Visa Application Overview: Schengen, Canada and US.

To know the list of countries that you can visit with Schengen visa please go to http://www.schengenvisainfo.com you may also click the country for specific requirements and application procedure. You will also find some helpful information with different types of Visa. Please take note that you should apply to the country of your entry point or where you will stay the longest. For example when I went to Europe my entry Point was France, and I stayed in Paris the longest as compared to any other Schengen country so I applied for my SCHENGEN visa through FRENCH EMBASSY in Makati.

Application fee is 60 Euro and is not refundable. You will pay them in peso based on their conversion rate. While Schengen has standard visa application process, booking for an Interview/appointment process may vary per country. Please check the Schengen site for specific instruction for the country that you wish to apply with. Once approved, you will receive a VISA for the country that you have applied for which will be honored by all Schengen member countries. Application processing time would be 1-2 weeks. I received my visa 7 days after I submitted my application and interview.

If you are applying for Canadian Visa you may check your eligibility through their web site. For more information please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/ you will need to create an account at http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/getting-started.asp and pay the application fee through their website. Application fee is 100 CAD and is not refundable. Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an update via email to login to your GCKEY account. GCKey is an electronic credential (a username and password) that allows you to securely access the Government of Canada’s online services. You can submit your passport when requested to their Makati Visa processing center. Approved visa can be delivered to your home address for a fee.

If you are applying for a US visa please remember that there is not SECRET to get approved. As they advertise your HONESTY is more important than your profession (So yes they approve nurses), your HONESTY is more important that your age (So yes, they approve young and old applicants), your HONESTY is more important that your status (they also approve VISA ordinary people). The secret is HONESTY. If all you want is to VISA then there’s nothing to worry. ALL COUNTRIES that requires VISA assumes that the applicant will illegally stay in their country unless we prove them otherwise. To start your US VISA application you need to create an account here. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/index.html?firstTime=No

  1. Go to the nearest photo booth for your US VISA photo requirement.
  2. Complete your application form or DS-160 for non-immigrant applicant.
  3. Create an account, when you create an account you will need your application number that starts with AA. The application number will be generated when you start your DS-160.
  4. Make your payment online. Please note that the most convenient way of paying is through BPI online. You need to register first the unique code for your application from their website. Enroll in BPI as other bill, once enrolled you will receive a confirmation email from BPI then you can now pay for your US MRV VISA online.
  5. Once payment is made, and your DS-160 has been submitted you can now schedule an appointment.
SCHENGEN (FRANCE) CANADA US
Letter of Intent YES YES
Itinerary ticket YES YES
Itinerary YES YES
BPI Insurance YES
Bank Certificate YES YES YES
Bank Statement YES YES YES
COE YES YES YES
ITR YES YES YES
Vacation Leave Approval YES

Please note that I prepared my documents for US VISA but they did not ask me to present it during the interview.

PLEASE READ THIS: Interview Tips

They will not ask you anything outside your application form. HONESTY and CONSISTENCY is the key. You will be asked of course why you want to go to US? Since I do not have any relative (none that I can think of) in US, I answered “I would like to see iconic places”. This is only applicable for travelers. Again, I can’t stress enough that you have to be HONEST during your application and interview.

I was also asked what I do for living, my position, what type of company I am associated with, how long Intend to stay in the US and how much I make on a monthly basis. Again all these information is included in your application form. You will also be asked if you are travelling with anyone.

FAQ:

Q: How long is the processing time for VISA application?

A: 1 weeks for Schengen VISA after your interview, 2-3 days for Canadian Visa after your submitted your passport and 2-4 weeks after you have submitted your application online. 3-5 days for US visa after your interview but appointment schedule can take up to 45 days.

Q: I am unemployed but I would like to travel.

A: You must have a source of income to be granted for any VISA. Otherwise, you will someone to sponsor your trip and should be able to satisfy the VISA requirements.

Q: I was denied the last time I applied, can I still apply?

A: Yes, you may reapply. When you do, please understand why you were denied so you can provide the necessary documents that can support why they should grant you a VISA this time. Shengen and Canada will advise you why your VISA was denied.

Q: I am a Filipino and based outside Philippines what’s the application process?

A: I have not tried applying for a VISA outside Manila. Please check their websites for more information.

Q: I have never travelled outside the country what are my chances?

A: As long as you can will satisfy the VISA requirements and is able to convince the embassy that you will return and has a pure intention, you have good chances of being approved.

Q: What insurance i should get for Schengen application.

A: There’s a list of approved Insurance for Schengen application but i used BPI Insurance since it is convenient for me. You may also want to check on Malayan and Bluecross Insurance. Both are cheaper than BPI.

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