Complete Guide: Applying for Short Stay Schengen Visa with Sponsor

We all dream of reuniting with loved ones overseas, whether it’s our parents, siblings, partners, or good friends. Unfortunately, most people from developing countries couldn’t simply book flights. We have to go through the long, expensive, and stressful process of acquiring a visa instead. Thus a short stay Schengen visa with a sponsor is something many people apply for.

Different visa classes have different requirements. The same goes for a Schengen visa with sponsor. Each country within the Schengen territory also has a different set of requirements for short stay Schengen visa with sponsor.

If you are planning to apply, check out this handy list of everything you need to know about the application process, plus requirements from every Schengen member state.

Austria/Lithuania

schengen-visa-sponsor-austria-lithuania
Image source
Where to apply

The Austrian Embassy Manila via VFS Global processes short stay Schengen visas for visiting family and friends for both Austria and Lithuania. If you are planning to visit Lithuania, you may also apply at the Austrian Embassy and submit the Continue reading Complete Guide: Applying for Short Stay Schengen Visa with Sponsor

Easy Steps for Hassle-free Flight Reservation for Visa Application

Flight reservation for visa application is a necessity these days. After all, how many times have we heard that horror story? A friend or relative planning to travel abroad buys airplane tickets to include with their visa application, and then gets denied. Not only do their plans get chucked in the trash, but they also just wasted thousands of dollars. And while refunds and cancellations are a good recourse, it still comes with hundreds of dollars of cancellation fees. Not to mention delays in getting your money back and just a whole lot of headaches.

This is why we at Ellry want to provide an easy and hassle-free solution to acquiring valid flight reservation or a flight itinerary for visa application. You don’t need to cash out for plane tickets for visa application before getting your approved visa anymore. You can simply book a flight reservation online. This means you get a flight reservation with a verifiable confirmation number through the airline’s website by paying for the flight reservation fee than the whole fare on the spot. You have an option to purchase the flight with Ellry once you get your visa but this is not required when getting a flight reservation from us.

Curious? Let us take you through the simple process of getting a flight reservation online!

Why do I need to do this? 

flight-reservations-why
Image source

If you are in the midst of a visa application or planning to start one, this is for you. Though different countries have different requirements, it is recommended to show a flight itinerary for Schengen visa application and also for other countries. This is where making a flight reservation comes in handy. Instead of purchasing Continue reading Easy Steps for Hassle-free Flight Reservation for Visa Application

The Ultimate Visa Guide to Caribbean Countries for Filipinos

Ever dreamed of wandering the time-warped streets of Havana? Or maybe you always wanted to experience authentic reggae and dub poetry in the streets of Kingston? Or, just lounge around on the gorgeous beaches of Grand Bahama? If you’ve been nurturing grand fantasies of the gorgeous Caribbean islands, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled all you need to know in this ultimate Caribbean visa guide for Filipino travelers just like you!

Antigua and Barbuda

antigua-and-barbuda
Photo by David Kirsch | CC BY

Why visit: Antigua and Barbuda are twin islands sitting right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. While it’s famous for its reef-lined beaches (ideal for snorkeling and diving) and lush jungles for outdoor explorers, its capital city of St. John also offers a bustling, rustic, quintessential Caribbean charm. After a day of sunbathing or strolling around the colonial streets, you can take your pick from its many resorts, catering to every style and level of traveler.

What you need: For a visa to Antigua and Barbuda, Filipinos must submit necessary documents to the nearest Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda. In this case, the choices are Hong Kong or Tokyo. For Continue reading The Ultimate Visa Guide to Caribbean Countries for Filipinos

How I Turned My Canadian Visa Rejection to a 4-Year Multiple Entry

by Julia Escaño

Canada’s Filipino community is arguably one of the fastest growing Filipino diaspora in the world. When we talk about Canada, it’s usually associated with family and friends who have already migrated there or are currently trying to. But despite having so many connections, acquiring a Canadian visa for Filipinos remain a tough and stringent process– especially those of us who don’t quite “fit the mold”.

In May of 2015, I tried applying for a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. It was my first time applying for a visa in a Western country, and applying as a solo traveler. Up until then, I only had a multiple entry Japanese visa and stamps to 11 other countries in the region. I hoped this would suffice in showing the kind of lifestyle I led. In spite of these, I had no visas to any OECD countries (US, Schengen, Australian), which held more weight in their eyes.

philippine-passport-stamps

From the get-go, I knew my chances were slim. I was young, single, had no dependents, no property, and worst, I worked as a freelancer online. That meant I can work anywhere, as long as there’s internet. I was also traveling with my Canadian boyfriend, for the purpose of meeting his family. Essentially, there was nothing on the documents I submitted showing ties to home and strong reasons for coming back.

After two weeks, I got the letter from the Canadian Embassy saying that I did not meet their requirements. My application for a Canadian visa was denied. It said that I failed to establish to the Immigration officer’s satisfaction that I will not overstay. It ended by advising against reapplying until my “situation has changed substantively.” With the number of Filipinos abusing admission, it’s no surprise that more is required from us to prove our integrity. This made the rejection even more frustrating, knowing that I had no intentions to violate their laws.

