How To Get A Schengen Visa For Your Overseas Friend or Relative
(and one secret tip you probably don’t know about)
When you start travelling, it’s all so daunting and new. But as you travel more, you start to discover more of who you really are and what you want from life. For many – I know me included, at least – going “home” in between travels feels more like going to some tedious prison that just NEVER seems to change. You have seen so much, experienced so much, and yet time seems to have been standing still in your home town.
I have a boyfriend from another country. From another continent, actually. We are both travelers, and because of that we are used to different cultures, and neither of us are rigidly stuck in our own backgrounds. We met and connected over similar personalities. Love has never been limited by something as insignificant as borders!
But there is still one fact that can’t be ignored; we have different passports.
Different nationalities, and different possibilities.
When we first met, I was scared. I started googling for other people’s stories about being in multicultural relationships. On one forum I found travelers telling each other about the amazing people they found on trips around the world, and most of the encounters had all led to marriages that were still going strong, decades after meeting abroad.
As one traveler put it;
I just celebrated my 15th anniversary with a woman I met on a 2 week vacation. Of course we’ve had our ups and downs, just like any traditional marriage, but two kids and several countries later we’re still going strong. I actually couldn’t fathom the boredom of a relationship with someone from my own culture/background.
Finding your match in a country that’s thousands of miles away from your own may seem daunting. But that doesn’t mean you won’t make it, or that it will be more difficult than a regular relationship. If anything, the fact that you are both making an effort to make it work, will only make your love and connection stronger.
There are millions of multicultural couples in the world, and it’s not unusual that a couple comes from two countries that are very far apart. I blame this on our deep rooted human desire to explore; as travelers we yearn to visit some of the most exotic, far-away places we can think of. Like my mother said when I met my boyfriend; “Couldn’t you have found someone from Europe, at least!”
As I found myself in this unexpected situation, there were all of a sudden new things to consider. Can he get a visa for my country? I am from Europe, he is from Asia. Our passports open up completely different doors. It was relatively easy for me to get a visa to visit him, but what about the other way around? What are the requirements of Schengen tourist visa?
So what is needed to apply for a Schengen Visa?
Having traveled to Europe many times before, he already knew what was needed for him to get a Schengen Visa;
- personal statement
- bank statements
- hotel bookings
- proof of return flight itineraries
- proof of employment
- travel insurance
…and more. I was well aware of the requirement of a flight reservation for visa. That was something I had to present as well, when I applied for visas. The most challenging part about presenting a flight itinerary for visa application, is the fact that you run the risk of losing the entire value of your ticket if your visa application is rejected. For me it was usually not a risk, but in return I never knew when I would leave the country, because I had the option of extending my visa multiple times. I usually ended up purchasing the cheapest AirAsia flights I could find, and just let them go without me. Talk about money flying away!
For him on the other hand, we worried about wasting thousands of dollars should his application not get accepted. Bureaucracy is the type of stress that “normal” couples usually don’t have to worry about, and it can definitely drive you both a little insane.
Which brings me to why I decided to write this post. Because in the end I ended up finding a something that has helped me with every visa application since.
The smart souls at Schengen travel have come up with a way (don’t ask me how) to book your flights without actually paying for the entire ticket. I paid a small one-time fee, gave them my suggested flight dates and places (whatever matched my visa application at the time), and in return I got a full return flight itinerary, with booking number and all, that was completely authentic. I couldn’t believe I didn’t find this before! The amount of tickets I have wasted!
For the price of less than what I normally spend at my grocery store, I got an entire flight booking without running any risk. When I finally found Schengen visa flight reservation I had googled for days to try to find a solution to our flight reservation problem. I had seen a handful of other providers, but I didn’t trust some of them, and the rest were a lot higher priced.
After sending a WhatsApp message asking Schengen Travel, if this was legit, or a scam, I decided to take a chance. Luckily for both me and my boyfriend, it was legit! I got my itinerary in a few hours (even faster than they promised), which I submitted with my visa application.
My application was approved 3 days after.
When it was time to use the same company for my boyfriend, we found out that they actually do hotel bookings for visa applications and even train and bus reservations! That was a welcomed surprise, as Schengen Visa Applications are usually a little harder to get, and they often require a ton of additional documentation.
Do what you can to ease the stress of visas and cross cultural differences, and focus on why you fell in love and why you want to be together. Even if I can’t guarantee that you and your love will stay together, I can guarantee that if you are determined to make it work, it will.
In 6 weeks I will be traveling back to Asia to see my boyfriend again, and after that he is coming to meet my family in Europe. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I do know we are as well prepared as anyone else when facing the adventures of being in a multicultural relationship.