Easy Way: Proof of Accommodation for Schengen Visa

Table of Contents

When you apply for a Schengen tourist, business, or visiting visa, you will need to show proof of where you will stay. This could be a reservation at a hotel or hostel, or a letter from your host saying that they will take care of your accommodation. We know this as proof of accommodation.

Doesn’t booking hotels before knowing if your visa will be approved pose a risk?. Can’t I book a place to stay after I get my visa? What if I just want to backpack and stay wherever I want?

This article will answer the above questions for you along with providing alternate methods through which you can get a proof of accommodation for your visa.

What does proof of accommodation mean for Schengen visa applicants ?

Proof of accommodation is evidence of a pre-arranged place of stay for the duration of the Schengen visa applicant’s trip. The Schengen consulate recognizes the most common proofs:

  • A hotel or hostel booking voucher.
  • Proof of booking of a caravan if you are staying in it.
  • An invitation letter from the host in Schengen area along with his passport copy.
  • Evidence of a pre-paid tour with details of the tour operator.

The “Visa Code” (Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas) says that all Schengen countries should require foreign visa applicants to show proof of accommodation.

Why is proof of accommodation necessary for Schengen visa?

It serves several purposes, such as :

  • Let the consulate know about the planned trip.
  • Please provide the address of the applicant if we need to contact them.
  • Show that you have sufficient funds after you have made your accommodation bookings.
  • Determine if you have applied at the right consulate. For instance, if you have booked 10 days in Germany but have only 3 days accommodation in Iceland. If you apply for your visa with the Iceland consulate, they will reject it and ask you to apply with Germany as you are spending more time in Germany.

Also having proof of accommodation is a way to show that you have sufficient means to sponsor your trip.

“The means of subsistence for the intended stay shall be assessed in accordance with the duration and the purpose of the stay and by 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 and/or private accommodation may also constitute evidence of sufficient means of subsistence.” 

How to get proof of accommodation for Schengen visa ?

The easiest way to get proof of accommodation is to make hotel reservations for your trip. But you can face risks, especially losing a lot of money, if the embassy rejects your visa.

Another important reason would be to not reduce the means of subsistence that you will be presenting to the Schengen visa officer. Let us say you have a saving of 2000 USD. When you booked the hotels, you spent 1000 USD. They will reject your visa because you do not have enough money in your bank account. As a thumb rule, you must have at least 100 EUR per day of stay (on average) in the Schengen countries.

So what it means is you need to have atleast 2000 EUR in the bank when you are applying for 20 days of stay.

So for these reasons as well as to avoid using your own credit card to book hotels and incurring cancellation charges. You can use the services of websites like travelvisabookings.com to make your hotel bookings for Visa.

Do I have to cancel these hotel bookings that I make with travelvisabookings on my own ?

No. They will handle the process of cancelling the hotel bookings before it is time to do so, you will just have to worry about your visa process.

Although some of the bookings on booking.com have free cancellation options, many hotels can still hold a “pre-authorisation” amount on your card which can be anything between €50 to €2000. And even if you cancel the hotel booking in 10 minutes it would take at least a month for that amount to be released back to your card. as per booking.com :

Hotel booking credit card

Don’t book your flight and hotel in advance before your visa is approved for these 5 reasons.

Loss of money if visa is rejected

No Flexibility to change your travel plan

If you were to book all the hotels for your travel at a time, then you will not have the flexibility to travel as you wish . What if you want to spend one more day in Berlin ? Nope you can’t since you have already booked a room in Amsterdam & So on . From a traveller’s perspective it makes a lot of sense to book your first 3 days of your travel and book the rest as you go along.

Reduces your bank balance proof

When travelling to Europe, you need to show that you have atleast EUR 80 (preferably EUr 100 ) per day of stay . It is wise to make actual bookings only after your visa is approved. Booking all your flight and hotel in advance may result in your visa being rejected because you will not be able to show this amount.

Go where your heart takes you

This is related to the second point, but you cannot plan on a whim when you make all your bookings before your travel. What if you want to extend your trip by 5 days ? They issue Schengen visas only for the days mentioned in the cover letter, so you cannot extend them.

You can only receive a visa for the number of days that you mention in your travel plan.

The embassy issues a Schengen visa for a specific number of days mentioned in your itinerary, which is often less than 90 days. It is not true that it is issued for 90 days, despite common belief among people. Your visa also has an expiry date. It is hence wise to add a buffer of 5 days on either side of your travel to give you flexibility when you are making your travel plan. Our hotel bookings will help you achieve the same.

How do I book a room for my visa?

For visa reasons, you can book a hotel room on any hotel booking site that lets you cancel for free. But keep in mind that you have to enter your card information and that the system may block the amount a few times.

If you don’t want to put your card at risk, you can pay us and we’ll handle it at no extra cost. But we suggest you make real reservations for at least the first three days of your trip.

Can you use a fake hotel reservation to get a visa?

We highly suggest that you don’t do dummy booking for your visa, because your visa will be denied. The government will check your reservations to ensure their legitimacy and avoid visa rejection.

Can I use a hotel reservation to obtain a Schengen visa?

Yes, you can use these reservations to apply for a Schengen visa. Make sure you book the first three days of your trip, and then use our service for the rest of your trip.

Sponsorship letter for Schengen visa

If someone who lives in the country where you plan to stopover in the Schengen Area will pay for your lodging. You will need to show a proof or letter of funding accommodation to the diplomatic office of that country. The person who is inviting must make the letter and either accept it at the town hall or by an officer, who must sign it.

Someone from the country you want to visit needs to sign and approve a letter stating that you have a place to stay. Here is an example of a proof of housing for a visa application.

proof of accommodation

Your invitee would need to write a letter like the one above. Get it approved by a town hall, and show that they have a place to stay. Some countries, especially in Europe, require close to $30 worth of stamps. The town hall needs to make sure of this.

Requirements are:

  • The visa requirements section now requires an invitation letter.
  • If visiting and staying with friends or family in Austria (without financial sponsorship): Invitation letter for visa from the host. The letter must clearly identify the host and the invitee (name, address,birth date, official identification number, occupations and permanent residence). The purpose of thevisit; length of stay and accommodation status (where the invitee stays and who pays for it). Copy of the host’s passport and “Meldezettel” or “Unterkunftsbestätigung” (proof of residence).
  • If visiting and staying with friends or family in Austria (with financial sponsorship): If a sponsor residing in Austria supports and pays for your visit. The host must obtain an electronic affidavit (“elektronische Verpflichtungserklärung” – EVE) from the nearest aliens police (“Fremdenpolizei”) in Austria.
  •  Sometimes, the requester might ask you to provide an “Electronic Guarantee Letter” (elektronische Verpflichtungserklärung) = EVE. This service is free of charge and provided by the local aliens police (,Bezirkshauptmannschaft’, ,Bundespolizeidirektion’, ,Bezirkspolizeikommissariat’). The authority dealing with your EVE will forward the information to the Austrian Embassy within 48 hours. You will receive an ID-number which the visa applicant should provide at the interview.