How to apply for the Schengen visa thru Via.ph

Resting at the Louvre in Paris

So you’ve decided to go to Europe, you’ve filled out the Schengen visa application form and finished prepping the requirements. The next step is to apply for the Schengen visa. This post is only about applying to the Italian embassy thru Via.ph.

If you have any questions, call them at their free hotline number 845 9200.

1. Book an appointment by calling any of the numbers below that suits you:

PLDT/SMART Line 1 – 909 – 101 – 2200
BAYANTEL Line 1 – 903 – 101 – 2200
Globe Line 1 – 900 – 101 – 2200

Make sure you have your passport ready when you call. In case you’re booking for several people, make sure to get all their passports as well because the call costs Php 32.00/minute + VAT, and other charges if you’re calling from outside Metro Manila.

I tried booking with the embassy directly, but their next available slot last July was on October already, and my trip was in September! With via.ph, I was immediately given a schedule.

I only called once we had all our documents ready.

In case the agent forgets, make sure to ask how much the total fee will be. Remember: Bring exact change.

2. Go to VIA office in Makati.

  • Bring all the documents including the original copies
  • Bring a stapler with staple wire, scissors, a black pen that works, whiteout and glue. This is in case you need to attach something you forgot to print out, fill out some lines in the application, erase some of the entries as instructed by the agent, or cut out some parts.
  • A book or anything that will keep you engrossed and happy while waiting!

3. Once you reach the VIA office, sign in and get a number from the security guard. Even if you have an appointed time, you will still need to get a number.

4. Wait for your turn. Bring a book or something to keep you occupied. We waited for an hour or two!

5. Submit your application. Answer any questions the agent may have.

6. If your documents are complete, the agent will tell you if you will wait for your name to be called for the thumbprint.

7. After collecting your thumbprints, wait for the instruction to pay.

You’re done! Now it’s the waiting time for the status of your visa. You’ll either get a call or a message if you need to submit more documents. The only way you’ll know if you’re granted a visa (or not) is when you receive your passport.

Some documents may not be returned. Our birth certificates were not returned, they returned papa’s.

If you’ve been granted a visa, check any accompanying documents or attached papers to your visa.

My sister and I had attached letters from the embassy stating that we need to return to the embassy in Salcedo, Makati, to have our passports signed within 10 days after the expiration of our visa. Since our visa was given a one-week extension after our return flight, we only returned on the day of the visa expiration.

How to get your visa signed after your trip, if you are requested by the embassy

  1. Go to the Italian embassy in Salcedo St, Makati.
  2. Tell the guard you’re going to the embassy. If there’s a line outside, you’ll need to line up.
  3. Once they let you go up to the Italian embassy office, you’ll need to turn off your cellphone (and other electronic devices) and hand it to the guards at the embassy lobby.
  4. Hand over your passport and letter from the embassy.
  5. Wait for your name to be called.
  6. Once your name is called, go to the designated window.

We were simply given back our passports once we went to the window. Even though we weren’t first in line, we were still processed first from all the batch in the 3pm group (we didn’t make an appointment, we just dropped by).

Tip: You can take the e-jeepney outside Landmark (a ride costs P8) and you can go down in front of the embassy. If you don’t know where the embassy is, it’s along Salcedo St, with a Cafe France outside the building. Or ask the driver 🙂

I hope the past few posts have helped you with your Eurotrip planning! It has been very tiring preparing all these documents, but once we got to Europe, it was all worth it. 🙂 Good luck!

Other helpful blogs and links I’ve read while getting ready:

Tips from:
  • Wanderlass: http://www.wanderlass.com/others/visa-challenge/schengen-visa-philippine-passport.html
  • Lynne en-route: http://www.lynne-enroute.com/2014/03/19/how-to-get-the-schengen-tourist-visa-through-the-italian-embassy-philippines/
  • More Fun with Ems: https://morefunwithems.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/how-to-apply-for-a-schengen-tourist-visa-in-the-philippines-2013/
Tips and LOA and CoA templates:
Kristine Camins:
http://www.kristinecamins.com/schengen-visa-application/

4 Replies to “How to apply for the Schengen visa thru Via.ph”

  1. Hi Haeja, just wanted to ask if the embassy called your office/employer to verify the info on your COE? I work for huge corporation and our HR is centralized so certificates like those are issued by corporate HR based in Manila and some of the staff might not know me since I'm assigned to a provincial office so I'm just a bit worried that there will be issues if they call and ask questions about me.

  2. Hi Andrew, they didn't call my office, but embassies do verify employment on a case-to-case basis.

    Aside from the CoE you also have to submit your ITR and copy of your payslip, as well as a letter authorizing your leave for your intended travel dates. These would help support your employment. I think the company wouldn't issue these documents for you if they cannot verify that you work for them and have a record in their employee database? 🙂 I hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. Hi Haeja, thanks so much for your blog! This is one of the ones that helped me when we were preparing our applications.

    My mom and I got our Schengen visas from the Italian Embassy today. However, one concern is that in my packet from the courier, they returned my old passport and original birth certificate. My mom’s packet only had her current passport and original birth and marriage certificates. Is it okay to call the embassy to ask where her old passport is, and request for its return?

    1. Hi Alisanne, wow, I’m so happy for you! Europe’s pretty incredible. Yes, you can contact them because you should have received your mom’s old passport. And you were asked to sign a document saying you gave them your passports, right? So there should be a record somewhere. I hope you get it back, and that you and your mom have a safe trip. Cheers!

Leave a Reply