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The country is synonymous with Oktoberfest, sausages, famous car brands, football, incredible hiking or cycling, majestic castles, and many other things. It is huge, diverse, and wonderful!

As one of the most progressive and successful countries in Europe, Germany is the perfect starting point for any European destination, vacation, or tour.

There is a vibrant international, art, and music scene in huge cities such as Berlin and Munich; beautiful forests in the west; great cathedrals; picturesque landscapes in the south; and overlooked historic cities and beaches in the north.

Berlin 2
Berlin Photo

There is just a lot to see, whether you are backpacking, cycling, getting drunk or just sightseeing, traveling around Germany is going to be a wonderful experience—and it is all worth seeing.

Who is eligible to apply for a German short-term visa?

Apply only at the German Embassy if ANY of these is true:

  • You’re going to Germany only and will not visit any other country.
  • You will visit multiple Schengen countries, but you will stay the longest in Germany.
  • You will visit multiple Schengen countries, but the main purpose of your journey is in Germany. (Example: you will attend a wedding or a conference in Germany, but you plan on going out to other Schengen countries while you’re there.)
  • You will stay in multiple Schengen countries for the same number of days, but Germany is your point of entry, meaning, Germany will be your first entry.

Important Documents to Prepare

1. Online Visa Application Form duly filled out and signed by the applicant. 

2. Two biometrical passport photos have your passport photo taken. The embassy is very strict on their photo specifications. Fortunately, they have a page on their official website dedicated to explaining this. Bring at least two copies or more, just in case. One photo should be glued to the application form. The second photo will be returned to you.

3. Original passport and a photocopy of it The embassy requires that your passport is valid for at least another three months on the date the visa application is submitted. It also must have two empty pages for them to stamp your passport. If you have renewed your passport, bring your old one/s with you. These are needed especially if you have previous overseas trips.

4. Download, print, and sign the Application Form and the Questionnaire

5. Your travel plan (travel destination, route, proof of accommodation and itinerary) with the necessary documents needed, this should clearly state the purpose of your travel. Normally, this would just include your complete flight itinerary. Remember that you do not need to book/pay for the ticket yet. You just need to show that a flight itinerary from the Philippines to your destination exists. However, I advise that you also prepare a cover letter stating the purpose of your trip to Germany as well as a detailed itinerary (e.g., the exact destinations/sights that you will be visiting) just in case the embassy asks for it. 

    • If applying as a Tourist:
      • A cover letter addressed to the German Embassy Consul. If you are a first-time traveler to Germany, please submit an informal declaration explaining your willingness to return to the Philippines before the expiration of your visa: What exactly will be an incentive for you to return to the Philippines and can you submit proofs for these circumstances?
      • Your day-to-day itinerary – be specific in indicating the place you will visit and the tours you will join or take. 
      • Flight reservationReservation ONLY. Do not pay for your flight reservations until your visa is approved. You can avail for my services for a dummy ticket so that I can assist you with your flight reservations. Get a flight reservation here
      • Proof of accommodation or Hotel reservations – you would need to show hotel bookings, but this does not mean that you must pay for your hotel reservations this early. You can check via Booking.com, AirBnB, Agoda, or simply an apartment. 
    • If visiting family or friends:
      • An informal invitation letter written by the host or by your partner who is based in Germany – the content should include the host’s exact address of residence, the purpose of your travel, and the full duration of your travel and stay at your host’s country. 
      • Proof of relationship with the host, sponsor, or partner – these can be birth certificates, marriage certificates, written correspondence between you and your sponsor (screenshot of video calls and chats), proof of telephone connections and other evidence of relationship between you and your sponsor, and photos together.
      • If you want to visit a close relative: Proof of the urgency of that visit, e.g., marriage celebration, birth of a child, serious health problem, funeral
      • Details regarding the means of travel for the outward and return journey (details regarding the airline), no flight ticket is needed.
    • If visiting boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé (Visit Visa for unmarried couples): In applying for a Visit Visa for unmarried couples, it is a strict requirement that you and your partner have already met at least once.
    • Additional documents for children (minors):
      • Personal appearance of the parent(s) having legal custody, with their passports or identity cards. If a parent with legal custody lives abroad and cannot appear at the Embassy: Written declaration of consent from that parent, with an authentication of his signature by the German Embassy competent for his residence or by a local German authority.
      • If the child’s parents were married and one parent is deceased: PSA death certificate
      • If the child’s parents were married and if one parent has the sole custody: Divorce or Annulment court order stating the court’s decision concerning the legal custody
      • PSA birth certificate of the child
      • If a child (minor) is travelling without the parent(s) having the legal custody, a travel permit may be necessary. Please contact the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after you receive the visa.

