SCHENGEN VISA via GREEK EMBASSY: Requirements & Application Process for Filipinos

This post is about how to apply for a Schengen Visa via the Embassy of Greece in Manila for the purpose of tourism. You’ll find the list of requirements and detailed information about the application process from securing a schedule to the actual interview. If you’re applying as a worker or as a seafarer, I’m afraid this post isn’t for you.

Greece just got closer to the Philippines.

Earlier this year, low-cost carrier Scoot, a Singapore Airlines subsidiary, had their inaugural flight to Athens from Changi Airport. And because Scoot also directly connects Singapore to many Philippine destinations, this new route opens another avenue for Filipinos to reach Europe much more easily and more affordably.

     

We know that because in a few days, we will be flying to Athens via Scoot too! An economy seat on Scoot’s flights to Athens can be availed of for as low as P11,501.32 from Manila, P11,900.32 from Cebu, P12,001.32 from Clark, and P12,501.32 from Kalibo.

This post is brought to you by Scoot. Scoot flies to Athens from Manila (via Singapore) 4X weekly.
But because Greece is part of the so-called Schengen Zone, Philippine passport holders will need to secure a Schengen Visa first. It is a travel document that will allow you to enter any of the 26 European states that are part of the Schengen Agreement, including Greece.

If you’re flying to Greece and you’re also planning on visiting any of the Schengen countries, you only need one visa. You don’t need to apply for each of the countries in your itinerary individually.

For more information about the Schengen Visa, please read this post: Schengen Visa for Filipinos

 

When to Apply at the Embassy of Greece

The Greek Embassy in Manila also processes applications on behalf of the Portuguese government, so this post also applies if you’re traveling to Portugal.

Apply at the Greek Embassy only if ANY of the items below is true:

  • You’re going to Greece ONLY or Portugal ONLY and will not visit any other country.
  • You will visit two or more Schengen countries but you will stay the longest in Greece or Portugal.
  • You will visit two or more Schengen countries but the main purpose of your trip is in Greece or Portugal. (Example: you will attend a conference in Greece but you plan on going out to other Schengen countries while you’re there.)
  • You will stay in multiple Schengen countries for exactly the same number of days, but Greece or Portugal is your point of entry (first in your itinerary).

If you’re sure that the Greek Embassy is the right place to lodge your application, it’s time to get started. Here’s how to apply, as we experienced first-hand.

 

What are the Greece Schengen Visa Requirements?

  1. Accomplished requirements checklist. You will find it here.
  2. Application form. Duly accomplished. Typewritten (NOT handwritten). Download it here.
  3. Valid Passport. Must have at least 6 months validity (at the time of departure). Must have at least 2 free adjacent pages. Must have no existing VALID Schengen visa.
  4. All Previous Passports. Yep, you have to submit even the old ones. In case of lost or destroyed passports, an Affidavit of Loss must also be submitted.
  5. One (1) recent passport-size photo. White background. Must be pasted on the application form.
  6. Proof of Financial Means
    Bank Certificate, indicating the remaining balance and average daily balance (ADB) for the past 6 months. Must be addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Greece.

    Bank Statement covering the past 6 months.

    Original Passbook (bank book).

  7. Flight reservations including flights within Schengen area. The document must have Passenger Registration Number (or reservation number). Your departure date must be at least 15 days after you submit your requirements to the embassy. To avoid wasting money, DO NOT PURCHASE TICKETS until your visa is approved. You just need to reserve. Find a travel agency that can reserve flights for you. More information here: How to Get Flight Reservations
  8. Proof of Will to Return

    Property titles, if you have some. Land titles, Car registration certificates, and Deeds of Sale are all accepted.

    Proof of family ties in the Philippines, such as marriage certificate.

    Other Proof of Will to Return, such as employment contract and SSS contributions (if relevant).

  9. Proof of Employment.
    For employees, a Certificate of Employment indicating the salary level and authorizing leave of absence. Must be addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy.
    For self-employed, business registration documents, latest income tax return (ITR) form, and business financial statement.
    For students, current or latest certificate of enrollment and a letter authorizing the absence.
  10. If travelling with spouse and/or children, NSO-certified marriage contract and NSO birth certificates of children.

  11. If traveling as a tourist
    Confirmed hotel reservations. Must cover your travel dates in full.

    Detailed travel itinerary. This is very important! See my sample itinerary below.

