How to Apply for Schengen visa / Spanish visa with a Philippine passport (updated)

UPDATED as of March 2, 2017 *Thanks to the comment of a guest, the new Spanish visa can be applied thru Philippines BLS Spain: https://ph.blsspainvisa.com/ and NOT thru VFS anymore.

Submission Timings:

07:00- 11:00 am (Monday – Thursday)
07:00- 09:00 am (Friday)

Passport retrieval time:

14:00 – 16:00 (Monday – Friday)

Address:
First Maritime Place,
7458-60 Bagtikan St. San Antonio Village,
Makati City, Philippines

Phone: +632-841-55-60 / 61
Email: info.mnl@blshelpline.com

It was in 2011 that I first applied for a Spanish visa for the World Youth Day (WYD) held in Madrid.  During that time the process was a bit different since the church organizers applied for us delegates. It was also different since I was single and employed then. There wasn’t any appearance and we weren’t required to have our fingerprints scanned. It was pretty much smooth and easy. We just submitted documents and later on, voila! A Spanish visa.

Because of the WYD experience, it was my husband’s dream and mine to travel and visit Spain and reunite with my foster family. Last year December 2014, I have been receiving emails of discounted airfare, around 33% discount. We also received news early this year that my foster mom will be having a baby! It was so exciting!! :) Since the airfare was discounted, the value of euro is low compared to before, my papi Cefe and mami Juani are having a baby, though visiting Spain is a long term goal, we decided, maybe 2015 is the year.

We prayed about it but then between January and May 2015, the airfare went back to its original price which was too heavy for both of us. I was asking God and praying to Him for His will that if it is His will, the airfare will be more affordable and go back to its discounted price. We waited and God answered. Last June 2015, the airfare was discounted and back to the 33% discount! We instantly booked it by faith. By faith because the tickets cannot be refunded since it was a promo fare, and we didn’t have a visa yet! The visa must be applied 3 months before with no assurance that we will be approved.

They say that applying for Schengen visa is relatively easy compared to US visa but as I have been reading in blogs, some still get denied due to some unspecified reason. And this time I felt that there may be some difficulty since I wasn’t technically employed but I was working as a financial consultant and had my income. I am not technically considered a full time housewife either that my spouse can vouch for and support my trip. Later on and good thing that my husband and I have already adjusted our ITR based on our married status and our respective income.

We checked out the travel fair last July to see if a travel agency can assist us in applying for the visas. But as we asked around, we decided that we can do it on our own. We went to the VFS website which stipulated all the requirements we had to submit. I then booked an appointment in the website for September 3.

June – July 2015 – Pre-VFS Appointment

Travel Insurance. Prior to the appointment, we had to get a Blue Cross Travel Insurance (one of the accredited insurance by Schengen visa) which is a requirement in the visa application.

I called Blue Cross and they gave us an application form which I had to answer and fill out. I took a photo and sent it back to them. As they received our application form, they gave us a reference number which we will use to pay in their BDO/BPI/Metrobank account. We paid around 36 Euro each = Php 1,848.96 each that time for the Travel Insurance. We had a  bit of a challenge because they said we should receive it in 2-3 days. However it took 4 days! I called Blue Cross on the second and third day to follow up which I found out there were courier delivery problems and we received the Insurance finally on Day 4. It was a good thing that I called because I found out that they archived our insurance policy already due to their delivery problems.

Documents we prepared were the ff.

