Family Visit visa to Germany- how I invited my mum and sister from the Philippines
Germany,  Visa

Family Visit visa to Germany- how I invited my mum and sister

I’ve been living in Germany since November 2019, and since then, I haven’t been able to return to the Philippines or see my family. Therefore, my husband and I invited my mum and sister and applied for a family visit visa from the Philippines to Germany. It was not an easy process, especially during this pandemic. It required a long and exhausting preparation, but it was all worth it. If you’re also planning to visit your family member in Germany or plan to invite them, let me show you how. But please note that this family visit visa to Germany was not sponsored, meaning we didn’t send them any formal obligation; they provided their own, and we only supported them.

This article is for you if;

  • You’re a Filipino living in Germany.
  • A Filpino residing in the Philippines
  • You want to invite any of your family members (mum, father, sister, or brother) or a friend to visit you in Germany.
  • Plan to apply for a visit visa to visit your family member or a friend living in Germany.
  • If you have patience reading through all the details of your plans for a family visit visa to Germany

If your answer is yes, let’s get started, shall we?

Updated 2023

Family Visit visa to Germany from Philippines requirements

Keep in mind the documents/requirements you need to prepare. Below are the explanations of each document.

From the applicant (Mum & Sis living in the Philippines)

  • Visa application form – you can check it here and fill it out
  • Original passport and one photocopy
  • Two current biometric passport pictures
  • Proof of relationship with the sponsor or the person you’re visiting ( pictures together, conversation, birth certificate, and a marriage contract of the sponsor)
  • Informal invitation coming from the sponsor or the person you’re visiting
  • Sample Travel itinerary
  • Flight ticket, no need for a reservation
  • Travel health insurance covering Schengen areas and COVID-19
  • Certificate of Employment (stating the company, position, salary, and leave of absence)
  • Bank Certificate at least three-six (3-6) months
  • Formal Obligation of the person inviting (optional)
  • Visa fee of €80 each
    The requirements above are initially the ones you can find on their website. You have to comply and provide them. Here’s the Visa application checklist for your reference. Check what documents you have, and print and sign them.

From us (the host-your relative living in Germany)

  • Informal invitation letter

*My tip: Gather and complete all the requirements written above. They are necessary for your visa application. And one document per applicant.

Additional family visit visa requirements

Below are some documents we prepared to increase the chances of getting approved.

  • Informal invitation letter – Informal invitation letter – I’ve personally tailored this one to explain our intention of having my mum and sister visit me in Germany. I’ve included things like I have not seen them since I moved to Germany. Despite being a senior, my mum is physically fit and healthy, while my sister is also applying because she had to be an assistant to my mother. Moreover, they are paying and shouldering their trip; we only support and host them in Germany. You can check my informal invitation sample below.
  • Land Title – Original and Photocopy. As mentioned above, we did not sponsor this visit trip to Germany. Therefore, my mum and my sister had to provide their own, including their latest bank statements and my mum’s land title. They showed and brought the original and photocopy. The bank statement on the website says at least six (6) months, but we provided only three (3) months and total money of around Php250,000.00 for each account.
  • COE (Certificate of Employment) -My 31-year-old sister is single, lives with my mum, and is a freelance Online English teacher. Although she’s under a company, she asked for a COE stating her salary, position, and how long she has been employed.
  • Photocopy of old passport and travel stamps – I believed the old passport was as crucial as the new passport. Also, we included the travel stamps to show that both have been in and out of the country for leisure purposes. My sister, for example, has been to Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia, among many others.

How to reserve a flight ticket for a visit visa to Germany

  • Flight ticket ( no need to make a reservation or book)- I’ve only screenshot some flights from Oman air and printed them out. They don’t need to be reserved at the airline. The VFS Makati doesn’t require you to book them unless you have an approved visa application. See the photo.
  • Vaccination certificate (VAXcert Ph) Vaccine cards or ICV (international certification vaccination or the yellow passport) – Yes, you need this- it is still essential to your travel requirement for leaving the Philippines and entering Germany.
International vaccination certificate
Yellow vaccine passport
Vaccination certificate, Philippines
When you register for the VAxCertPh, you will fill in your details. It’s pretty easy. Then you can see your record. Download and print it. It’s free of charge. You can book your appointment at specific sites for the ICV (international vaccination certification). It costs php300.00 each.
  • Proof of relationship – We printed out some photos together in Hongkong as a family. You can do this, too, to show that you are a relative. I thought this was adequate to prove our relationship with each other. In addition to that, they also presented my marriage certificate and birth certificate.
  • Detailed travel itinerary
Sample travel itinerary to Germany
This is only a sample. You can copy the format. Of course, you must decide your plans and write them down there. You can also briefly explain your itinerary. It’s all up to you.

