- What is a Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter?
- What is a Schengen Visa Invitation Letter?
- How to Write a Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter
- Who Can Write a Visa Sponsorship Letter?
- What to Include in the Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter
- How to Write a Letter of Invitation for Schengen Visa
- Documents to Accompany the Visa Sponsorship Letter
- What Other Supporting Documents Should the Applicant Provide?
- Do I need a Sponsor Letter for a Schengen Visa?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter?
A sponsorship letter is one of the essential documents you need to present when applying for a work or visitor visa to the Schengen area. It is evidence that your intention of going to a Schengen country is genuine.
A Schengen visa sponsorship letter is usually needed when you are not going to be the one funding your trip to the Schengen country. It is also one of the documents you must submit if your visa application requires you to show proof of funds like work, student and visitor visas.
The letter is a statement confirming that your sponsor will take care of the cost of your feeding, accommodation and transport fare if your visa is approved.
For the sponsorship letter to be considered valid, it must also come with documents that prove the sponsor’s identity and financial capacity. Note that except in the case of a work visa sponsorship, the sponsor does not need to live in the country the beneficiary is going to.
What is a Schengen Visa Invitation Letter?
An invitation letter is a document issued by a friend, family member or organisation based in the Schengen country you want to visit.
The letter is a medium that tells the consular officer that you have someone inviting you to stay with them for a while in the country. This is usually the letter you submit when applying for a tourist or visitor visa.
Unlike the visa sponsorship letter, the invitation letter does not impose any financial obligations on the person who sends you the letter.
All the host needs to do is write the letter, get it notarised and send it to you. You can now add the letter as part of your supporting documents while applying for a Schengen visa.
The invitation letter is also a guarantee from your host to the consulate that you will not stay illegally in the country. Also, note that an invitation letter must be from someone resident in the country the applicant is going to.
If someone or an organisation plans to write a visa sponsorship letter for you, it is best to tell them how to do it. Especially if they have not written a visa sponsorship letter. There are some things they may have to keep in mind while writing the letter.
First, the letter must be clear and concise. It does not need to be too long as this would cause the writer to dabble into many details that are not necessary. Your sponsor should not write long letters. Ideally, all the essential things that need to be said should fit into a page of paper.
Secondly, the letter has to be formal. No jocular or informal terms should be used. It is essential the writer realises they are not writing to their friend. Again, there is no need to be too personal when writing the letter. All endearing terms and compliments should be left out.
Lastly, if the information is unimportant, it should not be added. Even though the consulate officer would like to know what the sponsor does to make money and how much they earn, they do not need to know intimate details about the work. They also do not need details or a breakdown of how much and what the sponsor will spend. They only want to know the total money available to cater to the beneficiary.
Here is a format for a sample sponsor letter for Schengen visa Your letter has to follow this pattern below:
The first address is the sponsor’s and should be written on the top right side of the letter. The second address, the embassy’s address, follows immediately underneath, however, at the left-hand side of the letter. Note that the address of the sponsor is not needed if they are using their official letterhead paper to write the letter, provided their address and contact details are on the letterhead.
Immediately after the sponsor’s address, the date should be written. If the letter does not carry a date, it will be rejected.
This is usually, Dear Sir/Madam/ Visa Officer/Consulate Officer/Immigration Officer.
Here you write the title of your letter. This should not be complicated. A simple “Sponsorship Letter for XYZ” is okay.
Here the purpose of the letter is written in full with relevant details. Note that the consulate officer will verify every piece of information and document submitted in and with the letter.
Ensure that the letter is signed. An unsigned letter will be considered invalid. The signature should bear the name, address, contact details and official signature of the sponsor.
Who Can Write a Visa Sponsorship Letter?
The person who would write a visa sponsorship letter for you depends on the kind of visa you are applying for. If it is a work visa, your employer will sponsor you. They must follow the legal process for sponsoring a foreigner to work for them. The sponsorship letter does not come alone. It also has to come with documents that prove the legitimacy of their work, their financial capacity and why they want to hire you.
Your spouse or blood relatives can also sponsor your Schengen study, visitor or tourist visa. They can write a visa sponsorship letter that you can present to the consulate officer during your interview.
A firm or organisation can also write a visa sponsorship letter. For example, you are visiting the Schengen region for a religious meeting. The religious body sponsoring your trip can write a letter pledging to sponsor your trip.
What to Include in the Schengen Visa Sponsorship Letter
Even though the sponsorship letter should be brief, it must contain some vital information otherwise it would be invalid. What to include in the letter depends on the kind of Schengen visa depends on the type of visa it is for. Here are vital information to include:
- Address of the sponsor and the address of the embassy where the letter is going to
- Name of the embassy
- Name of the beneficiary
- The official name of the sponsor
- Passport of the beneficiary
- Reason for sponsoring the beneficiary
- Relationship between the sponsor and the beneficiary
- Intended travel dates
- Address of the business, organisation or the person who is your sponsor
- Assurance that the beneficiary won’t overstay
- Guarantee that the beneficiary will be taken care of by you
- Travel itinerary
- Intend duration of stay.