  12. If invited by someone in Greece
    – Proof of relationship (marriage certificate/birth certificate)
    – photocopy of the inviting party’s passport’s bio page and/or inviter’s travel history in case of non-formalized relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend)
    – a signed original Letter of Invitation and Guarantee. Must be addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy. Must state guarantee of repatriation and coverage of travel, accommodation and medical expenses.
    – if staying at a hotel, proof of hotel reservation.
    – solemn declaration (“Υπεύθυνη Δήλωση”) with authenticated signature, if the inviting person is a Greek national. (The newest list of requirements posted on the Greek embassy website does not include this one anymore. But it might help your case if you secure this one too.)
  13. If minor
    – Joint affidavit of both parents or legal guardians granting consent
    – Photocopies of the passports of both parents or legal guardians
    – Birth certificate of the minor. Must be recent, original, and issued by NSO/PSA.
    – DSWD Clearance, if the minor is not traveling with either parent or legal guardian
    – Recent certificate of enrollment
    – Letter authorizing the student’s absence from school
  14. Travel insurance. Minimum coverage of €30,000. Must be purchased from an internationally recognized company and must cover the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen zone.
  15. One set of photocopies of all documents including photocopies of all pages on current and previous passports that have visas or stamps.

Below is a sample Detailed Itinerary. Sample only.

You can get FLIGHT RESERVATIONS, HOTEL RESERVATIONS, and TRAVEL INSURANCE online! We got in touch with Gazelle Travel and Tours, a DTI-registered DOT-accredited travel agency so they could easily offer these services to our readers.

For the rates and more info, read: FLIGHTS AND HOTEL RESERVATIONS

Read: FLIGHTS AND HOTEL RESERVATIONS

 

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How to Apply for a Greek Schengen Visa

1. Schedule an appointment by email.

There is only one way you can request for an appointment: by email. You can’t simply walk in or call the embassy. I repeat, it has to be done by email.

The email address is visa.man@mfa.gr.

You have to strictly follow a specific template depending on whether you’re applying individually or as a group. You will find the format here:

———————————–
PREFERRED DATE: {DD MONTH YEAR}
Name of Applicant: {LAST NAME, FIRST NAME}
Passport No:
Contact Tel.:
Type of Visa: {SCHENGEN/SHORT TERM or NATIONAL/LONG TERM}
Main Country of Destination:
Expected Date of Departure: {DD MONTH YEAR}
———————————–

Some important notes:

  • Once they receive your request, you will get an acknowledgment reply within the next 24 working hours.
  • If you need to change anything, you may email them at least 24 working hours before your appointment date.
  • If you need to cancel or reschedule, you may do so by emailing at least 2 working days before the schedule given to you. But you will need to follow another template, which can be found on the same webpage I indicated above.
  • That email address is only for visa appointment only. Don’t send your inquiries or other messages to that address.

Actually, items #1 (schedule) and #2 (requirements) of this process are interchangeable. But we choose to prioritize the scheduling because sometimes, the earliest available slot is over a month away. For example, in our case, we emailed in October 25-ish and the earliest free slot was in late November. Thankfully, two earlier slots opened and we were asked by the Embassy if we wanted to take them. We did! Lucky, lucky!

 

 

2. Complete the Schengen Visa requirements.

While we were waiting for our appointment date, we gathered all the required documents as listed above.

Some important notes.

  • The documents must be arranged in the same order as the list above. Even the photocopies of your stamps and visas must be in the same order as they appear on your passports.
  • Place all the requirements in a long brown envelope. Write your last name, first name and contact
    number in bold capital letters on the upper left corner of the envelope.
  • The original copies will be returned to you after the interview on the same day of application.

3. Submit the requirements at the Embassy of Greece.

On the day of the appointment, submit the requirements in person. Personal appearance is mandatory because you will be interviewed by the consul. Failure to show up means forfeiture of your appointment slot.

The address of the Embassy of Greece is this:

EMBASSY OF GREECE
Unit 701 7F SEDCCO I Building
Corner Rada and Legazpi Streets, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1229

