I.T.A.L.Y.

Before deciding to write this blog, I have seen several other similar blogs regarding Shengen Visa application for travel to Italy. Mine would be not different other than being specific that I am a Filipino national residing in Saudi Arabia, applying for Schengen Visa at the Italian Consulate in Jeddah, together with my wife and two kids. Our intended travel is November 2 to 9, 2011 coinciding the Hajj Eid Holidays. This is a birthday treat for Sophie as well, celebrating her 6th birthday.

Background: We have been planning this trip since last year, and actually our preferred destination is Paris, France. We were told that it is easier to get a visa at French Embassy/Consulate than any other Schengen member states. Unfortunately, the cost of ticket is very prohibitive at SR 12,000 (for the 4 of us, round trip) via Saudia Airlines and quite more via Air France. This posted rate was a couple of weeks ago, while as of this posting the current rate is from SR 17,000 to SR 25,000 on the same date of our preferred travel. To cut the background short, we got our ticket to Rome, Italy for less than SR 7,000 (current posted rate is about SR 10,000).

Note: We are still on the process of applying for the Schengen Visa, and it would be very frustrating (and waste of time and money) on our part if the visa will be denied.

Anyhow, the following are the requirements we are completing as advised by our company’s liaison officers / service center:

Application Form: checked!
The application forms retrieved at the Italian website were filled in with the required information.

Update: Our liaison officer returned my application explaining that I have to use the application form from the General Consulate of Italy in Jeddah. I used the application form downloaded from the link with the Riyadh Embassy letterhead.

Original Passport and Copy: checked!
Not sure and no mention on what pages are required, I copied the entire passport.

Update: I submitted only two pages: the page containing our passport details and the page containing my Saudi Arabian work visa

Iqama Copy: checked!
Iqama is an Arabic word which means “Residence Permit”, this is our identification here in Saudi Arabia.

Exit and Re-Entry Visa: On process…
Of course we also need exit and reentry visa from Saudi Arabian government, the visa is already being processed by our service center. I applied for multiple exit/reentry valid for 1 year.

Update: I was granted with 1 year multiple exit/reentry visa (though technically it was only valid for eleven months, coinciding the expiration date of my iqama.)

Passport Validity (6 months) with 3 Blank Pages: checked!
Self explanatory, and complied with.

Identification Certificates: checked!
This document is always readily available online at our portal. It is actually a certificate of employment stating my salary, job title, date of employment, employment ID and other relevant information.

Bank Statement: checked!
I got the bank statement last October 1, covering the period from July 1, to October 1, 2011. This document I am not comfortable because my account funds movement is erratic, while having a constant flow of incoming salary.

Two 3×4 photos: checked!
Though I hope the processor would not be so strict on the photos, we have some minor deviation if the guidelines will be strictly followed. Their own guidelines are conflicting anyway, with the sample photos they had presented.

Travel Medical Insurance: checked!
I have to get a “Schengen Travel Plan” from my bank which is valid specifically for the duration of our travel. Incidentally the health care program between my employer and BUPA Arabia will expire on October 31, 2011. Unfortunately they can only issue a new certificate after that date. I still attached the certificates from BUPA Arabia, with an explanation letter from my employer stating the case — and that our coverage is continuous and unhindered.

Visa fees amount of SR380: standby…
The amount is per passport and is equivalent to the visa fees payable to the Italian Embassy/Consulate.

Update: The visa fee for my 8-year old son is supposed to be only SR250 (SR170 visa fee + SR80 service fee), while visa fee is free of charge for my 5-year old daughter (though SR80 service fee is still collectible)

Trip details (ticket and hotel booking): checked!
As mentioned earlier, we got our air ticket from Saudia Airlines. While for the hotel we got a self-catered apartment from http://www.sleepinitaly.com which costs us Euro 119 per night (Euro 883 for 7 nights) plus Euro 35 for the “final cleaning”. I was required to deposit Euro 88 (through my credit card) and is required to settle the full amount in cash upon arrival (taxes, linen, towels, utilities included in the price).

I hope we can satisfy the visa section of the Italian Consulate in Jeddah with all the documentary requirements we have. If not, it would be a frustration in epic proportions.

I.T.A.L.Y. = I Trust And Love You — every school grader during my time know this acronym. LOL.

Advertisements

About swrphome

Sophie's World, Rinojo's Playground. Almost crazy. Usually sane. Occasionally busy. Always lazy.

Posted on 3 October 2011, in Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hi, im also a filipino in Saudi, applying for a schengen visa at the Italian embassy. I just have a question regarding their requirement of proof of accomodation. If I’ll stay in a hotel do i still need to have a “Invitation/Declaration of Accomodation” form filled out by the hotel? or is it just for people who will be staying with family/friends? And regarding the interview what were the questions asked? any tips and suggestions would be welcome. thanks.

    • Hi there. Sorry for the late reply. I had just came back from my vacation in the Philippines (and I have very limited internet connection in Manila) not opening this blogsite.

      The accommodation information is also required in the visa application form. In case of hotel accommodation, you may ask a simple letter from the hotel (addressed to the Italian Embassy) about your confirmed hotel booking.

      Regarding the interview, we just had a casual conversation. The consul was saying if it is only me who would travel (leaving my family in Saudi Arabia) it would be easier for them to approve my visa. But since we are travelling as a family, he explained that approving our visa is a little bit more burdensome to them as I was frankly informed (though politely) about migration concern. I even mentioned that it is easier to obtain Schengen visa from French Embassy, though our intent is to visit Italy / Rome.

      Our visa nonetheless were all approved.

      I think the only suggestion that I can give you is to highlight your desire to travel to Italy / Rome and to convince that you still need to go back to Saudi Arabia.

  2. where you required to have your employment certificate be stamped by the chamber of commerce?

  3. Hi kabayan, I submittted already Schengen Visa Application for me, my wife and two daughters to Italian Consulate here in Jeddah through Etimad Visa Application Center on 4 Sep 2013. They give me a receipt to claim passport on 9 Sep but to my supprise. No interview. I got my family passport stamped with Tourist Visa but without my passport. Now, I am bothered by this situation even before we apply for visa. Really, I dont have concrete idea of the delay and chances of approval. The same we got lowest price ticket to rome via Saudia airlines. It almost the same situation with you with my bank statement. It’s not so consistent and I change my bank account 5 months ago before application. So, I have to produce two bank statements. Any idea, why there is ’cause delay or chances of approval. I bought a family insurance with Tawuniya even I got Bupa insurance also.

    • Hi Roman, thanks for visiting my blog. I share the same sentiment when I applied for our visa (family) — that is, if one of us got denied there is no point of proceeding with the trip. I believe though that this will not be the case and the consulate is aware that all family members should travel. I think passports are processed by batch perhaps yours simply got separated from the batch (which is a normal occurrence even on passport renewal — happened to me also). Good luck and happy trip!

  4. Hi swrphome, thanks for your comments and greetings. I got my visa yesterday with Tourismo stamp and a letter attached that I have to report to Italian consulate Jeddah when I returned back. Their main concern before issuing visa is the guarantee that you will return back to your residence country. They filter people intending to be illegal immigrants. We are all excited. Fisrt time to go Europe. Our itinerary will be Rome-Paris-Barcelona-Rome for 17 days. I just like to share also to people reading this blog. You can buy cheap air ticket through budget airlines like Easyjet, Vueling, & Ryan Air. You can buy ticket as low as Eur100 for 2 adults & 2 children Barcelona – Rome. I hope i give some good tips to our fellowmen.

Your Thoughts Please...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: