Guide: Sponsorship Letter For Your Schengen Visa Application
What Is A Sponsorship Letter For Your Schengen Visa Application?
A “Sponsorship Letter” for your Schengen Visa application is a letter where it states that someone else (e.g., a parent, sibling, friend, etc.) will cover your expenses during your trip to the Schengen Region.
The sponsorship letter is only required for travelers who are not able to support their own expenses of their trip to Europe and someone else is taking this responsibility on their behalf.
A Visa sponsorship letter does not necessarily have to be written by someone who is exclusively living in the Schengen Region.
For some Schengen States, your sponsor must be a citizen/ reside legally on one of their Schengen territories, while for others, any person who lives outside the Schengen Region can be your sponsor, as long as they are funding your trip.
Your sponsor does not necessarily need to join you on your journey. To keep it simple, we recommend that you use any sponsor, no matter their location.
Before learning more about the sponsorship letter, you should have a better understanding of the difference between an invitation letter, accommodation sponsorship letter, and sponsorship letter (this guide), so that you won’t get confused.
The difference between them lies in the purpose of each of of these letters:
A Visa invitation letter is a letter written by someone who lives in the Schengen Area and knows you but will not support your trip financially and will not provide you with accommodation.
They just support your application by inviting you to the Schengen Area, which is where they reside but without them covering your expenses or providing you with accommodation.
Also, the invitation letter is different from a cover letter (or covering letter) that has the purpose to introduce yourself to the consular officer(s).
● Accommodation (only) Sponsorship
An accommodation sponsorship letter is a letter where it states that someone living in the Schengen Area is willing to provide you with accommodation only, but they will not be covering other expenses such as transport, activities, daily expenses, etc (it is expected that this will either be covered by yourself or another sponsor).
A sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa is a letter where it states that someone else will cover all of your expenses for your journey to the Schengen Region (the letter has to outline if you will be staying or not at sponsor’s address and which expenses are excluded and included – e.g., flight tickets, insurance, etc).
The Relationship With Your Sponsor Is Highly Important
Even though most Embassies/Consulates do not specify who can be your Schengen Visa sponsor, please consider that the relationship with your sponsor matters a lot.
The Visa Embassy officers will carefully check your application so that they can be sure that the relationship with your sponsor is reliable.
This is the main reason we strongly recommend someone who is one of your 1st-degree legal relatives to write a sponsorship letter for you (e.g., one of your parents, a child, sibling, or spouse).
As a general rule, you are allowed to have a sponsor who is a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/cousin/etc. but the immigration officer(s) will ask themselves the following questions when processing your application:
- Why would this person give you money as a gift?
- Is your relationship with this person reliable enough that they will actually support you once you arrive in the Schengen Region?
- Could this person be fraudulent and lead to you not returning from the Schengen Region?
Also, if the person who is writing the sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa is living in the Schengen Region, you must be ready to prove your rootedness (the ties you have in your country of residence).
Do not forget that your main goal as an applicant is to prove that you have genuine intentions to return to your country of residence.
If you are unemployed and someone living in the Schengen Region is ready to cover all of your expenses related to your journey, the immigration officer(s) may believe that you do not have enough reasons to return from Europe, and that you may stay in (or migrate to) the Schengen Region illegally.
Of course, having a sponsor who lives in a Schengen country does not mean that your application will automatically be rejected but you must submit supporting documents to prove your relationship and intentions to return to your country of residence.
A sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa should include relevant information, such as the applicant’s name with passport details, sponsor’s address or hotel address, Embassy phone number and address, etc.
To support the given statements, you must also attach to the sponsorship letter some specific documents.
The Importance Of The Sponsorship Letter For Your Schengen Visa Application
The sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa is extremely important because each applicant has the duty to prove that they have enough financial means to support themselves while travelling though the Schengen Region.
Bringing proof of financial means ensures the Visa Embassy officers that you won’t be a burden for the Schengen countries you plan to travel to.
Therefore, if you are not able to fund your trip yourself, someone else must do it on your behalf (or do not travel).
As a general rule, the Visa Embassy officers are not actually interested if the money that you are going to spend during your journey comes from your own income or your sponsor’s income. But they are responsible to check if the relationship with your sponsor is reliable enough so that you can support yourself while you are abroad.
Also, the sponsorship letter for Visa application is important because your sponsor guarantees for you and your intentions to return from the Schengen Area.
Your sponsor has to endorse you for being a safe tourist throughout the Schengen countries.
How To Get A Sponsorship Letter For Schengen Visa
Getting a sponsorship letter for Visa is not difficult.
You must only ask your sponsor to write the letter and sign it.
If the person who writes the letter is located in your country of residence, they can write the sponsorship letter on their computer and sign it by hand.
Or, if your sponsor is living in the Schengen Region (or any other country that is not your country of residence) they can add their electronic signature at the bottom of the letter and send it to you by email (or physically sign it and send it via post).
Please note that submitting your Visa sponsorship letter without including supporting documents provided by your sponsor may cost you the approval of your application.
Note: If your sponsor is not familiar with the Visa sponsorship letter sample format and is not clear on how to write a sponsorship letter, you can also download one of our sponsor letter templates and ask them to fill it out with all the required information.
You can choose from two different Visa sponsorship letters, the one that is the most suitable for your situation (for further information, do not hesitate to contact us).
List Of Supporting Documents For Your Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter
You must attach to your sponsorship letter the following documents:
- A copy of the ID/passport of your sponsor showing your sponsor’s full name and other relevant details (we strongly recommend you submit a certified passport copy/ID card copy and not an ordinary one).
- The bank statements of your sponsor of the last 6 months (each bank statement must show they have in their bank account the minimum amount of money required by each Schengen State. For further information, please check our Financial Means Test Guide).
