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With its stunning Alpine peaks and placid crystal clear lakes, Austria is the epitome of idyllic. Positioned right in the middle of Europe, the German-speaking country boasts some of the most beautiful train journeys around, while its capital, Vienna, has been ranked as the most livable city on the planet.

When one talks about Austria, the movie “Sound of Music” will always be a remembrance of how the phenomenal scenes were made in the lush surroundings of Salzburg, Austria. 

Not to mention, Austria is also the birthplace of great classical composers such as Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and a whole lot more. 

As with any country, there is much to learn about the people and culture before moving there and starting a new chapter.

An Overview of Schengen Visa for Short-term Stay in Austria

Austria is a part of the Schengen zone, composed of 26 European countries. To enter Austria (and any other countries in the Schengen zone), you must obtain a Schengen Visa first. 

If you are from the Philippines, you do need a Schengen visa to be able to enter and stay in Austria that will allow you to stay up to 90 days within any 180-day period. 

If you really want to visit one of the most livable countries in the world, here’s a guide on how to apply for a Schengen Visa to Austria with your Philippine Passport.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Schengen Visa to Austria?

If you are a Philippine passport holder and you are planning to apply for a Schengen visa, you must fulfill any of these conditions:

  • Austria is your main destination. It means that you will visit Austria only and have no plans of visiting any other Schengen country (sa Austria ka lang pupunta at mag-stay); or
  • You will stay the longest in Austria. You have plans of traveling around the Schengen Area, but Austria is where you will be staying the longest. (Pupunta ka pa sa ibang Schengen countries, pero sa Austria ang pinaka-mahabang stay mo).
  • The main purpose of your travel is in Austria. You have plans of visiting other Schengen countries, but the focus of your travel is in Austria.
  • Austria is your port of entry. You have plans of visiting multiple Schengen countries for the same number of days, but Austria is your first point of entry.

Important Documents to Prepare

First things first—you need documents to support your visa application! For this, you will need to prepare these documents:

Note: Prepare two sets of each document—one original set and one photocopy.

1. A duly filled out and signed Schengen Visa Application Form for Austria. You may download the form by signing up here.

How to Apply for an Austria Schengen Visa with your Philippine Passport 01

2. Two current biometrical passport photos (35-45 mm width)– 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.

  • Taken with nothing covering the face, without sunglasses or contact lenses, or a head covering unless worn for religious or medical reasons.
  • The subject should have their mouth closed (no grinning, frowning or raised eyebrows). 

After which, paste your photo on each of the electronic visa form that you completed online (1 original and 1 photocopy of the form).

3.  Original Passport and a Photocopy of it as well as the Bio Page– 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.

Look: 33 Countries Where Philippine Passport Holders Can Visit Without a Visa

4. Travel plan indicating your destination (in this case, Austria), route, proof of accommodation (hotel or apartment booking, etc.), and a round-trip flight reservation with dates and flight numbers showing the entry and exit from Austria.

Important reminders:

      • You do not need to pay for the flight ticket right away because you are only applying for a visa and have no guarantee that it will be approved. You’re essentially just showing them that a flight itinerary from the Philippines to Austria is available on your preferred travel date. We can assist you with a dummy ticket for your flight reservation requirement; get it here!
      • The embassy typically asks for a cover letter along with other documents; the cover letter details the purpose of your journey to Austria plus your complete itinerary indicating all of the places you are planning to visit while you’re there. The cover letter is crucial to the success of your application; a well-thought-out and well-written cover letter gets you a higher chance of visa approval. Let us take care of your cover letter (and others such as sponsorship, invitation, and appeal), get our letter service here!

5. 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. 

  • If applying for a tourist visa: You will need a cover letter addressed to the Austrian Embassy in Manila.

    In the cover letter, explain your reason for visit, where you will stay (did you get a hotel accommodation? Are you staying over at someone’s place?), how you will fund the trip (do you have enough in your savings to finance your travel?), and your day-to-day itinerary. Outline every specific activity you are planning to take—places to go, tours to join, people to meet/visit, etc.

