A flight booking and travel itinerary are key documentary requirements for a Schengen visa. In this article, we discuss the relevance of these documents in an application for a Schengen visa. Depending on the purpose of your visit, your visa may be refused if you fail to submit either of these documents.
What is a Travel Itinerary?
An itinerary is simply a document that details your travel plans. It usually provides details of hotel bookings, flight arrangements, and daily activities or schedules for the duration of your stay. An itinerary is only required for journeys undertaken for tourism or private purposes. It must usually specify the places you intend to visit by way of schedule of activities.
Article 14(1)(a) of the Visa Code states an applicant for a Schengen visa shall present documents indicating the purpose of the journey. Further, Annex II (A) (3) (b) of the Code states that for journeys undertaken for tourism or personal reasons, the applicant must submit documentation relating to their itinerary. The Visa Code describes itinerary to include “confirmation of the booking of an organised trip or any other appropriate document indicating the envisaged travel plans.” Bookings on organised trip or tour guides, and tickets for entry into tourist sites could be submitted as evidence of itinerary.
A key requirement of an itinerary is that it must be plausible. The schedule of activities must be arranged in a manner as to make your plans credible. For example, it may be more reasonable to visit tourist sites that are in close proximity to one another on a particular day, rather than a disjointed schedule of visits that are miles apart from each another and lacks coherence. If your itinerary is implausible or disjointed, this may raise doubts on the credibility of the purpose of your visit and may cause your visa to be refused.
Another requirement is that the duration of the itinerary must be consistent with your travel dates. Specifically, it must be consistent with the travel dates as shown on the visa application form, flight booking, hotel reservation, and travel medical insurance. If your itinerary shows discrepancies with travel dates shown on other documentation, your visa may be refused.
What is a Flight Booking?
A flight booking is a document that shows that you have booked a place on an airline to travel at a future date. It specifies your departure and return dates, and any connecting flights, if applicable. You must submit a flight booking regardless of the purpose of the visit. You can make a flight reservation either by yourself or through an agent.
Article 14(d) of the Visa Code states that an applicant shall present information enabling an assessment of their intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa. And Annex II B (1) of the Visa Code lists “reservation of or return or round ticket” as one of the documentation that may be submitted in proof of intention to return. A flight booking is therefore a key documentary requirement for a Schengen visa. You must consider this information when making a flight reservation either by yourself or through an agent:
- The document must specify your name;
- It must clearly show your arrival and departure dates and times;
- It must show the flight name and a valid reservation number;
- It must show details of any connecting flights;
- It is must show a return reservation. A one-way reservation will not meet the requirement.
- Your travel dates must be consistent with the dates on your visa application form or other supporting document. If there are discrepancies, this may lead to a refusal;
- Do not buy a ticket unless the Embassy specifically requests you to do so.
A Schengen visa is generally a documentary application. However, it is not sufficient to provide documentation merely because they are required. Keeping these details in mind may save you time and unnecessary expense that may result from a refusal.
By Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong
Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on Schengen immigration law. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on Ghana, U.S, UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works for Acheampong & Associates, a law firm in Accra. He may be contacted on [email protected] or www.acheampongassociates.com