When you apply for a visa, like a Schengen visa, you are expected to provide proof of accommodation, which is generally a hotel or hostel booking. It can also be an address of a friend, relative, or sponsor who is hosting you at his home. For a long-term stay, you may need to provide a rental or lease agreement are acceptable proof of accommodations

This article will show you how to make your proof of accommodation easily in under 5 minutes along with all the information you need to know about the same to make an informed decision . Read on !!

But there are two problems when you make your hotel bookings before your visa is approved. One, if your visa is rejected, you are at risk of losing your money, and as you are making your bookings upfront, you cannot be flexible with your trip.

Two, the hotel booking must contain your name in the document for it to be accepted as proof of accommodation. This is fine if you are travelling alone, but what if your wife or a friend is also travelling with you? Then you will need to make cancelable bookings for both travellers, what if you are travelling with your whole family ? Then you need to make sure that everyone’s names are mentioned in your bookings which is not practical...

So how do you solve this? Enter the FlightGen App, which allows you to make temporary hotel bookings for visa purposes (along with other documents you need for your visa). The benefits of using FlightGen App are

  • Instant generation of flight itinerary & hotel bookings for visa purposes
  • Choose your own flight and hotel and get pricing in your own currency (very important !!)
  • The cheapest option, when compared to other sites where they charge close to $20 per booking (FlightGen charges just $10 for unlimited flight & hotel itineraries along with all documents).
  • No extra payment to add co-applicants as for many visa applications, both guests’ names must be mentioned in the booking document.

What does a proof of accommodation for visa mean?

A proof of accommodation is a document that shows that you have a pre-arranged place of stay once your visa is approved. This can be either hotels, hostels, a rental agreement, or a letter from the sponsor with whom you are going to be staying for the duration of the trip. This document is mainly used for three purposes:

  • To determine that you have sufficient funds to stay in the country.
  • To make sure that you have applied for your Schengen visa with the right consulate (if applying for Schengen visa)
  • To ensure that the travel itinerary that you have mentioned in your cover letter matches with the hotels.

So it is necessary for you to provide hotel bookings for visas. Valid documents for the same would be Hotel reservations, rental agreement, an invitation letter from the person who is hosting you, a travel agency confirmation or any dormitory or hostel booking receipt.

Generally, when you book a hotel online or offline, you will be provided a booking confirmation that could be used as your proof of accommodation. if you are working with a travel agent, then you need to ask them to provide your travel itinerary along with proof of payment which can be accepted as well.

The type of document depends mostly on your visa type. If you are applying for a tourist visa, then hotel or hostel bookings could be submitted. For student visa, you may need to submit a rental agreement as proof, and if you are applying for a visitor visa, you will need to submit an invitation letter or a sponsor letter for the same.

The means of subsistence for the intended stay shall be assessed in accordance with the duration and the purpose of the stay and the reference to average prices in the Member State(s) concerned for board and lodging in budget accommodation, multiplied by the number of days stayed, on the basis of the reference amounts set by the Member States in accordance with Article 34(1)(c) of the Schengen Borders Code. Proof of sponsorship/ private accommodation may also constitute evidence of sufficient means of subsistence

The invitee must also download the following declaration of proof document and fill it to be submitted along with the visa application.

What are the valid documents you can submit for proof of accommodation?

In most cases, your proof of accommodation will depend on the type of visa you are applying for: For example

  • Hotel, hostel or Airbnb bookings (Accepted for tourist, business or culture visa)
  • Rental or lease agreements (Accepted for student, visitor or long term visas like work visa )
  • Own property purchased in the country of visit (Accepted for all visas)
  • Any other proof of payment for accommodation such as credit card statement or invoice (Accepted for all visa)
  • Official invitation letter on a company letterhead that is registered in the country you are applying for visa (Accepted for business visa and work visas)
  • Invitation letter from the host who is residing in that country you are applying a visa with (Accepted for all visas except tourist visa).

I don’t know where I’m staying yet, what should I do?

If you do not have a permanent address yet, meaning you have not determined where you will reside, it is important to ensure that you have the financial capability to pay for your lodging upon arrival in the Schengen area.

However, the probability of obtaining a Schengen visa increases if you can provide a reliable proof of accommodation in your application. For instance, if you are uncertain about your intended place of stay but have the resources to book a hotel reservation (and designate that hotel as your primary accommodation in your application), it is advisable to proceed with making the arrangement. Upon entering the Schengen area, you have considerable freedom to travel and choose your place of residence. The consulate generally does not verify whether you are staying at the address you provided in your application, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as a criminal offense being committed and the police needing to locate you.

How to get proof of accommodation for visa ?

