General Information on Schengen Visas 27.01.2012 / 08:00

1. What is a Schengen visa

2. Which European countries are members of the Schengen Agreement?

3. Who is required to have a Schengen visa

4. “90/180 rule”

5. Where to apply for a Schengen Visa

5a. What are the photo requirements

6. Types of Schengen visa

6a. Do I need medical/travel insurance and some insurance providers in the Philippines

7. Number of entries

8. When to lodge an application

9. Appointment for lodging an application

10. Personal appearance while lodging an application

11. Processing time of a visa application

12. Passport pick up

13. Entry into a Schengen Territory

14. Visa extension

15. Refusal of a visa

 

1. What is a Schengen visa

A visa is a permit to enter, stay, and leave the territory of a Schengen member state such as the Czech Republic or the Schengen area, provided that the terms and conditions stipulated by Czech laws and/or the European Community laws have been met. All applicants must meet all the required conditions to be granted a visa. Every alien requiring a visa traveling with an individual travel document/passport must possess his/her own visa.

A Schengen visa issued by a specific diplomatic mission (example, theCzech Republic) entitles its holder to stay in the territory of the Czech Republic/Schengen area for the period indicated in the visa. A Schengen visa is also referred to as a short-term visa because the maximum period of stay cannot exceed 90 days. Holder of a Schengen visa can stay in the territory of a member State unless it has been excluded from the territorial validity of the visa.

The issuance of Schengen visas is governed by Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).

The applicant’s personal data contained in the visa application are made available solely to the competent authorities of the Schengen state that processed your application and are used to decide on visa issuance or refusal, as specified by Act No 101/2000 concerning the protection of personal data and amending certain acts as amended.

Applicants have the right of access to their personal data used in the visa application process, including the right to rectification of such personal data. In case such personal data are inaccurate with regard to the purpose for which they are processed, the applicant may request an explanation or rectification. If the request is found to be justified, the competent diplomatic mission or consular post will rectify the data without delay. Additional information is available on request from staff of the visa section of the competent diplomatic mission or consular post.

The Schengen Information System – A Guide for Exercising the Right of Access

2. Which European countries are members of the Schengen Agreement?

Schengen area is formed by the following states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

3. Who is required to have a Schengen visa

Filipino nationals who are ordinary passport holders are required to apply for a visa to enter the Schengen area.

Filipino official or diplomatic passport holders are exempt from the visa requirement for travel to the Czech Republic provided that the stay does not exceed 30 days. If a Filipino official or diplomatic passport holder is required to travel to other Schengen countries as well, it is strongly recommended that the person contact the concerned Embassy/Consulate to inquire if a separate visa for entry into that particular Schengen country is needed. 

To view list of states whose citizens are required to have a visa: click here

To view list of states whose citizens are exempt from the visa requirement: click here

4. “90/180 rule”

According to the rule commonly referred to as the “90/180 rule,” an alien can stay in a member Schengen State area for a maximum of 90 days (3 months) within a half-year, counting from the first day of entry into the Schengen area. Once the 90-day stay limit is maximized, it is necessary for the alien to exit the Schengen area. The alien can only return within the next half-year.

5. Where to apply for a Schengen Visa

For travel to one particular Schengen state, the visa application must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of that particular Member State.

If the visit includes more than one destination, visa applications must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of the Member State whose territory constitutes the MAIN destination of the visit(s) in terms of purpose (for example if traveling for a conference to one state and along the way visit two additional states for tourism, apply at the diplomatic mission of the state where the conference takes place); or the length of stay.

5a. What are the photo requirements?

You must supply 2 recent passport size photographs with your application.

Your photographs should be:

6. Types of Schengen Visa

A. Airport transit visa (visa "A")

An airport transit visa shall be valid for transiting through the international airports situated in the Czech Republic. Filipino travelers transiting through airports in the Czech Republic are exempted from this requirement.

To view list of states whose citizens or passport holders are required to have an airport transit visa while transiting through the international airports in the Czech Republic, (click here)

B. Short-term visa for stay up to 90 days (visa "C")

This type includes visa for transit as well as intended stay for the following purposes:

6a.  Do I need Medical, Travel Insurance? Where can I get Schengen Medical Insurance?

