Tuesday, January 10, 2023

How to Apply for Schengen Visa (Norway/Iceland) as Philippine Passport Holder

Quest to visit all Schengen Member States in 2023 as Pinoy Solo Backpacker

Highlight: I applied as Filipino Solo Traveller with Philippine passport only, with NO WORK (ex-OFW, retired Engineer) and with NO BUSINESS (Dec. 2022). I provided proofs of enough savings, investments and previous 3 Schengen visas per below link.

How to Apply for Schengen Visa in Spain Embassy (2018)

Schengen visa is a special document that allows a Schengen visa holder to travel freely within the 26 Schengen zone (European Countries) member states. Apply for the Schengen visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country where you spend the most timeThis visa is valid in all Schengen states for a stay of up to 90 days within a six-month period for a visit or tourism, but not for employment or family reunification purposes.


* maximum of 6 months validity after issuance with period of stay of under 90 days
* If you get a multiple entry Schengen visa, you may leave and return any number of times within the 180-day period, but the combined stay within the region must not total more than 90 days. Important is the date of the actual entry, not the beginning of the visa validity. 
* As of January 2019, valid Schengen Visa holders of most of nationalities can transit/visit European states of (1)Albania, (2)Bosnia and Herzegovina, (3)Bulgaria, (4)Croatia, (5)Macedonia, (6)Montenegro, (7)Romania, (8)Serbia, (9)San Marino and (10)Moldova. Some of this countries provide maximum 15-days stay in any period given in the Schengen Visa duration.

How to Apply for Schengen Visa (Norway/Iceland) as Philippine Passport Holder

How to Apply for Schengen Visa (Norway/Iceland) as Philippine Passport Holder

APPLYING FOR SCHENGEN VISA AS ORDINARY CITIZEN IN THE PHILIPPINES
https://visa.vfsglobal.com/phl/en/nor

Note:
- In Philippines, Norway and Iceland Schengen visa is applied in Norway Embassy located in Bangkok, Thailand. Thus, Processing time is around 15 to 45 days (courier included). 
- All required documents to submit should be in A4 paper and in English only.

Requirements: 

01. Original passport valid for 3 months with at least 2 blank pages. Copies of biopage & used pages.
- I provided copies of stamped passport pages including the bio-page (18 pages)
02. One passport-size photo not older than six months.
- I provided latest copy of 1 piece color photo with white background 
03. Signed print out of the Harmonised application form from the UDI online application portal
- I printed-out then signed (8 pages)
04. Travel medical insurance valid for the entire trip with coverage of at least 30,000 EUR.
- I provided the BDO Gold Mastercard Free Travel Insurance (Starr Insurance International). VFS staff is looking for the summary of the insurance amount which was not provided. I insisted that this was the only copy of the insurance policy provided. I submitted the same thing on my Germany Schengen Visa last 2015. (15 pages)
05. Reservation of a round trip flight ticket (advise not to purchase before the application outcome)
- I provided the unpaid booking via 3rd party booking website (2 pages)
06. Proof of funds (bank statements from the last three months)
- I provided the original BDO Bank Certificate of Account, online statement of account and copy of Debit/Credit Card (6 pages) 
07. Confirmation of hotel accommodation for the entire trip
- I printed-out hotel bookings via Agoda (2 pages)
08. Proof of ties to country of residence (Financial commitments such as ownership of property and savings)
- I provided copies of house title, condominium unit titles, valid IDs, house bills and insurance investments (19 pages)
09. Day-to-day itinerary with dates and places intend to visit in Norway (and Schengen) and means of transport.
- I provided detailed itinerary including flights (1 page)
10. Previous Schengen visas with entry/exit stamps.
- I provided copies of my previous Schengen visa (2013, 2015, 2018) with entry/exit stamps (5 pages).
- I printed-out appointment letter, visa fee receipt and checklist (4 pages)

Appointment:
Monday to Friday from 8am to 1130am only, apppointment booking is required on this VFS link

Address:
VFS Visa Application Centre Ground Flr Ecoplaza Bldg 2305, Don Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati 1231

Visa Fee: (courier included) 
80 Euro (PHP 4,919) + VFS Service fee (PHP 2,047) = PHP 6,966

DATELINE OF MY APPLIED SCHENGEN VISA 

Dec. 16, 2022 (Fri) - filled-out Norway online application form, completed all required documents (total of 80 pages) and book an appointment in VFS website

Dec. 19, 2022 (Mon) - visited the VFS office earlier, submitted all documents and paid all the necessay VFS service charges in cash. After that, they took my biometrics (face picture and fingerprints) and went out in less than an hour. Application tracking number is attached at the back of the receipt and can be tracked in VFS website.

Dec. 22, 2022 (Thu) - received an email from Royal Norwegian Embassy that my application was received last Dec. 21 and asked some queries for my Iceland - Norway flight booking, travel insurance clarification and employment status confirmation. I replied within an hour but they gave until Dec 27 to respond.

Jan. 03, 2023 (Tue) - received an email again from Royal Norwegian Embassy with only one query / request regarding my travel insurance linked to my credit card. I replied within an hour but they gave until Jan. 05 to respond.

Jan. 09, 2023 (Mon) - received an email notification confirming that my passport was forwarded already from Bangkok to Manila and will be shipped via local courier.

Jan. 10, 2023 (Tue) - received my passport via LBC in the morning.

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