*My tip: You can include some conversations or video calls of you and your relative in Germany. Or, photos like I’ve mentioned above for proof of the relationship. Similarly, that’ll do if you have a business under your name. However, a sari-sari store may not be enough as a property.

Sample of family visit visa informal invitation and application letter to the German embassy

Here are samples of an informal invitation letters coming from your sister or family who lives in Germany and a family visit visa application letter that your sister and mother to send to the embassy as part of the requirements. But please note that these are only samples, and make sure to edit and don’t copy-paste the information. Try to be as personalized as you can in writing the letters.

The informal invitation letter from Germany can be printed out but signed already, which you/they can do via e-sign.

How much bank balance is required for the visit visa to Germany?

You need at least €50/Php 3.047.16 per day, and that’s around €1,250/Php 76,175.97 in your bank account to prove you can support your stay for twenty five (25) days. The amount does not include your flight tickets.

How to set an appointment for a family visit visa to Germany at VFS Makati

Now that you have prepared everything you need for a family visit to Germany, you only need to set up an appointment. You can create an account, register, and find all the available selections. That’s what my sister did. She first secured the date, filled out the information, and paid the visa application fee.

It costs €18 /Php 1,150 each.

But note that there are only a few possible time slots due to the corona situation. Once you have set up your appointment, you need to wait and double-check if you have missed any documents you need to bring to the VFS Makati.

VFS Global Makati online
Family visit visa to Germany registration and amount

*Note that only appointments are allowed at the VFS Makati.

Appointment day at VFS Makati

January 27, 2022. This date was the appointment day at 09:00. With all the proper documents, my mum and sister went to Manila to submit the records for the family visit visa to Germany. They were early. Along with our family driver, they traveled from Pangasinan to Manila at dawn to ensure they were not caught in jams at Edsa.

Everything was almost perfect. All the requirements were with them. There were only two (2) problems they’d encountered.

  1. One was my mum showing her teeth (smiling) in her visa photo; hence, she needed to retake it. It costs Php200.00 nearby the VFS.

2. The second one was that some documents were only one copy for both applicants. The rule is one application for each, and one applicant must have each document- which means that my mum, for example, should have a copy of each of the requirements, like the sample travel itinerary and a photocopy of the land title, among many others.

If you have also failed to photocopy some of your documents, note that photocopying was very expensive in the same building.

On the other hand, there’s no interview if you have already tried to submit any visa application through VFS. The staff only checked your documents if everything was available; otherwise, they’d inform you.

*My tip: Make a list of all the documents you have and prepare so that you’ll know what’s missing. Most importantly, one copy of documents per applicant.

Interview/ Call day

On February 02, 2022, staff from the German embassy called my sister on her mobile phone. Surprisingly, she didn’t ask many things, but only if mum and sis had been vaccinated. She said yes then she sent the proof by email.

And that was all.

I know, right?! What a shock! Before that, I told both of them what to answer in case of interrogations. For example, they (mum and sis) were shouldering their expenses, and I was only there to support them, but they came to stay with us.

Sponsored Visit Visa to Germany

Related read: First time visit visa to Germany, denied, what went wrong?

Passport arrival day- aka verdict day.

On my way to school work one cold morning in Munich, I received a call from my sister that they had already received the passport. Sadly, she said that it was declined. I was devastated; I didn’t raise my hope so high up.

But then it was a prank!

The family visit visa to Germany has been approved! My sister jumped for joy upon seeing the visas attached to their passport. Soon she sent me a photo of the visas.

*My tip: Make your phone number available, as they might call you unexpectedly. Sometimes, it might happen that when a Consul can’t reach you, it may result in denial of your family visit visa to Germany.

Family visit visa application to Germany from the Philippines timeline

Here’s the timeline to give you an overview of the family visit visa to Germany application,

  • January 11, 2022– Set an appointment and complete forms for the online family visit visa to Germany application.
  • January 27, 2022 – Appointment day at VFS Makati.
  • February 02, 2022 – A staff from German Embassy called my sister on her mobile phone.
  • Feb 09, 2022– Family visit visa to Germany approved (passports with visa arrived at home!)
  • February 10, 2022– We booked their flights at Emirates from Germany
  • February 21, 2022 – Mum and sis got their ICV ( international certification of vaccination) at Resorts World Manila
  • March 15, 2022– We booked the travel insurance via HanseMerkur ( just rebooked and re-dated)
  • April 01, 2022- Departure in Manila
  • April 02, 2022– Arrival in Munich, Germany
  • April 25, 2022– Departure from Munich, Germany
  • April 26, 2022– Arrival in the Philippines

*Note: Departure was on April 25, 2022.