If you want to know the requirements for a minor, please watch my previous video: https://youtu.be/aVUq5nbmQig 

6. Travel Insurancethe coverage must be applicable during the entire duration of the trip and must be valid for all Schengen countries. Coverage sum must be at least EUR 30,000 (Php 2.5 million or USD 50,000). Philippine insurances must be accredited and given in the original and photocopy. German insurances are accepted as a photocopy or scanned copy. I highly recommend Pioneer Insurance which you can avail through me. Feel free to directly inquire through JASTravel on Facebook and I would be very glad to assist you. 

For the list of recommended Schengen insurance companies in the Philippines, you can also check it through https://www.vfsglobal.com/Germany/Philippines/pdf/New-Insurence-Visit-Family.pdf

7. Proof of Funds or Financial Capacity – these documents are necessary to prove that you can either support yourself or your sponsor can cover for your expenses financially during the whole duration of your travel. 

    • If applying as a   
      • Bank statements – must show records of the past six months. A bank statement shows your transactions in your account at a specific period. It will show debits (withdrawals, payments, taxes, service fees) and credits (deposits, interest earned.)
        Note: Bank Statements can also be seen online especially if you have a registered account. There is no signature for the manager or a bank officer.
      • Bank Certificateit is a confirmation by the branch manager or a bank officer that you have an existing account in their bank. It shows the account number, the type, and other details such as the opening date of your account, your account balance as of the date of request, and your average daily balance. 
      • Other proof of income (supporting documents) – although it is not really required, you can submit invoices and pay slip equivalent to prove that you earn enough to support this trip financially.
         
    • If applying as a Tourist or as a Visitor with a Sponsor – this means that your host and/or sponsor (family, friend, partner, or fiancé) pledges to take full responsibility to cover all the expenses that you will incur during the whole duration of your travel.

      Tip: It is also an advantage if aside from the documents that your sponsor will send you, you can provide your proof of financial capacity too, most especially if you are employed. If you maintain a bank account for a long time, better maintain it. Kahit na may sponsor ka, of course, plus points pa din sa visa application mo if idadagdag mo din bank statements, payslips, and other proof na financially capable ka din and it proves deep rootedness as well.

      • Sponsorship Letter which should state the fact that he/ she is inviting you to come over, your relationship with each other, and that he/ she is willing to sponsor you during your trip. Of course, it needs to have documentary proof. 
      • Formal obligation (both original and a photocopy) according to §§ 66-68 of the German Residence Law, with a confirmation of the sponsor’s financial capacity by the local Immigration (“Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany.
      • Optional as supporting documents from your sponsor:  6-month bank statements, recent proof of income or 3-month pay slip, and work contract
      • The sponsor’s copy of passport including the biodata page and travel history (passport stamps). 
      • “Meldebescheinigung” or Proof of Registration of your sponsor’s Residence – It is also named Anmeldesbestätigung. It is a document that your sponsor needs to request from the City hall or Citizens Service Centre (Named in German Rathaus or Bürgeramt) of the city/town where he/ she lives.
      • Proof of home/ apartment ownership or rental contract that shows the address – if you will stay at his house/ apartment
      • Residence ID – if your sponsor is from a Schengen area
      • Original Affidavit of Support from the Philippine Embassy in Berlin or from the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt – this is a document that your sponsor should process, and it is legalized by their municipality where he/ she is registered as a resident. To know more about the specific process, check the infographic: How to Authenticate your Documents. Take note that the process can take within 3-4 weeks.

To know more about additional requirements that you would need from your sponsor, check out my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/SEad8VHVkLk

8. Proof of Civil Status Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate of spouse, etc. These documents must be issued on security paper (SECPA) by the Philippine Statistics Authority, see http://www.psaserbilis.com.ph. The birth certificate does not need to be authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

9. Evidence of your rootedness in the Philippines Evidence of deep-rootedness a.k.a. strong family and social ties to your home country, is one of the most critical requirements when applying for a Schengen Visa. It is what the Consul will look for in your visa application. So how do you prove that you are firmly established in the Philippines and that you will go back to your home country?

    • For Employees:
      • Employment or Work contract
      • Bank account statements or pay slips showing the transfer of your last six-monthly salaries 
      • Certificate of Employment which should include the employer’s full name, complete address, telephone number with area code, details regarding the position, income, and employment duration
      • Approved letter of approved leave signed by your employer (Leave of Absence letter)
      • Optional: Signed No Objection Certificate which states that your employer has no objection for you to travel to Germany and that they have approved your leave request
      • Most recent Income Tax Return 2316 (ITR) 
      • Optional Supporting Documents: 
        – Government Mandated Contributions: SSS, Pag-ibig, Philhealth Contributions
        – If with existing loan – SSS Loan or Pag-ibig Salary loan
    • For Self-Employed: 
      • DTI Business Name Registration Certificate
      • Barangay Business Clearance
      • Mayor’s Business Permit from your Municipality where the business address has been registered
      • Business activity of your company for the last 6 months – invoices and bank transactions
      • Most recent Income Tax Return 2316 (ITR)
    • For Students: 
      • School Certificate or proof of enrollment
      • School IDs
      • Approved letter of absence from your school or University
    • For Real Estate Property Owners or for those who have Leased Properties:
      • Original and a photocopy of the Land Title
      • Original and a photocopy Deed of Sale
      • For those who are leasing/ renting a room, an apartment, or a condo:
        – Rented Room: Notarized Contract
        – ID with affixed signature of the Landlord/ Landlady
        – Proof of rent payments or remittances (screen shot of online bank transfers, receipts, etc.)
    • For Retirees:
        • Pension statement for the last 6 months
        • Retirement Certification

