Schengen Visa


If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national and want to travel in Europe, you may need to apply for a Schengen via.  This allows you to travel between countries in the Schengen Area on a single visa.

The following countries are in the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Students from the following countries do not need a Schengen visa: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.

Requirements for a Schengen visa
- You must have 3 months remaining on your Tier 4 Student visa or other UK visa after the date you plan to leave the Schengen Area and return to the UK.  If you will not be returning to the UK, you will need to show evidence of a flight to your home country.
- You must have two blank pages in your passport.
- If you already have a valid Schengen visa, you must contact the embassy that issued it and have it cancelled. 

Where do I apply? 
- If you are visiting only one country in the Schengen Area, apply through the embassy of that country.
- If you are visiting more than one country in the Schengen Area, apply through the embassy of the country where you will be spending the longest time (main destination).
- If you are visiting several countries in the Schengen Area without having a main destination, apply through the embassy of the country you will visit first.  

You can find a list of foreign embassies in the UK on this webpage.

How do I apply?
Each member of Schengen Area has its own application procedure.  You can find more information on the application procedure on the embassy's website.  Most embassies will require you to submit the following documents:
- passport / official travel document
- completed application form
- passport-sized photograph(s)
- Schengen visa letter. You can request this by writing to
- proof of purpose for visit (for e.g. letter of invitation from a conference or friend you are visiting, return airline ticket, confirmed hotel booking).
- evidence of sufficient funds to cover your visit (for e.g. bank statement, travellers' cheques or credit cards)
- proof of travel insurance which covers your entire trip.

How long will my application take?
Most embassies will take about 3 weeks to process your application, but this can vary and be longer during peak periods.  You should apply for your visa at your earliest opportunity.

Further information
UK Council for International Student Affairs website