What other important things to do for the visit visa to Germany application

There were still plenty of important things to prepare right after the family visit visa to Germany had been approved. The journey didn’t end there; in other words, it was just the beginning.

Register your vaccination through VAX cert PH and ICV

First, they had to get a booster and the VAX certificate Ph ( which was, by the way, sometimes the vaccination record was wrong). Moreover, book an appointment for the ICV (international vaccination certification), aka yellow vaccine passport, which was valid and accepted, especially in foreign countries like Germany.

Where and how to get the ICV

Book online – There are many places to get the ICV; however, there were only very limited slots and destinations available.

For instance, we finally got one in Bataan, from Pangasinan. So imagine the travel time there? Plus so many restrictions along the road. Anyhow, we booked and also booked an Airbnb in Bataan.

Eventually, we were lucky to score an appointment on February 21, 2022, at Resorts World Manila. Here’s the link for your booking.

Second, registering at VAX Cert PH. You can find your records here if you have been vaccinated and boostered.

Where and how to get it

Register at VAX cert PH. And then after that, there will be some questions and information you need to fill out. And finally, you can get your record. You can save a screenshot on your phone and print it out.

ICV ( yellow vaccination passport ) or VAXcert Ph are acceptable as vaccination proof. We both had them in case. Won’t hurt if you get yours, too.

*My tip: Although they only asked for the VAx cert Ph upon check-in at Emirates in Manila, it’s better to get the two. It won’t hurt if you have them both.

ReBooked the travel insurance and booked the flight via Emirates

While preparing the family visit visa to Germany application, we originally booked the dates of April 1 -17, 2022, for the health insurance that cost €62.90 / php 3,834.14. But when it was approved, we decided that we could extend the trip up to the 25th of the same month.

Therefore, I sent an email to the agent of HanseMerkur and told him of my concern. He told me to purchase a new one with the desired date, and I should contact him on my IBAN after that to cancel the previous purchase.

I did.

The new travel health insurance covers the latest date from April 01-26, 2022, which costs €96.20/Php 5,863.97. I paid via Paypal. Then after 24 hours, he refunded the payment for the first purchase.

The airline they presented was Oman air; however, when the family visit visa to Germany was approved, we changed it to Emirates.

Leaving the Philippines- at the Philippines’ airport and immigration

Don’t fret. As long as you have the proper documents and got everything prepared, there’s no need to worry. Although I cannot blame you if you feel anxious or nervous because I was a little bit, too, on my way.

But to lessen your anxiety or feelings, here are essential things to do and know at Manila airport and immigration during this pandemic.

Upon check-in at Emirates

  • Valid passports and visas – are very, very important. If you missed this one, sorry, you’re doomed.

  • Travel declaration form- Yep, this is new. There was nothing like this before COVID-19 began. You need this as this is part of the departure process. You can download, print out and sign here.

  • ICV (yellow vaccination passport) and VAX CertPh- Upon check-in at Emirates, the staff asked for the VAXcert Ph. Know that only vaccinated tourists can enter Germany unless it’s urgent. In other words, if you don’t have any of these upon check-in, even if you’ve got a visa, sorry, you cannot board the flight.

  • Luggage– we booked via Emirates, and they had 30kg, plus a 7kg hand carry. Usually, two bags per person are allowed to check in; the kilograms don’t matter, but the volume does. So ensure you have only two for check-in and one 7-kilogram hand carry.

  • Travel Tax– Any outbound tourists except the spouses permanently settling abroad must pay the travel tax fee, Php1,620.00. Similarly, you can pay the travel tax online, but we opted not to. If you’re interested in doing so, you can check this link. You’re welcome.

The possible questions in the Philippines’ immigration

Now here’s the real deal. Immigration officers could be scary and intimidating at the same time. As I’ve already informed my mum and sis about the possible interrogations at the immigration, they were well prepared.

As expected, a female immigration officer asked them a few questions;

To my sister

  • Are you a government employee?
  • Do you have a COE?
  • What’s your relationship with the person you’re visiting in Germany?
  • Do you have a copy of their identity?
  • When will you go back to the Philippines?
  • Do you have a return ticket?

To my mum

  • Who are you visiting in Germany?
  • Is she your daughter?

*Note: It helps if you ( the host) send a copy of your identification cards to your family member visiting you in Germany. It was my sister’s idea, and I am glad she did ask. It was suitable proof to let them go and have their passports stamped.

