Posted by : Ruby Escalona Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In my last visa post, I delve into the Chinese and the Korean visa applications. This time, I'll tell you how I applied for my Schengen visa application last year when I went to Germany, Austria & Slovakia.

Neuschwanstein Lake
Me in a lake near Neuschwanstein
Our itinerary was as follows:
Arrive Germany, spend 5 days
Austria, spend 3 days
Slovakia, spend 5 days

The Schengen visa stipulates that you apply for the visa on either 1) the country you're spending the longest time in, or 2) if spending an equal amount of time in different countries, apply at the first point of entry, which in my case was Germany.

NOTE: The German embassy in Miami does not accept walk in applicants. You have to schedule a visa interview on their website in advance.

Here are the requirements I had to give:
  1. Filled out visitor visa application form 
  2. Passport Photo
  3. Roundtrip airline tickets (USA to Schengen countries & back)
  4. Hotel Reservations (for Germany & Austria)
  5. A letter from Peter's aunt inviting me to Slovakia with her home address & details 
  6. Proof of income (3 months of bank statements, both from my checking & savings account here in the US as well as three months of payslips from the company I'm working for)
  7. Employment letter (with annual salary) 
  8. Insurance covering the Schengen area + Switzerland from AXA Schengen covering at least $50,000 worth of incidentals if something were to happen to me. 
  9. Photocopy of my US resident visa (I don't have a green card)  
 Not that much, right?
In Strecno Castle near Martin, Slovakia
 I initially tried to apply for a multiple entry visa, and asked me why I need it. I told the consul I am going back to the Schengen area next year for the Euros in France, but the consul told me that they do not grant multiple entry visas for first time applicants. She did tell me that I can just mail my application to France if they have my records in the database. Hopefully they still have it.

So, what were the questions I was asked:
  1. Where do I work?
  2. How many days are you spending in each country? It is imperative that you know your itinerary by heart. No shuffling through papers, you must be very prepared for this interview. 
  3. Is Slovakia included in the Schengen Treaty? Yes.
  4. Then she asked for all my documents in the order she asked for.
When all my documents were in order after her review, I gave the fee (in cash, including the shipping fee from Miami to Jacksonville as we won't be able to get the passport in person).

Then I'm done, easy peasy, I'm in and out within 15 minutes! My visa was approved and I should get it in the mail within 3 days!

Things to note:
  1. Make sure you have complete requirements with you. They had me retake a photo because the AAA passport photo I had was not close enough. Good thing there was a CVS a block away from the embassy and I had my photo taken in no time. 
  2. Make sure you have more than enough money in cash when you go to the embassy. They do not take debit or credit cards. 
  3. Look presentable! 
  4. Make sure you have all the documents in order. In my case, I made sure everything was in place because there is no way I'll drive another 10 hours just to go back to Jacksonville to Miami (Well, Peter was doing most of the driving but we don't want to spend the extra money on gas & food and the time getting there anymore). I quadruple checked everything to make sure I had it and I made backups in my gmail account just in case I need to get anything.
So, that's my easy breasy Schengen Visa application in Miami. My next visa application will be May 2016, for my Euro 2016 trip in July. Fingers crossed I get a multiple entry one!

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