If you do not want to make your hotel bookings before your visa is approved, then you can use the FlightGen app to make your temporary hotel bookings for your visa application. Once your visa is approved, you can make your actual hotel bookings as per your travels.

The main benefit of FlightGen is that you can choose the flight and hotel that you want. So you can choose hotels that you will anyway book if your visa is approved.

You can follow the steps below to get your proof of accommodations :

  • Download the FlightGen app based on your device.
  • Create an account and login
  • Select the option called “Create hotel Booking.”
  • Choose your hotel just like you would a regular booking
  • Complete payment (If you need temporary hotel bookings often,then we suggest get their subscription plan which
    is immense value)
  • Download the hotel itinerary and submit it for your visa application.

Example of proof of accommodation

Here is a sample of proof of accommodation that you can create on Flightgen.

proof of accommodation for visa
proof of accommodation for visa

The hotel confirmation letter should include the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Your entry and exit dates
  • Hotel address
  • Hotel contact details, such as phone number and email
  • A valid hotel reservation code

Embassies and consulates usually recommend making a hotel reservation at a hotel that offers a full refund in case of visa rejection or delay. If such an option is unavailable, it is advisable to find the most economical hotel reservation to minimise financial risk in case of visa-related issues.

What is the difference between proof of accommodation for Schengen visa and proof of sustenance?

Although they both sound similar, proof of accommodation is to show that you have a place to stay such as hotel booking confirmation, sponsor letter, invitation letter or a rental agreement whereas proof of sustanence means you have suffcient money for the duration of your trip for which you will need to submit your bank statements, credit cards to show that you can handle the expenses of your trip.

Both needs to be submitted when you apply for Schengen visa.

Is it okay to use sites like booking.com or agoda.com to make a hotel booking for a visa without making a full payment?

Yes while it is ok to make “pay at hotel bookings”, you will still need to enter your credit card details when you make the booking and many hotels will hold the entire amount on your credit card and when you cancel your booking, it will take upto 45 days to get your money back, which is not safe.

The amount needed for you to get a visa varies among the schengen countries that you are planning to travel but on average, you need to have atleast EUR 100 per day of stay in Europe, after you have paid for your hotel and flight.

Which means if you are planning a 20 days trip to Schengen countries. You need to have atleast EUR 2000 in your bank.

This is what booking.com has to say about this.

4 reasons for you to make temporary hotel bookings for visa purpose

Loss of money if your visa is rejected

If your visa is rejected or even if the visa processing is delayed, then you will lose a significant amount of money. As for many visas, especially Schengen visas, you will need to book hotels for the entire duration of your stay.

At a minimum, you could book actual hotels for a week and then use the FlightGen app to create dummy hotel bookings for the remainder of the time.

A visa is approved only for the number of days you have hotel bookings

Although the maximum number of days you can use a Schengen visa is 90 days, your visa will not be issued for the whole 90 days. The number of days you provide as proof of lodging will determine how long your visa is valid. So if you provide hotel bookings for 10 days, your visa will be valid for only 10 days.

So it if wise to add a buffer of 3 days on either side of your travel to provide you with added flexibility when you are travelling.

Lack of flexibility to change your travel plans

If you make all your hotel bookings in advance, then you are forced to stick to your original plan. What if you change your mind and want to stay in France for 2 more days? You would not be able to do it since you have already paid for a hotel in Amsterdam.

For a traveller, it makes sense to book your hotels for 3 days and then make your bookings as you go along.

Reduce your proof of sustenance.

When travelling to many countries, you will need to provide proof of financial means, such as bank statements, to show you have enough money for the duration of your trip. For example, for a Schengen visa, you must have at least 80 EUR per day of stay.

But if you make all your hotel bookings in advance, you may not be able to provide the same, and your visa may be rejected based on this. So it would be wiser to make temporary hotel bookings for visa purposes, and once you have the visa, make your actual hotel bookings.

Invitation Letter

If you are applying for a visitor visa or a business visa, then you will need to provide a letter from the host with whom you will be staying for the duration of your trip. For visitor visa, the host needs to get it attested in the local town hall, there is several names for this letter for example, if you are applying for German visa then it is called Verpflichtungserklärung .

If a company in Europe is sponsoring your trip, then the same must be mentioned in the letter along with the address of your stay. This needs to be on the company’s official letter pad and signed with a seal imprint. You must also submit this in its original copy.

The Invitation Letter should include the following details:

  • Dates of your stay.
  • Address of the place where you will be staying.
  • Name and Surname of your host.
  • Contact details of your host, such as email and telephone number.
  • Signature of your host.
  • The area of the place and the number of members living there.

Schengen invitation letter

The host invitation letter criteria for Schengen visa applications inside European countries vary by member state.
Here are a couple such examples:

In France and Luxembourg, the host must present an original “Declaration d’Accueil” (guarantee document) on the applicant’s behalf.

