How I Got my SCHENGEN VISA at CONSULATE GENERAL of SWITZERLAND in HONGKONG in just 5 HOURS?
Here we go AGAIN, a Winter Trip to Europe.
September 2017 was my first trip (with friends) to EUROPE, we visited Italy, The Vatican, France, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands for 15 days. Fast-forward (2019) after more than 2 years I plan to go back again (SOLO) this time.
Filipinos holding a Philippine Passport need to secure a Schengen Visa first. In 2017 I applied and got my VISA from Italian Consulate in Hong Kong (HK).
Click this link to read about my first Schengen Visa Application at Italian Consulate.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen Visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries without border controls between them.
SCHENGEN STATES includes: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Excerpt from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/index_en
Bear in mind that Schengen Visa application takes a lot of time from preparing all the required documents to submitting it to the consulates or embassies. Make sure you fill up everything correctly, triple check all the details.
You can apply 3 months or at least 15 days before your expected travel departure.
REMINDER: This may only applies for Filipinos Working or Living in Hong Kong / Macau and strictly for TOURISM.
DISCLAIMER: This is only from my experience when I applied the Visa. I can’t guarantee it but I hope this one will help you on your application.
A. WHERE TO APPLY SCHENGEN VISA?
REMEMBER: If the applicants is visiting one member state in Schengen Area apply your visa in their consulate/embassy. If applicants plan to visit more that one country apply in the consulate/embassy where you will stay the longest time.
Here are my specifics:
Countries to Visit: Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Denmark
Visa: Single Entry
I applied my visa at the Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong. I planned to stay longer in Switzerland so I applied here.
For residents of Hong Kong and Macao book your appointment with VFS Global.
For inquiry and more details about visa application Visit the website of the Consulate/Embassy. Clink the LINK for SWITZERLAND CONSULATE
Some consulate need prior appointment before visiting the Visa Office, Click the link for booking an appointment at VFS GLOBAL.
B. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
Remember that the requirements may vary depending on the consulate you’re applying for so please inquire first.
Here are the list of requirements they asked at Consulate General of Switzerland in HK.
- Schengen Visa Application Form
- Please fill up the form correctly and honestly, incomplete will not be accepted so do not leave any questions unanswered.
- Download the Schengen Application Form here.
- 2 Recent Photo
- Size: 35 x 45 mm
- Photograph Quality
- Current Passport
- Valid Passport with at least 6 months before its expiry
- For Consulate of Switzerland “valid for more than 3 months beyond your return date to Hong Kong/Macao”
- Have at least 2 blank pages
- Previous Passport
- Copies of the of the following passport pages that contain
- Clear copy of the Biodata/Passport Details
- Previous Schengen Visa
- Hong Kong/Macao Visa valid at least 2 months beyond your return date to Hong Kong/Macao
- Hong Kong/Macao ID or “Blue Card“
- Original and a Copy
- Confirmed Flight Reservation
- Printed Ticket Reservation is required by the consulate/embassy
- You can get a Ticket Reservation with your name and flight details, some travel agency or online website provide this ticket that you can cancel anytime.
- Remember do not buy a Non-Refundale Ticket yet, you can buy after you get your visa.
- Flight reservation should include your flight back to Hong Kong and Macao.
- Travel Plan
- Provide a clear evidence of the applicant’s travel plans (confirmed flight reservations, transportation bookings, accommodation details, name of first port of entry and port of exit in Europe).
- FORM – TRAVEL PLAN
- Proof of Accommodations
- Printed copy of your accommodations for the whole duration of your stay in Europe
- Hotel, Hostels, Apartments, etc.
- You can booked hotels that offers no Prepayment and Free Cancellation
- I usually used Booking.com for my hotel reservations.
- Travel Insurance
- Original and Printed copy of Health Insurance Certificate and Policy
- It must include emergency treatments, hospital and repatriation expenses, with minimum coverage of Euro 30,000, valid for all Schengen countries for the whole stay.
- I bought my TRAVEL INSURANCE online
- Buy a refundable one as anything may happen with your application
- Evidence of Sufficient Financial Resources
- Original Copy of Personal Bank Statements for the last three(3) months with a Bank Stamp and stating your full name and address
- Show proof of financial resources when entering the Schengen area (minimum amount is approximately 50 Euros/500 HKD per day)
- Proof of Employment
- Original and a printed copy of Certificate of Employment or reference letter from your company or your employer
- Stated on the letter is the name of the employer, the name of the employee, job title, annual/monthly salary, date of employment, date of leave of absence and, if relevant, the duration of contract.
- No guarantee can be given that a visa will be issued
- All documents must be in English or a Swiss official language.
- Only complete applications will be accepted.
- Additional documents or information may be requested by the Consulate General of
C. WHERE TO SUBMIT THE APPLICATION?
I went to Consulate General of Switzerland in HongKong for my Schengen Visa application.
As I said applicants need to make an appointment at VFS GLOBAL prior on visiting the Visa Office.
LOCATION AND ADDRESS
Consulate General of Switzerland
62/F, Suite 6206-07
Central Plaza 18 Harbour Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 09:00 to 11:30 , Monday to Friday
Bring a copy of your appointment letter and all documents.
Documents for visa applications must be submitted to the Visa office in person by the interested applicant.
The staff will check if you provide all the required documents on the CHECKLIST and only complete applications will be accepted.
Since 12.10.2015 all diplomatic representations of the Schengen member states in Hong Kong have to capture the biometric data (finger scans and facial image) of persons applying for a Schengen visa. The data will be kept in the Visa Information System (VIS) for 5 years.
If no scan of your fingerprints has been captured yet, personal appearance when applying for a Schengen visa is mandatory.
The Swiss representation reserves the right to ask the applicant to appear in person if a personal interview is required.
Excerpt from https://www.eda.admin.ch
*This time I don’t need to provide a biometric, they already have it in the System from my previous Schengen Visa application at Italian Consulate HK.
The visa fee can be paid either in cash or by credit card (MasterCard and VISA only).
VISA FEE is around 60 EURO or 550 HKD during my application
The Visa Officer will provide applicants a copy of Visa Payment receipt stating the day to return at the Visa Office. For Macao applicants you need to inform the officer that you will return to Macao and you need your passport. A decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 days.
Submission of complete requirements does not guarantee the applicants an approved visa. The consulate will further review your application until the day you return to the visa office.
For Macao applicants return your passport on the day specified on the receipt.
WHAT A LUCKY DAY
Date of Application: September 10, 2019
Time of Application: 10:00 AM
The officer specified on the receipt ” Please pick up your passport in the afternoon (between 3:00 to 3:30 PM) on TODAY, 10 SEPT 2019.
So I returned and GUESS WHAT?
YES , in just 5 HOURS I got a Schengen Visa sticker affixed to my passport.
It’s time to finalize my Travel Itinerary. YEHEY
If the consulate granted you a SCHENGEN VISA you can finalize your TRAVEL PLANS now, and enjoy your EUROTRIP,
Double Check Your VISA before leaving the Visa Office.