Escapesanddiaries
Filipino Guide to Germany

Filipino Traveling to Germany -a checklist you cannot overlook

I’ve been there and done that. I’ve heard stories from fellow Filipinos either travelling or moving to Germany. That being said, as a writer and having a goal to share valuable information with anyone needing it, I decided to write down all pieces of information for any Filipino travelling to Germany, a checklist that you simply cannot overlook. For so many reasons why.

This post is for you if;

  • You are a Filipino citizen moving or visiting Germany
  • You have a relative residing in Germany you want to visit
  • You are living in Germany and want to invite a family member or a friend
  • A tourist to Germany
  • You have the patience and time to read

📌Updated October 2022

*Note: Only Tourists and residents with complete vaccination are allowed in Germany.

Filipino Traveling to Germany- a 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, a friend, or a relative who plans to invite or visit someone in Germany, here are the things you should pay attention to and prepare carefully. In other words, they are crucial ingredients to plan your move abroad smoothly.

What are these?

  • CFO (seminar & sticker)
  • A1 Certificate ( less than one-year-old according to the German Embassy Manila)
  • Flight ticket
  • Health Insurance
  • College/ University Diploma
  • Your visa, of course!
  • Valid passport

CFO certificate and sticker

FOR SPOUSE MOVING TO GERMANY TO JOIN THEIR OTHER HALF

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, the entire process was nearly the same when I got the CFO certificate and sticker in 2019. 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!

How?

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.

But don’t get too confident yet; my dear friend Kate, who recently moved to Germany, said she had difficulty getting an appointment for the CFO. Moreover, it was expensive. Regardless, here are simple steps to follow.

Step by step

  • Create an account
  • Fill out your relevant information, Spouse’s information, and birth date, among others.
  • After completing and filling in your information, you will be asked to send the digital copies of registration to the assigned CFO Tele counsellor before the Tele counselling happens.
  • After the Tele counselling, 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 centre, you will need to send a copy of your Bayad centre receipt and other additional requirements to ofcors.payment@cfo.gov.ph.
  • 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’s official website
  • END

REQUIREMENTS FOR CFO

  1. Clear copy of valid passport;
    2. Clear copy of valid visa;
    3. petitioner’s passport (this is your Spouse’s)
    4. Marriage certificate and 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 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.



A1 Certificate

FOR SPOUSE MOVING TO GERMANY TO JOIN THEIR OTHER HALF

The A1 Certificate is probably one of the most common items often heard. I am an excellent example of this journey. When I applied for my Spouse’s 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 travelling to Germany to visit a family, relative, or tourist don’t necessarily need to take one.

For more information about the A1 German exam and Certificate, I’ve written a comprehensive guide for your reference. You are welcome, indeed.

Flight ticket

FOR SPOUSE MOVING TO GERMANY TO JOIN THEIR OTHER HALF AND TOURISTS

I must include this travelling 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 travel to, is a must upon travelling 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 neighbouring 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’s visa to Germany, my husband and I only booked a one-way ticket.

Why so?

Well, because obviously, you’re going to live and settle in Germany with your Spouse, 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.

flight ticket to Germany-  Filipino Traveling to Germany checklist
My one-way flight ticket to Germany in Nov 2019 via Singapore airlines

FOR TOURISTS

When I applied for a tourist/visitor visa to Germany, I had to have one but not the confirmed flight ticket, only a screenshot. In other words, when applying, a flight ticket was not necessary. However, when your visa gets approved, you definitely need one like my mother and sister, who visited me in Germany in April 2022. They secured a round trip ticket, booked and paid, and presented it at the immigration.

For your reference, here’s the article about how I invited my mum and sister to Germany. You are welcome.

Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – At the Philippines’ immigration

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 remarkable ability to make every traveller shake on their knees. As a solo traveller, I was questioned once before when flying to Kuala Lumpur and Bali. 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 and accommodating. All characters are perched there.

Why?

