Thursday, January 19, 2012

Visa Fee Waive-able: True or False?

Good news to those who married in the Philippines with their German spouse and is now applying for a Family Reunion Visa: It's confirmed! The visa fee of 60 euro equivalent (roughly around 3,500php + depending on the current exchange rate) will be waived. Yes, they will not ask you to pay this anymore. This is our privilege being married to a German national. Isn't that cool?

First week after the Interview

It's such a big question mark in our head what exactly happen after your interview in the German Embassy. What to do and what to expect?

Our documents are being send by batch to Germany. Expect it to arrive there (the city where you are planning to reside soon) in 2 weeks. On the first week, the Alien Office of your German partner will send them a letter informing them of your visa application and will be asking in turn some of their documents. They will be given around 2 weeks deadline to complete and submit the documents. Per my husband, there is nothing extraordinary from their request, so there is nothing to worry about. My husband did ask me to send him a scanned copy of our Marriage License & CEMAR (Certificate of Marriage). It was a good thing I had a copy with me.

This is all for now. I will keep you guys posted. Good luck!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Interview at the German Embassy Manila

There are 2 German Embassy in the Philippines: One in Cebu while the other one in Manila specifically in Makati City. And from time to time, the good Consul have appointment trips to Davao. However, all visa transactions are redirected to the main office which is in Manila.

So, after your Visa Appointment experience, the other things you need to do are:
-- plan/schedule your trip to the Embassy carefully.
-- book your plane ticket (if applicable)
-- book your accommodation (if applicable)
-- photocopy your documents as instructed from the website.

Here are some pointers that you might find useful:

1. Appointment time
-- Do not underestimate the traffic of Manila.
-- Do not be late or they will forfeit your appointment and will advise you to call the call center to set for another appointment.
-- They will only allow you to enter the German Embassy if you are there before 30 minutes but not more than your appointment time. If you are too early, they will ask you to come back later as no loitering allowed in that floor. But hey, better already in that building than stuck somewhere else in traffic.

2. Complete documents please
-- You read it on their website, heard it from your friends and they are all true: they will only accept/process your documents if they are complete. I did not see any photocopier during my trip there, so please, have them photocopied before hand as specified in their website.
-- Organize your documents in a plastic envelope or folder as they will ask to leave your other stuffs behind.
-- If you have questions, you can write it down and ask the representative about it after the interview.

3. You represent yourself
-- You cannot bring your friends or family with you inside the 25th floor of the RCBC building. There is a smoking area which doubled as a waiting area which they can go to at the ground floor. Unfortunately, there was no other option that I saw during my trip there.
-- Their representatives are fluent in German, English and Tagalog. So, be yourself and choose the language where you are most comfortable with.

4. Items beware
-- They do not allow cellphone into the Embassy. They do have a locker where you can leave it behind.
-- Do bring a pen with you for additional things you might need to sign.

You have nothing to worry about regarding questions to be ask as they are basic questions about you and your partner. They will inform you what is the next step, what to expect and what to do. So, breath easy!

Hope it helps! Good luck!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Visa Appointment

After getting your NSO certificates, your passport and other documents as required from the German Embassy, you are now ready to make an appointment. The procedure is actually listed in the website but allow me to impart my own experience.

The website wrote that they starts at 8am. I tried dialing at 7:30am and a voice mail answered me saying that no operator is available and gave their working time. I called back 3 minutes before 8am and was thrilled that the phone rang normal and no more voice mail. I was most relief that the lady behind the call can speaks Filipino. She ask me basic information similar to the application form that the Embassy will be requiring us to answer. Over all, the total bills that I needed to foot for this transaction cost me around 850php. 

My tips to save up time (and money) are:

1. Have all the documents being requested from you nearby.
-- These are your completely filled up application form, passport and the likes.

2. Have a calendar or your planner near by. 
-- This is so you can quickly check which day would your appointment land on. In case you have preferred dates for your appointment, they can check on this too but is subjected to availability.

3. Have an International phonetic alphabet list near by.
-- Just in case you have a mental block that A for Alpha, Q for Quebec or Y for Yankee ... this will save you time. Sometimes, to make sure that your name or address (or other information) are correctly spelled, you will be ask to spell it in this manner.

4. Call the Call center few minutes before starting time of work but never too early.
-- Remember what happen to me and a voice mail answered my first call? Yes, you guess it: I got charged for that. 

5. If your line got cut, do not panic!
-- Yes, this happen to me too. Mid way of our conversation, my line got cut!!! I was using a post paid cellphone sim when calling them up and can only guess that something went wrong with the signal. I simply dial again. This time I was on waiting line. I waited on until someone answered. I quickly explain that my line was cut, she just ask what's my name and went to search on their computer. Then, we continue where we left off. So, its not back to zero. 

6. Have a pen and a paper near by.
-- For your reference, they will give your unique code of your profile. You will be ask to list this down.

7. List down your questions.
-- If you have questions that is not answered by the Embassy's website, you can ask the call center representative. They will answer as much as they can and will tell you if its beyond their knowledge.

Hope it helps! A belated Happy New Year!!!