When you come across the flight requirement for the Schengen visa, you may read something like: “Copy of the roundtrip airline reservation with Passenger Registration Number (or reservation number) and travel itinerary. The reservation should prove that the stay in the Schengen area does not exceed 90 days. It is recommended not to buy the ticket until the visa is granted.”
But you can see how it gets even more confusing, “It is not recommended to buy the ticket until the visa is granted.” How is it possible to get a confirmed flight booking and travel itinerary without actually paying for anything?!
The answer is all in the reasons why the embassies require an itinerary and not the fully paid for tickets to process visa applications. It’s as simple as the fact that they need to verify that you are traveling to that particular country for the reasons that you say you are. So, if you have stated your reason for traveling there as, “tourism,” then it’s only logical that you should be able to show where you plan on going, when and for how long in order to prove that. Of course, they are not unreasonable people, so they don’t expect you to risk buying an expensive flight ticket and paying for accommodation before you know if the visa will be approved. That is why they only ask for an itinerary and a reservation, rather than a paid for a ticket.
· Booked flight itinerary
· Confirmed flight itinerary
· Detailed flight reservation
· Flight itinerary for flight visa application
· Air ticket booking
· Dummy air ticket
· Dummy air ticket for visa
· Fake flight booking
· Flight confirmation
· Flight reservation
Here are some examples of how different embassies talk about the requirement of a flight itinerary for visa applications:
“Proof of departure. A copy of detailed flight itinerary to Canada from an airline or a travel agency or showing entry and departure from Canada.” – Canadian Embassy website
Proof of departure simply means proof of how and when you will enter and leave the country you are applying to.
“The ticket should prove that the stay in the UK does not exceed 90 days. It is recommended not to buy the ticket until the visa is granted.” – Spanish Embassy website
This is why they need to see a verifiable travel itinerary. It will show the embassy that you have genuine plans to return home 0r continue your travels.
“Roundtrip air ticket booking record and proof of a hotel reservation, or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China.” – Chinese Embassy website
A roundtrip ticket simply means a booking showing you entering your target country and then leaving it at the end of your trip.
“Travel itinerary (travel reservations to and from Schengen area in your name, not a ticket). Note: make travel reservations which you can cancel.” – Dutch Embassy website
The ‘travel itinerary’ is your schedule of travel, which shows where you will be, when and how. So, flight bookings are exactly what they need.
“Proof of a reservation or a return flight is needed for the application and tickets are to be presented upon collection of the visa. It is strongly recommended not to purchase a flight ticket unless the visa has been granted.” – German Embassy website
Again, ‘proof of reservation’ is the same thing as a verifiable air ticket.
“Airplane or train reservation for the entire travel in the Schengen zone or proof of participating in an organized tour + photocopy.” – French Embassy website
As you can see, they are all talking about the same thing, just in slightly different ways!
There is such a thing as a confirmed booking without paying full price for a ticket, but it is something that only registered and licensed travel agents and operators can do. And not all of them are willing to do it either, as it costs them time and money. A registered travel agent is licensed to make a real flight and hotel reservations for exactly this purpose, but these days you may be hard-pressed to find a travel company who will go to the effort to do this for you if you’re walking up and down the street looking for one in person.
The most important thing to remember here is this – Do not book and pay for a real flight booking until you know that your visa has been approved!
Even though you might think that you are doing the right thing by impressing the person reviewing your application, you will not score extra brownie points by spending loads of money on expensive flights and hotel bookings before you have a definitive answer about whether or not your visa has been approved. They do not want you to pay for a flight ticket that you’re not going to be able to use, so don’t do it!
Yes! There is a website that you can go to for verifiable one-way, round trip, and multi-city flight bookings for any country visa within minutes at an affordable price without you having to pay for actual tickets. The only thing we will caution against, however, is that there are many websites which claim to offer this service, yet what they are offering is not quite what it seems.
BEWARE of websites, companies or individuals offering cheap flight reservations for your visa application, without checking their credentials first. Some of these unauthorized and unlicensed websites claim to offer a genuine flight booking which is verifiable with the airline, yet all they are providing you are “dummy tickets” – forgeries, fakes, knock-offs – which are easily produced on Photoshop. These fakes will not pass the inspection in the embassy or the application center, so your visa application will be denied if you try to use one. Not only that, if any embassy catches you trying to use falsified documents to apply for a visa, they may have the ability to blacklist you and stop you being granted future visas for the same country or even others!