I’ve been there and done that. I’ve heard this and that, stories from fellow Filipinos either traveling or moving to Germany. That being said, as a writer and having a goal to share valuable information to anyone who might be needing it, I decided to write down all pieces of information for any Filipino traveling to Germany, a checklist. Things that you simply cannot overlook. For so many reasons why.
*Note: Only fully vaccinated tourists are allowed in Germany.
- Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist
- CFO certificate and sticker
- A1 Certificate
- Flight ticket
- Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – At the Philippines’ immigration
- Tourist/Visitor Visa
- For Spouse Visa or Au-Pair
- Friendly tips at the immigration
- Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – what else is there to prepare?
Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist
First things first. When I met my ex-boyfriend, now my husband, a citizen of Germany, my life became more complicated! I know, right? Get this, present that, you need this, prepare that. Haha. Kidding aside, all the struggles and challenges were worth it.
If you’re moving to Germany to join your German/Filipino husband, here are the things that you should pay attention to, prepare carefully. In other words, crucial ingredients to plan your move abroad smoothly.
What are these?
- CFO (seminar & sticker)
- A1 certificate ( less than 1-year-old according to the German Embassy Manila)
- Flight ticket
- Health Insurance
- College/ University Diploma
- Your visa, of course!
CFO certificate and sticker
CFO, also known as Commission on Filipino Overseas, is one of the most important things you must acquire. You cannot leave the country without it, even if you already have your spouse’s visa. Yep. You read that right. Therefore, you must have one stamp on your passport. This is one of your priorities on your moving to Germany checklist.
Based on experience, when I got the CFO certificate and sticker in 2019, the entire process was nearly the same. I registered online, got an appointment, uploaded all the necessary documents, and physically attended the office seminar. The thing is, it could be a hassle if you’re living in the province. The good news is there’s a “new normal,” which means getting a CFO certificate and sticker is now done online. How convenient!
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Simple. Just go to CFO’s official website, and you will be directed exactly what to do. But to give you a quick view of how it looks like receiving your CFO sticker in the Philippines, see the step-by-step below.
Step by step
- Create an account
- Fill out your relevant information, your spouse’s information, and your birth date, among many other.
- After completing and filling in your information, you will be asked to send the digital copies of registration to the assigned CFO Tele counselor before the Tele counseling happens.
- After the Tele counseling, you will receive another email to proceed with the registration.
- You will fill up the CFO registration form, including your delivery address and contact number for your CFO sticker to be delivered.
- Pay, of course! Php 400.00 ( you can always double-check with CFO)
- After your payment in any Bayad center, you will need to send a copy of your Bayad center receipt and other additional requirements to email@example.com.
- Soon you will receive an electronic copy of the temporary certificate.
- Later, when the original documents are ready, you will receive an email for confirmation and send it to your address.
Source: CFO official website
REQUIREMENTS FOR CFO
- Clear copy of valid passport;
2. Clear copy of valid visa;
3. petitioner’s passport, (this is your spouse’s)
4. Marriage certificate and/ or Report of Marriage (ROM) in Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) security paper. (if married).
Sounds pretty easy, right? Just follow the instructions, and you will be fine. If you have any further inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact them directly via email or check their official website for any updated information.
Note that CFO may request additional requirements from you depending upon their case. For example, annulment/divorce paper, proof of relationship (with the spouse), etc.
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The A1 Certificate is probably one of the most common items often heard. I am a good example of this journey. When I applied for my spouse visa, the A1 Certificate and the exam were mandatory.
If you have already acquired one, well, that’s very nice! Otherwise, you need to get one. But take note that Filipinos traveling to Germany for the sole purpose of visiting a family, relative, or tourist don’t necessarily need to take one.
For more information about the A1 German exam and Certificate, here’s the comprehensive guide I’ve written for your reference. You are welcome, indeed.
I must include in this traveling to Germany checklist because sometimes I get a lot of questions about the flight ticket. In general, having a round-trip ticket in your hand, regardless of any country you are traveling to, is a must upon traveling out of the Philippines.
I have been in and out of the country plenty of times before, and I can tell you that a return flight is your guarantee not to get offloaded, even if to a neighboring country like Thailand, Hongkong, or Laos.
At the immigration, you must already have had your documents, including your flight ticket, to show to the immigration officer.
But there’s an exception of a return flight ticket to Germany, to be specific. For example, in my case, when I had my Spouse visa to Germany, my husband and I only booked a one-way ticket.
Well, because obviously, you’re going to live and settle in Germany with your spouse, therefore, a return flight to the Philippines isn’t necessary anymore. Unless you plan to go back soon. And luckily, the immigration officer didn’t ask a single thing about my journey. I just handed him my passport and flight ticket, and he handed them back to me.
Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – At the Philippines’ immigration
In my experience, I constantly have had my fair share of heart-pumping experiences at our dear Philippines’ immigration. In my opinion, here in this specific area of the Philippines government has a special ability to make every traveler shake on their knees. I was questioned once before when I was flying to Kuala Lumpur and Bali as a solo traveler. I was sent to another officer and got questioned. As a result, I almost missed my flight. Glad they let me go eventually!
