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Last year I had a vacation in Japan. I spent 9 days and visited several cities such as Kyoto, Tokyo, Nara, and Osaka. This year, I am going to visit others countries. They are farther than Japan and they are located in Europe. Those countries are Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. Europe as well as Japan is one of my dream destinations. Since I was a boy, I always pray to God that He will give me a chance to visit the continent. I love Europe because its grand architectures especially churches and museums.

To able me entering those countries, I need to obtain entry permit or visa from respective countries. Lucky, the first three countries are under Schengen agreement thus I just need to apply one visa to visit them. For Russia, as it is not part of Schengen, other visa is still needed.

The first visa I applied was Schengen visa and I applied it thru Embassy of Sweden in Jakarta. The application itself can be done either manually or online. The difference on both is the payment method. For the former, visa application fee must be paid thru ANZ bank while the latter can be paid by visa or master card. Can you guess which one did I choose? Yes, correct. I chose the latter one…. 

So basically based on my experience, what should be done are:

    • Prepare all the required documents related to your purpose. You can find out the required document in Embassy’s Web.
    • Register myself in Swedish Migration Board to apply visa online.
    • Call Embassy to make an appointment. Until I write this article, appointment thru My Page for e-visa cannot be made for Sweden Embassy in Jakarta. You must call it. Appointment can be scheduled from 08:30 AM to 11:30 AM on weekdays.
    • Subsequent activity is visiting the embassy for interview. The Embassy of Sweden in Jakarta located at Menara Rajawali 9th Floor, Kawasan Mega Kuningan.

Before the interview begun, officer who handles the visa processing checked all my documents. She said, “I’ll keep only several documents and hand you back the others as you have applied online.” And following is the list of documents she kept:

    • Passport
    • Photocopy of the first page of passport
    • Insurance certificate
    • A 3-month bank account statement or any maintenance certificate
    • Copy of air ticketing, ferry, or bus booking
    • Sponsor/guarantee letter from Indonesia.
    • A detailed travel plan
    • A copy of hotel reservation
    • Print of online application

Once the documents checking done, the officer asked me to stand before a machine for photo taking, signature taking and fingerprint scanning. Once those activities done, I backed to my chaired for interview.

The visa officer asked me, “Why do you choose Sweden?”

“Every year I have plan for traveling and this year I want to visit Russia and several countries around it. Turns out, there are 3 neighbour countries that are very close to Russia: Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. Besides, since I was a boy Europe is my dream destination and this traveling will make me closer to my dream”

“You said you travel every year. Can you tell me which country you have visited?” Officer asked me another question

“I have been in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Macau”

“What do you want to see in Sweden?”

Me (trying to remember my planning), “I want to visit Vassa Museum, Grand Place and Cathedrals”

“You are in Russia for work or for another else?”

Me (confused),”Ha? Of course for tourism”

“Have you applied Russian Visa?”

“Not yet, I will do it after this”

“Ok, that’s it. You can check your visa status on Monday by calling the embassy.”

“Thank you Madam”.

    • Call the embassy to check the visa status. Turned out the decision had been made (actually you can check it in My Page e-visa as well). Visa must be collected between 10 AM and 12 PM on weekdays. If you come beyond this hour, security in the ground level will not permit you to go up.

My first Schengen visa is approved and next is applying Russian Visa 🙂