Hello September! Wake me up when September ends… 😉 For my fellow folks who are a wanderlust like yours truly, this post is especially made for you 🙂
Some days I am most productive even when traveling. Before I go for my night shift work, I walked-in to four embassies to do a sort of action-research. I always end up feeling extra satisfied every time I meet with a Consul who provide more than enough/ sufficient information than what I actually need.
When I went to the Kosovo Embassy, the Consul Officer was enthusiastic to receive me and the informal talk lasted for almost thirty minutes. I only want to know about the requirements for Tourist Visa to travel to Kosovo. The amiable Consul Officer was keen to share the ethnic tensions happening between Serbia and Kosovo who were part of the former Yugoslavian country to give me extra precautions. We have discussed about the parameters for a country in Europe to become a member of the European Union must have a political stability, a strong economic development, the safety of its people and the foreigners traveling is of utmost importance to maintain the peace and order situation of the country. Even the influx of refugees from the war torn Syria and Iraq who are fleeing and making their way (passing) thru Greece, Macedonia and Hungary to reach Germany, Austria and Sweden who graciously welcome these refugees; and other global and local concerns faced by their own people were the issues we had touched upon. Before I leave the embassy he handed me his name card and informed to feel free to contact him should I face any difficulty once I’m in Kosovo.
While at the Macedonia Embassy, when the Macedonian Consul Officer learned I am from the Philippines, he asked for my contact details and mentioned he has a very good friend who married a Filipina and since there is a very small community of Filipinos living in Macedonia, it might be of my interest to meet the wife of his very good friend. And he assume, she will be happy to meet me. Sometimes, I am not sure what to say so I just give a shy smile and a nod 😉
The Lady Consul Officer of Montenegro was happy to inform me that I can travel to Montenegro for 30 days visa free. If I decide to stay more then I have to apply visa. The kind middle aged woman officer at the Serbian Embassy enthusiastically told me that I can travel to Serbia, 30, 50 days or “as you wish” 🙂 She gave me several brochures and magazines in English about Serbia.
Before I go even further, here are the countries in Europe that Filipinos can travel visa free. The premise (please take note as this is the most important requirement/s for you to be able to travel in the non Schengen European countries visa free) is you must have a valid Schengen Visa with multiple entry. Full stop. If you don’t have this, you have to apply for normal tourist visa for these countries to be able to visit.
The non Schengen European Countries Filipinos can travel visa free:
1) Croatia – up to 90 days (EU member, soon joining the Schengen area)
2) Romania – up to 90 days (EU member since 2007, soon joining the Schengen area)
3) Bulgaria – up to 90 days (EU member, soon joining the Schengen area)
4) Serbia – up to 90 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen)
5) Bosnia and Herzegovina – up to 15 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen)
6) Montenegro – up to 30 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen)
7) Macedonia – up to 15 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen)
8) Kosovo – up to 30 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen). Kosovo used to be the only EU country Filipinos can travel visa free but as of this writing, without valid Schengen visa, Filipinos need to apply for normal tourist visa.
9) Albania – up to 90 days (Non-EU, Non Schengen)
10) Cyprus – up 90 days (EU member, soon joining the Schengen area)
Source: Walk-ins at the following Embassies in Zagreb, Croatia:
Serbian Embassy in Zagreb
Pantovcak 245 Zagreb, Croatia
Bosnian Herzegovinian Embassy in Zagreb
Torbarova 9, PP 27
Consulate: Ilica 44, PP27 10001 Zagreb, Croatia
EMAIL email@example.com; Amb.Zagreb@mvp.gov.ba
Macedonian Embassy in Zagreb
Kralja Zvonimira 6, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Montenegrin Embassy in Zagreb
Trg Nikole Šubica Zrinjskog 1, IV floor, Zagreb, Croatia
Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo in Zagreb
Trg Kralja Tomislava 8, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Embassy of Albania in Zagreb
Address: Strojarska cesta 20, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Phone:+385 1 4810 679
- Romania. http://mae.ro/en/node/2040 – “The holders of Schengen visas with two or multiple entries, national visas or residence permits issued by Schengen Member States.
Attention! The number of entries as well as the right of stay established as per the Schengen visas must not have been exhausted. The right of stay on the territory of Romania shall not exceed the right of stay granted as per the visas/residence permits issued by the Schengen Member States.”
- Bulgaria. http://www.mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html – “On 25 January 2012 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a decision according to which by the date of Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area, our country will unilaterally apply a visa-free system for holders of valid Schengen visas. They will have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of the first entry, without needing to have a Bulgarian short-stay visa. The decision entered into force on 31.01.2012.“
- Croatia. http://www.mvep.hr/en/consular-information/visas/visa-requirements-overview/ – “Aliens who are holders of uniform visa (C) for two or multiple entries, valid for all Schengen Area Member States do not require a visa for transit or intended stays in the territory of Croatia not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.“
- Cyprus. http://cyprusembassy.fi/main/index.php?p=Consular_Section/8 – “Third country nationals, holders of a valid Schengen visa (type: double or multiple entry), who have already entered the Schengen area in accordance with the terms upon which their Schengen visa was issued, may travel to Cyprus without a Cypriot national visa and stay in Cyprus for a period equal to the remainder of the time for which the Schengen visa is valid.“