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My mother in law (Chinese) will be visiting myself and my wife in the UK over Christmas. She currently holds a visa for the UK so that's not a problem. She's applying for a Schengen visa and I was wondering if it's requried for her to have an invitation letter from her daughter which explains that she'll be visiting us in the UK and then travelling to France from the UK along with scanned copies of her respective documents for residence in the UK?

Thank you

  • Will she be returning to the UK before going back to her home country, or travelling home direct from France? What ‘residence’ documents does she have for the UK apart from a visitor visa, which is presumably in her passport? – Traveller Nov 6 '18 at 11:34
  • She will be returning to the UK before going back to China. And sorry for the confusion, I meant her daughter's residence documents for the UK, ( Residence Permit and Passport ), I wasn't sure if these documents would be needed or are useful at all. – The Little Ermine Nov 6 '18 at 11:43
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It can be helpful to provide an informal letter from you and your wife about the plans; this helps establish credence for her stated travel plans, which is always good in a visa application. The point of such a letter would be to evidence that the people she claims to be visiting do indeed exist and provide contact details in the (unlikely) case the consulate decides to verify it. Do not attempt to promise things in the letter that are not yours to promise; in particular, explicitly promising that the mother-in-law is going to leave the Schengen area will make the letter less helpful.

Unless you and your wife are funding the mother-in-law's visit, that should be all you need. If there's already an UK visa in her passport, the French consulate ought to assume that the British have already checked whatever they want to check about her host having legal status in the UK.

If you are funding her trip, then the consulate will want to see some documentation for your financials -- bank statements, etc. -- to make it look plausible that you can afford (and would choose) to spend money on her trip.

  • Thanks. Would it also be useful to attach scanned copies of our documents to confirm our identities as well then? We're not funding her trip and she is providing her statements and payslips to confirm she can cover all costs. – The Little Ermine Nov 6 '18 at 15:46
  • @TheLittleErmine: I don't know. My personal guess is that doing so would be somewhere between "irrelevant" and "trying too hard", but this is not a particularly informed opinion. – Henning Makholm Nov 6 '18 at 16:18
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Your mother should explain her itinerary and premise for the visit. As I understand it, the trip would be

China -> UK -> France -> UK -> China.

For the Schengen visa, it greatly helps that she has an UK visa and relatives in the UK, since it would be rather implausible that she wants to overstay in France. If she had any such thing in mind, that would be in the UK. You should definitely submit a copy of the UK visa.

An invitation by an UK resident for going to France would be kind of contradictory, unless you are paying her travel expenses, but the fact that her daughter travels with her should be mentioned to explain the itinerary.

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