For us, third world citizens, getting a visa to visit first world countries could be a tedious process.
We hope, by simply searching the visa requirements via Google, we will instantly know what to do and what we need. But upon doing so, it turns out some information I found was not a hundred percent correct. For instance, where to get legit medical travel insurance, as well as legit flights reservation online. Some blogs will lead you from one link to another with irrelevant content. It is infuriating. Because the more information you acquire from reading visa requirements, the more you will get confused as they give you different things to do. But once you got approved, it was all worth it.
Going through the whole visa application process is quite stressful, well, for me at least. That is why I kinda feel obligated to share the hidden gems I learned during the process. Sparing you from getting stress as I had experienced.
General required documents for the Netherlands Visa Application:
First Step is To Fill Out The Form
This was the form I filled out:
However, when I get to the VFS Manila,, the personnel who sorted my documents said that I have filled out a wrong form. She pointed out that my form was for Germany Tourist Visa. She then gave me the correct form, which is this one – https://consular.mfaservices.nl/assets/documents/pdf/forms/schengen_visa_application_form_english.pdf
So this will save you the trouble of asking the guard if you could use the entrance table in order to fill out your new and correct form. Note that it’s okay to be handwritten.
Second Is, Of Course, Your Passport
I though they will get my old passport to support my previous travel experiences. They need you to photocopy your previous visas (copy of all entry/exit stamps), and passport bio page instead. I’m not aware of this obviously. I did it in the VFS Manila center where I had to fall in line for their copying machine.
2 Photo Size: 35x45mm
Photoline, where I get mine. Just told them it is for Netherlands Visa Applicarion. Trust me, they know what to do.
Get Both Bank Certificates And Bank Statement Latest 3 Months
This should be sufficient for the days of your stay in the Netherlands. I got 130K in my bank. It would be enough to cover my expenses during the trip.
Medical Travel Insurance
I highly recommend AXA Schengen. You can get it online – https://axa.com.ph/. First, click the product tab. Then within the categories, look for Smart Traveller Insurance. After clicking that, you need to fill out the form with your basic information. You’ll be able to see their plans and its coverages in the next step.
Here’s what it looks like:
Choose the one with schengen compliant. Elite was way more appealing to me though, so I did get that one. Finally, after successful payment has been made, you will receive an email together with your insurance. Quick, easy, and worry-free.
It is not recommended to purchase a ticket, however, getting flight reservations could give you a higher chance to get approved. I got mine from Flightreservationforvisa.com. I can’t stress enough how I happy I am to avail their service. Your flight reservation should be based on your itinerary. I specified that I need a 9pm flight onwards (because of my work that will end at 4pm) and they let me have it. Travel agent Alexa was quite helpful responding to my inquiries. If you notice your flight got deleted on reserve even before you haven’t gotten yet your visa results, because in some cases, this can happen. Email them right away so they can fix it for you.
A Cover Letter
My friend helped me out in making a cover letter. If you have a friend(s) living in The Netherlands for years now, they should be able to give out insights on what culture to expect, food to try, and places to visit.
That being said, you need to prepare a…
Day by Day Itinerary. In this part, with my friend’s help, plotting out an itinerary would never been so easy. I have added the accommodation cost each hotel in my itinerary. I’m not sure if it does help for my application, but you can add it to yours if you want. The logic behind this is to show them that my budget is enough for the whole trip.
I’m Employed, so I will jot down the requirements for employed.
- Employment Contract (COE)
- Leave of Absence (Includes your travel date and return date to work)
- Latest Income Tax Return (ITR)
I got my hotel accommodations at Bookings.com. They have free cancellations, no pre-payment bookings as well as no credit cards needed
This is probably my most favorite one: A collage photo of our previous travels.
- Once you have a scheduled appointment in VFS, these documents should be handed to them personally. In VFS Manila — cellular phone is allowed; but not headphones. Simply put all your documents inside the folder and all your other belongings. Feel free to leave your bag at home, because the guard won’t let you have it. At any rate, you can use their lockers for an additional cost.
- There’s this question in the form.
Mention all your available cards (credit or debit) that you will use during this trip.
During the biometrics plus interview; keep calm, answer the questions they may ask. I was asked just one question, “Is this your first time traveling in the Netherlands”.
I said “Yes” and mentioned a few places I will be visiting there based on my itinerary.
That’s it! I was shocked as well. I prepared myself for this interview and didn’t expect it to be brief, but yeah.
Wait For The Result.
The agony of waiting is unbearable. When I learned from work that my visa was already delivered at home — I can hear my heart pounding loudly and it feels like it was pumping out all my blood from my heart to my head. But at the same time, I’m calming myself because whatever the results, I can’t do anything about it. You will end up asking yourself the “whys”; what is missing to your applications and started blaming yourself. I tend to think the worst thing that can possibly happen as much as the next person, but don’t worry, I’m working on it now and trying not to dwell on those negative thoughts that will lead me to be anxious more often.
I got my result for only a week. Yes, only 7 days. So I was expecting I got denied. There’s no way they can make a decision that quickly, unless they deny you right away. But they didn’t.