I prepared one for me and Jason plus one photocopy of each document:

  • Duly accomplished Schengen Application Form with 2 passport sized photos. (I didn’t leave any blank, for those that don’t apply I answered N/A). I submitted 1 Original and 2 Photocopies as required.
  • Cover Itinerary. It was recommended by our friend Vince. It was helpful to me personally since I can already plot our trip. He recommended the website, Rome2Rio. I used this format because I was OC. At the end of the page we also signed atop our printed names.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 15.23.45

  • Original & Valid Passport. I photocopied first and last page and all pages with stamps and visas.
  • Old Passports. I photocopied first and last page and all pages with stamps and visas. This included my Schengen Visa in 2011.
  • Original Bank Certificate. I got mine for Php 100 at BDO.
  • Other Investment Certificate. I submitted the original and a photocopy, they just got the photocopy. 
  • Investment Statement for the past 6 months. In support of my investment certificate that it was active.
  • Credit Card Photocopy. I photocopied the front and back of a visa / mastercard credit card.
  • Credit Card Statements for the past 6 months.
  • 2014 ITR Photocopy.
  • Travel Insurance. Travel Insurance with a coverage of 30,000 euros. Ours was named Royal Prestige plan in Blue Cross.
  • (Husband’s) Business permit, Business Registration photocopy. Since my husband was self-employed.
  • (Mine-Financial Consultant) Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source of 1 Year. I submitted this as proof that I was a financial consultant at Prulife UK. This is provided by the company quarterly.
  • Confirmed Airline Booking & Itinerary. Flight Reservation is acceptable but for us since we booked and paid a promo fare with Etihad, it was pretty much definite and final.
  • Confirmed Hotel Reservations. I booked with agoda.com and booking.com. I reserved and confirmed the booking using my credit card but it can be reversed. Make sure to book it in Peso! What I forgot to do was charged it in USD instead of PHP so the amount was still converted. When I had the amount reversed in my credit card, I lost a few pesos because of the currency conversion.
  • NSO Marriage Certificate. 

—————————

September 3, Thursday – VFS Appointment 

VFS Address: Spain Visa Application Centre Manila, Mezzanine Flr, Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave. Extension Makati City.

Our schedule was at 7:45AM, we arrived at 6:30AM. There was already a line at that time for those who had an appointment and the walk-ins. The far left was for walk-ins, the 2nd line was for those applying for Spanish visa, the rest I can’t remember but the security guard was the one assigning and fixing the lines.

A few minutes past 7, we were ushered in. We left our phones in the car, but we forgot to bring a pen! Bring a pen, you’ll need it to answer the feedback survey and details of address where the visa will be sent.  At the reception, the officer checked our documents then returned it to us along with a number to bring into the other room.

When our number was cued, though they provided a seat while submitting the documents, I couldn’t sit down as the docs to be turned over were really a lot. I also organized and  them into Original-photocopy, original-photocopy, original-photocopy labeled by a post it.

Docs

.I should have organized them into 2 only – a compilation of the original and a compilation of the photocopies because that’s how the officer separated my docs.

After, I paid the following fees:

Visa Fee: Php 2910

Logistic Fee: Php 970

SMS Fee: Php 120

Courier Fee: Php 370

We could have saved in the SMS fee because we received an email anyway which is exactly what we received via SMS. The email even arrived earlier than SMS, and the status can be checked in the VFS website. But anyway…

After which, we had our fingerprints scanned. It took me several minutes, Jason thought there was an officer interviewing me! It turned out that the lines in my finger were too light it can’t be read by the scanner.

I asked the officer if I will be required to have an interview. She said that usually the consul requires interviews for first timers but it is still their discretion to require an interview for 2nd timers. But she also said that if I don’t receive my passport in 2-3 days and if I don’t receive any notice, I automatically need to be interviewed.

September 3, Thursday – VFS Appointment 

On that same day, I received an SMS and and email from VFS stating,

Visa application has been dispatched to the Spain Consulate – General, Makati City on September 3 for processing and assessment. 

Jason received a notice that he was required for interview and that he may go to the Spanish Embassy from Mon-Thurs 8AM

September 8, Tuesday

I received an SMS –

Processed visa application has been couriered to you via 2GO. You will receive your passport in 24-48 hours. 

September 9, Wednesday

I received my passport and stamped on it was the Schengen Visa! :)

———————–

September 10, Thursday – Spanish Embassy for Interview

Spanish Embassy Address: 5th Floor ACT Tower
135 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
1227 Makati City
Metro Manila, Philippines

We arrived early maybe around 7AM and parked in Starbucks, we had to eat there of course. Jason fell in line at around 7:30AM and along with others they had to write their names on a sheet of paper which will determine their line number.

