Planning to visit a loved one in any Schengen State?
Going on a month-long holiday to a friend’s home in a Schengen state?
The Schengen states are one of the most alluring and exciting countries in the world. They feature on the Top 5 travel destinations list of any travel enthusiast and tourist.
The Schengen states also happen to be one of the most difficult to enter, having one of the most stringent visa application processes in the world.
Not only are you required to submit a suitcase-full of documents, but you also need to write a covering letter, invitation letter or submit a sponsorship letter to the embassy, to even qualify for the visa.
In this article, you’ll learn about the sponsorship letter for Schengen visa, how to write a sponsorship letter for visa application, what it is for, sample sponsor letter to the consulate and letter from the sponsor for visa.
What is a sponsorship letter?
A visa sponsorship letter is a letter that is written by the person who is sponsoring your visit to a Schengen state.
Let’s say that your sister lives in Paris and she wants you to come out for a visit. She’s taking care of everything, right from the flight bookings to the stay to the on-site visits & entertainment and finally the travel back home.
In most cases, you pay for all these expenses yourself. But, when somebody else is sponsoring your international trip for you, there is no proof of your financial credibility or your intentions.
As part of their stringent security checks, the Schengen embassies ask you to provide a letter written by your sponsor, informing the embassy of their intention to foot all your bills, with proof of all the payments they have already made on behalf of you for this visit.
This letter which you and your sponsor need to furnish is called the Sponsorship letter. Without it, you can rest assured that your dreams of visiting the Schengen state are over.
Importance of writing a sponsorship letter for the Visa application
Six reasons why your Schengen Visa application may be rejected:
- You don’t provide a convincing reason for travel to the Schengen states
- You don’t display proof of funds or a credible credit record
- You furnish incomplete or unacceptable documents for verification
- There is concern that you may not return to your country of origin
- You do not have travel insurance documents in your name or the travel insurance is insufficient
- There are processing errors during the filing
The first four of these reasons can be easily tackled with the help of a thorough sponsorship letter.
In the letter, you can include the entire information which the embassy seeks, in a completely transparent way, ensuring that your visa application is accepted.
Writing the Schengen sponsorship letter for the Visa application
Of all the documents that you need to submit for the Schengen visa application, the sponsorship letter is one that is so important.
Often times, you may not have the time to get the sponsorship letter mailed to you by your loved one residing in the Schengen country.
During these times, writing the sponsorship letter yourself seems like the best option.
Writing the sponsorship letter for the Schengen visa can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have practice writing it before.
To help you overcome any problems that you may experience while writing the letter and to answer any questions that you may have, i’ve made a list of everything you should know and look out for when drafting a sponsorship letter.
The tone of the sponsorship letter
The sponsorship letter is exactly like the Visa application cover letter, with a single difference that this letter is written by the sponsor, instead of you, the traveler.
Since the sponsorship letter comes from the sponsor himself/herself, you will need to write the letter in the third person narrative and use words like he, she and they.
Basically, the letter should be similar to a letter written by a third-party for you.
Please remember that while you can write the sponsorship letter yourself, the signature added at the end of the letter needs to be bona fide and genuine.
Forging someone else’s signature is a crime punishable by law and you need to make sure that you provide verifiable evidence that the sponsor has genuinely signed and dated the letter.
Make sure you email the letter to your loved one and get the signature necessary. Although a printout of the digital signature will suffice, its best practice to have the original document with the signature mailed to you.
Major elements of the sponsorship letter
- The ‘To’ address
The ‘To’ address for a sponsorship letter is the address of the Schengen embassy in the home country of the traveler.
- Opening salutations
Although the staff at the embassy consists of government-employed officials, they do not have any specific formal title by which to address them. A simple ‘Dear sir/madam’ will suffice.
- The intention of the letter
The first thing you need to write after the salutation is the reason for submission of the letter.
In this case, it is a letter of proof that the sponsor is covering all the expenses that the visitor may incur during their visit to the Schengen country.
- The intention of the visit
Here, you will need to state why the traveler wishes to visit the Schengen country. For a sponsorship letter by a friend or relative, the reason would be tourism or family visit.
- Dates of travel
The embassy uses the traveler’s dates of travel to allot the visa dates. These are the dates between which the traveler can visit the Schengen country, after which they must return to the country of origin.
Mention that you’ve booked the flight tickets for the specific dates between which the traveler is said to enter and exit the Schengen states.
- Details of residence and details about the employer
In the case of the sponsorship letter, the residence and employer details pertain to the sponsor’s and not the travelers. The sponsor needs to mention where they live, who the owner of the house is, and provide property documents as proof.
They also need to mention where they are working/studying, who their manager/dean is, proof of employment/enrollment and indication that the employer/university is aware of their intention to host the traveler in the country.
- List of documents to be attached along with the letter
The sponsor too may need to submit documents to verify their ability and interest to host the traveler at their home.
The sponsor needs to mention and attach with the letter a copy of their passport, a copy of citizenship/permanent residency/extended student or work visa they possess, copies of bank statement proving financial credibility, salary slips and finally a proof of residence.
Photos may be requested and must be attached if advised to.
- List of places traveling to
If the traveler is planning to visit multiple cities or countries in the Schengen states, the sponsor must make known that they are well-aware of these plans by mentioning the names of the places in the order of travel.
They must also make known how they are sponsoring the travel and stay at these places by providing details of travel insurance, transport tickets, and any other information which they are expected to furnish.
- Comprehensive itinerary
The cover letter by the traveler usually contains the itinerary. But since the trip is sponsored, it is assumed that the sponsor is planning the itinerary.
The sponsor may provide a detailed account of the day-to-day travel, visit, and stay plans of the traveler in the Schengen countries, if they choose to.
Proof of bookings may be requested, in which case, the sponsor would need to submit all reservation tickets to the embassy.
- Ending salutations
Finally, end the letter with a formal request to the embassy to grant the traveler the visa and a re-affirmation that you the sponsor are completely responsible for the traveler and what happens during the visit.
Include a warm ‘Thank You’, accompanied by the sponsor’s signature, name, and the date of signing. Please remember that the signature needs to be genuine.
Be sure to send the letter to the sponsor for the signature at the earliest.
Add the sponsor’s telephone number and email address at the end.
Common mistakes to avoid when drafting the Schengen sponsorship letter
- Not writing the sponsorship letter in the right tone.
- Not mentioning if the letter is a covering letter or a sponsorship letter for the Visa application.
- Not listing the places to be visited.
- Not providing proper evidence of your or the sponsor’s ability to fund and manage the visit.
- Not providing details of employment and personal residence in the Schengen country.
- Not providing an itinerary in the letter.
- Not confirming payment of travel tickets, hotel bookings, and other expenses.
- Not attaching a docket of documents needed to be furnished.
- Not providing a genuine signature.
Things to do when writing the sponsorship letter
- Always be transparent and honest.
- Include all the information necessary.
- Use correct spellings and grammar.
- Write the letter as convincing as possible.