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Show up at the lobby of the building 5 minutes before your schedule. This gives you time to register, deposit your ID, and climb to the 7th floor. If you arrive earlier, the guard will not let you in until 5 minutes before your schedule.
  2. Once inside the Consular Office, approach the desk right away to register. You will have to write down your name and sign the reg sheet. This sheet also determines who gets entertained first. After registration, take a seat.
  3. Once your name is called, submit your documents. Again, they must be in the same order as the checklist and must be in a long brown envelope. If they have questions, answer promptly and respectfully. You will be asked to take a seat as they check your docs.
  4. Once they see that your docs are complete, you will be called again. You will be given a deposit slip. Fill it out with the provided details. (It’s also displayed on the corkboard in one corner of the room.)
  5. Pay the visa fee at the BDO Branch in the opposite building. Visa fee is 60 EURO, but you will be paying this in pesos. (When I applied, it was P3600.) There should be four copies of the transaction slip. One will be left with the bank, two will be submitted to the embassy, and the final copy is yours to keep.
  6. Go back to the Embassy and submit your deposit slips.
  7. You will be called again to take your biometrics (photo and fingerprints). After that, wait for your interview.
  8. You will be called for the interview. The interview is done in a separate room, away from other applicants. If you apply as a group, there’s a chance you will be interviewed together, but not always. You will be asked about why you will be traveling and whom you will be traveling with. You will be asked about the details of your itinerary so make sure you know it by heart. The interview is short and straightforward. Be confident when you answer. Don’t be nervous. The Embassy is strict and firm, but they are very respectful and pleasant.

After the interview, you may still be required to submit more documents if they feel that your pile is insufficient.

That’s about it!

 

4. Claim your passport and visa.

The actual processing of the visa takes 3-5 days. Our appointment was on November 2, but our visa was issued on November 6, just 4 days after.

However, you must claim your passport at least 14 DAYS after your submission date. We were told though that you can actually request for an earlier release of visa.

No need for an appointment when claiming. Just show up at the embassy Monday-Friday, 1pm-2pm. Just register at the lobby of the building, go to the consular office, register at the window, and wait for your name to be called. Claiming is fast and easy.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the whole Greece Visa Application process take?

Hard to tell because it really depends on how early you can schedule for a visa appointment. The season is a big factor too. Some months are just busier than others. In my case, the whole thing — from scheduling to claiming — took almost a month.

Here’s my visa application timeline.

October 26: We requested for an appointment via email. We were told that the earliest slot is on November 29. Later, we were told that 2 slots for November 2 freed up. We replied that we would take it.

November 2: Our visa appointment date. Submission of docs to payment to interview took a couple of hours.

November 6: Our visa was issued.

November 15: Our passport/visa was ready to be picked up. But we weren’t in Manila at the time so we had to claim it a week later.

November 21: We claimed our passport and visa. Took 15 minutes.

If we were able to claim our passport on the day it was ready, the whole process would have lasted only 20 days (15 working days).

 

How long is the validity of the Schengen Visa?

Depends on the itinerary you submit. The Embassy will decide based on your itinerary so take it seriously. Don’t make dummy itineraries. Make sure it’s really your plan.

I submitted an 11-day itinerary and I was allowed to stay for 11 days, no more, no less. The visa is valid for 15 days, though. But the each stay should last no more than 11 days.

 

Should I apply for a single-, double-, or multiple-entry visa?

Again, it depends on your itinerary and flight reservations. If your itinerary/flight reservations entail going out of the Schengen area once and coming back, then apply for a double-entry visa. If you will be flying our of the Schengen area multiple times, then go for the multiple entry visa.

Please take into consideration all your connecting flights. For example, if aside from Greece you will also be visiting Malta (which is a Schengen state) but you’re flying via Istanbul (which is outside Schengen), you will need to count that as “going out” of the zone.

Don’t apply for a multiple-entry visa if you intend to stay in Greece the whole time. There is no need for your visa to be multiple and will probably just raise more questions.

 

How much money should I have in the bank to get approved?

No one knows exactly. But remember this: You will be submitting hotel reservations (that you haven’t paid for yet) and a detailed day-to-day itinerary. So make sure that your bank has enough funds to cover the cost of the flights you submitted and the EUR 60 per day of your stay.

What’s the EUR 60 per stay? Think of it as your pocket money. Some embassies require EUR 45 per day, some EUR50, some E55. To be on the safe side, use EUR60 per day.

 

What are the reasons why my Schengen visa application would be denied?

This applies not just to the Greek Embassy but also other Schengen embassies:

  • You can’t prove that you intend to return to the Philippines. You probably don’t have a stable job at this point, newly employed, or newly resigned, and it’s giving the impression that you plan on staying longer than your declared duration.
  • You can’t prove that you can financially afford this trip. You or your sponsor may not be in a good financial standing.
  • You seem to not know the details of your trip. You may have appeared as though you’re not really doing what you declared you would be doing, which may raise some red flags.
  • Your purpose in Greece or Europe is unclear or dubious. This is why it is best to be specific when you’re detailing the reasons for your visit.

 

What does a Greek Schengen Visa look like?

