Are you visiting your relatives or loved ones in Germany soon and planning to get a Schengen Visitor Visa? Have you checked what are the necessary procedures, requirements, etc. for it? If that’s your case, well, you’ve landed in the right article.
Apparently, I’ve done so. Applied for my first ever Schengen Visitor Visa. And here’s my story.
I was helping a friend managing the Siam Journey Guesthouse in Bangkok in November 2017 when my then-boyfriend Chris (now husband) and I made a decision that I apply for a Schengen Visitor visa so I can visit his home country. For Germany, I had to apply for a Schengen visa. I was excited, so was Chris. I fulfilled the requirements, followed the procedures, and waited for the result of my application. But my first Schengen Visitor visa attempt was a failure. What could possibly go wrong?
But since we are talking about my Schengen Visitor visa application, let me walk you through the process.
First things first, know the visa type you should be applying for. There are different visa types according to the purpose of travel such as, airport transit, transit, tourism, visiting family or friends, business, official visit, medical reasons, study purposes, cultural, sports, and film crews, and others. In this post, I am writing about the Schengen Visitor Visa. It is also called, Sponsored visa because your host will provide the majority of the important documents required.
This Schengen Visitor visa is for those who intend to visit their family or friends who legally reside in Germany
SCHENGEN VISITOR VISA PROCEDURE & REQUIREMENTS
I set an appointment through the German Embassy website and passed the following requirements:
- Health Insurance (get one from those that are EU accredited)
- Online Visa Application Form (signed and printed out)
- Formal Obligation (original and a Xerox copy) according to §§ 66-68 of the German Residence Law, given by your host at the Aliens authority “Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany that is responsible for his/her area of residence. Original and Xerox copy (must be from your German host)
- Your original passport (must be valid for at least another 3 months upon the expiration of the travel and must contain two empty pages), your old passport,( if there’s any) both must be photocopied
- Two current passport/visa photo
- § 54 AufenthaltsG (from your German host)
- Proof of relationship with the sponsor (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate that can substantiate the kinship, relationship, or friendship). Written correspondence between you and your sponsor, proof of telephone connections, and other evidence of the relationship between you and your sponsor. (You can print out some conversations of your emails, pictures or letters, or anything that can prove your relationship)
- 4000 Peso in cash (Check the current fee to be sure)
- Most recent ITR ( Income Tax Return)
- Certificate of employment (including your employer’s full name, complete address and telephone number
with area code details regarding your position or professional designation)
- Certificate of employment with income, date of started stated
- Letter of approved leave of absence signed by your employer. ( You may not need this if you’re a freelancer like me)
- Sample or print out of your target date of flight ( We didn’t book an actual one, we just checked online and printed out a flight itinerary. Alternatively, you may also get a dummy booking with a travel agency and pay the necessary fee).
- Travel Itinerary. ( Complete sample of your Itinerary during the entire trip)
For more information regarding the documents required, you may refer to this checklist.
Note: If you’re a freelancer like me and working for a specific company, you may ask them for a certificate of employment (COE), and Income Tax Return (ITR) and submit these alongside your other documents to the German Embassy.
I set my appointment on November 11, 2017. On that day, I went to the German Embassy with the complete documents in hand. Aside from submitting my documents, they also took my photo as well as my fingerprints, then I proceeded with the interview.
Here are some of the questions that they asked me during the interview. Note questions from the Consul may vary, depending on your visa type or your application. Just be honest and confident with your answers.
- How did you guys meet?
- What does he do?
- Where did you travel together?
- How long do you plan to stay in Germany?
- How long have you been together?
- Have you been to Germany before?
- What’s your job?
- Do you have children?
- Have you been married before, divorced, single parent, etc.?
The question and answer was conducted through thru the window. Note that other applicants will be in the background and might hear your conversations. This is not a one-on-one in which you have privacy.
I got the result for my first ever application for Schengen Visitor Visa on November 17, 2017.
