Where To Apply For A Schengen Short-Stay Visa


Where to Apply for a Schengen Short-Stay Visa

Lodging an application for a Schengen visafor purposes of travel and leisurecan be an excruciating process, especially if you take into account the mounds of documents and requirements we, Filipinos, need to prepare. One of the first hurdles in securing a Schengen visa is determining where to pass your application.  

A Schengen short-stay visa allows entry to 26 states of the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days. Basically, one visa allows you to freely visit all the countries within the Schengen Region, without having to go through internal border controls. Currently, there are 26 European Union countries where you can use the Schengen visa. However, it is important not to confuse the Schengen Area with the European Union (EU), although most of the Schengen countries are in the EU.

  1.  Austria
  2.  Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland*
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia 
  14. Liechtenstein*
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway*
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland*
*Non-EU


Schengen Region Map
The Schengen Region. Photo Source.

So, among these 26 Schengen states, where do I lodge my application, you may ask? Certain rules have been set to determine which embassy or consulate you need to submit your application to—this is to ensure that the work load and traffic is distributed to all member states.

SCENARIO 1

If you are only visiting one (1) Schengen state, then the visa application must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of that particular country.

Sample Scenario A: Grace is going to Europe for a 15-day tour of Italy then she’ll go back home. Thus, Grace has to apply for the Schengen short-stay visa at the Italian Embassy.

Sample Scenario B: Marie is on a round-the-world trip! She’s going to Amsterdam just for five days before catching her flight to South Africa. This means Marie will lodge her Schengen visa application at The Netherlands Embassy.

SCENARIO 2

If you are visiting several (read: more than ONE) Schengen states, the visa application must be submitted at the Embassy/Consulate of the country which is your main destination, depending on the length and purpose of your stay.

Sample Scenario A: Nina and her friends are planning a EuroTrip. They have decided to visit Paris for 5 days, Amsterdam for 3 days, Brussels for 2 days, and Berlin for 8 days. Therefore, their visa application should be through the German Embassy.

Sample Scenario B: Anthony will be in Florence for 6 days and will be in Vienna for 10 days. He will lodge his application at the Austrian Embassy.  

SCENARIO 3

If you are visiting several (read: more than ONE) Schengen states and you intend to spend an equal number of days (length of travel) in all of these countries, then you need to secure your visa through the Embassy/Consulate of the member state which is your first port/point of entry.

Sample Scenario: Pia will have a month-long trip around Europe where she will spend 10 days in Sweden, 10 days in Denmark, and 10 days in France. She’ll be flying from Manila to Paris so she will apply for her Schengen visa at the French Embassy.

SCENARIO 4

If the Schengen state where you need to apply does not have an Embassy/Consulate in your country, the visa may be issued by representation by the Embassy/Consulate of the member state that represents the interests of that particular Schengen country.

Sample Scenario: Randy will travel to Slovakia for 15 days but the Slovak Republic does not have an Embassy/Consulate in Manila where Randy resides. Currently, the Czech Republic represents the Slovak Republic in evaluating applications and issuing Schengen short-stay visas in the Philippines. Randy needs to submit his application to the Czech Republic Embassy in Manila.


There you have it. Determining where to apply for a Schengen short-stay visa is dependent on the circumstances and itinerary of your trip. You also have to consider that some Schengen member states are notorious for longer processing times (which could take weeks, even months) and lower approval rate.

Personally, for our recent trip to Europe, we decided to lodge our application before the Czech Republic Embassy in Manila because we were staying longer in Prague. I’ve also read that since they have fewer applicants compared to other famous Schengen states, they actually have a higher visa approval rate. 

While this is true in our case and those that I’ve read (they were all approved), the Czech Republic Embassy in Manila only issues the exact duration for your trip. So if you put in your itinerary that you are staying in the Schengen Area for 15 days, then they will just award you with 15 days—no more and no less. They also have one of the faster processing schedules—provided that they are satisfied with your requirements and visa interview, you can expect a result in 5 to 15 days. We were able to get our approved Schengen short-stay visa after 7 days.

As a final note, once you have defined which Embassy/Consulate you need to apply to, visit their websites (you may click on the links above) and familiarize yourself with their contact number, address, operating hours, general information on the visa application process, and list of requirements. It is best and recommended to contact them via email or phone for any concerns, clarifications, or questions about the process of securing a Schengen short-stay visa. 

Here's to securing that much-coveted visa! Happy planning!

Have you applied for a Schengen short-stay visa? Where did you lodge your application? Share your experience by leaving a comment below! Follow my Eurotrip adventure on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook by searching for the hashtags #GirlChasingSunshine and #Europamore. Thank you for dropping by! :)

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