Jason had to wait until 9AM I think and he was asked the ff questions:

How long will he be staying? What was his business? etc.

He returned to Starbucks where I waited at around 10:30AM.

September 14, Monday –  Post Interview

Jason received an SMS –

Processed visa application has been couriered to you via 2GO. You will receive your passport in 24-48 hours. 

September 15, Tuesday

Jason received his passport and the Schengen visa looked back at us as if to say, Hola Espanya!

For us both, the process took around 2 weeks.

I can only thank God that He answered our prayer on discounted flights, visas approved plus everything in between and gave us the opportunity to visit my foster family again! The last time I flew to Spain on my birthday August 8, 2011, I had jitters and I had the stomach flu but I pushed thru. So now we’re praying that we stay healthy and we enjoy our honeymoon and reunion in Spain. Click here for our Spain trip.

———————-

*Kindly note that I am not a representative of VFS or BLS and not an employee of the spanish embassy. Please refer to the official websites for the official documents needed. This blog is based on experience only.

Post VFS Application at ChopStop

Post VFS Application at ChopStop

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88 thoughts on “How to Apply for Schengen visa / Spanish visa with a Philippine passport (updated)

  1. hello there.. thank u for a very informative blog about schengen visa.. me and my husband got also a sale ticket going to madrid this oct.22 2016, we are planning get a travel agency to apply a visa for us and insurance, was it really that easy to do it on ur own? like making itineraries? we are planning to go to portugal also.thank u

    • Hello,
      I am planning to visit Spain again in June 2017. I had my schengen visa approved twice and this will be my third time, however, I applied in Spanish embassy in Singapore. On my 2 approved visa applications, I did not include a cover letter that includes my itinerary. I just submitted the requirements listed in Spanish embassy website. This will be my first time to apply in the Philippines and I am wondering if they have different process. Or is it less hassle to apply for visa considering that this will be my third time?

      Cheers,

      Joana

      • Hi Joana!
        You can check the website just to be sure. :)
        My application was back in 2015 so maybe the process is different now. But I just followed whatever requirement is listed in their website. :)

  2. hello there.. thank u for a very informative blog about schengen visa.. me and my husband got also a sale ticket going to madrid this oct.22 2016, we are planning get a travel agency to apply ma visa for us and insurance, was it really that easy to do it on ur own? like making itineraries? we are planning to go to portugal also.thank u

    • Hi! Yes it is very easy you can do it on your own – apply for the visa and insurance. The itinerary that is needed for the visa application can be easily done. But if you plan to go on a tour it may be best to avail the services of a travel agency since they may be having a package on schengen visa application and tours in Europe.

  3. Hi! I received an SMS that the Consulate General is requesting for interview. What are the questions during your husband’s interview?

  4. Hi good day! I am married to a retired British Citizen and he will take us “me and my daughter” to Spain for good. And we are gathering our doc./papers to comply all the requirements and honestly we are struggling because we dont know exactly what are all the papers they want from us ..just wanna know if u have any idea about the req.for long stay visa and also if we will still use or fill up and submit the Schengen application form to them

    Thanks
    Raffy in Cebu

    • Hi Raffy! Sorry I am not sure what they will be needing for a long stay. We just applied for a tourist visa. :) You may call VFS if ever. God bless! :)

      • Hello im joy from agusan del norte i am planning to visit in spain 2018 my friend invite me to visit there ..how much do i need to prepare about the money i dont have a crédit card or a business here Philippines..im not really sure if i am valid to apply a schengen visa i mean no idea if i can apply also since i don’t have any atm or credit card how much money do i need to prepare. .
        I hope you can give me a lil bit of ideas of what to do..
        Thank you and God bless

        • Hi Ms. Joy

          I think most countries that require visa just wants proof that we will return to the Philippines.. It may be hard for them to decide
          if we cannot provide them the information needed (balance in bank account, employment certificate / business permit etc.)
          But i would advise that you contact VFS directly :)

          • Hi maam ,
            Im barbara sana maka advice kayu sa akin, nag plano po ako na mag bisita sa spain ,isa po akong ofw maari po ba akong mag apply ng tourist visa sa spain,gustu ko lng bumisita sa friend ko ,ano po ba ang kailanagan ko na manga documinto , pls po maam pkisagot naman .thanks po and god bless you.????????????

