I'm an international student currently living near Chicago. Tomorrow I have an appointment to get a French visa, and I have a question about one of the requirements.

According to them (http://www.consulfrance-chicago.org/spip.php?article657), I'm required to have a travel itinerary: "2. travel itinerary: we recommend you to make a flight reservation and not purchase your airline ticket until you get your visa."

Does this phrase mean that I'm supposed to book a ticket before I show up at the Consulate General, or that it's just a recommendation and all I need is to know my route?

I would call the Consulate General, but they are closed today.


From the looks of it, they probably want you to have an idea of where you're going, whether it's within the Schengen area or not, whether you need a particular visa, etc.

More than likely it's to prevent someone from spending a lot of money for a plane ticket that may not be used (if the visa is rejected).

Have a particular flight and/or date in mind, just in case. Good luck.


It's definitely not obligatory as far as Schengen regulations are concerned, which is why they can't explicitly demand it and only recommend one.

Beyond that, you need to establish two things: that you have a valid purpose (that's where the itinerary comes in) and that you have the means to leave the Schengen area (that's why a reservation might be useful). The more evidence you are able to provide, the better.

See also Booking travel tickets for visa without paying?

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