    Also, through this cover letter, submit an informal declaration explaining your intention to return to the Philippines before your visa expires. Make sure you sign the cover letter.

    Explain and submit proofs for your reason to return:

    • Do you have a young child in the Philippines you need to go back for and take care of? Submit the child’s birth certificate.
    • Do you have senior citizen parents who are counting on your return? Submit a copy of their senior citizen IDs.
    • Are you an employee or a student and must return for your job or schooling? Submit copies of employment or school documents.

      We will discuss more about proof of strong ties later in this article. As already stated above, you will also need to submit your flight reservation and proof of accommodation.
  • If applying for a visit visa: You will need proof of relationship with your host, partner, or sponsor—how are you related to the person you are visiting? You may submit a copy of birth certificate, marriage certificate, written correspondence between you and your sponsor (screenshots of video calls and chats), and any other evidence of your relationship with your sponsor, such as photos together, as proof of relationship.

    Do not forget the invitation letter from the host or your partner based in Austria. In this letter, the host or your partner must indicate the exact address where the host lives, as well as the purpose and full duration of your visit to your host’s country.

    If you are visiting your immediate family member or a close relative, you have to provide a proof of the urgency of that visit. It could be a marriage celebration, birth of a child, serious health problem, or funeral.

    Proof of strong ties or deep-rootedness is also extremely important. One of the most common reasons for visa denial is the lack of strong ties; make sure you provide a compelling reason to return to the Philippines.

6. Travel Insurance – the coverage must be applied 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). I highly recommend Pioneer Insurance which you can avail yourself through me. Feel free to directly inquire through JASTravel on Facebook and I would be very glad to assist you. 


7. Proof of vaccination
– As most European countries have decided to welcome vaccinated travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To know more about the vaccines recognised for travel in Austria, you can read it here

8. Proof of financial capacity to show that you (or your sponsor) can support your expenses for the whole duration of your travel.

    • For sponsored travel: Your host or sponsor declares that he or she will be solely responsible for all expenses incurred during your trip.
  •  
    • For those traveling without a sponsor: this means that you will cover all your expenses during the entire duration of your travel.
      • 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.) 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 Certificate – it 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 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 mo, payslips from our employer, and other proof na financially capable ka din and most importantly, 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 a documentary proof. 

Original Affidavit of Support, legalized and notarized by a Notar and by a Landgericht at the municipality in Austria where the sponsor’s address is registered. Afterwhich, send the document to the Philippine Consulate in Austria to have it authenticated.

The sponsor’s copies of: passport including the biodata page and travel history (passport stamps) and ID Card or Resident ID card

Recent proof of income of the sponsor (3 last months’ salary slips, etc.)

Proof of relationship with the sponsor (pictures together, Birth or Marriage certificate, and screenshot of chat conversations)

To know more about additional requirements that you would need from your sponsor, check out my YouTube video below:

9. Proof of Civil Status – Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate of the spouse, etc. These documents must be issued on security paper (SECPA) by the Philippine Statistics Authority, see http://www.psaserbilis.com.ph. 

Note: The birth certificate does not need to be authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

10. 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?

You need to convince them that you will return to the Philippines. Insufficient evidence of deep-rootedness to your home country is also one of the chief reasons for visa denial.

    • For Employees: 
      • Employment or Work contract and bank account statements or payslips 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 Austria 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 Retirees: 
          • Pension statement for the last 6 months
          • Retirement Certification

    • 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 Authenticated
            › 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.)
    • Property Titles: if you have some, the following are accepted.
          • Land titles
          • Car registration certificates
          • Deeds of Sale

    • For Minors
          • Joint affidavit of both parents or legal guardians granting consent
          • Photocopies of the passports of both parents or legal guardians
          • Birth certificate of the minor. Must be recent, original, and issued by PSA.
          • DSWD Clearance, if the minor is not traveling with either parent or legal guardian
          • Recent certificate of enrollment from the school
          • Letter authorizing the student’s absence from school

Helpful tips: Additional document requirements for a minorhttps://youtu.be/aVUq5nbmQig

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a Schengen Visa to Austria

STEP 1: Determine the type of Austrian Schengen visa you need to apply for 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. 