- Signature of the sponsor.
Writing the invitation letter for a Schengen visa is similar to how you write the sponsorship letter. The only difference is that the invitation letter does not pledge to take care of the beneficiary except in the case of accommodation. A letter of invitation can come from a family member, a business partner, a hospital, an organisation or a school.
The content of the letter is dependent on the person who is sending the letter. If the letter is coming from a family member, then it has to come with proof that you are related to that family member. This proof could be a marriage or a birth certificate.
The language of the letter must be formal. Slang and idiomatic expressions are not allowed. Your sponsor has to go straight to the point by mentioning why you are coming, how long you are staying, their contact address and proof of their identity and status in the Schengen country.
Your letter should typically be written in this format:
The first address should be written on the right-hand side of the letter. This address is the address of the Schengen embassy in the country where the beneficiary is coming from.
The date should come immediately after the address. Note that the invitation letter must bear a date; else, the letter will be invalid.
This address is the address of the sponsor. It is unnecessary to add this address if the letter is written on a letterhead.
Directly under the second address comes the salutation. Typically this is written as ‘Dear Immigration Officer’.
Heading or Subject
This should be ‘Invitation Letter for XYZ with Passport NO.
Body of the Letter
This should include the name of the person or organisation making the invitee, their contact address and the reason why they are inviting the beneficiary. The letter should also bear the beneficiary’s name, contact and address. Also, the intended date of entry and duration of stay should be specified. The invitation letter for a family Schengen visa should talk about the relationship between the sponsor and the beneficiary. This is particularly important if the invitation is for visitation or tourist purposes, which is typically sent by a family member or friend.
Generally, ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Sincerely’ can serve.
The letter should be signed and contain the inviting person’s name, address, contact details and official signature.
Documents to Accompany the Visa Sponsorship Letter
The documents accompanying the letter are one of the Schengen visa application requirements. If you submit a visa sponsorship letter without these supporting documents, the letter will be considered invalid. These are the documents that should accompany the letter:
- An Identity document of the sponsor. This is usually their national ID card or passport.
- A rent payment slip that shows the address of the sponsor.
- A bank statement showing that the sponsor is capable of taking care of the beneficiary.
- An employment letter showing that the beneficiary has been offered employment in line with the immigration laws of the Schengen country if it is a work visa sponsorship.
What Other Supporting Documents Should the Applicant Provide?
The applicant or beneficiary of the sponsorship must also show some documents to prove that their immigration to a Schengen country is for legitimate reasons. Some of these documents include:
- Proof of ties to home country. This can be an employment or admission letter or marriage and birth certificates showing the applicant’s intention to return to their home country after their stay.
- Travel Itenary. This shows the consulate officer where you intend to stay and how long.
- Identity document. This is typically your passport.
- Reasons for your trip. This is to ensure the visa applicant has a legitimate reason to enter the Schengen area.
Do I need a Sponsor Letter for a Schengen Visa?
You only need a sponsorship letter for a Schengen visa if you are not the one who will cover your expenses in the Schengen area. Sponsorship letters are generally required if you apply for a work visa, tourist visa, business trip, conferences or religious gatherings, study or medical purposes. Getting a sponsor letter when applying for any of these visas increases your chances of getting the Schengen visa.
How Can IAS Help?
If you’re looking to apply for a visa to come to the Schengen region for study, work or tourism, or you’re considering another immigration pathway to go to the Schengen area, IAS can help.
We are experienced immigration lawyers working with expertise in international immigration. We can assist you in applying for your Schengen visa. Our lawyers are ready to help you submit a strong application.
Whether you’re looking for assistance with writing an invitation or visa sponsorship letter, unsure of the supporting documents needed to accompany the letter or need to speak to an immigration expert about your immigration case, we can help.
We can also help if you need to apply for another kind of visa, depending on your immigration situation.
For more information about the services we provide and how we can help you reach out to a member of our team today. Call us on 03333059375, or contact us online.
Last modified on June 27th, 2023 at 12:40 pm
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The sponsorship or invitation letter for a schengen visa should not be longer than one page. This should be enough to give all the necessary information needed. The letter must also be straight to the point.
A sponsorship letter is mandatory for certain circumstances, such as when applying for a Schengen work visa. In this case, the letter is also proof that you have a job offer in a Schengen country. A sponsorship letter is not mandatory for other purposes, such as visiting family or friends. However, you must still prove to the consulate officer that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay.
The minimum income a schengen visa sponsor is required to show varies from one schengen country to another. It is therefore imperative that you check the official government website of the country of choice for its specific income requirement. The sponsor will also show that they have enough money to cater for the fare, health insurance, and beneficiary. For a work visa, the company must demonstrate they have enough funds to pay the beneficiary.
A family member can sponsor your schengen visa application. The family member could be your spouse, parent, child or sibling or close relative. You will also be required to show proof of your relationship with the said family member.