My Schengen Visa Application6:00 AM
Today is our scheduled flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. I married a Dane so this is not something that is impossible for me to do but this trip was never planned. My husband and I started talking about travelling out of the country while he was on his recent sailing stint in Russia and the US and we had our eyes set on South Korea. Days before he flew back to Manila, he asked me if I want to spend Christmas and New Year's in Denmark. I reluctantly said yes - I wasn't ready for the extreme winter weather. I thought about it long and hard and finally decided that it's about time that I meet my in-laws in Hillerod and Jylland (Jutland) and yes, it's about time for me to see real snow.
Before I lodged my visa application to visit family in Denmark, I had to secure a ton of documentations to change my last name to Nielsen. It was quite a chore but all paid off in the end. I also had to secure the CFO Guidance Counselling Certificate before I was able to renew my passport.
After I gathered all the requirements, I immediately created my user account through the visa application portal of the Royal Norwegian Embassy which handles visa applications for Denmark. Application Portal
Armed with original copies of the requirements as well as another set of photocopies, my husband and I went to my scheduled appointment and made sure that all documents are arranged in order as outlined here:
Note: Remove any staple wire, stickers, or paper clips in the documents that you will submit. If you registered and paid online, print out the receipt as well (available in the application portal).
1. Questionnaire – with complete handwritten answers, signed in the presence of the consul
2. Schengen visa application form, duly dated and signed with passport size picture
3. Original passport showing my travel experience
4. Employment certification stating position, length of service, salary and leave certification showing approved leaves and the date I am expected to return to work
5. Certification of Company ID issuance (I do not have my new ID yet so I opted to request this from HR)
6. Payslips for the past 3 months and income tax return form for 2013
7. E-ticket for my flights via Qatar Airways for Manila-Qatar-Copenhagen and Copenhagen-Qatar-Manila
8. Travel and medical insurance with benefits coverage of 30,000 Euros
9. Marriage Certificate
10. Letter of invitation from my reference person/host/sponsor in Denmark
11. VU2 Form – completed by my reference person/host/sponsor in Denmark
12. Copy of the passport of the reference person/host/sponsor in Denmark
13. Cover Letter (stating the purpose and duration of your travel as well as your itinerary)
I have also furnished the following documents:
1. Bank Statement (BPI Peso Savings Account)
2. Bank Statement (BPI Automatic Save-Up Account)
3. Bank Statement (BPI Foreign Currency Account)
4. Bank Statement (PenBank Joint Account)
5. Employment contract of my host/sponsor in Denmark
6. Payslips for the past 6 months of my host/sponsor in Denmark
7. Pictures of our travels in the Philippines and abroad
8. Pictures of our engagement session9. Pictures of our wedding
10. Instant Messenger (Yahoo and Skype) conversations11. Email Exchanges from 2011 to present
I opted not to print out bank statements for my other accounts as I think the ones I have would suffice the requirement already and besides since I have a sponsor the embassy would actually be more concerned if he can support me in the duration of my vacation. The process was quick, easy and very organized. All applicants were asked to queue outside the embassy documents processing center (1st Floor of Petron Megaplaza Building in Makati) - a sponsor can be with you during this process. The guards then asked who were scheduled for 9AM and I immediately raised my hand. I was second in the queue and as soon as I entered I presented my documents to the receptionist who checked if I really have a scheduled appointment that day. She then asked me to sit and arrange my documents. Since I already arranged my documents the night before, I did not have to do what she asked. After a couple of minutes, the receptionist called my name as it was already my turn for the interview.
The consul asked for the copies of my documents and started to inspect each one. He wrote some notes as well (duration of stay in the Schengen area, travel date, etc). I was expecting for him to ask me my purpose of the travel and some other questions to grill me but he only asked a couple of questions. He then gave me back my passport and the documents and told me to proceed to the 21st floor for my biometrics to be captured. I was done with the application process and interview as well as biometric data capture in 40 minutes including queue time. They were very efficient and every minute really counts. Props to the embassy employees and management for their efficiency.
I submitted my documents last December 16 and I got my visa on December 19. All efforts definitely paid off. Lots of thanks to my husband for being so patient and extremely supportive through the whole ordeal. It was a bonus that I got issued a Multiple Entry visa when I only applied for single entry. Today, my husband and I will fly to Denmark aboard Qatar Airways and spend winter for the first time as a married couple. Super exciting (gusto ko magtumbling sa saya)!
Check back here again as I update my blog with highlights (and maybe even lowlights) of our winter vacation to Denmark. You can also follow our adventure through Twitter and Instagram - #CKinDenmark