STEP 2: Complete the Schengen Visa Requirements stated above.

Some important notes.

    • The documents must be arranged in the same order as the list above. Even the photocopies of your stamps and visas must be in the same order as they appear on your passports.
    • Place all the requirements in a long brown envelope. Write your last name, first name and contact number in bold capital letters on the upper left corner of the envelope.
    • The original copies will be returned to you on the same day of application.

STEP 3: Book your appointment here and show up on that day together with all your requirements. Book an appointment at the Visa Application Center of your choice. There are two locations:

Visa Application Center – Manila
Ground Flr., Ecoplaza Building
2305 Don Chino Roces Ave, Extension,
Makati, Metro Manila

Austria Visa Application Center – Cebu
Unit 503, 5th Floor, Keppel Center
Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City

STEP 4: On the day of the appointment, proceed to the VFS Application Center and submit the requirements in person. Personal appearance is mandatory. Failure to show up means forfeiture of your appointment slot. Note that applications with incomplete requirements will not be processed. Your biometrics will also be taken. Don’t forget to pay the Visa Fee and VFS Service fee

STEP 5: You can track your application status here.

STEP 6: Wait for the result and then pick up your passport—the visa center will let you know when your passport is ready for collection. You also have the option of paying an additional fee for the courier to have your passport mailed to you.

If your visa is approved, you will receive a sticker visa on one of your passport’s pages. Congratulations! If your visa is denied, a white paper enclosed in your passport will specify the reason for denial. You may either appeal or reapply, in this case.

Visa processing usually takes 15 days, but it can take less time in some cases. There were also times when it could take up to a month or more, especially if they requested additional documentation and verification. Consider this when submitting your application; to be safe, apply for the visa at least one month before your intended travel date; plan ahead of time.

Quick Facts

  • 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 Information:
    • Austrian Embassy Manila
      • Address: 8th floor, One Orion Building, 11th Avenue corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
      • Telephone Number: (+63/2) 88179191
      • E-mail address: manila-ob@bmeia.gv.at

  • VFS Service Fee: PHP 1,647 for the logistics fee
  • Visa Fee: PHP 4,392 (EURO 80)
  • For 6-13 years: PHP 2,196 (EURO 40)

Common Reasons for Schengen Visa Rejection

Here are the common reasons a Schengen Visa application gets denied:

  • No clear travel purpose—a detailed cover letter is a must!
  • Lack of strong ties—reevaluate your application and prove why you must return to your home country!
  • Insufficient travel insurance coverage—make sure you get the right policy!
  • No proof of financial means—convince them that you can afford your trip! Provide bank or credit card statements, VUL, investment portfolio, etc.
  • Passport does not have 2 free pages—where will they attach the visa if your passport pages are already full? You should get a new passport before applying for a visa if there are no more available pages on your old one!
  • No proof of accommodation—you need to prove them that you have a place to stay in the Schengen Area.

Recap and Tips

So, just a recap and a reminder, please don’t forget these TIPS: 

 

If you ever need help, you can avail my visa application bundle, and I will be glad to help you through the process!

Let Us Be Your Partner in Your Schengen Visa Journey

Applying for a Schengen Visa can be overwhelming, with all the paperwork involved and confusing information from different sources. We understand that—we’ve been there and have done that!

But through the years, we gained experience and knowledge on the ins and outs of the Schengen Visa application. We’ve helped countless satisfied clients; we would like to invite you to be one of them!

With our Schengen Visa services personalized to your unique needs and circumstances, we will make your visa application less stressful and laborious and more promising. Contact us to schedule a consultation or for other inquiries.

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