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How to Book a Ticket for Visa Purposes: A Concise Guide

If you want to travel to any part of the world, you have to go through a visa application process. To start this procedure, the embassy or the officials may ask you for several documents. This may include, your passport, photos, visa application form, hotel reservation plan, etc. Among these supporting documents, you also have to attach your flight tickets for visa purposes.

Obtaining a flight ticket is the most challenging and confusing part of the whole process. The reason is that it has various (paid and non-paid) methods. Therefore, you need to choose the best one that does not come with a loss. For this purpose, the following article will help you guide through the booking process of a ticket for visa purposes.

Definition of Flight Itinerary

It is defined as an extensive schedule of your travel plans. This may include several important details that an embassy needs to know. For instance, flight and airline names, flight numbers, departure and arrival airport names, travel dates, booking numbers, etc.

Flight ticket/reservation

On the other hand, though different, a flight ticket and flight reservation are almost the same thing. It is a document that shows the name of the traveler, flight name, entry and exit airport names, booking ID, IATA codes, information about any linking flight, or the price of the actual ticket. The embassy or the officials usually ask for this document to verify that the passenger has booked a seat for a flight in an airplane.

Difference between these two:

There is a slight difference between a flight itinerary and a flight reservation. Therefore, a flight itinerary does not contain a PNR. On the other hand, the latter usually has a PNR number which enables the officers to verify your flight plans through the agency’s website. This will help you avoid making rounds at the embassy’s office.

Alternative names:

A ticket or flight reservation may go with the following alternative names:

  • Confirmed round-trip flight ticket
  • Booked flight itinerary
  • Flight reservation
  • Proof of forward travel
  • Dummy ticket
  • Air ticket
  • Booked air ticket
  • Proof of return ticket

The term goes under multiple names, but the meaning and purpose remain the same. However, you need to be careful when submitting such documents to the embassy. You should attach a flight reservation, flight itinerary, or a confirmed round-trip flight ticket to your visa application form.  On the other hand, avoid submitting forged documents such as dummy or fake flight tickets. Consequently, this may result in your visa rejection and denial.

Flight tickets

One-way ticket

Let’s understand a one-way ticket with an example. For example, you want to travel from South Korea to Norway but do not want to go back to South Korea due to any of the known reasons. Therefore, to define it, a one-way ticket is a solo flight from one country to the other. You can use this kind of ticket when you need to travel to your target country without any planned dates for return, that is in case of long-term stays.

Return ticket

If you want to travel, for instance, from Slovakia to Belfast, Italy, and then back to Slovakia, you need a return ticket. Therefore, it is defined as a type of ticket that permits you to move from one country to the other and then come back to the home country on the mentioned dates. Its alternative name is a round-trip ticket.  

Dummy ticket

You can use a dummy ticket to present your travel details only as it is not an actual ticket. While traveling to your target country and back to the origin country, you can use this flight reservation document. Moreover, it is important to note that it is not a paid return ticket.

Difference between a flight itinerary and a travel itinerary:

A flight itinerary is a document showcasing your flight path, travel dates, airline name, and other crucial information. Conversely, the latter is your daily plan of activities you intend to do after reaching the target country. Customarily, this document is attached with a cover letter for the visa application process. However, this may depend on the type of your visa, i.e., business or tourism.

Is It Necessary to Book Flight Tickets Before Visa Approval?

No, it is generally advisable for you to present a flight itinerary document rather than buying an actual ticket before your visa gets approved. The possible reason for this is that those tickets are non-refundable and you will partially or completely lose money in case your visa gets rejected.

Visa refusal is not an authentic reason for refund claims according to the embassy’s representatives. Moreover, the embassies and the officers admit that the visa doesn’t need to be accepted in the first turn. They will request you to bring the fully-paid tickets if it is required. Therefore, you can purchase the real tickets after visa approval.

Reasons for Booking a Ticket for Visa Purposes

The embassy representatives acknowledge that the passengers are not obligated to buy flight tickets when applying for a visa, as written in the visa application form. The reason is obvious which is that in case of visa rejection, all of the money gets wasted. Therefore, you can only reserve a flight to present it for verification purposes.

However, there are some special cases, where having a flight ticket/itinerary is important for the applicant to get started with the visa application process. Look at the following points:

The embassy you are applying

If you are planning to visit two Schengen countries when applying for a visa, you also need to make sure that you apply at the right embassy.

For instance, in case you want to go on a trip with a 10-day itinerary. If the number of days is unequal, then you need to consult the embassy of that country in your hometown where you plan to stay longer. For example, if you want to spend 7 days in Norway and 3 days in South Korea, then you must visit the Norwegian embassy in your home country.

On the other hand, if you want to stay in the countries for a similar number of days, then seek the embassy of that country where you will be landing first. For instance, if you want to have 5 days in Norway and 5 days in South Korea, then you should go to that country’s embassy which you will visit first.

Passport with stamps

The length of your visa

A flight itinerary is also important to determine the length of your visa. After checking, the officials may ask you about your intended plan and dates of staying in the target country. This will help them issue you a visa according to your planned number of days and not shorter or longer than that.

As evidence that you won’t stay for too long 

This is the most important reason for booking a flight ticket. The embassy needs to make sure that you won’t stay in the target country after your visa expires and will return to your origin. That’s why it is also termed as a return ticket.

However, this alone does not confirm your visa application. You need to submit other supporting documents as well, as indicated above.

How to Get a Flight Itinerary for Visa Application?

There are several methods to get it. However, you can have it by booking a ticket which is inexpensive or buying a refundable flight itinerary.

Unfortunately, you can reserve a ticket for only up to seventy-two hours whereas, the visa application process may take at least ten to fifteen days. Therefore, it is important to book a round-trip flight ticket and try other known (paid or unpaid) methods. This may include booking a ticket through a travel agent, website, or by approaching concerned airlines.

To conclude, having a ticket is important when planning to travel the world.

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