  5. Hi! Is it required to bring already the confirmed returned flight ticket? Or is it fine with them with the flight reservation or flight itenerary? Thanks

      • Hello…
        Can you give me some advice…. Is it okay to apply a tourist visa in spain then apply a student visa when I arrived in spain?

          • Hi ask ko lang po normal po ba ang message na sinent sakin ng embassy na ‘the final resolution to the visa application is ready’ibig sabihin po ba nito na denied yung visa.

          • In my experience no not necessarily denied, they are just informing us about the status of the application:)

  6. Good day!I had an account in Au Pair,there is a family want me to be the nanny of their kids.Im a filipino,Can you help me,what will I do?Do I need a request from the family to bring in the Spanish embassy?Thank you very much.God bless!

    • Hi! Sorry I do not know how tho answer this because we traveled as tourists. You may contact VFS directly for working visa requirements. :)

  7. Hi! Love the very informative post! I’m a Filipina applying for first time for Schengen Visa. Do you know if there is an amount needed as money on your bank? There’s just no direct info you can get anywhere, and I wanted to request for a 90-day stay. I’m planning to send all my financial docs plus a sponsored invitation from the family of my partner I’m staying with in Spain.

    • Hi Ms. Rachel, I am not sure about this. There may be different requirements if you will be staying in Spain other than a tourist. We applied as tourists and we indicated how many days (14 days only) we would be staying in Spain. I would recommend that you ask friends who have similar situation, as well as ask VFS for more information about this. :)

  8. Hi, as of today the agency handling visa applications for Spain is BLS, but I guess the process and procedures remain the same. May I know what prompted your husband to go for an interview at the Spanish Consulate? Did he receive any notice like an email or sms from BLS or the consulate?

    • I’m sorry, I did not read the part where you mentioned that “Jason received a notice that he was required to go to the embassy for an interview” on the same day when both of you applied at vfs.

  9. Hi Gia

    it will be my third time in Europe this April. I’ll mainly be in London for 3 weeks but would love to do a sidetrip in Spain. Im quite scared to apply a schengen visa in spain especially that my old passport ( containing all my previous visa, schengen, Uk, US, korea Japan etc) was stolen in Paris last november 2016. Therefore i have no evidence ive been to Europe before. I also heard spain is the hardest embassy to apply a schengen visa? what do you suggest i do ive never been to spain though and really want to go there

    • Hi Zanjoe!

      As I remember you need to apply for visa on country of entry. If it’s UK then you need to apply for UK visa..
      Maybe they will require you to provide itinerary of your trip and you can just indicate Spain there :)

      We had no problems on applying for Schengen Visa in Spain so far..

      • Hi thanks for the reply i already have my UK visa as it is different from a schengen visa. decided to apply in spain and will walk in since all schedules are full. thanks

  10. My mother-in-law will be going to the US first (she has a 10-year multiple entry visa) before they will go on tour to Barcelona with their high school friends. Everything will be paid for by her sister. How should she go about applying for a Schengen visa and where should she apply?

    Thank you!

  11. Hi there,

    Just to update, BLS Spain Visa Application Center already moved to HV Dela Costa :-) Effective March 21, 2017

    10th Floor Unit 1004 Liberty Center Building
    104 H.V. de la Costa corner Leviste Salcedo Village,
    Makati City, Philippines

  12. Hi, did you address your bank certificate, COE, etc. directly to Spanish embassy? Or to VFS (or now to BLS)? I’m currently requesting for such papers now. Part of it is to put proper salutation and addresses. Hope you reply. Thank you.

