From the white and blue buildings of Santorini to the ancient ruins of the Ancient Greek civilization and from the gastronomical delights and parties of Amsterdam to the stunning beaches of Spain, the Schengen area has something for everyone. Be it a luxury trip or a backpacking adventure, the Schengen area is sure to be a dream destination for you.
If you are planning to visit one of the Schengen nations, the most important step would be to apply for a Schengen visa. The Schengen visa allows you to travel to any of the 26 Schengen nations for the purposes of business, tourism, education and medical treatment. Under the short stay Schengen visa, you can stay in the region for up to 90 days, within a six-month period.
What is an Invitation Letter for a Schengen Visa?
To get a Schengen visa, apart from filling in the visa application form, you will also need to submit some necessary documents, one of which could be the invitation letter. If you are traveling to a Schengen nation for the purposes visiting family members or friends living there, you will need them to send you an invitation letter to visit them in their country of residence.
On the other hand, if you are visiting the Schengen zone for the purposes of participating in business activities, educational courses or medical treatment, you need to submit an invitation letter from the relevant party. The invitation letter helps support the reason for visiting the country, which you need to mention on the visa application form.
With an invitation letter, the embassy officials know that you are not visiting the Schengen area without a purpose, that you have accommodation and that your expenses will be taken care of if you do not possess the financial ability.
Don’t forget to attach the invitation letter, along with all the other documents, when submitting the visa application form.
Types of Invitation Letters for Schengen Visa
There are various types of invitation letters depending upon your purpose and nature of visit.
- Invitation Letter from Friends and Family
This letter is required if you are visiting your friends or family living in a Schnegen nation, for tourism purposes. The letter must be written by your friend or relative, should state their relationship with you and should invite you to stay with them. The letter must also mention the duration of your trip and say that the person will take care of all your financial needs during your stay in the country. Along with the letter, supporting documents for proof of your relationship with the person and financial documents of the person inviting you must also be attached.
- Business Invitation Letter
If you are visiting the Schengen area for business purposes, such as attending a business conference, meeting potential investors, participating in trade shows, giving a speech, etc., then the person sponsoring you for the event will need to write the invitation letter. The letter must specify the purpose of your visit, what you will be doing during the trip, as well as your relationship with the person sponsoring you. You would also have to attach a letter you’re your employer, stating that you are an employee in their company and describing your job. The letter should have details such as your designation, date of joining, salary, etc.
- Letter for Sponsored Events
If you have been invited by an organization to attend a charity event, concert, conference, trade show or to give a speech in the Schengen area, you will need a letter of invitation from the person inviting you. The invitation letter must clearly state the purpose of your visit, the details of the organization or person inviting you, dates of the event, your hotel reservations, and why you are a suitable person for the event. The letter must also state if the organizer is going to pay you for attending the event or whether they will cover your expenses. A copy of the certificate of registration of the company sponsoring you must also be attached with the letter.
- Letter for Medical Treatment
A medical invitation letter is provided by the hospital or doctor in a Schengen nation, stating that they have agreed to provide medical treatment for you. The letter must clearly state the details of your medical condition, why it is necessary for you to seek treatment in that particular hospital, as well as the dates of your treatment. The letter should also contain the financial details of the treatment and who will be responsible for the expenses.
- Letter from a University or College
In case you are traveling to a Schengen nation for the purposes of attending an educational course, such as a language course or internship, you will need a letter of invitation from the university or college, stating that you have been accepted there. The letter should also mention the details of the course you will be attending, as well as details of your accommodation. You will also need to provide financial documents to prove that you have adequate finances to fund your education and your stay in the country.
How to Write Schengen Visa Invitation Letter
Writing an invitation letter is quite easy. The invitation letter must include all the necessary information, such as:
- Date of writing the letter
- Name and contact information of the embassy (phone number and address)
- Opening salutations and statements
- Name of the inviter
- The status of the inviter in the Schengen nation (citizen or permanent resident)
- Contact information of the inviter (phone number and address)
- Name of the visa applicant (invitee)
- Passport number of the applicant
- Purpose of travel
- Relationship of the applicant with the inviter
- Dates of travel
- Travel itinerary
- Closing salutations
- Inviter’s signature
- Attachments of all the necessary documents
Apart from the information conveyed in the invitation letter, the manner in which you write it is also important. A letter of invitation should always be written in formal language, without the use of colloquial terms and local metaphors. The purpose of the invitation letter is to convey a serious intent of traveling to a Schengen nation, and the language must match it. The invitation letter should also be brief, clearly stating the purpose as well as all the details of your visit, such as duration of the trip, details of your accommodation, places you are likely to visit, etc.
In case of any further information, it is advisable to contact the embassy of your destination country.