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Old 07-09-2015, 12:49 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
130 posts, read 197,813 times
Reputation: 181

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I would like to avoid hiring a travel agent because I have never had to before but my current situation is baffling. I have to get myself and my spouse to and from Belgium. We need to fly Detroit to Brussels, but the problem is I need a flight that is end of August to July 30, 2016 (I have a visa). My spouse does not have a visa yet and will not apply til we arrive. My understanding is that he has 3 months as a tourist but he cannot arrive on a one-way ticket. Once he applies for a visa they should allow him to stay in the country until it's approved. We thought about getting a ticket end of August with a return date exactly 3 months later and then change it to July 30, 2016, but I am told that you cannot alter the date of a ticket that far out.

How would you recommend booking fights for this situation? Thank you!
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,533 posts, read 1,317,458 times
Reputation: 3600
What sort of visa does your spouse need? It sounds like you plan to remain in Europe (presumably the EU) for almost a year? In that case, US citizens will run afoul of Schengen visa limitations if you arrive as a tourist but plan to stay for more than 90 days. You should be talking with the Belgian (or whatever country it is) consular people if your plans have you remaining for most of a year. Once a longer-term visa is obtained, then a one-way ticket shouldn't be an issue. Belgium

Otherwise, you can buy a round trip ticket with the return date as far out as you can when you buy it - usually 330 or 360 days max, then change the return date (and pay a change fee) when your actual return date becomes available. Don't expect any bargains - long-term round trips tend to be more expensive than shorter term ones.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
130 posts, read 197,813 times
Reputation: 181
I have already put in my paperwork for my visa and I plan to get my visa before I leave. My spouse can't get a visa before we leave because apparently they won't allow him in until it's processed which takes up to 6 months, but they told me that he I could sponsor him after we arrive and as long as he is in Belgium when he arrives they'll let him stay until the visa is processed as long as he doesn't leave the country. But when we go through customs in Brussels they won't know that, he'll be seen as a tourist.

I've heard that you can buy 1 way tickets to Europe as long as you have a bank statement showing sufficient funds for return flights?
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland and temporarily England
7,668 posts, read 4,146,348 times
Reputation: 1373
Um? What visa? American citizens just fly to Europe when they want and get admitted there and then.

Unless hes not American??
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:09 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
130 posts, read 197,813 times
Reputation: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sickandtiredofthis View Post
Um? What visa? American citizens just fly to Europe when they want and get admitted there and then.

Unless hes not American??
Not if you are staying a year.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,686 posts, read 16,118,897 times
Reputation: 7711
Schedules for 2016 only go out as far as June 4 at this point. if you want to go the buy & change route, you just need to kind of wait it out. By the end of September you would be able to change it to a July 30, 2016 return date. If you go this route, you're better off buying a 'restricted' ticket where a change will cost you about $250 plus far difference than a full fare refundable unrestricted coach fare, which can run you several thousand more.

There is also the 'throwaway' ticket option- the UK is not part of the Schengen customs zone, and booking a cheap ticket to the UK on a discount carrier Ryanair or easy jet before you leave should satisfy the onward ticket - out of the country requirements.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,318 posts, read 6,981,922 times
Reputation: 3504
Do they need a roundtrip or can he just get a cheaper train ticket out of the country to show he plans to continue on?
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