        • Hi Shelly! I didn’t consider the size when printing it. I just printed it on what we had that time. But you can check the website they may be requiring long bond. If none is indicated, I guess any will do. :)

        • Just applied for tourist visa at BLS, 2 days ago. No they’re not strict with the size of the paper. Just make sure you have 2 copies of the application form though. Also, you can download their checklist at the BLS website so you’ll know what you need exactly.

          I received an SMS this afternoon that my passport is ready for pick-up.

          Good luck.

  13. Hello,.I have a friend in Spain (Spanish Citizen) and she’s inviting me to visit they’re country,she will send me a visa (tourist visa) and she will be my sponsor. My question is,.do you have any idea what are the requirements that I must need/present to the Spanish embassy? She told me to go there and ask for requirements to be “stamped”.
    And does having a credit card really needed? I don’t have any credit card,.I only have my ATM card (savings). I hope you’ll have time to answer my question.Thank you in advanced Ma’am.

    • Hi Kindly go to the Spanish Embassy website for the actual requirements needed. I am not sure about the credit card but we had credit cards as proof of capability to spend and travel. We also scanned it. I feel it would be an advantage to have a credit card. Good luck in your application!

  14. Hello my wife is in Spain.she is already a citizen she plans to get me thru petition I was already interviewed on February 14 at the Spanish Embassy.may I know what are the requirements for applying visa for petition and how much? Thanks

    • Hi! You can check via the Spanish embassy website. I am not familiar with this, I just applied as tourist! Thanks!

    • Hi! This is the first time that I’ve heard this. I am not sure what happens if you are denied of Schengen visa

  15. hi, im ghen, im wrking here n taiwan for almost 1yr, since i dont have any rest day was the reason that i cant process here n taiwan but i plan to go home in philippines to process a tourist visa for spain, my aunt and relatives r already n there , they want me to go as a tourist and they will shoulder all the expenses, i have a savings account, BDO and BPI but as of now its n zero balance , but we can deposit it as needed to support the documents, but i dont have any credit card and i cant show how much my income range every month because i dont have any businesss, im seeking your advice,,, thank you

    • Hi Ghen! I am not sure about this but maybe you need to ask for a Certificate of Employment from Taiwan to show that you are employed. As far as I remember, the income range is not required. They just need supporting documents to prove that you are working and you have work to go back to and will not stay a long time in Europe. Those are just my thoughts. God bless!

  16. Good day ate! Im a graduate student already. Im really interested in Spain. what kind of visa should i get if i would like to learn spanish language? is there any chance that i can stay there for a short time of period like maybe 1 year or more just to learn their language and culture or is there any work around?

    • Hi Inko! I am not sure about this!
      It is best to call the embassy for this, maybe there is a student visa I am not sure. But the only experience I have is for tourists staying for a month or less. :)

  17. Hi

    I was asked to come for interview and right after the interview they asked me to come back in the afternoon. Is that a good or a bad thing?

  18. Hello ate.. ask ko lang po .. if yung bf ko po mag request ng visa ko then saan nya daw po pede un i send.. saakin po ba mismo or sa spanish embassy dto sa pinas.. or email? Gusto nya po ako invite duon .. kso po wla po ako work dto lahat nmn po gastos nya.. maka pasa po kaya ako for interview… tska need po ba tlaga ng insurance na malaki ang halaga ng nilalaman? At ng mga atm? Kabayan savings lang po ako meron.. although sya narin po mag bbgay skin ng pang show money ko daw po pag na interview po ako para sa visa… 14days lang po ako duon kung sakali man.. mahrp po ba ang mga tanung nila.. kinakabahn po ksi ako baka masyang lang ang lahat if bumagsak po ako sa interview.. slamat po sna po masgot nio po ang message ko…

    • Hi Jhoy! Sorry wala akong experience if inendorse ng kakilala in Spain.. Pero I guess yung purpose for other requirements is security that you will come back to the Phils. :)

  19. hi! I’m based in cebu and would like to apply for a Schengen visa thru the Spanish embassy (since longest country of stay is in Spain). Did you have to submit the documents personally, then come back for an interview? So basically you go to the embassy twice? Do you just walk-in or do you have to set an appointment to submit documents? Also, how long before the planned trip would you suggest one should apply for the visa?

