How to get a Schengen Visa from the Italian Embassy in the Philippines

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Asia » Philippines
January 23rd 2018
Published: February 6th 2018
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My dream is to visit all seven continents of the world. I've already explored most of East Asia, and I've also been to Australia and North America, so the next logical step is to go to the notoriously expensive Europe.

I was hesitant to apply because I do not have much money in the bank but I want to travel for at least four weeks.

Then one day while working I got a notification on my mobile that Scoot, the Singapore based budget airline was on sale.

I checked and the return tickets cost just a little over $500! I'm an impulse buyer and that was a temptation I could not resist.

After buying the tickets I thought "Oh no! I can't afford to go to Europe!"

I asked around if $2,000 was enough to travel around Europe for a month and the answer was an almost unanimous NO.

So I got even more nervous and discouraged.

But since I already bought non-refundable plane tickets I had no choice to but to push through with the plan.

I know that a complete itinerary was required so I started planning and booking more plane tickets plus all the accomodations.

Good thing Ryan Air is super cheap! Europeans are so lucky to be able to travel that cheap. Athens to Rome cost me less than $40!

VIA , the processing center for applying for visa at the Italian embassy publishes a list of requirements on their website. Just check the list of the requirements in the website to get the more updated list. But these are the documents that I submitted.

1. Bank Certificate with six months bank statement.

2. Credit Card statements

3. Copy of plane tickets and proof of booked accommodations.

4. Employment certificate with approved leave

5. Day to day itinerary - I just put which city I'll be exploring and which hotel I'll be staying for each day, and flights if there are any.

6. Passport. Including the old passport with photocopies of all the visas and stamps.

7. Travel insurance- Italy requires additional 15 days beyond travel period. I paid 6,000 PHP for my insurance at BPI.

8. Filled out application form which you can get from the website of VIA

9. One passport sized photo

10. NSO issued birth certificate

It took me about two weeks to complete all the requirements then I went to the office of VIA in Makati.

Their office is located at the 3rd floor of Allegro Center along Chino Roces in Makati.

I went there at 8AM and was second in line. I was in and out of there real quick. I was told it was low season. The introduction letter was not in the list of requirements but they made me write one there. I basically just had to explain my purpose for going to Italy.

Seven days after I submitted my application I received a letter from the embassy. It said go to the Italian embassy immediately for clarifications and bring additional financial documents. I got more nervous. I only submitted one bank account and it only had about $3,500. I thought that was enough but they wanted to see more. Perhaps because of the length of my stay.

So I got a bank certificate from my other bank plus a certificate for my stocks but it was still less than $6,000. I hoped that was enough.

I went to the Italian Embassy in Makati. Apparently it was it the same building as my gym! It's at 191 Salcedo street in Makati.

It's an old ugly building. I was surprised the embassy was there. Embassies of third world countries were in better buildings.

There was a line outside the building. It may have been for the embassy but I just walked past the guard and went straight for the elevators for the embassy.

There I was asked to fill out more forms. Forms that asked about all the members of my family and where they live. Their birthdays, etc. I wasn't sure about everyone's birthday and I had to leave my mobile phone at their front desk so I had no way of asking so I just put whatever.

They made me write a letter explaining why I'm going to Italy, why I chose Italy. I had to indicate that I'm traveling alone. I was asked some questions about what I did in the States and Canada. Why I have so little money given the salary that I'm getting. I thought that question was a bit rude.

The following week they called me and asked me to send them an authorisation letter so they can verify my employment certificate with my employer. I was a bit worried that they will not grant me a visa.

Three days later I got my passport with the visa in the mail. I have to report back to the office upon my return to Manila. They gave me back my birth certificate which was a nice surprise because I can use that for other purposes.

Seriously I don't think I can afford Europe yet, but I'm going anyway.


8th February 2018

I'm sorry to hear about all the grief you go through to get a visa for Europe...
at least it is good for all the Schengen countries. While Europe is expensive you can still find cheap accommodations at hostels and free at Couchsurfing. I walked the Camino de Santiago for 5 weeks for less than $1000 for food and accommodations, but one should walk a pilgrim trail, of which there are many in Europe, not motivated by saving money, but for spiritual reasons. Have a wonderful time. I look forward to reading your blogs.
11th February 2018

Pilgrim trail
I thought only Catholics did that! I'll look into it. Don't want to have to walk all day with my backpack tho
21st February 2018

I know I'd jump through just about any hoop of government bureaucracy just to travel. Good for you. Looking forward to reading your Italian blogs! I'm saving up for my next trip too. Takes me almost a year.
21st February 2018

Government bureaucracy
True that! It's so difficult but it won't stop me either
26th July 2018

Thanks for this. This gave me hope haha
16th October 2018

Italy visa
Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about Italy visa
18th October 2018

How did it go?
I hope you made it to Europe! :) I just got back from Europe (Zurich,Munich,Budapest,Prague in 10 days!LOL) a week ago and I can honestly say that I think $2,000 (excluding plane fare) should be enough. You just have to be 'tipid' in some parts of your travel. :) Let me know how your trip went.
19th October 2018

How did it go?
It was amazing! 5 countries (six if you include the Vatican) in 26 days. I've started writing about them. Good job girl :)
8th January 2019

Im also planning to go in Europe but in only one country. In italy. Do you think how much ill be needing to stay there like more or less 90 days. Amd if i book temporary hotel does the italian immigration here in Manila will check it? And so i really need that hotel for 3 months?
15th January 2019

To be on the safe side you'll have to show at least 150 euros for every day that you're there so you will have to show at least 800,000 Pesos in your bank account. And yes they will check your accommodation bookings
19th February 2019

VIA process has changed
Hi, thanks for writing this up. I think recently the process has changed at VIA center in makati. I went there on a Monday around 12 noon, (this was the second floor of Allegro building) and I had to wait 2 hours, and then documents-checking took a full hour. The BIG Change is that after all my documents were checked, they said I needed to return on another day with an appointment for "Compliance" which is located on the 3rd floor. They said the earliest appointment i could get was 2 weeks away because all the slots were filled until then but I fought and argued and luckily got an earlier date only 3 days later. They didn't even keep my documents, it was returned to me. I don't know if this was because I was missing 2 documents which they told me to bring. (But then why couldn't I simply return the next day with the new documents??). Anyway, this is just a heads-up for any other readers of your blog, to plan accordingly.
28th February 2019

VIA process has changed
thank you!
21st February 2019

Proof of Subsistence
Are credit cards not enough proof that showing big amount of money in the bank is being required?
28th February 2019

Proof of Subsistence
no you need cash
4th March 2019

It worked for me and my wife
Fortunately we have been granted visa without big cash on the bank and showed only our credit cards...

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