Italy Visa application in Manila - a complete guide for tourist visa application
Tags : Services
Posted by : TCEP
Posted on : June 1, 2012
The good news: You don't have to make a personal appearance for a tourist visa
The bad news: It takes a month to schedule your document pick-up, and the hotlines do not work when you need to follow-up on your visa application
Steps in applying for an Italy Visa for Filipino Citizens
How to set an appointment for an Italian Schengen Visa:
Call the paid hotlines (as of writing, the rate is at P32.00 per minute, exclusive of any long distance / mobile phone charges):
1 909 101 2200 PLDT
1 903 101 2200 Globe
1 903 101 2200 Bayantel
There is a free number you could call if you just want to know about the exact requirements, which is (02) 845 9200. However, I find that they did not really provide the most comprehensive list. This is the list as relayed to me by the agent on the paid hotline:
- Completed Schengen Visa Form (downloadable from http://www.ambmanila.esteri.it/NR/rdonlyres/ADB0D3EC-BF49-4CB0-B517-F1E83EBC6A79/51045/applicationformschengenvisa2010f1.pdf)
- Passport-sized photo, ears out, collared shirt
- Original and photocopy of passport, information page and last page
- Photocopy of previous passport and previous immigration stamps
- Original and photocopy of COE with approved leave of absence
- Photocopy of Tax Returns certificate
- Confirmed round trip flights
- Hotel vouchers or booking
- Health insurance covering 15 days after end of trip
- Manager's check in an envelope (the rate changes depending on the Euro exchange rate, P3k++)
- 2 copies of signed document checklist with the declaration at the bottom: "Incomplete requirements may be grounds for refusal of my application"
I was scheduled exactly a month after the call was made and sure enough they picked my documents up (for just under P500.00, including delivery upon approval). A few days afterwards I receive a call clarifying some details on my application.
The 15the working day came and there was no sign of my passport, and it was making me nervous because my flight to London was in two weeks. I then call the Italian embassy trunkline to follow up, and the automated prompt says to dial 135, 136 or 137 to follow up on the status of my application. On two numbers, nobody picks up. On the third number, an annoyed Italian comes on and demands to know where I got his number from.
I tried emailing the embassy (twice) and nobody replies. Your only hope, really, is to call the paid hotline again (or to pull some strings if you know friends of friends within the embassy), but they wouldn'[t have an answer right away. You will have to call again after a couple of days.
I got my approved visa on the 18th working day since I sent it, but clearly they did not read my flight details (I was going to be in London for a full three weeks after coming back from Italy), but it said I needed to report to the Italy Embassy in Manila a week before I leave London (when my visa expires). It was physically impossible for me to be here to present myself but the penalties were severe: one of them is blacklisting in all Schengen countries.
I had to work hard to get hold of a high enough officer in the Schengen embassy to plead my case and to get confirmation that I was not going to be blacklisted. Thankfully, I was able to do that, but sadly, not everybody will be able to have proper connections to get this peace of mind.In a nutshell:
- It's better to over-stuff your application rather than fall short. Apparently the countdown goes back to square one when an officer calls asking for a clarification.
- If you're going to another country, take the opportunity to VERBALLY remind any officer who will call you about the time you will be spending outside of Manila after your trip to Italy ends.
- Your first point of entry MUST be Italy and not another Schengen country.
- Make sure you have sufficient time between applying for the Visa to your actual flight date. Do not rely on the 15 working day timeline.
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