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Hello! Yes we went there to submit it personally. Then my husband had to go to the Spanish embassy for an interview. No appointment is needed as far as I can remember, it was first come first serve so we had to be there early. Our trip was in November, I think we applied in August / September. :)

  20. One question po. Pag nag apply for visa(petition), iki-keep ba nila yung passport right after isubmit yung documents? Gaano katagal kung sakali?

    Then also, appointement ko kasi is on Nov 15 but I am planning to go overseas on Nov 19th for vacation. May mga certain days ba na need kong pumunta sa Embasy or ako bahala sa day ng follow up? I need to know asap. Sayang kasi yung airfare ko e. ????????

  21. Hellow!
    I’m cherry Romero presently working here in Turkey for 2 years I’m planning to visit in Spain I receive my invitation letter from my friend already. I don’t have any card/credit card or something from the bank.I need some advise what to do next and is it hard to get shengen Visa? How much money I need to prepare. Pls. Help me. Thanks…

  22. Hi! May i ask if PRUlife UK is Schengen accredited for insurance? I am about to get one from my best friend but i am not sure if PRUlife is accredited even i search on internet, it doesn’t show if PRUlife is accredited or not. Also, i resigned this month on my job, this does affect if my employer can’t give out my latest ITR and Bank papers for my cash card (payroll card provided from them).?

    Thank you.

    • No this is not accredited with regards to travel insurance. :) You will need travel insurance to cover for the costs of medical expenses, baggage loss etc.
      RE resigning, I am not sure how you will be able to prove that you will be returning to the country? They may need proof that you are employed / have a business. :) I think this is what they are looking for also how to justify expenses for the trip. Let me know if you’ve resigned and how it turned out at the embassy :) God bless!

  23. Hello! Do you remember what you ticked in the “Number of Entries Requested” question? (single, two or multiple?) Similar to you, I’ve been to a Schengen country state recently. I want to request for multiple entries but I don’t want to risk being denied just because of this.

    • Hi! Hmm… I think I ticked single because I will just be going that one time. Then I would just reapply again if I need to :)

  24. Hello, I will be visiting Spain by March 2018. I read in your previous responses that your bank cert contained at least 100k. May I know what the Average Daily Balance is needed?

  25. Hi, I will be applying for a spanish visa next month but I misplaced my diploma. I only had the certified copy signed from my school. Can they allow it? It might take me a while to get the original copy though. :(

  26. Hello, I’m glad to see this post. Very informative.
    Did they ask you for a medical certificate? How was the format? Letter, a form?

    Thanks.

  27. Hi tastebud! Thanks for the informative and helpful post. I was wondering what questions they asked your husband and details of the intervirw?? I have a business too and its my firzt time to go to eu. I will be flying 3rd week of july 2018.
    They are askinng for an interview in 3 days and im on the pins!

  28. hi about sa credit card statements, sinama mo ba lahat ng pages? balak ko kasi na first page lang ang ipakita kung san nakalagay ang personal info ko at credit limit. thanks

  29. Hi! Thank you for this informative post.
    I am also invited to attend an interview at the Spanish Consulate. It is my first time to travel to Europe and I am travelling alone. The main purpose I am travelling to EU is business trip in Gibraltar (I already got a UK Visa) and Spain trip is just a side trip. I provided all docs from my employer to assure that I am sponsored.

    I am really nevous because I read some cases of visa refusals. Do you have advice before I attend the interview?

    • Hi Pia! Just answer truthfully and be direct to the point :) I am sure if they do not grant, they have a very good reason not to. God bless!!

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