I almost did not pursue my application for a Euro Zone (Schengen Visa) from the French Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan due to several factors. There were so many reasons not to. First, the French guy who scheduled my interview was not helpful enough with the questions I asked him, and he was downright RUDE at times during our phone conversation. La French! Second, he told me that it will take at least two weeks to find out if I will even be eligible to get a visa. Third, I called around September 20 and I was given an interview schedule on the 1st of October. I asked the French guy if he can re-schedule to make it earlier, since I was running up against a tight vacation planning schedule. You know what he said? “We are not a MARKET to do that”. Darn this French Guy, who does he think he is, Sarkozy? I had heard and so assumed that most of the French are rude, but this was beyond being subtle.
I finally got my interview the 1st of October, but my departure schedule from Kabul en-route to Dubai was on the 17th, so with only 16 days to get my passport back; what was I to do if it did not come back on time, as they said there was a 15 day processing!
But you know what, I took a risk and I’m glad I did. If not, it would be the most regrettable decision of my life. I took the chance, and as a result I was able to see Paris, Zurich, Athens and Santorini. Having a Schengen Visa was part of my traveling dreams came true!
To apply for a Schengen Visa, you need to be well prepared. Getting a Schengen Visa is not easy for Filipinos, it requires a lot of documents, and you have to prove you can afford to travel in Europe, much more in Paris.
Getting a Schengen Visa in French Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan these are the documents I provided for a short stay / transit visa:
1. Signed application for Schengen visa with photo (35mm x 45mm, white background) + 1 extra photo. You can download the visa application on this link.
2. Detailed itinerary explaining the purpose of your trip as well as dates and places to be visited
3. Details about the trip:
- Proof of accommodations such as hotel vouchers or hotel bookings
- Round trip flight ticket booking (please do not purchase your ticket unless your visa is granted)
- Complete itinerary with departure and return dates
- Proof of employment (Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer)
- If self-employed: official business registration for current and previous year (which I have provided too since I have couple of businesses)
- An international valid worldwide travel insurance (medical expenses and repatriation) for the duration of the visa and valid for all Schengen states. Minimum coverage should be EUR 30,000. I bought my travel insurance online through worldnomads.com and paid US $65/- for a 15 days travel.
Proof of income :
- Recent bank certification (most of the embassies requires original certification but mine were scanned and emailed to me by the bank account manager)
- Photocopy of the last three months statement of account of the same bank account (mine were printed from online banking)
- Pay slips. I’ve provided the wire transfer copies of my salary
- Even though I have provided the documents of my employment, I also provided them by business bank account just to make sure they approve my application.
- I don’t know if the embassy required copy of my US Visa but I attached it anyway just hoping that this would help the process along
To find out more about Schengen Visa, go to this link and will give you more info. LINK
Good luck if ever you apply for a Schengen Visa.