Like this:

Do I really need plane tickets before applying? What if I get denied? Sayang the pera.

Nope! Like I said before, you don’t need to purchase flight tickets. What you need are “flight reservations.” It’s not the same as actual tickets. “Reservations” are just proof that you have blocked these plane seats, and you can cancel these in case your application is denied. Some airlines can hold the booking for you.

Travel agencies can also issue flight reservations. If you don’t have time to go to a travel agency, you can have it reserved online. When we apply for hard-to-get visas like Canada and Schengen, we hire Gazelle Travel and Tours, a DTI-registered and DOT-accredited agency. We created a form here so you can contact them completely ONLINE:

MORE INFO: Flight and Hotel Reservations

 
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For more Schengen Visa Frequently Asked Questions, check out this post: Schengen Visa for Filipinos

This article is based on my own Schengen Visa application (Tourist) via the Embassy of Greece, so if you have inquiries about anything outside my personal experience, I’m afraid I won’t be of hell. However, feel free to post questions in the comments section below because some of our readers might know better.

Also, this post is accurate at the time of writing and we try to keep it updated. But please double check with the website of the Greek Embassy to make sure that this list and process are still up to date.


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Comments

  1. wandering_gitana says:

    hello,

    where did u get the travel insurance?
    also, do you think being a solo female traveler will affect my grant of visa? i have enough funds tho…

  2. CANDY says:

    hello po. good day. where can i find the template to request change for appointment? can i request po in my email. thank you in advance po.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Candy, in our case, we just replied to their email and they accommodated naman.

      According to their website din, just reply to their confirmation email explaining that you want to change it to a new date. Make sure you mention the new date you want to book.

  3. Jeff says:

    GoodDay po you said in your blog .. Nov 2 was ur Interview … Then Nov.6 you found out was release … how do you know ur Visa was Release that so Early . THANKS….. Jeff

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      The date of issue was written on the visa. To clarify, that is not the date of release, that’s the date the visa was issued. They released the passport exactly 14 days after the interview.

      • Jeff says:

        Ah Okay , Thanks 🙂 so malalaman ko nalang kung kailan ini-ssued once we Pick up , so 3 to 4 days lng ung process nila pero ung realising is would run 2 weeks. But this time they advice applicants only 7working Days to release the passport… 8 to 9 days to for us to be sure … Thanks Again 🙂

  4. Jeff says:

    Ah Okay , Thanks 🙂 so malalaman ko nalang kung kailan ini-ssued once we Pick up , so 3 to 4 days lng ung process nila pero ung realising is would run 2 weeks. But this time they advice applicants only 7working Days to release the passport… 8 to 9 days to for us to be sure … Thanks Again 🙂

  5. farah says:

    hi po, if invited by someone do i need to provide bank statements? or the other party bank statement? thank you

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Yep, you still need to provide yours. And the inviter must provide the ff:

      – photocopy of the inviting party’s passport/ID
      – a signed original invitation letter. Must be addressed to the Consular Section of the Embassy. Must state guarantee of repatriation and coverage of travel, accommodation and medical expenses.
      – solemn declaration (“Υπεύθυνη Δήλωση”) with authenticated signature, if the inviting person is a Greek national

  6. AROTRIS says:

    I’m a Greek, living in Greece and I want a help, if it’s possible.
    As it’s not totally clear, in Greek Embassy’s list about the requirements and also in the similar list in this site here, as indeed it’s the same…
    In the case of invitating a Philippine citizen by a Greek, about the accommodation, it must be only at the place of the person who invites, only in a booked place by rental, such a hotel or a pansion room, could be the one or the other choice?
    Perhaps, as being the provider and inviter in this case, do I have the absolut right to take any choice without any more declaration?
    And in case of rental room, doesn’t it affect or added in the total account and budget of the invited person?
    So many questions on uncleared written requirements at the lists
    As an inviter, can I make any choice free?
    Please help, because we’ve been stuck on it, due to the so many different and confused information all around, in order to be more sure that the demand for tourist visa by an invitation, will have positive end.
    Thanks in advance!!!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Arotris,

      Apparently, the Greek Embassy has very recently updated the list of documents so I’m resending my reply with edits.

      It is the INVITER/GUARANTOR that has to provide these requirements and give those to the person you are inviting so they can submit to the embassy.

      And yes, as the inviter, you are free to choose the accommodations. But you need to express that you will shoulder the accommodations (among others).
      But make sure you include your personal details.

      However, if the applicant will be staying at a hotel and you will pay for it, you will need to provide proof of hotel reservation too.

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