Travel medical insurance for Schengen (short-term) visa is required and must confirm to the following requirements:

An applicant for a multiple Schengen (short-term) visa must submit proof of travel health insurance according to the given requirements covering the first trip only. To cover subsequent trips, the applicant is required to sign a statement of understanding obliging him/her to acquire travel health insurance for the subsequent trips.

If proof of insurance is not submitted, visa cannot be granted.

 

A list of some Insurance Providers in the Philippines.  Please check with the specific Schengen Embassy if they have specific insurance providers.
  • ACE Insurance Philippines
  • Chartis Philippines Insurance Inc.,
  • Assist-Card
  • Blue Cross
  • BPI-MS Insurance Corporation
  • Fortune General Insurance Corporation
  • MAA Insurance
  • Malayan Insurance Company Inc.,
  • MAPFRE Insular Insurance Corporation,
  • Paramount Life and General Insurance Co.,
  • PNB General Insurers Co. Inc.,
  • Standard Insurance Co. Inc.,
  • UCPB General Insurance Co. Inc.,
  • WorldWide Travel Insurance Plans,
  • Everest International Group Administrators Inc.,
  • Federal Phoenix Assurance Co. Inc.

7. Number of entries

According to the expected number of stays, a Schengen visa may be issued as follows:

8. When to lodge an application

An application for a Schengen visa cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended visit.

9. Appointment for lodging an application (check the specific Embassy's hours of operation on the Schengen Contact Info Page on this site)

Applications can be lodged during office hours of the visa section, i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00  – 12:00 nn.

Applicants are required to set an appointment through www.visapoint.eu

10. Personal appearance while lodging an application

All applicants are required to submit the visa application in person. Upon submitting the visa application, an interview will take place and applicants may be asked to explain the reasons of their intended visit.

In certain exceptional cases where the reason is justified, the requirement for a personal appearance may be waived.

Personal appearance is waived for persons below 15 years of age. However, the parent/legal guardian lodging such application must appear in person. A minor below 15 years of age must attach to the application a written consent of his parent or other legal guardian if he/she does not travel in the company of his parent or legal guardian. For Filipino citizens, minors would need to present a DSWD Travel Clearance.

11. Processing time of a visa application

Applications are in most cases decided on within 5 working days after the application has been considered admissible. In individual cases, the review period can be extended up to 30 days and in exceptional cases up to 60 days. Since a fixed processing duration cannot be guaranteed, it is recommended that the applicant file his/her application not later than 21 days before his/her intended departure.

12. Passport pick up (Czech Republic only). For information on passport pickups with other Schengen states, check the info on the Schengen Addresses, Contact Info on this website)

Once a follow-up has been made and the passport was confirmed for pick-up, the applicant may claim his/her passport personally or by his/her authorized representative. The representative must have with him/her an authorization letter signed by the passport holder and verified by a notary public.

Passports may be picked up at these times (Czech Republic schedule):

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00nn to 1.00 pm unless otherwise indicated.

If necessary, a different schedule may be arranged. Please contact the Embassy through (+632) 811 11 55 to get prior confirmation.

13. Entry into a Schengen territory

Holders of Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control at the point of entry and are not guaranteed entry into any of the Schengen countries. The final decision is up to the respective immigration officer at a border crossing.

14. Visa extension

Extension of a Schengen visa may be requested in exceptional cases through the local branch of the Czech Alien and Border Police.

Request may be submitted not earlier than 30 days and not later than 3 days prior to the visa expiration. The period of stay cannot be extended if no reasons deserving special merit have been found. Visa cannot be extended at the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

15. Refusal of a visa

If a visa is refused, the applicant will receive from the specific Schengen Embassy a notice in writing stating the reasons for the refusal. The reasons for refusing a Schengen visa application are listed in the Visa Code (Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas).

Applicants are entitled to apply for a review of the grounds for visa refusal. The application must be submitted to the Embassy that has decided on the visa refusal within 15 days after receipt of this Visa Refusal. The appropriate Ministry will review the application within 30 days after submission of the application.

The application for a review of the grounds for visa refusal (for the principal applicant as well as family members) must contain information about the person lodging the application (name, surname, date of birth, permanent residence and postal adress) and details on the discrepancy/conflict with any legal rules or irregularity of the decision or of the process which preceded the decision. Facts which the applicants had not stated or documented in the original application cannot be a reason for the review.

 

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About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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