May 23, 2016 by Crescentine
The embassy has changed their process and requirements again. Since I am no longer in Manila, please see this blog instead for more up-to-date information:
Prepare your Requirements
Download all required application forms from the VFS global website: click here to see!
You need two sets for all the documents: originals set and photocopies set. They normally only take the photocopies unless the originals are needed.
1) Fill-up the application form and attach your most recent photo
Use this link as a guide for filling out the short stay visa application: click here
P.S. The photo must be 35mm x 45mm against a white background. Wear something corporate, no hats or head gears, tuck your hair behind your ears for a clear frontal view of your face.
2) Valid passport with 3 months validity from the end of your intended stay (i.e. if you go to France from Dec. 19 to Jan. 8, the passport must be valid until April 8.)
Include photocopies of each page with valid or former visas and now, you have to include travel/immigration stamps or visa refusal stamps! If you have old cancelled passports with valid or former visas, include the photocopy of that as well.
3) Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and your proposed day to day itinerary.
Here is a template for the cover letter. Make sure to include the purpose of your visit, the dates you are travelling, the places you intend to go to and any other information you deem relevant to inform the consul. Be polite!
You have to make an itinerary that explains what you intend to do for every day that you stay in France. If you are staying longer than one month, at least indicate the major activity you plan to do during each week.
4) Details of the trip: Proof of accommodation and round trip flight booking/reservation
4.1 Round trip airline reservation: Do not purchase tickets until the visa has been granted! but you can, if you are confident enough that your visa application will be approved.
4.2 Proof of accommodation: Hotel vouchers for the entire stay at the Schengen area (including other countries) or if staying with a French Resident, the original copy of the Attestation d’accueil and the national identity card of your host or residence permit, whichever is applicable.
P.S. Where and how to get the Attestation d’accueil? Firstly, the French resident that you will reside with for your stay must be a very good friend or relative because it is difficult to get this form. He/she must go to the Mairie or city hall in the city where he/she resides, fill up the very demanding form, show billing statements, proof of ownership of property, bank statements, employment certificates and what not, plus pay a fee of EUR 30. The Attestation d’accueil will be released in a week in which he/she must mail the original copy to you in order to present it at the French embassy. I recommend UPS as the courier of choice, expect to receive it within 2-3 days.
4.3 For Family Visit, you also need to provide documents that prove your relationship to the family member such as birth certificate or marriage certificate.
5) Proof of employment, if any, and Latest Personal Income Tax Return
5.1 Certificate of Employment: This is the most important document, it increases your chances significantly if you are a regular employee.
Ask for a certificate of employment stating your monthly salary and approved leave of absences from your HR or employer. If you are self-employed, official business registration for the current and previous year.
6) Latest Personal Income Tax Return and Recent (less than one month) Personal Bank Certification
Income tax return from the previous year or the most recent year (if applicable), recent bank certification and photocopy of the last 3 months statement of account of the same bank account.
6.1 Income tax return is the BIR form 2316. If employed, request this from your company’s finance manager. This is supposed to be given to you every 31st of January for every year that you are working with a company or on your last day of employment, should you have resigned.
6.2 Recent bank certification may be requested from your bank for a fee, with HSBC this is Php 300 and may take 3-5 working days with BPI, this is Php 100 and is given instantly.
6.3 The last 3 months statement of account (of the same bank account) may be requested at the same time as the bank certification and is printed for free, in the case of BPI, with HSBC this is Php 100 and will take 3 working days. The statement of accounts from your online banking account works as well. Make sure that the bank account in the bank certification and statements of account are the SAME bank account.
P.S. Contrary to what people think, the amount of money in your bank account is less important versus the proof of employment. The only thing is to show you have some money to fund your trip and that the money in your account is constantly moving and not just for “show” but does not necessarily have to be in the hundred thousands.
But just so you know the minimum amount: you must have the minimum wage in France, at least EUR 60 (as of 2016), per day for every day you are in France. If you have the Attestation d’accueil, then you would need half of the minimum wage in France or EUR 30 . Each Schengen state differs in financial requirement.
Formula: EUR 60 (w/o attestation) or EUR 30 (with attestation) multiplied by number of days in France = Minimum required amount in your bank account.
7) For minors and/or students: Proof of economic means of parents/legal guardian plus a copy of passport of parents/legal guardian and affidavit of support and consent and proof of enrollment and certificate of leave of absence if travelling during the school year.
8) Identity and marital status
Birth certificate and marriage contract, if applicable. For minors travelling with parents, a copy of the DSWD permit.
For non-Filipino applicants in the PH, copy of Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) – you may get this from the Bureau of Immigration branch in Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. Issued to foreigners staying longer than 1 month in the Philippines, total fee for PH visa extension and to get the ACR is 8,000 pesos for all foreigners. Do not wear shorts to the building and bring a valid ID!
Getting your birth certificate or marriage contract has never been this easy via the NSO Helpline, simply follow the convenient 3-step process and get your certificates delivered right to your doorstep within 3 working days!
P.S. Prepare a valid government issued ID upon personal receipt of the certificate or if via a proxy, a photocopied government issued ID of you and a letter found on the NSO website must be presented upon receipt.
9) International travel insurance
Must cover medical expenses and repatriation for the entire stay in the Schengen area, valid for all Schengen states. Minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 or around Php 1.6M.
I recommend MAA General Assurance Phils., Inc., simply inquire for an international travel insurance, meet with their agent or drop by their office at the 9th/10th flr. Pearlbank Centre, 146 Valero St. Salcedo Village, Makati city. and pay the required amount of around Php 2,700 (as of 2013) for the regular travel insurance of 40 days because the French embassy requires the insurance coverage to be (days staying in France) + 15 additional days. For a travel insurance of 90 days (+additional days required by the embassy), the fee is 4,700 pesos (as of 2016). MAA can process your insurance within 1 hour from the time of payment if you drop by personally at their office.
P.S. You need one set of original documents and one set of photocopies. Photocopy everything and arrange them accordingly as specified above from 1 – 10.
10) Visa Fee of EUR 60 or around PHP 3,100 (as of 2016). With VFS, there is now an added EUR 26 or around PHP 1,500 on top of the visa fee for a total of PHP 4,600.
Make sure that you have the exact amount as the embassy does not give change. Also, do not pay with a lot of coins, they hate this and they will not accept it. I learned this mistake the hard way and I had to ask aloud in the room if anybody could exchange my 50 pesos worth of coins for a bill. Good thing someone obliged!
As of 2016, VFS global gives change! So no need to prepare for the exact amount.