Monday, January 26, 2009

A Visit to the Deutsche Botschaft Tokyo

We woke up early today and went to Deutsche Botschaft (German Embassy) in Tokyo to process for our Schengen VISA. I may have mentioned in some of my posts that the family will be moving there sometime this year and we are going there for a week for an Information trip this February.

It was still early when we got there and so we had time to refresh. At eight o' clock, we were ushered into the embassy after passing through security checks, two heavy steel gates, and an xray. Tight eh?

The Embassy was very quiet... and Sam was the only one making some noise. Then our number was called and hubby handed over our documents. The officer who entertained us was a very kind Japanese woman who spoke very good English. She went through our documents and it turned out both my and hubby's faces in our VISA photos are quite small for their standards so we had to have our photos retaken at a photo shop nearby. So we got out again and went to the photo shop. After 10 minutes, our photos were ready and we headed back to the Embassy. We were finished by 10. It was actually fast really, if only our photos met their standards. And there was no stress at all because there were no long lines, people were well-seated and the waiting area was neat as a pin.

So what is a shengen visa? As per definition:
A Schengen Visa is valid for the member states of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland (since Dec. 2008) and Sweden. A Schengen Visa issued by an embassy or consulate of the above countries allows the holder to move freely in all these countries for a short term tourist, business or private visit (maximum 90 days within a period of 6 months). Please note that holders of Schengen Visas are still subject to immigration control and are not guaranteed entry into any of the Schengen countries, even though they may hold a valid visa for these countries.

To get a Schengen VISA, you will need the following original documents in English or German:
  • Filled-up application form (available at embassy)
  • Parents' declaration of consent for travel (for minors traveling alone), duly certified and a copy of their passports (valid 3 months longer than the departure date from the Schengen area)
  • Re-entry permit to Japan (valid 3 months beyond the departure date from the Schengen area) attached in the current valid passport
  • Visa for the final/onward destination (applies for transit visas only)
  • Alien Registration Card
  • one colored passport photograph (the photograph must be less than 6 months old, height 47 mm, width 36 mm with the head height 32-36 mm, taken with a plain light-coloured background)
  • Travel insurance covering Europe and valid for the duration of the visa. Minimum coverage of 30,000 € for each item in case of accident, illness, including travel home
  • Reservation for travel tickets
  • If you are a student, student certificate
  • If going on a business trip, job letter, including date of employment, exact content of job, attestation of salary and duration of annual vacation if you are working in Japan
  • If you are the owner of a company: original of commercial registration and your last income tax payment receipt
  • If you are a housewife: job letter of your husband
Additional requirements include:
For Tourist/Private/Transit visit:
  • Hotel reservation or invitation from the host with exact address and housing arrangements
  • Proof of funds, i.e. Bank Statement, Bank Book showing the last six months
  • In case you are traveling as a tourist or visiting your family, relatives or friends in Germany, you need a guarantee letter (Verpflichtungserklärung) from them. This gurantee letter can be obtained from and get legalized by the local Foreigners Office (Auslaenderbehoerde)
Business/Conference visit:
  • Invitation letter from your partner company confirming the duration and purpose of the visit
Statement of your employer certifying the purpose of the visit

Airport transit visa:
  • Travel insurance is not required
A processing fee of 60€ per applicant is required. Processing fees for children applicants up to six years old are exempted from paying the 60€ fee.

We were told to wait for about 14 days before our VISA will be released. They will just inform us by post of the result of our application. And until then, I'll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed, praying and hoping that all will go well.

1 comment:

shals said...

halu ka! our wedding will be at sunrise so early morning jud. hehe. to meet the first day of spring. char. gamay ra man kaayo guests so basin naa lang av presentation. hay naku. i dont know how to start pa jud. charlie gave me the go-signal already to do what i want. pero murag la pa nag sink-in. haha!

ill have to make it a Spring Theme. so people can come in any color!

ibog ko sa germany!!!!!!!!

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