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UPDATED Nov 3, 2014 – HELPFUL LINKS: 
Italian embassy website: http://www.ambmanila.esteri.it/Ambasciata_Manila
Short term visa requirements: http://www.via.ph/viaphforms/attachments/TOURIST%20VISA%20(Short%20Term).pdf
Call Center Scheduling Info: http://www.via.ph/viaphforms/attachments/italyEmbassyCallCenter.pdf
Effective 14 November 2013, the Embassy of Italy, Manila will implement a new visa procedure in compliance to the implementation of the common EU visa policy.The new procedure is called the VIS (Visa Information System) which will involve the collection of the visa applicant’s biometric data (10-digit finger scans and digital photograph). This will require all visa applicants to make a personal appearance at the VIA Centre to submit their visa applications. 

I’ll be making a trip to Europe this summer. ^.^ I’ve already secured  my UK visa last month. Once I got it delivered, I checked on the items I already have on hand from my previous application and what I needed to submit. The last time I applied for one was last year which I posted here. I am applying at the Italian Embassy again since it’s my first entry into Europe and I will be spending more days here than the other countries I intend to visit in Europe.

blurred visa

So I called the number 63-2-892-4531 to ask if there were additional requirements since you’ll never know if anything has changed or added. The major difference from before is that they now require a Letter of Introduction. It’s a letter addressing the ambassador and introducing yourself and your purpose of travel and what you intend to do on your trip. I called the information line a few times, they usually direct me to their via.ph website for a complete list of the requirements for a Tourist visa with the document dated February 2013. These are the requirements according to their website.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL VISA APPLICANTS:

  • Valid Passport with no less than 3 months validity over the visa expiration;
  • COMPLETELY accomplished application form with one recent picture (2X2) with white background; (Please DO NOT leave any blanks in the form. Indicate “N/A” if answer is not applicable.)
  • Original and photocopy of ALL documents required for each applicant (including passport and previous visas).

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TOURIST VISA:

  1. Letter of introduction to the Embassy (document that introduces the applicant and reason for visa application. The letter should include contact numbers of the applicant)
  2. If Employed: Certificate of employment & Approved Leave of Absence
  3. If Self Employed: Business license/permits, registration and financial statement.
  4. Declaration of annual income (ITR), and approved Leave of Absence
  5. For Students: Certificate of enrolment and approved leave of absence
  6. Proof of economic means: Bank certification for dollar and peso accounts accompanied by their corresponding passbook, statements of account. If available, international credit cards, properties, land titles, etc.
  7. Birth certificate and Marriage Contract (NSO issued)
  8. Itinerary, confirmed round trip flight booking and hotel vouchers or hotel booking under the name of the traveler.
  9. A letter of invitation addressed to the Embassy, (format of this letter may be secured at the Italian Embassy or downloaded from http://www.ambmanila.esteri.it ), in case the traveler will stay in a friend’s or relative’s residence. The invitation may be made by an Italian national or a foreign resident legally staying in Italy. A document of identity or permit of stay should accompany the letter of invitation.
  10. For ALL minors: NSO birth certificate, affidavit of Support and Consent from BOTH parents. In addition, a DSWD clearance for minors not traveling with parents.
  11. Travel insurance with a coverage of at least 30,000 euros (with 15 days allowance beyond the travel period) obtained only from Schengen accredited insurance companies in the Philippines. (Please refer to the current list of Schengen accredited insurance companies in the Phils)
  12. If not Filipino citizen the applicant needs to show proof of permanent residency in the Philippines (ACR).
  13. Visa Processing Fee + Service Fee in form of Manager’s check, payable to “PIASI”

FOOTNOTE:

IMPORTANT
• The above list of requirements is general in nature. The Embassy Consul may require other additional documents upon evaluation of your file and the documents you have submitted. Failure to submit the required documents may result to the refusal of your application.
• Only visa applications whose intended date of travel is within three (3) months from the time of application will be
accepted.

MY NOTES:

1. I introduced myself and what I do. I also indicated the countries I’ve traveled to so far, my purpose for travelling and my contact information.
3. I only submitted notarized copies of my business documents since I thought I would be needing them at the BIR because of the turnover of the receipts that they are currently implementing.
4. I submitted my 2012 ITR
6. I submitted original bank statements, an original bank book but for a couple of the bank books, I just submitted notarized copies since I use them for business purposes.
7. I almost panicked about this since I thought that I still had a recent copy from my Canadian visa application which they did not return. Good thing I have an older NSO issued copy of my birth certificate in one of my folders. I just quickly ordered one at the nearest SM which takes about 10 days just in case they ask for a more recent one.
8. I just printed out my itinerary and hotel bookings and airline reservations.
9. Didn’t have an invite, so did not need this one.
11. I got mine from Bluecross since you can get one online. I checked most of the insurance companies and they have the most accessible website. There’s another one called Paramount Insurance and I think you can also get one online but when I was on payment, I didn’t see a secure site like the https when I was ready to put in my credit card details so I skipped it. I got the Europlan from Bluecross and you would need to adjust your date for an additional 15 days since that is required now. It wasn’t a requirement last year. It means it became more expensive. :P
13. I got mine from BDO. Make sure to ask what the rate is when you call their information line and how long that rate will stand. Usually it’s for a month or two.

SCHEDULING THE PICK UP OF DOCUMENTS

You may contact the PIASI Call Center through the following numbers:

• 1909-101-2200 using PLDT and NDD;
• 1903-101-2200 using BAYANTEL;
• 1900-101-2200 using GLOBE.

They give you instructions on what to put on the brown envelope, it was still the same as last year.

You don’t need to pay the courier like the previous year since it’s already included in the application fee.

INTERVIEW

The Italian Embassy do not actually usually do interviews unless they have questions they need answered, they would call you up for a scheduled interview. My previous two applications didn’t need one but this time, I got called for an interview. About two weeks into my application, I got a call and they were asking which day I would be available to come to the embassy and of course I was surprised. I had to think if I had anything on that day. I decided on the soonest one which was the next day. I was scheduled for 12pm-1pm. I was given their address which was: 6/F Zeta II Bldg, 191 Salcedo Street Legaspi Village, Makati City Metro Manila. I was there around 11:30. I went up on the 6th floor and asked the guard, my name was there on a list. There were only 2 names on the list. I was given a paper to fill up. Then it took about 1 hour or 1.5 hour before I was called to the window. Then I was asked why I’m staying there longer, which was basically the issue they had with my application. I told them that I was visiting family and friends in different parts of Europe. July and August are my slowest months for the year in my business since it’s the rainy season and I may not have the opportunity to do this again. I need to get married in the next few years. Haha. I was asked to write it in paper. Basically, I was there for about 3 hours. I was called at least 4 times to the window and I was asked different questions which I just normally answered. My frame of mind the whole time is that: it’s really in their discretion to approve me or not. I have no control over their judgement. What I have control of is to answer whatever questions they have the best I can truthfully. At least they didn’t outright deny my application for a visa. They gave me a chance to answer the questions that they had. It would be such a shame to be in the UK and not be able to go anywhere else in Europe if my application is denied since I’m already in the area.” Finally, after 3 long hours, one of the consul told me that they will pass it to their outsourcer? I was like, what? He said PIASI. I’m like, oh okay Thank you sir. I’m actually not sure at this point if I was approved or denied since they will deliver my documents anyway through PIASI approved or not. :D

DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS

The Manong from 2Go who picked up my documents was actually the same person who delivered them so he texted me if I was at home since he was going to deliver something. This was about 5 days after the interview. I’m so happy I got it! Hello Europe!

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