When you apply for a visa for any European country, the concerned embassy would ask for booked flight itinerary or flight reservations. This often has created a confusion among students applying for their study visa for Europe. All Schengen countries, UK and other non-European Union member countries ask for flight itinerary or flight reservations along with your visa application. However, it does not imply that you should buy your flight tickets well in advance. Embassies understand that anyone can incur huge financial losses in case the visa application gets rejected. Hence all they demand is not the actual ticket, but the itinerary that you are supposed to take once the visa gets approved.
One must understand the difference between actual flight tickets and flight itinerary for visa application. A flight itinerary is nothing but a detailed information of airline that you will be taking to travel across like flight name, flight code, departure and arrival time, dates of proposed flight, IATA codes of flight, booking number or flight reservation number if any. The above mentioned details are totally different from actual purchase of flight tickets. Hence, the answer of query, that whether one should book the flight tickets before submitting application, is No.
It is also worth to understand the objective of Embassy being asking for the flight reservations or itineraries- The first goal is to give them an assurance that there is flight available from your city to destination. Second, is to validate your actual flight itinerary against the travel itinerary that you have submitted earlier. For. Example, if you were landing and boarding from Austria after completion of your course in the travel itinerary you have submitted, but the flight tickets suggest that you will board from Poland, to start your return journey, this may lead to confusion and raise the eyebrows of security. Third, is to verify that is which country you would be spending your most of the time in case of Schengen visa.
The process gets slightly confusing for some. Hence, we at Golden Future, as a professional visa consultant, advise all to take help from people like us. We, at Golden Future, have dealt with number of cases of studying visa and facilitate your visa application process with ease.