The host must request a “Elektronische Verpflichtungserklärung” (Electronic Obligation Letter) from the Austrian municipality. This document must be submitted to Austrian officials at least 30 days before the applicant’s visa appointment date.

In Belgium, the original “Engagement de Prise en Charge – Verbintenis tot Tenlasteneming 3 bis” form must be stamped by the municipality and bear the foreign office’s embossed stamp.

In the Netherlands, the host must provide the original “Bewijs van Garantstelling” (Proof of Sponsorship), as well as three salary sheets/reports and the inviting person’s job contract. Additional documents necessary if the host is self-employed include the company’s registration in the trade register, the taxation decision known as “down aanslag inkomstenbelastingen,” an official document from the tax “Belastingdienst,” and a copy of the profit and loss account

When creating an invitation letter for a Schengen visa application, the host must be aware of and comply to the unique rules of the destination country. This guarantees a smooth visa application procedure and increases the likelihood of visa approval.

Pre-paid Tour Operator

As a requirement for your visa application, you must include a letter from the tour operator if you want to join a tour that a tour operator has organized and travel in a group. This correspondence aims to provide a comprehensive account of the tour’s schedule, with specific information regarding the lodging arrangements at hotels, hostels, or guest homes for the duration of the full tour.

The rental agreement or contract should include the following information:

  • Name and surname of the landlord.
  • Contact details of the landlord, including email, telephone, and home address.
  • Address of the rented place.
  • The length of time that the applicant has rented the property, including the entry and exit dates

To ensure the validity of the rental agreement, it is vital that the house, apartment, or room is legally rented and registered with the competent authorities in your destination country. Both the landlord and the renter should sign the agreement to establish its authenticity and legality.

Having a legally registered and properly signed rental agreement provides credible proof of your accommodation arrangements, which strengthens your visa application and increases the likelihood of a successful visa approval.

Proof of accommodation if you are backpacking

If you are planning to backpack throughout the country and plan to sleep in camps, tents or even your car. Then it becomes a tad bit difficult for you to provide proofs of accommodation. In this case, you can make temporary hotels bookings on apps such as FlighGen and once your visa is approved, you can make your own plans.

Alternatively if you have booked a motorvan for your travels, then you can also submit that as your proof of stay and in most cases it would be accepted.

Can I change my booking once my visa is approved ?

Yes you can !!. Once your visa is approved you are free to change your bookings as you please. That is one of the reasons to make temporary bookings if you are planning on exploring a country rather than go through a rigid itinerary.

What is the difference between proof of accommodation and proof of subsistence ?

proof or means of subsistence usually means a document that shows that you have enough money to partake in the trip. For example if you are staying in Belgium you are expected to have atleast EUR 95 if you are applying for tourist visa and about EUR 45 if you are staying with friends or relatives.

So if you are applying for Belgium Schengen visa for a ten day trip, then you must provide proof of sustenance for at-least EUR 950 to show that you are capable of handling the expenses of this trip.

This amount is calculated after you have made your flight & hotel bookings

That is why proof of accommodation is important to show that you have made your bookings and you are left with the amount that can be calculated towards your proof of sustenance.

  • To obtain a visa for Belgium, the visitor must have a daily budget of EUR 95 for hotel accommodation or EUR 45 for cheaper alternatives.
  • To enter France without proof of prepaid accommodation, travelers must have a minimum of EUR 120 per day. For visitors with a prepaid hotel, it is necessary to have EUR 65 each day. If the applicant intends to utilize more affordable lodging options, the daily cost lowers to EUR 32.25.
  • In order for a visitor to receive a visa to Denmark, they must have a minimum of EUR 67.24 each day if they plan to stay in a hotel. If you choose to stay in a hostel or another more affordable option, you will need to have a minimum of EUR 47.07 per day in financial resources.
  • Alternatively, if the tourist stays with relatives or friends, reducing the financial means required, accommodation provided by a third party.

What is a certificate of accommodation?

A certificate of accommodation for a French visa is an official document that allows the host to solemnly verify that the visitor will be residing with them for a specific duration of less than three months. This document is crucial for your visa application for France as it will act as evidence of your residency during your stay in France.

All foreign nationals visiting France to stay with family members for a duration of less than three months are eligible to acquire a certificate of accommodation. Nevertheless, there are several instances in which the accommodation certificate is not required:

Citizens from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland
Individuals possessing a visa that states the requirement to apply for a residence permit within two months of arriving in France.
Remain focused on humanitarian motives or cultural interactions
Critical medical emergency
Individuals traveling to France to participate in the funeral ceremony of a deceased parent or relative.