The response to this question is “NO“. You do not need to book an actual flight ticket to fulfill the visa requirement. Many embassies are aware of this, and they are lenient on this requirement, even though their websites and official visa requirements may not have been updated. In most cases, a flight itinerary for visa purposes, which you can obtain without actually purchasing a flight ticket, is sufficient. This is based on the experience of processing over 30,000 visas per month, and in more than 30% of these cases, customers have obtained their flight itineraries before their visa approvals.

How can I obtain a visa without first purchasing a plane ticket? What if the visa is denied after the flight has been booked?

You have the option to submit a flight itinerary for your visa application instead of a fully paid flight ticket. This approach safeguards your finances in case your visa application is rejected. Numerous online services provide flight itineraries, and one we frequently utilize for our customers is the FlightGen App.

Consider including the following line in your cover letter: “A flight itinerary from a visa agent. The same will be ticketed once my visa is approved“. We use the BlinkDocs App to craft our cover letters.

We prefer to use the FlightGen app to generate flight itineraries because it closely simulates the process of booking an actual plane ticket. This allows us to select the flight we are likely to take if our visa is approved, which facilitates a smooth experience at immigration. Furthermore, FlightGen offers the flexibility to choose your preferred currency, not limiting you to USD.

An alternative option is to purchase a fully refundable flight ticket, although this can be relatively expensive and may pose challenges when seeking a refund. In certain cases, you might need multiple flight tickets to demonstrate your travel plans. Thus, using a service like FlightGen, which permits the creation of unlimited flight itineraries for $15, can be a more practical choice.

The choice of whether to book a flight ticket first or apply for a visa largely hinges on your individual circumstances. If you are confident in your ability to obtain a visa, booking the flight ticket upfront might make sense. However, if there is any uncertainty surrounding your visa approval, it’s likely wiser to apply for the visa first and wait until it’s approved before making the flight ticket purchase. This approach ensures that you won’t waste money on an unnecessary plane fare if your visa application gets rejected.

How should I proceed if the consulate requires me to present a return or onward flight ticket, but I am uncertain about my return date?

In situations like this, FlightGen App can be quite useful. You can obtain a temporary flight itinerary from them, indicating a tentative return date (ensure that this date extends beyond your intended duration of stay), and utilize it for your visa application. Once your visa is approved, you can proceed to make an actual flight booking when you have confirmed your plans. Here’s what Anna Emilia recommends.

Is a visa required to purchase airline tickets?

While it is possible to book a flight ticket without having obtained a visa, most embassies strongly discourage this practice. They emphasize that they are not responsible for any financial losses in case a visa application is rejected, even if a valid ticket has been purchased.

Additionally, many airlines have specific requirements in place, mandating passengers to hold a valid visa for their intended destination before their flight can be approved. This policy is in place to prevent passengers from being denied entry into their destination country upon arrival at the airport. As a result, it is generally advisable to secure a visa before making any flight bookings. Here’s what a fellow traveler has to share on this matter.

Is it Advisable to buy a flight ticket while you are waiting for your visa ?

The decision of whether to book a flight ticket before obtaining a visa depends on several factors, including your identity, the country’s visa you’re applying for, and the likelihood of visa approval. If you’re reasonably confident that your visa application will be successful, you might choose to purchase flight tickets. It’s important to note that visas are often granted when there’s proof that the applicant genuinely intends to travel. However, in cases where there’s uncertainty about the approval or when showing flight tickets isn’t a requirement, it may be wiser to wait, unless having tickets could alter your plans.

This answer may not provide a definitive solution because the choice varies based on individual circumstances. It’s also worth considering that non-flexible Business Class tickets can be more costly than flexible Economy Class tickets if you need to purchase refundable tickets in advance. Non-flexible tickets can often be canceled with only a small administrative fee, so if your plans change, you’ll only be out the administrative fee and still able to fly with ease. Another option is to ensure your ticket belongs to a class that allows for changes with minimal expenses. If your visa is denied, you can change the ticket to a “flexible” class and then cancel it within a day or two.

Is it okay to book a fake flight ticket with PNR to show for the visa?

Using dummy or fake tickets when applying for a Schengen visa is not recommended. Many applicants have faced complications when their visas were rejected due to the submission of forged documents. The most advisable approach is to be honest in your application. You should declare in your cover letter that you are providing a flight itinerary and intend to purchase the actual ticket once your visa is approved. In some cases, you may be required to submit an actual flight ticket or provide proof of funds to cover your travel expenses.

Honesty is crucial in the visa application process, and it’s better to follow the embassy’s requirements and guidelines rather than submitting false or temporary information. Attempting to use a fake PNR (Passenger Name Record) may result in being caught and facing consequences that could jeopardize your visa application.

Do you need real tickets to apply for a Schengen visa?

No. You must not use a dummy ticket when applying for Schengen visa, but it is perfectly ok to use a flight itinerary for Schengen visa. In fact, the consulate encourages all the visa applicant to not book their flight ticket before their visa is approved and they are not liable for any losses.

Yes. Embassies do accept flight itinerary for visa application, in some cases they also recommend the visa applicants to buy a flight ticket only after their visa has been approved. This is not the case if you are applying for transit visas as you must have a fully paid flight ticket for your onward journey.

Please provide an email confirmation or website screenshot print out of your intended flight itinerary either direct from the airline clearly showing your intended date of departure and route. We highly recommend not purchasing your flight tickets until your visa has been approved.

Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Schengen state. Some Schengen authorities accept the itinerary when applying for the visa but request the original air ticket when visa is collected.

VFS Global & Spain Consulate

Can I obtain a flight itinerary to present to immigration officials without paying for the flight?

You can book a flight itinerary for about $10 on FlightGen app. if there are any co-passengers, you can add them too for free on FlightGen app.
As of 2023, they are now giving unlimited flight itineraries for 24 hours at $15 which is an amazing deal.