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I am an international student now studying in the UK, and I need a visa for traveling to Switzerland.

The visa application requires a confirmed hotel reservation, but it hasn't mentioned what kind of rate should be. I actually have two options to book an hotel, the first one is fully prepaid and non-refundable; the second is very flexible - where I can cancel or change it any time before arrival date.

My question is - what kind of booking should I do? the fully pre-paid one or the flexible one?

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I don't know, but this is related to loopholes used in (at least) Sweden when people get import brides. They're required to buy a return ticket, so the woman can return if she chooses. Instead, the man buys a refundable return ticket, which permits entrance, but then cancels the return ticket, leaving the woman in his financial dependence. So possibly the flexible one is legal (but possibly not). –  gerrit Nov 5 '12 at 15:47
    
as @gerrit, I think this is the same problem and I would say that since non-flexible tickets have been introduced with other pricing strategies, the conditions of sale are not independent from visa requirements. In other words, the non-refundable reservation will just result in losing your money if you don't come, but you can still never come if you want. –  Vince Nov 5 '12 at 16:37
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2 Answers

You don't have to prepay. (In fact, in most hotels, you pay when you check out, not when you make a reservation; often you cannot prepay.)

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The main reason of having this proof is to make sure that if you enter Switzerland, you have a place to stay, and won't roam during the night. And that if something happens, immigration is able to track you.

So it does not matter whether you choose the prepaid or the flexible rate, as long as you put the details of the hotel and are able to show a reservation confirmation.

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