After a lot of thought and with the help of my boyfriend, I consulted with a Canadian immigration lawyer as to what my options were. The idea of ending a Continue reading How I Turned My Canadian Visa Rejection to a 4-Year Multiple Entry

I Got a Schengen Visa in 3 Days With My Philippine Passport: Here’s How!

Let’s face it, visa applications are always a headache. Every Filipino traveler knows that getting a Schengen visa with a Philippine passport requires a lot of time, money, and emotional investment.  Sadly, even these preparations don’t always guarantee a visa approval.

So imagine my happiness when in July 2016, I was granted a 1-year short stay  (aka tourist visa) Schengen visa by the French Embassy in Manila, Philippines. Moreover, the visa processing time in VFS office only took 25 minutes, and I received my Schengen visa in 3 days! VFS Global France states on their site that processing time for Short Stay is ’48 hours from the time a complete application is received at the French embassy’. Processing time may vary according to applicant’s nationality and the time when the visa application is requested.

If you’re planning to apply for a Schengen visa, here are some helpful tips based on my experience. This will not guarantee the same results, but it can be a good starting point for your application. Good luck!

Check if you need to schedule an appointment.

schengen-visa-france-appointmentSince my point of entry was France and I was spending most of my time there, I scheduled my appointment online, as it is required. You may schedule your appointment for your French Visa through this link.

I applied to the French embassy via their visa processing office, VFS Philippines. VFS Philippines handle and consolidate all visa Continue reading I Got a Schengen Visa in 3 Days With My Philippine Passport: Here’s How!

List of 16 Non-Schengen Countries Filipinos can Enter with a Valid Schengen Visa

COUNTRY CONTACT PERSON EMAIL PHONE WEBSITE REFERENCE
ALBANIA Mr. Kujtim Xhani embassy.beijing@mfa.gov.al +8610 65321120 http://www.ambasadat.gov.al/china/en
ANDORRA office@
ambaixada-andorra.at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Andorra
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA Mr. Sato Hiroshi 03-3779-1341 http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/protocol/a-h.html
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA embbhkl@
gmail.com
+60 3-2144 0353 https://www.facebook.com/Embassy-of-Bosnia-and-Herzegovina-127051257450702/timeline
BULGARIA consular@
mfa.bg
+ 359 2 948 3016 http://www.mfa.bg/en/pages/44/index.html
CROATIA Mr. Edgardo P. Reyes 895-27-09
CYPRUS Mrs. Kristen Nicole Toundjis-Brindisi cyprusconsulate@
elgrecomanila.com
(632) 9251467 http://www.mfa.gov.cy/
DOMINICA adastra@
pacific.net.ph
(632) 8106546
EL SALVADOR Mr. Maekawa Hiroyuki 045-224-8022 http://www.indemguatemala.org/traveling-to-guatemala/
GRENADA 86 011-8610
GUATEMALA embguate@
vega.ocn.ne.
jp
03-3400-1830 http://www.mofa.go.jp/
HONDURAS (632) 634-5708 http://www.indemguatemala.org/traveling-to-guatemala/
MONACO fortuneledesma@
yahoo.com
(632) 2 844-3663
MONTENEGRO kenji.otsubo@verizon.net (+81) 3-5510-5511
NICARAGUA consuladodenicaragua@
gmail.com
http://www.indemguatemala.org/traveling-to-guatemala/
ROMANIA manila@mae.ro (632) 892 7682 http://manila.mae.ro/en

Extend Your Euro Trip to these 18 Countries (No Additional Visa Required)

The Schengen visa remains elusive to many Filipinos – thick pages of documents and bank statements, a personal interview, and quite a hefty fee are just part of the stringent visa requirements. On top of the cost of going to Europe, this dissuades many from going for their dream Eurotrip.

That’s why, when one finally gets the visa, part of the goal is to see as many cities as possible! Luckily, with the efficient European rail systems and hundreds of tours to choose from, jumping from several cities and even countries is possible on a holiday. The powerful visa can also be your entry to nearby, non-Schengen countries.

You can do a lot of exciting things during your vacation in these Schengen countries. For instance, check out this info on a beautiful evening tour of Paris through the personal experience of Abhishek & Neha, the authors of RevolvingCompass.

If you’re gearing up for your European or Round-the-World trip, you’d be glad to know that aside from the 26 Schengen nations, there are 16 more non-Schengen countries that your Philippine passport can carry you to, without the stress of fulfilling thick visa requirements!

Check them out below, and see where you can squeeze them into your itinerary.

Just a few general reminders for your Schengen visa travel:

– These apply to Philippine passport holders with valid Schengen visas.
– Contact the embassy of each country or visit their official website and clarify entry-requirements. While you may use your Schengen visa to enter these countries, they may require you to apply for an e-visa or a Travel Certificate before your arrival or for a visa upon arrival.
– Moreover, some countries do not have embassies based in Manila, so what you can do is obtain your Schengen visa from another Asian country (e.g. Japan, China or India).
– Lastly, ask the embassy about entry taxes (if any) and any travel advisories related to diseases or crime/violence.

