Note: This is also applicable for applying for your UK Visa.
One question I’ve been asked several times is, “How much show money should I present to the Embassy when applying for my Schengen visa?” And to that I answer, “How long is your trip going to be and how much are you planning to spend for your trip?”
The amount of “show money” or funds that you should present must be sufficient to support all the expenses of your trip. If as per your computation, all the expenses of your trip will amount to 350,000Php, then you must show the Embassy that you have that much money.
So, what should be included in the “show money”? (Actually, this shouldn’t be called show money since it’s not just for show but real funding for your trip).
- Cost of your airfare and other transportation, i.e. metro, trains, budget airlines, ferry, etc.
- Cost of your lodging: total cost of your hotel/hostel/or AirBnB bookings
- Cost of food: personally, I budgeted 20GBP per day for food for my stay in London and 30 Euros per day for my stay in France and Italy
- Cost of tours/entrance tickets
- Add in an extra amount on top of the total cost of all I mentioned above
What can you present as sources of funding?
- Savings and checking accounts (even your payroll bank account can be presented)
- Time deposits
- Investments in UITF, stocks
- Credit cards (you can just photocopy the front of your card, no need to show the back as you risk exposing your card’s CVV if you do so)
What did I present as sources of funding?
- My payroll checking account
- A savings account that had been active for more than a year and with consistent activity
- All three credit cards I had at the time, plus their statements for the past six months showing my credit limit
- Four UITF placements
- Two time deposit accounts (both under my name and my dad’s name and are to mature in a few months after my trip)
Do I need to present all of the money I have?
No. You don’t need to present all your riches to the embassy. If your trip will cost you 200,000Php then you can present anywhere from 200,000Php to let’s say 500,000Php. That’s pretty reasonable already. There really is no need to present 6,000,000Php. In my case, I presented an extra amount on top of what I will be spending for my trip so that it won’t seem that I am totally broke once I get back from my trip and that I can pay all that I have charged to my credit card. In my approved leaves letter, I also indicated there that I will still be receiving my salary through my checking account even while I am on my trip. That’s hitting two birds with one stone: (1) I am presenting a source of funds and (2) since I am still a paid employee, that means I have a reason to come back to the Philippines. It may be only one sentence in the letter but it can have quite an effect on your application. (see the letter here)
But I am going to stay with my friend and my friend will pay for some of my expenses. How much do I need to present then?
First of all, are you going to declare to the embassy that you will be staying with your friend? If you are going to state in your application that you are going to stay with your friend, por ejemplo, in Paris or in Rome and that your friend will pay for some of your expenses, then you should submit evidence that your friend is capable of paying for those and supporting your stay with him/her. There are additional documentation requirements from your friend (i.e. your friend’s income, an invitation letter, evidence of your friend’s right to stay in that country, etc.) that have to be presented along with your own documents.
There are those (like me, hehe) who did not declare that they will stay with a friend, just to avoid the hassle of gathering the additional requirements. So even if I was to stay with a friend in London, I still had a dummy hotel booking and my funding reflected that I had sufficient money to pay for this hotel I “booked”.
I hope this post helped you understand more what the whole show money thing is all about. Remember, your application should tell a complete story and this includes the chapter on your funding.
Questions? Comments? Additional tips? Post them below!