and DFA under ‘Issued by’, and then the location of the DFA that issued your passport (e.g. Manila) under ‘Issued in’.
  • For section 4 – Travel Data, under ‘Type of reference’, you can select either an ‘inviting person’ or a ‘hotel’ (see “Step 4” of this guide below to know how you can do a dummy booking for a hotel — this can be any of the hotels in Germany that you intend to stay in). When filling this up, the address MUST be in Germany. Do NOT forget to include their contact number and email address.

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Step 3: Book your appointment with VFS & pay the service fee

The German Embassy processes applications via their external service provider, VFS Global. Unfortunately, you cannot just walk into their office to lodge an application because you need to book an appointment first online.

Additionally, VFS charges a small service fee for processing your visa and you need to pay this at the time that you make your appointment on their website — this service fee is still separate from the visa fee that the Embassy charges.

To secure a time slot and pay the service fee…

  1. Go to VFS’ website and click the button that says ‘Book now‘.
  2. In the next page, you need to click ‘I don’t have an account’ to register. Simply enter your details in the fields and then click ‘Register’.
  3. Go to your email and click the activation link that you received from VFS.
  4. On the VFS website, log-in and then click ‘Start New Booking’. Select the VFS location you want to go to (either Cebu or Manila), followed by ‘Short Stay Visa‘, and then ‘Tourism‘ as a sub-category.
  5. Click ‘Continue’ and then enter your personal details.
  6. On the next page, it will say that you can add other applicants — however, VFS indicates that if you are traveling with your family or a group, you need to book individual appointments for each individual (hence, they need to create their own accounts).
  7. Click ‘Continue’ which will lead you to the booking page. Select the date and time slot that you like.
  8. Click ‘Continue’ again — this page shows additional services that VFS offers; but personally, you do NOT need any of these.
  9. Click ‘Continue’ once more. Review all your details and then click ‘I accept the Terms & Conditions‘. Press the button that says ‘Pay Online’.
  10. Enter your card details and pay the fee. Some important things to remember:
    • Php 1,150 for VFS Manila
    • Php 1,210 for VFS Cebu
    • The system accepts payments via credit card, debit card (Mastercard/Visa/JCB), GCash, Grab Pay, and UnionBank Web Pay.
    • Fees are non-refundable if you do not show up on your appointment date. Refunds will only apply if the appointment has been canceled at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled date. To request a refund, simply email [email protected]
  11. You will receive an email with a PDF attachment acknowledging the payment made for your application, along with your appointment details. Keep and print these documents.
    • Payments via VFS can take up to 2 hours to process. If your payment has not been processed, wait 2 hours before creating a new application and new payment. BUT if payment has been deducted from your account but VFS did not send an email confirmation, send an email to [email protected]

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Step 4: Prepare the required documents for your application

As I’ve mentioned, I am only going to tackle the requirements for a tourist visa.

If you have other reasons for tourism such as visiting other people such as family or friends, or for work, etc., check the corresponding requirements on the VFS website, or see the links below:

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Bring all your original documents for checking.
  • Photocopies must be clear and readable. Remove staple wires and paper clips from your documents.
  • Feel free to add supporting documents to help strengthen the purpose of your application.

Requirements

  • Tourist Visa Checklist. Download this checklist, print it, and then check the items as you go. Don’t forget to put your signature at the end.
    .
  • Philippine passport — original, and photocopy. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least three (3) months after the end of the planned stay in a Schengen Member State, and that it has at least 2 blank pages to affix the visa sticker.
    • You must photocopy the first page containing your personal information, as well as ALL the additional pages which contain visas and stamps that are both valid and expired in the past 5 years.
      .
  • 2 passport-sized pictures. These must have a white background, must not also be older than 6 months, and must be sized at 35 x 45 mm. Take note that edited photos are NOT accepted.
    .
  • Filled visa application form. This is the document you accomplished in ‘Step 2’ above.
    • You can paste (do NOT staple) one of your passport-sized photos into this form. Don’t forget to put your signature on the last pages.
      .
  • Details regarding your travel itinerary. For this, it’s good practice to include a personal cover letter along with this itinerary document so that you can properly explain the purpose of your trip — this becomes essentially helpful when you want to apply for a double or multiple-entry Germany Schengen visa. To see a sample cover letter and travel itinerary, you can view and download my file here.
    .
  • Roundtrip Flight Ticket Reservation. Do NOT buy flight tickets before your Germany Schengen visa is issued because the German Embassy would NOT take any responsibility for the costs you’ll incur if your visa gets denied or if your departure times get changed. So what you should rather do is to just simply supply a confirmed flight reservation. You can easily get a flight reservation online with OneWayFly for a small fee of only Php 1,000~. I highly recommend them because they are fast, easy, and legitimate; plus, I have been using them for years for all of my visa applications! (Read here for more info).
    • Later on, in case you want to book your flight, my go-to platform is Skyscanner since they offer the best flight deals:

  • Proof of Accommodation, copy(ies). These are confirmed hotel reservation(s) for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen countries and they must contain the name and contact details of the hotel(s) you’ve chosen.
    • I usually reserve my hotel stays via Booking.com and/or Agoda.com. With them, you can reserve a hotel with NO pre-payment and you can even cancel the booking a day before your arrival with NO cancellation charges at all. So yes, you can make reservations without any payment, you can change the reservation anytime, AND you can cancel them at no cost as well if in case your Germany Schengen visa is not approved.
      .
  • Proof of sufficient funds. If the applicant is under the age of 18, the following documents can be from their parents or legal guardian.
    • Original bank certificate/transcripts for the last 6 months
      .
  • International Travel Insurance, photocopy and original. This can be purchased from local or international providers. You just have to ensure that it has a coverage of at least 30,000 EUR / 50,000 USD / PHP 2.5M to cover expenses for personal accidents, urgent medical treatment, urgent admission to a hospital, or urgent repatriation on medical grounds; with coverage including ALL Schengen member states. The validity period of the insurance coverage must be for the ENTIRE duration of the intended stay including entry and exit day of the Schengen area.
    • For international providers, HeyMondo is accepted by the embassy and if you click this link, you get a 5% discount. The benefit of booking an international provider is that it’s easier to purchase as it is all done online in just a few clicks. (For submission, you can simply print the policy and present to VFS).
    • If purchasing locally, the Embassy of Germany only accepts insurance policies from any of the following Philippine Insurance companies. (Just visit their website by clicking the links below, and then email them to start your inquiry. Don’t take insurance that is on a reimbursement basis because the Embassy only accepts CASHLESS settlements; as such, only sign up with any of the insurance companies below if you want to purchase locally.)
  • If currently employed: you must provide the following…
    • Certificate of Employment or work contract stating employer’s full name, complete address, telephone number with area code, your position, length of service, and salary
    • Approved leave of absence
      .
  • If self-employed: you must provide the following…
    • A. Corporation – Photocopies of SEC registration with attached present Articles of Incorporation, latest Income Tax Statement, company accounts, etc.
    • B. Single proprietorship – Photocopies of Business Name Registration Certificate from DTI, Mayor’s Permit, and latest Income Tax Statement

Start filing your local taxes as early as NOW — after all, a lot of embassies require an ITR. So if you’re looking for a hassle-free experience on Philippines tax compliance, I suggest registering with Taxumo because they can take care of literally everything for you: tax forms, payments, and submissions. I’ve been using them for years now and it has been such a time-saver. Come sign up with my code AILEEN and you can get a 10% discount on all their subscription plans!

  • If currently a student: you must provide the following…
    • Certification of enrolment from the school
    • School ID
    • If you will be going on a holiday during summer break, submit a certification of reservation, or certification of enrolment to prove that you are enrolled for the next school year/semester
    • If traveling during the school year, a certificate of leave of absence from school should also be submitted
      .
  • Proof of real properties (if applicable). If you own any land, cars, properties, land titles, etc. bring the original documents like the deed of sale as well as their photocopies.
    .
  • If the applicant is a minor (under the age of 18): The personal appearance of both parents (if residing in the PH) during submission of visa application with valid ID (passport or driver’s license) is required. The following documents must be provided…
    • Original PSA birth certificate of the child on security paper (SECPA)
    • *If the person(s) having custody over the child resides abroad, the declaration of consent must be given before a German (honorary) consul, if residing in DE the declaration of consent must be given before the Aliens Authority
    • If traveling without both parents, submit:
      • Declaration of consent by the legal guardian (signed in front of a German consular office)
      • Passports of the legal guardian(s) — original and one photocopy of the data page
        • OPTIONAL:
          – Proof of legal custody for minors with parents whose marriage was dissolved/annulled
          – Death Certificate of the other parent issued by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA – former NSO) on security paper (SECPA)
          – DSWD Travel permit

NOTE: Take note that if you still have a valid Schengen visa for more than three months, the current Germany Schengen visa application will not be processed and it will be returned to you along with the visa fee — but not the VFS service fee.

You will also have to leave your passport with VFS and the Embassy during the whole process of the application.

– – –

Step 5: Submit your application at VFS on your appointment date and pay the visa fee

It helps to arrive early for your Germany Schengen visa appointment (at least 15 minutes before your schedule) and the VFS address for both Manila and Cebu are:

German Visa Application Centre – Manila
M01 Mezzanine Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg.,
Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
1231 Philippines
[email protected]

German Visa Application Centre – Cebu,
Unit 503, 5th Floor, Kepwealth Center, Samar Loop
Cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City
6000 Philippines

The process usually goes like this when I visited the Manila branch:

  1. Arrival and waiting period. Once you arrive at VFS, the security guard will confirm that you have an appointment and then hand you a document slip which you need to submit to the right window. Find a seat in the waiting area and wait for your name to be called.
  2. Submission of documents. Simply hand your documents to the VFS staff and he/she will check the documents that you prepared and then ensure that everything is complete.
    • If in case you have any missing documents, the staff will inform you about that.
  3. Biometrics. All Schengen embassies in the Philippines have to capture your biometric data (finger scans, digital signature, and portrait photo) and it will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years.
    • If you have applied previously for the last 59 months you do not need to re-enroll your biometric data. However, there will be cases where you may need to re-submit your biometric data even if you have enrolled in it previously. In such cases, VFS will let you know.
    • Do NOT wear colored or magnifying contact lenses which could alter your appearance.
  4. Visa fee payment. This is separate from the service fee that you paid to VFS when you did ‘Step 3’ above. Take note that this must be paid in cash and it helps to prepare the exact amount in Philippine peso only. Once paid, they will give you a payment receipt (that has your application reference number and details) which you should keep. If you lose this receipt, VFS will not release your Germany Schengen visa and passport; they will only release them after you give them a notarized affidavit of loss.
    • As of 2022, visa fees are as follows:
      • Php 4,590 (EUR 80) for 12 years old and above
      • Php 2,300 (EUR 35) for 6-12 years old
      • FREE for children under 6 years old and spouses of German or EU national
    • There’s an additional fee of Php150 if you want to send the visa results to you by courier. However, sending passports via courier is at the applicant’s own risk. The Embassy assumes no responsibility for this. (Delivery will be done in 1-3 days within Metro Manila and 2-5 days if the address is in the province. Should the mailing address be outside a serviceable area, you may have to pick up your passport at the nearest courier branch.)

NOTE: Be advised that payment of these fees is NOT a guarantee that the visa will be granted. It also helps to note that these are non-refundable and non-transferable if your application is denied or if you decide to terminate your application.

The German Embassy still reserves the right to ask you to appear for a personal interview after checking your visa application.

– – –

Step 6: Wait for the results of your Germany Schengen visa application

When the Embassy of Germany in Manila is done assessing your application, they will send back your passport and documents to VFS. Consecutively, VFS will send you a text message or email that you can pick these items up.

Make sure to bring your ID and the payment receipt when claiming your passport and results.

NOTE: You can check or track the status of your application online via VFS on this page. To access this service, simply use the Reference Number present on the invoice/receipt issued by VFS with your last name. Please remember that the time for passport collection is from 2:00PM to 4:00PM from Monday to Friday, except on weekends and holidays.

Some other things to remember:

  • If you cannot personally come to pick up your documents, you may send a representative on your behalf with your authorization letter, photocopy of your ID, payment receipt, and a valid ID with a picture of your representative.
  • The German Embassy will NOT assume any responsibility if your visa application is rejected. And if it does get rejected, you will be given an information sheet that shows the procedures you can take in order to ask for an appeal.
  • If your German Schengen visa application is accepted, make sure that your details are correct on the visa sticker. If there’s any mistake, you can contact the VFS office or the Embassy ASAP.

MY EXPERIENCE:
– When I applied for a single-entry tourist visa, I got my results in 7 working days

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Booking Essentials

• • •

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the payment methods that I can use when paying for the VFS service fee?

You can pay with your credit card/debit card (Mastercard/Visa/JCB), GCash, Grab Pay, or UnionBank Web Pay.

I do not have a credit card to pay for the visa fee online on the portal, can I just pay it VFS?

Unfortunately, you can’t. You can try asking for a friend or relative’s credit card in order to pay the fee online.

Do I need to provide a cover letter?

It’s not required, but it’s good practice to provide one. You can see my example here.

How much money should I show in my bank account?

Most of the Schengen member countries need you to show that you have at least EUR 50 (Php 2,500+) per day of your stay. You can use this as a standard and this is the bare minimum, that’s why I suggest that you add way more money to it if you can.

What if my plans change and I won’t be visiting some of the countries I indicated in my travel itinerary? Can I still travel to those other countries with my Schengen Visa?

There is no border control within the Schengen Zone, so yes — you can deviate from your original plans BUT only for as long as they’re within the Schengen member countries (unless, of course, you have a double or multiple-entry Schengen visa) and within the allowable dates stated on your visa.

How can I calculate the number of days that I can stay in the Schengen zone?

Refer to this article which showcases a Schengen stay calculator.

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» Top Germany Tours «

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I hope this Germany Schengen visa guide application will be of great help to you. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

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