I don’t know the answer to this question. It could just be that immigration officers are only doing their job. Some travellers 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.

Tourist/Visitor Visa

If you travel to Germany as a tourist, a visitor, or a relative. Get ready to;

  • Have your valid passport ready
  • Your valid return flight ticket
  • Travel insurance. You must have bought one for yourself 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 standard vaccine proof. If not, you must get one; otherwise, you’re considered unvaccinated. I am still in the middle of writing about this in one article. Meanwhile, you can check the website.
  • All the documents you presented while applying for your visa at the German embassy or VFS. All of them.

For Spouse Visa, Au-Pair, or Tourists

Like myself holding a Spouse visa as a Filipino travelling and moving to Germany during that time (2019), some of my checklists included;

  • Valid Passport
  • CFO sticker and Certificate
  • A one-way ticket to Germany (for Spouse)
  • A round-trip ticket (for Tourists)
  • Health/Travel insurance. The health/travel insurance is from 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 traveller, or Filipino travelling 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!
  • International Vaccine certificate/passport
  • Old and new passports. Trust me; you need this.
  • Some documents you submitted upon getting your visa.

International certification of vaccination BOQ
International certification of vaccination- BOQ, Philippines

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 significantly, don’t lie. Finally, if you got offloaded, like a few Filipinostravellingg 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, the life you’re bringing with you upon moving to Germany has already been on your checklist.

AIRPORT TERMINAL FEE

If you’re visiting Germany only as a tourist, you must pay the Php1,620 travel fee. Moreover, if you hold a residence permit in Germany, you still need to pay the travel tax. I thought I was exempted, but I was wrong. I recently got back from the Philippines, in July 2022 to be exact and the officer at the travel tax counter at the Philippines’ airport charged me the amount. It was a deep regret that I didn’t ask the reason why. But you can, and it’s your right to do so.

You can also pay for this online to avoid the queue at the airport. However, if you’re holding a spouse visa and leaving the Philippines for the first time, there’s no need to pay. I didn’t- that was November 2019.

LUGGAGE/BAGGAGE LIMIT

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. However, I must say that I carried too much of my load a bit. Luckily, the SG staff at the airport was very nice and friendly; hence, she didn’t penalize me.

While at Emirates, I had over 3kg more on my hand-carry luggage, and luckily, the airline staff did not charge me. My checked-in luggage was 30kg. So a total of 37kg. That should be the limit unless, otherwise, you paid extra.

Nevertheless, it’s best to check with your airlines and not go off the limits.

Stop/Layover and other necessary documents

Depending on your destination for a lay or stopover, it is best to prepare for any mandatory requirements during 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?

Based on my experience in July 2022, upon returning to Germany, I did not need to present a negative Rt-PCR test at Dubai airport for my four-hour stopover. It’s best to remember that during the stop/layover, you are only allowed to stay inside the airport unless you have a valid visa.

COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY DIPLOMA

I hope you do not forget this. This is significant in applying for a job once 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 while a tourist.

Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist – finally, arriving in Germany

Congratulations, you made it this far and completed all the travelling 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 friendly, so it wasn’t that challenging to get straight to why I was in Germany.

Suppose you’re a tourist or visitor 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, quarantine is unnecessary.

On the other hand, if you’re a Spouse settling in Germany to join your husband, you must be prepared to apply for your residence permit. I got mine three (3) months after I arrived. And until now, I am not yet done writing it. But I will, and come back here anytime for the update.


Your Guide to Germany- for Filipinos

Read more helpful guides to your journey to Germany


PERSONAL NOTES

I hope you find this article helpful. I’d appreciate it if you shared it with someone you know who might need it. Also, if you have any questions that I might be able to answer, leave them in the comment section below if you have any questions. Please don’t send me a message on my social media account,s as I’m not always available there. Thank you a bunch, and good luck!

*Note: This post was originally published on the van camping guide blog edited and updated.


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