Some Philippine immigration officers can be a bit unfriendly towards you. Others could be intimidating, while some are very friendly accommodating. All characters are perched there.
I don’t know the answer to this question. It could just be that they’re only doing their job. Some travelers had said probably they’re in a bad mood. Who knows?
But there are ways to combat and prepare for the Philippines’ immigration bone crackling interrogation.
If you are traveling to Germany as a tourist, a visitor, a relative. Get ready to;
- Have your valid passport ready
- Your valid return flight ticket
- Travel insurance. You must have had bought one for you already. Here’s the required or recommended health insurance from the embassy.
- Travel declaration form. You can download this form here. Yes, things have changed due to the pandemic.
- Yellow card or the international vaccine passport. This is mandatory as Germany only accepts this as a standard vaccine proof. If not, you must get one, otherwise, you’re considered unvaccinated. I am stilll in the middle of writing about this in one article. Meanwhile, you can check the website.
- All the documents that you have presented while applying for your visa at the German embassy or VFS. All of them.
For Spouse Visa or Au-Pair
Like myself holding a Spouse visa as a Filipino traveling and moving to Germany during that time (2019), some of my checklists included;
- Valid Passport
- CFO sticker and certificate
- One way ticket to Germany
- Health/Travel insurance. The health/travel insurance is my husband’s same company. He had already registered me and got me one. You can ask your spouse to do the same. That would be no problem at all.
*Note: For any traveler, or Filipino traveling to Germany, besides a Filipino holding a spouse visa, no one is exempted from providing the following at the Philippines’ immigration.
- Airport fee – 1,620php. Don’t forget the receipt!
- Health/Travel insurance
- International Vaccine certificate/passport
- Old and new passport. Trust me, you need this.
- Some documents you submitted upon getting your visa.
Friendly tips at the immigration
Relax, be honest, and present your documents if needed. Be confident but not too boastful. Some immigration officers may intimidate you and make you nervous, especially during this pandemic and you’re leaving the country. Just smile and tell the truth, and know where to stand.
If you have been asked to be interrogated in any worst case, don’t worry. Know your rights. Most especially don’t lie. Finally, if you got offloaded, like a few Filipinos traveling to Germany or another country, get the immigration officer’s name and badge number. Then you know what to do next.
You got this. Good luck!
Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – what else is there to prepare?
Glad you asked! The truth is, there are more things to prepare than you could imagine. This includes, well, your luggage or your baggage. Yes, your life that you’re bringing with you upon moving or traveling to Germany, has it been already on your checklist?
AIRPORT TERMINAL FEE
If you’re visiting Germany only as a tourist, you need to pay the Php1,620 travel fee. You can also pay for this online to avoid the queue at the airport. However, if you’re holding a spouse visa, for example, there’s no need.
In general, as far as I know, airlines allow one hand-carry 7kg and 30kg for check-in. For Singapore Airlines, which I flew on, these were the restrictions. Although I must say that I was a bit was carrying too much of my load. Luckily, the SG staff at the airport was very nice and friendly; hence, she didn’t penalize me.
Nevertheless, it’s best to check with your airlines and don’t go off the limits.
Depending on your destination for a lay or stopover, it is best to prepare for any mandatory requirements during this time of the pandemic. A negative RT-PCR test must be taken at least 72 hours prior. Also, your yellow vaccine passport must be ready in your hand.
I know that this is costly, but better to be safe than sorry. Right?
I hope you do not forget this. This is significant in applying for a job once you’re settled in Germany. However, if you’re only a tourist, there’s no need to take this with you as this may signify that you’re settling in Germany illegally. Don’t make this mistake. Leave them at home!
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE AND OTHER CERTIFICATES
Birth certificates and birth certificates are among the documents you must also not overlook to take with you. Thank me later. Inevitably, this is when you’re a Spouse of an Au Pair. As a tourist or visitor, well, forget about it. You might be suspicious if you carry them with you while being a tourist.
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Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – finally, arriving in Germany
Congratulations, you made it this far and completed all the traveling and moving to Germany checklist. How amazing is that!
Upon arrival at the immigration at Munich airport, the immigration officer asked me only a few questions. He was nice, so it wasn’t that very difficult to get straight to the point of why I was in Germany.
Suppose you’re a tourist or visitor and fully vaccinated, don’t forget to fill out the digital entry form, as of December 2021, according to the Federal Foreign Office in Germany. Consequently, you are already fully vaccinated; thus is no need for quarantine.
On the other hand, if you’re a Spouse and settling in Germany to join your husband, you must already get ready to apply for your residence permit. I got mine three (3) months after I’ve arrived. And until now, actually, I am not done yet writing it completely. But I will, and come back here anytime for the update.
Read more helpful guides to your journey to Germany
I hope you find this article helpful. I’d appreciate it if you shared it with someone you know who might be needing it. Lastly, leave them in the comment section below if you have any questions. Please don’t send me a message on my social media accounts as I’m not always available there.
Thank you a bunch, and good luck!
*Note: This post was originally published on diekaisersoncamper.com, edited and updated.
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