10. Others (No work, No Business, etc.)- Family as Proof of Rootedness:

    • For Solo parents:
      • A copy of your birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
      • A copy of your child/children’s birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
      • Solo parent ID
      • Barangay Certification as Solo parent
      • Notarized Affidavit of Solo Parent with Undertaking
      • Money remittances to support your dependents
    • For those who are supporting or watching over the health/well-being of the family: 
      • A copy of my parent’s birth certificates- PSA Authenticate
      • If parents are already Senior Citizens: a copy of their Senior Citizen ID and Barangay Certification as Senior Citizens
      • If parents have sickness/ illness: Medical history of parents (diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
  •  

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for Schengen Germany Visa

Getting a visa involves gathering your documents, setting an appointment to submit your requirements, and getting interviewed. To start off, you need to visit the VFS Global website where you will need to check all the requirements under the visa type that you chose. VFS Global is an authorized affiliate outsourced by the German Embassy of the Philippines to assist in collecting all visa applicant’s documents as well as in registering their biometrics in the system. Their website provides plenty of information for visa applicants from requirement checklist to booking for an appointment.

Take note that I will be providing you with information that is accurate as of this writing which can change without notice, so please always check their website for updated information.

  1. Determine whether you will apply for a TOURIST VISA or a VISIT VISA and have a look at the checklist of requirements to gather all the documents that you need to submit. Each application must comply with the guidelines applicable for your visa category. 

Compile your requirements. Your application should be supported by a handful of paperwork, which I will discuss in detail in the next section.
Note: Once you have completed all your documents based on the checklist, make sure to secure another copy for each document.

*** To know the difference between these two visa types, please refer to the information above as described. ***

2. Book your appointment via VFS Global Appointment Page. It is required that you set a date when you will submit your application requirements and be interviewed. 

It is also important that once you get routed to this page, you must register your information and e-mail address first. If you have already done this before, skip the account pre-registration part and simply log-in. Once the reservation is done, you will receive a confirmation via email. 

3. On the day of your appointment, you must bring the printed confirmation email as proof that you have a booked schedule. Make sure that you take note of your scheduled appearance. It is advisable that you arrive 30 minutes or even one hour earlier than your appointment.

Submit your documents, have your biometrics taken, and pay for the visa fee. You will also be required to pay for the shipment fee amounting to Php 300 so that they can ship back your passport to your declared address that you have provided. 

4. Visa fee 80 Euro, payable in PHP (40 Euro for applicants from 6-12 years; no fees for applicants under 6 years and for spouses or minor children of German or EU nationals).

5. Wait for the results of your visa application and pray that you get your visa approved! 

That’s it! I hope this has helped clarify the detailed process in applying for a German Short-Term Visa. Viel Glück!

Quick Facts

UPDATE: Starting February 18, 2019 (February 21, 2019, in Cebu City), submission of GERMAN SHORT-TERM SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS must be coursed through VFS Global.

  • Validity of Visa : Short-stay Schengen visas allow people to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every six-month period
  • Processing time: The average processing time is 2 weeks, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, where visa staff work on a skeletal schedule, it may take between 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Where to lodge your application:
    • VFS Manila Ground Floor, Eco- Plaza Bldg., 2305 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati, Metro Manila
    • VFS Cebu Unit 503, 5th Floor, Keppel Center, Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000
  • Embassy’s Info : Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Manila
  • Visa Fees: With effect from 20 November 2021, the visa fees are as follow: Visa Fee may vary depending on the current exchange rate.

Note:

      • A service charge of Php 1150 and Php 1210 in VFS Manila and VFS Cebu, respectively is levied per applicant on top of the Visa Fee. All fees is collected online during the appointment
      • An official receipt should be obtained for all payments made. Applicants may opt for a courier-assisted facility whereby your passport and other documents will be returned via courier.
      • This facility is available at an extra cost.
      • Kindly be informed that logistic fee and other additional service fees are not refundable once the payment has been made.

Please note that the visa fees are indicated above. No other amount will be requested for the visa issuance or for urgent processing.

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