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I am an Indian citizen and want to travel to Lisbon, Portugal in June 2015. I want to go there on a tourist visa. Since the Schengen tourist visa requires exact details of accommodation, is it possible to just show a hotel booking or a friends address to suffice this? The tickets are very cheap if I buy them well before but I don't have any ideas on the date of travel. So is it possible to apply for a Schengen visa without knowing when you will use it?

Also, how long is the Schengen visa valid? I want to stay in Lisbon for a week and I don't require multiple entries as well. Just that five day period in whatever the length of the visa is allotted.

  • Only a reservation is required, not a purchased ticket. – Burhan Khalid Dec 25 '14 at 8:07
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There is no exact requirements when applying for a Schengen visa about the accommodation. It is preferred to show a hotel booking, like on booking.com, or if you're staying with a friend, you would need the friend to send an official invitation letter to the embassy saying that he will be responsible for you, but these are only to increase your chances of getting a positive decision. If for instance because of the nature of your trip you cannot provide these exact details, like in my case I was going to do an interrail (I was living outside Europe back then), hence I didn't know where exactly I was going to be after the first couple of days of the trip, I was asked to write a couple of paragraphs describing my most likely route with how I'm going to arrange transportation and accommodation accordingly, and I didn't really have any difficulties getting the visa I asked for.

My advice, be honest and give them openly all the information you have on your journey, they will be on your side.

As for your second question, there are visas up to several years, the longest was a 3-year visa that I've seen so far, allowing you to spend 90 days per year within the Schengen zone. If you're looking for a couple of weeks or months, I'd say as long as it's less than 3 months, the length of the time you're applying for won't cause you any trouble.

  • Thanks Cem. So do you suggest a visa first approach. But one of the documents required are confirmed return journey so how can I prove to the visa office I actually want to return. – user3743672 Dec 24 '14 at 0:43
  • My advice is that you be honest with them. This entails booking the flights later in case there is a serious reason for it related to planning your journey, not just because you think your visa application might get rejected and end up losing the money for the tickets. If they believe you lack the confidence in your application, it will only make matters worse for you. As in your case, if you openly write that you're planning to book the tickets around those stated dates, with possibly that airline and this connection, and show sufficient funds in your bank account, that should do the trick. – downhand Dec 24 '14 at 17:43

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