That afternoon, I finally received my passport. I was excited to open it, greatly hoping to see an attached Schengen Visitor Visa on it.
Then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach upon realizing that it has been DENIED.
There was no visa attachment.
I spent the whole night crying. And puzzled over why the German Embassy didn’t grant me my Schengen Visitor Visa.
SO, WHAT WENT WRONG HERE?
So I asked myself, what really went wrong here. I have provided all the necessary documents, so did my husband. My husband has a stable job, he is more than capable to financially support me on this trip.
If God forbids, something that happens to me, he’ll be the one to be in charge of mostly everything. This is a sponsored visa, but we have proven that financially, there are no issues whatsoever. Chris and I racked our brains wondering what we could have missed if there was any.
What’s the explanation from the German Embassy for this result?
Attached to my passport was the reason my Schengen Visitor’s Visa was denied.
The statement says, “Your Intention to leave the terrier of the Member of the States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.”
Below is the specific reason in conjunction with this refusal:
- My Personal interview and documents submitted didn’t prove enough that I am returning to the country
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN REALLY?
It only means to say that, I am single, freelancer, and no heavy obligation to my family, my country or whoever. They implied that I have a high tendency that I may not return to the country given the specific period of stay in Germany, and just live there, illegally.
In addition, they mentioned that I cannot prove my willingness to return to the country in the following areas.
- Family ties to the Philippines
- Economic bonds of the visa applicant
- The visa applicants proper use of Schengen visa in the past
- Changes in the visa applications personal situation
What can you do to resolve this issue?
With heartaches and disappointment, Chris and I came to the decision to ask for REMONSTRATION via email.
What did we write in the email?
Simple facts and explanations that refute the claims in the visa rejection. We have provided this letter in both English and German. The letter content must depend on you, you can write long or short, however you feel like it for as long as it is honest and true, and what you believe in.
THE RESULT OF THE REMONSTRATION
Once again, the result was a big NO.
The statement letter we sent out to them wasn’t enough to convince them to grant me a Schengen Visitor’s Visa.
You can always fight for it if you believe you deserve a visa.
Is there any other way?
Well, there’s a third step and that’s putting it forward to the Court in Berlin, Germany. We didn’t pursue this anymore and decided to just accept my visa rejection.
Looking back, I still honestly cannot figure out what my Schengen Visitor’s Visa application was rejected not only once but twice. Maybe it’s all comes down to luck or perhaps, the Consul who made the decision was just moody that day. I don’t know and I may never know the answer. I was heartbroken, but now I’m better. See, things turned out great after that. As I write this, I am now holding an FRV, Family Reunion Visa which permits me to enter Germany and apply for a job. I’ll be writing about this in my next post so stay tuned.
If you also apply for a Schengen Visitors Visa, I do wish you all the luck.
FRIENDLY INSIDER TIPS
According to my friends who have acquired a Visitor/Schengen Visa, the Schengen Visitor’s Visa is granted usually up to 90 days maximum. When applying, it’s best to just state that you will only be staying for at least 2 weeks or 1 month for leisure or vacation. Don’t go the full 90 days as this may pose a red flag to your application.
You can also check my dear friend Mara on personal experience on her Schengen visa application to France, here
Furthermore, please arrive on time with complete documents. Any incomplete documents will not be entertained, strictly.
When I applied for this Schengen Visitor Visa in 2017, it was still at the German Embassy in Manila located at RCBC Plaza, Manila. Now, this visa like other types of visas can be applied through VFS Global.
THE GERMAN EMBASSY MANILA
25/F Tower II, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Ave. 1200 Makati City, Metro Manila.
Monday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Friday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm
Address: Ecoplaza Building, Mezzanine Floor, Don Chino Roces Ave, Extension, Makati, 1231 Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines
EMAIL:: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the only valid email you can send your concerns to. They usually don’t take long to answer.
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