And then off they went. They headed directly to their gate and waited until the boarding time. Unfortunately, Emirates was (1) hour delay at that time. They arrived safe and sound. My mother enjoyed her first-time experience at Emirates.

*My tip: Prepare all your documents and get them ready. don’t put them in a see-through envelope; put them in your bag. .Besides the passport and the vaccine certificate in your hands. Takeout only the rest of the documents only when they asked for it. Be confident and brief when answering questions.


Transiting through Dubai from Manila

As we booked via Emirates, it was connecting through Dubai. But here’s the thing, because of the pandemic, we had to consider many things, like, did they need a negative RT-PCR test in Dubai?

As a host and a concerned daughter and sister, I checked whether Dubai still needed the test. I even chatted with their staff on Twitter to get full confirmation. Luckily, since they’d been fully vaccinated and transiting through Dubai for only five hours, they didn’t need to provide one.

However, this was during their flight time. For more updated information, you can always check Emirates’ official website or chat with them on Emirates support on Twitter.

Emirates Support on Twitter
Conversation with staff at Emirates Support via Twitter

Arriving at Munich Airport as a tourist from the Philippines

Finally, after almost 30 hours on the road, from leaving home in Pangasinan to Manila airport, to Dubai, and finally, at Munich airport, they arrived safe and sound! But of course, there was the Munich immigration. But unlike our Philippines’ immigration, there were only a few questions like

  • What’s your hotel
  • Where will you stay
  • How long will you stay
  • And what’s your purpose

Surprisingly, they didn’t ask for the ICV (yellow international vaccination passport) or the VAXcert Ph because it had already been checked upon departure in Manila and Dubai.

And then, you know what came next? Picking up their luggage!

Overview of the expenses for the family visit visa to Germany

I’ve just included this part in case you’re wondering how much it cost does apply for a family visit visa to Germany costs in total. Some of the expenses here were only for your ideas, of course. As I’ve mentioned, our family lives in Pangasinan.

  • Visa application = Php 3,040 for both
  • Visa Photo = Php160.00 + Php200.00 ( the redo photo at the VFS)= Php360.00
  • Photocopies = Php100.00 (estimated)
  • Gas for car plus travel to VFS Makati Php 10,000.00 ( estimated)
  • ICV (international vaccination certification) Php380.00 (each x2) = Php720.00
  • Emirates Flight = €2,000 / Php116,000.00 (estimated) for both
  • Travel Health insurance = €96.20 / Php5,579.00
  • Travel tax at the airport = Php1,620.00×2 = Php3,240.00

TOTAL = Php139,039 /€2,400

*Note: Some of the expenses from the total amount were based on real calculations, except, of course, the gas and foods fee. That’s personal.

Important links for family visit visa to Germany

Here are the essential links for your family visit visa application if you missed them. Just click the words, and it will direct you there.

Family visit visa to Germany- FAQs – answered

This section will answer all the questions I’ve received from Filipinos regarding this family visits visa to Germany. But please remember that this was all based on experience, and I will share it with you. Should there be any other concerns or unsure about the information, you can always check with the official websites such as VFS Makati German Embassy, among many others.

Was a negative RT-PCR test needed?

On their departure day, April 01, 2022, a negative RT-PCR test was unnecessary. It was lucky because the test was also not cheap to make. I don’t remember how many times I’ve checked with Germany’s official website if they needed to present the test; luckily, as long as you’re fully vaccinated with the required vaccines, you don’t require one.

Moreover, the Philippines is not on the list of high risks anymore. Therefore, there’s also no need to do the digital registration entry.

Digital registration on Entry, Germany
Digital registration entry Philippines-Germany

Did we send them an FO or Formal Obligation?

As I’ve mentioned, this was not a sponsored family visit visa to Germany. It was a family visit visa, and my mum and sis were the ones who provided all the documents. I supported them by making tailored informal invitation letters and travel itineraries.

Why not sponsor?

Sponsored means we would send them formal obligations and other financial documents from Germany. It was my husband’s idea not to fund them, as they could support their trip anyway.

Most importantly, getting the family visit visa to Germany approved was much higher than being sponsored.

Was it the first time applying for a visa?


Why only 25 days?

Here’s the thing, please try not to maximize the possible 90 days to visit your family member in Germany, as this might consider a red flag.

Types of visas to Germany from the Philippines applying for

What exact type of visa did they apply for?

We chose the family visit/friends category on the VFS global website. Just check that one, and you’ll find all the necessary information. Here’s the photo for your reference.

