Tue. Mar 5th, 2024
Why A Return Air Ticket Is Mandatory For A Schengen Visa Application Submission?

An aim of many travellers is to obtain a Schengen visa, enabling them to explore multiple European countries on one trip with just one application. While applying may appear straightforward, one requirement often stumps applicants – the need for a return air ticket. In this article, we’ll look into why return tickets are mandatory when applying for Schengen visas.

Understanding The Schengen Visa

Before diving deeper into the importance of having a return air ticket, let’s briefly define a Schengen visa. The Schengen Area includes 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border control at their mutual borders – meaning with a Schengen visa; travellers can move freely among its countries without multiple applications and border checks.

The Purpose Of A Return Air Ticket

A proof of booked return ticket for the flight is not just a random requirement imposed by the Schengen visa authorities. It serves several essential purposes in the visa application process:

1. Proof Of Intention To Leave

Immigration authorities consider one of the primary concerns when reviewing visa applications to be whether or not applicants intend to return home after visiting the Schengen Area. A return air ticket serves as evidence that shows you intend to depart once your stay has concluded; it represents your commitment to following visa regulations and not overstaying your welcome.

2. Itinerary Confirmation

Return air tickets provide the visa authorities with a clear itinerary of your travel plans, detailing arrival and departure dates. This helps them assess the duration and purpose of your visit in relation to the type of visa (i.e. tourist, business or family visit) you’re applying for (e.g. tourist, business or family visit). A well-organized itinerary also shows them that you have carefully considered their travel arrangements prior to applying.

3. Financial Responsibility

Submitting a return air ticket demonstrates that you have the financial means to support your trip. Since airfare is a significant expense, it indicates that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the Schengen Area without relying on public assistance or resorting to illegal employment.

4. Reducing The Risk Of Overstays

The Schengen Area takes immigration and border control very seriously, and overstaying your visa can have serious repercussions, including deportation, bans on future visits and legal penalties. By requiring return air tickets from visitors entering its borders, authorities can mitigate risk by assuring travellers have a plan for exiting its boundaries in an orderly fashion.

5. Enhancing Security

In an era of heightened security concerns, visa authorities use various means to screen applicants for potential risks. A return air ticket allows them to cross-reference your travel plans with security databases, adding an extra layer of security to the visa application process.

Alternatives To A Return Air Ticket

While a return air ticket is the most common way to satisfy the requirement for proof of intention to leave, there are alternatives that may be accepted in some cases:

1. Proof Of Funds

If you don’t want to purchase a return air ticket upfront or your travel plans are uncertain, you can provide documentation demonstrating sufficient funds to purchase a ticket at a later date. This could include bank statements, savings certificates, or a sponsorship letter from a Schengen Area host.

2. Travel Itinerary

A comprehensive travel itinerary, including hotel reservations and a detailed plan of your activities during your stay, can sometimes be considered instead of a return air ticket. However, this option may not be as convincing as a concrete ticket.


In conclusion, a return air ticket is mandatory for a Schengen visa application submission for several compelling reasons. It proves your intention to leave the Schengen Area after your visit, confirms your travel plans, demonstrates financial responsibility, reduces the risk of overstays, and enhances security. 

Related Article: Documents Requirement For Iceland Schengen Visa

While alternatives exist, such as proof of funds or a detailed travel itinerary, a return air ticket remains the most straightforward and effective way to satisfy this requirement. So, when preparing your Schengen visa application, make sure to include this essential document, important accommodation certificate for visa to increase your chances of a successful outcome and a memorable European adventure.