Travelling Outside the UK – Schengen Visas

Travelling to Europe – Schengen Visa Scheme

The Schengen Visa Scheme enables people to visit certain countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) by travelling on one visa.

At present there are 26 countries within the EEA which are signed up to the Schengen Agreement and make up the Schengen space.  These countries are:

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 | Switzerland

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen space.

Types of Schengen Visas

There are three types of Schengen visas:

  • Short stay visa: single or multiple entry
  • Airport transit visa
  • Transit visa

The short stay visa allows a visit of up to three months in any six-month period. This is the visa that most students who wish to travel within the Schengen space as tourists or to attend conferences/field trips will require.

The two transit visas are to be used if entering a Schengen country briefly in order to pass through to another country outside of the Schengen space.

Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa

If you intend to travel to only one Schengen country you will need to apply for a visa at the embassy of that particular country.  Here is the contact information of the embassies and the visa application centers.

If you intend to visit a number of Schengen countries, you MUST apply for a visa at the embassy of the main destination country.

If you are applying for a Schengen visa to travel to a number of countries and do not have a main destination, you will need to apply to the embassy of the country that is your first entry point.

Making an Application

Each embassy has its own application process. Some embassies will require you to make an application in person while others will require you to submit a postal application. The embassy website will instruct you on the application process. For further information please click on the relevant country link above.

Documents to Provide

Each country has its own application procedure and the type of documents you are required to submit can vary.

The following list includes some of the main documents you are likely to need to provide:

  • Passport/travel document
  • Passport photographs
  • Evidence of purpose of visit
  • Evidence of funds
  • Evidence of student status, which can be obtained from the Registry
  • Medical insurance for your trip

Things to Note When Making an Application

You will need to have at least one or two blank pages in your passport when making an application.

Certain embassies will require you to have a specific amount of time left on your passport and UK visa at the time of re-entering the UK. This will usually be between three and six months. You will need to check individual embassy websites for further details.

Application processing times will vary depending on the embassy. Applicants are advised to leave plenty of time (two or three months) before you plan to travel.

Take a copy of the application form and any additional documents that you send for your own records.

Travelling to Countries Outside the Schengen Space

If you wish to travel to a country that is not within the Schengen space you will need to visit the country's embassy website to find out what type of visa you will need and how to make an application.

Re-entering the UK after your Trip.

You should check that your student visa permits you to re-enter the UK after your travels and avoid making trips abroad when your student visa is near to its expiry. Always seek advice before travelling.

If you require any further advice please contact Student Support.


Student Support Office

+44 (0)20 7590 4140