When’s the best time to apply for a family visit visa?

At least three to four months before your visa application, try to collect all your documents and set an appointment at VFS Global Makati.

Visa types VFS Makati online
Family visit visa

Going back to the Philippines from Germany

As of this writing, only a passport was needed to present at Munich airport upon leaving/ taking the flight. I was back in the Philippines in May 2022; however, I still needed my passport, vaccine certificate, and a form to complete at e-Travel.

But during those times in April 2022, the staff asked these three upon check-in. Without these, you cannot check-in at Emirates at Munich airport.

What are these?

  • Registration at One health pass Ph– register 1-3 days before departure. You can register online at One health pass. Here yo need to fill out important information such as where you have been during your last visit to Germany. For example, countries like Italy, France, etc.
  • Negative PCR or Antigen test was taken within 24 hours before departure– They took the test at a Schnell / Rapid test center. They’ve located everywhere in the city or nearby the supermarket. Normally, it’s free for residents but usually costs around €20-25 for tourists. Luckily they got one for free and could save €50. They had the test nearby Mira Mall in Hasenbergl-Dulfelstrasse.
  • Vaccination card and/or ICV/ Vax Cert Ph- You already had this before your flight to Germany, and I’m sure you still have it. Print o on your handy will do.
One health pass Philippines
One health pass registration

*Note: You no longer need antigen or a rapid test upon leaving Germany for the Philippines but must register through e-Travel before your arrival to the Philippines.

Upon arrival in the Philippines

You only need these three (3) mentioned above besides your passport. As long as you have them, there would be no problem.

It only takes a little while to queue to check one health pass and immigration. You kno , the Philippines’ thingy.

Family visit visa to Germany from the Philippines in a nutshell

It was quite a lot of documents to gather and prepare. It was lso a very long process because of many factors: corona, traffic, getting certificates from banks, vaccine certificates, and many more. But bec use we’re determined to have them visit us in Germany, I could say that all the exhaustion and anxious waiting were worth it.

During their 3-week stay here, we went to Italy for a short holiday. Because they have a Schengen visa, they can freely travel to Schengen visa countries like Italy, Austria, and Switzerland, among others.

It was a lot of fun with them, and luckily, on their arrival day, it was snowing ( and yea, it’s already April then). What a oyous day that was!

Mum, me and sister in Italy3
My, mum and my sis are in Italy
Mum, me and sister in Germany
My sis, mum, and me at Neuschwanstein Castle
Mum, me and sister in Italy
Mum, me and sister in Italy2
The three of us enjoying the Italian Spring

Thank you for reading! If this post has been helpful to you, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it with a friend who might need to read it!?

*FRIENDLY NOTE: If you have any other questions not written on this post, please feel free to write them down in the comment below, and I promise to get back to you as soon as possible! Please on’t try to send me a message via messenger, as I usually don’t check spam or message requests. Thanks!

Born, raised, and forever loyal to the Philippines. Catherine is a teacher and a BA in Mass Communication graduate who loves anything child-friendly. She loves writing in her diary every day and is in love with beaches, books, Safari, and Tokyo. Her ultimate dream destinations are Madagascar, Mongolia, and Hawaii. Check out her van camping adventures in Europe at


  • Lanie Berg

    I have rarely read such a detailed informations/experiences report. The informations are very helpful. Thank you very much for this. I am in fact in the process of inviting my sister and brother here for visit. Our mother recently passed away here in Germany and my siblings were not able to say goodbye to our mother. So I am inviting them both here and will have a belated funeral service. I just hope they both get visas too.

    Thanks again for this post!

    Best regards,
    Lanie Berg

  • escapesanddiaries

    Hi po,
    First of all, condolence po and sorry for your loss.
    And I hope po that your brother and sister can have their visa granted. Crossing fingers for you.
    You’re welcome po and thanks for reading!


  • joya

    hi po.. sorry mejo ndi ko ponakita ung link sa sampl ng invitation letter.
    Thankful sa very detailed insights and steps.

  • MCS


    Thank you for such a detailed information on family visit visa to Germany. May I please ask for a copy of the invittion letter you made for your mom and sister as it was not shown in your article? also does the letter need to be signed personally or can signature be printed digitally? Thanks and more power to you!

  • escapesanddiaries

    Hi MCS,

    You’re welcome. I’ve just inserted the sample letters in the blog. Kindly check them na lang again. The letters can be signed digitally and printed out. I hope that helps. Good luck!


  • Tonie

    Hi thank you for this wonderful blog. I really want also my family (Brother, sister, mother) and also my Girlfriend going here in Germany. Thank you!

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