- Documents proving their funding source (the payslips of the last 6 months and the employment contract – if your sponsor is employed. Alternatively, you can provide their pension statements of the last 6 months – if your sponsor is retired)
- Proof of your sponsor’s home address (flat ownership or rental agreement that shows their address)
- Your sponsor’s Income Tax Return (this document is optional for most Embassies/Consulates but it can add value to your application)
- Documents that prove your degree of kinship – in the situation where a relative will sponsor you (you can easily prove the degree of kinship between you and a first-degree relative. For example, if your sponsor is your spouse, you can submit a marriage certificate. Or, if your sponsor is a child, sibling, or parent, you can submit your original birth certificate and a certified birth certificate copy of your relative. You can also use a second or third-degree relative as a sponsor – but the Visa Embassy officers may ask why none of your first-degree relatives is sponsoring you so be ready to give a complete answer to their questions).
- Documents that prove your relationship – if a friend/girlfriend/boyfriend will sponsor you (e.g., photo evidence of previous travel together, conversation records such as phone bills, etc.)
If the person writing your sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa is located in a Schengen country and will be providing you with accommodation, you must submit the following documents (if applicable):
- Copy of their residence permit, if your sponsor is not a permanent citizen of the Schengen country where they live
- A travel itinerary created by the sponsor, including the places planned to visit together
- An employee approved leave of absence of your sponsor if they plan to take days off in order to spend time with you
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Sponsorship Letter For Schengen Visa
Writing a sponsorship letter is not difficult as it must contain only relevant details, such as your name, embassy address and phone number, sponsor’s occupation, expenses covered, etc.
However, since your sponsorship letter for Visa application is an extremely important document, make sure you avoid making the following mistakes:
● Having a sponsor that you don’t know well
If you do not know your sponsor well, your chances of approval may decrease.
For example, if you met your sponsor online, it will be difficult to convince the Visa officers that your relationship is reliable and trustworthy.
The same rule applies for applicants who are sponsored by someone they have only met a few times.
Also, the Visa officers will ask you during the interview several questions concerning the relationship between you and the person who is writing the letter.
Therefore, we strongly recommend you answer them honestly and know enough about your sponsor to be able to answer.
● The housing conditions of your sponsor indicate that they will not be able to fulfil the obligations assumed in the sponsorship letter
This rule is valid if your sponsor is located in a Schengen country and they intend to provide you with accommodation.
As we mentioned previously, the person writing the letter must submit proof of address (e.g., rental agreement or real estate purchase agreement).
If your sponsor lives with someone else and does not have legal proof of their address, you risk your Schengen Visa application being rejected, as there is no evidence you are able to stay in the accommodation.
Even if your sponsor lives in someone else’s house, they should be at least registered with the address where they currently live (in most Schengen countries, you can do this at the town hall).
Therefore, if the person writing your sponsorship letter for Schengen Visa application lives unofficially at an address that is not the address on their official documents (e.g., the address on their ID card), the Visa Embassy officers will ask you questions concerning the housing conditions of your sponsor (and may consider that your sponsor is not able to fulfill the obligations assumed in the sponsorship letter).
● Your sponsor’s income is too low to sponsor your travel
Most Schengen countries established specific rules concerning the minimum income of an applicant’s sponsor.
For example, Belgium requires a sponsor who resides on its territory to have an income of at least 800 euros monthly if your visit is a family visit in the 1st or 2nd degree (e.g., you visit your partner, parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, in-laws, grandparent, child, stepchild, adopted child, child-in-law, grandchild, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepbrother, stepsister) + 150 euros per dependent family member + 150 euros per additional Visa applicant for whom the sponsor is committed paying the expenses.
If your visit is not a family visit in the 1st and 2nd degree, the sponsor must have at least 1000 euros monthly income + 150 euros per dependent family member + 200 euros per additional person for whom the sponsor is committed paying the expenses.
Do not focus too much on the specific Euro amounts but please use them as a guide and make sure your sponsor has an income that meets the requirements of the Schengen country you plan to travel to.
● Not proving all the sources of income of your sponsor
As we mentioned previously, you must submit employment documents to prove that the person writing the letter has a regular and recurring income (payslips and employment contract).
If the bank statements of your sponsor show that they have a higher income than the one mentioned on their employment documents, you must prove the source of their income.
Otherwise, the Visa officers may think that the money came from an illegal source.
If your sponsor gets extra money from another source (or more than one) you must prove it. For more details, please check our Guide – Other Regular Income Statements.
● Sponsor Letter not mentioning your trip details
Your sponsorship letter must contain relevant details concerning your trip.
It does not have to be too long but you cannot avoid mentioning your trip details even though they are outlined by other documents.
Your sponsorship letter must include details such as the reason behind the trip, your travel dates, and the list of expenses covered by your sponsor.
● Not submitting an approved leave of absence of your sponsor
When you plan to travel for tourism purposes, submitting a travel itinerary is mandatory. If your sponsor is located in a Schengen Region, and you intend to visit tourist attractions together, make sure you submit an approved leave of absence of your sponsor as well.
For example, if you plan to spend 7 days in Europe and your sponsor creates a travel itinerary containing activities that cover each day of your trip, the Visa officers may want to see an approved leave of absence of your sponsor.
Otherwise, they may think that your travel itinerary is fake (and you are hiding something) since your sponsor does not have days off and cannot spend time with you, as mentioned on the travel itinerary.
If your sponsor will actually work during your stay in the Schengen Region, just be honest. Tell the Visa Embassy officers that you will be visiting the main tourist attractions by yourself or with a family member of your sponsor. Or, you can tell them that you will visit the main tourist attractions with your sponsor during the weekend.