Note: Schengen Embassies only require a flight reservation and not a purchased ticket for visa application. For those who would need a flight reservation for their Schengen application, read our post about Easy Steps for Hassle-free Flight Reservation for Visa Application. We offer this service so that travelers do not need to pay the full price of the ticket while they do not have their visa yet.

Let’s get started! Here is the FULL LIST and contact details of the embassies of these 16 non-Schengen countries.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

1. ANDORRA – an independent principality between France and Spain.

Why visit: This mountainous mini country in between France and Spain doesn’t have its own airport, so if you’re driving or taking a train or bus Continue reading Extend Your Euro Trip to these 18 Countries (No Additional Visa Required)

Filipinos can Visit Japan, Korea, Taiwan Using 1 Visa – Here’s How

This is the 2nd of a series of Visa-related articles brought to you by Ellry. For Philippine passport holders, visa requirements are a necessary evil to enter most countries. We aim to help you get the most of your visas through this guide.

Japan seems to be the new must-see destination for Filipinos, especially during the summer. Since the Japanese government relaxed the visa requirements for the Philippines, more Filipinos have been able to realize their dream of seeing the Land of the Rising Sun. Your Facebook feed is proof enough – doesn’t it seem like everyone’s in Japan?

But the beauty of having a Japanese visa goes beyond being able to enter and see Japan. Due to its clout, there are special provisions that allow you to enter 2 other countries, using just your valid Japan Visa, namely Taiwan and South Korea.

Here’s how to skip the hassle and cost of visa requirements to Taiwan and South Korea, using your valid Japan Visa:

ENTERING SOUTH KOREA
Photo by / CC BY
Photo by Chris Anderson / CC BY

UPDATE: According to an update made by the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu, entry to South Korea from Japan with the eligibility stated below will no longer be allowed starting 1 May 2016. After the said date, this will only apply to Chinese tour groups with valid Japanese visas.

  • Eligibility – Philippine passport holder must be in possession of (1) a valid visa or entry permit to Japan, and (2) a confirmed onward ticket or a ticket leaving Korea for Japan within 30 days.

This basically means that you can enter South Korea visa-free for 30 days before you go to Japan. If you intend to do a multi-country trip, you should go to South Korea first before Japan to use this visa provision. For reference, please see this link.

If you do not have a Japan Visa, you can still enter South Korea visa-free if you have a more than 2-hour layover at Incheon International Airport:

Continue reading Filipinos can Visit Japan, Korea, Taiwan Using 1 Visa – Here’s How

10 Countries Filipinos Can Enter with Just 1 Visa (Hint: It’s Not Schengen)

This is the 1st of a series of Visa-related articles brought to you by Ellry. For Philippine passport holders, visa requirements are a necessary evil to enter most countries. We aim to help you get the most of your visas through this guide.

As the United States remains the top tourist destination for most Filipinos, it’s not surprising that the US Embassy approves more than a thousand applications in a day.

But that’s not without the hassle of obtaining strict visa requirements, including paperwork, fees, and maybe even filing a leave to go through the interview.

So once you obtain your US visa, it would be ideal to make the most of the time, effort and money you spent in getting it. Did you know that you can stretch the benefits of your hard-earned US visa by using it to enter other countries? Stretch your vacay to nearby Caribbean or Central American islands, or use it when you visit Taiwan and Eastern European countries.

Some general reminders:

– We use the term ‘Filipinos’ in this post to refer to Philippine passport holders.
– Always ensure that your US visa is still valid at the time of travel.
– Always contact the embassy of each country to clarify entry or visa requirements. While you may use your US visa to enter these countries, they may require you to apply for a Travel Certificate before your arrival or for a visa upon arrival.
– The visa referred to on this article is a tourist visa.
– Moreover, some countries do not have embassies based in Manila, so what Continue reading 10 Countries Filipinos Can Enter with Just 1 Visa (Hint: It’s Not Schengen)

New Zealand Opens Working Holidays to Young Filipinos

by Janelle Almosara 

Nowadays, more and more young people are becoming interested in the idea of going on a backpacking trip around the globe. Most Filipinos who embark on long-term backpacking trips usually start exploring countries that are visa free and would allow them to go around for a month or two without having to worry about obtaining and paying fees for the renewal of their papers. However, backpackers who plan to travel for a long time usually needs work permits, and for third world passport holders, this can be a rather daunting challenge, especially if you are entering countries that comply with a strict set of rules. The good news is New Zealand is opening up its doors for Filipinos to finally obtain working holiday visas.

The working holiday visa is a specific type of visa that travelers could get so that they can apply for casual jobs while traveling and exploring a country. This helps out travelers who plan to stay in New Zealand for one to two years, giving them Continue reading New Zealand Opens Working Holidays to Young Filipinos