VFS Global opens Schengen Visa Application Centre in Manila
July 16, 2024
Travel

VFS Global opens Joint Schengen Visa Application Centre in Manila

Serving 10 European countries

VFS Global has opened a Joint Schengen Visa Application Centre in Manila, Philippines, to serve Philippine passport holders and foreigners based in the Asian nation who wish to apply for visas to 10 specific European countries in the Schengen Area.

The Manila centre only processes visa applications for Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

VFS Global, the Dubai-based service provider for managing visa applications on behalf of governments and diplomatic missions, unveiled the new centre on June 27, 2024.

Manila
Philippine passport holders must apply for an online appointment at the new Joint Schengen Visa Application Centre in Manila before submitting their Schengen visa application. Credit: Erica Jahn

The inauguration ceremony was graced by Juha Pyykkö, the Ambassador of Finland to the Philippines, Michael Kutzner from the German Embassy in Manila, and other diplomatic representatives from Hungary, Switzerland, Belgium, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Greece.

VFS Global only manages front-end administrative tasks such as collecting visa application forms and biometric data of those applying for a Schengen visa at the Manila centre. The decision to grant or refuse a visa rests solely with a relevant embassy or consulate in the Philippines.

Online appointment first

Applicants seeking visas to any of the 10 countries mentioned must first schedule an online appointment. The centre also offers optional paid services, including ‘Visa At Your Doorstep’, ‘Premium Lounge’ for personalised service, ‘Prime Time’ submissions beyond regular hours, and additional assistance such as form-filling, SMS alerts, and courier services.

Manila
As of July 7, 2024, there are 32 Schengen Area countries in Europe. Credit: Arnold Pinto

Schengen visa applicants are cautioned against fraudulent activities and are urged to use only the official VFS Global website to book appointments at the Manila centre.

Kaushik Ghosh, Head – Australasia at VFS Global, expressed enthusiasm about the centre’s opening, highlighting the company’s commitment to providing a streamlined visa application experience for Philippine passport holders and foreigners based in the Philippines.

“Applying for a visa is one of the first steps to international travel, and we look forward to making it smooth and convenient for our travellers,” he said.

32 Schengen countries

As of July 7, 2024, the 32 Schengen Area countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Featured image: Arriving passengers queue up at the immigration counters at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain. Spain is a member of the Schengen Area. Credit: Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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