Schengen visas

A Schengen visa enables you to travel across Europe using just one visa.

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Countries that make up the Schengen area

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Leichtenstein
  • Lituania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Non-Schengen countries

If you are travelling to countries outside of the Schengen area you should contact the UK embassy of the country that you will be visiting to find out what their immigration procedures are. To find the embassy of the country you wish to travel to you will need to look at the London Diplomatic List.

Types of Schengen visa

As an international student, the most suitable type of Schengen visa is usually a short-stay visa (also known as a travel visa or visitor visa), this can be applied for as either a single entry or multiple entry visas.

Single entry visa

This type of visa is suitable if you will be travelling to a single Schengen country, or travelling within the 'Schengen area' and will not need to leave the 'Schengen area' until the end of your trip. 

Multiple entry visa

The multiple-entry visa allows you to enter and leave the Schengen area for as long as your visa is valid. We would recommend this type of visa where you plan to visit the different Schengen countries as part of separate trips.

Please be aware that if you are planning to visit a Schengen country for reasons other than as a tourist, then we recommend that you contact the relevant embassy before travelling to check what type of visa you would require, as you may not be able to undertake other activities on a Schengen visa.

Where to apply

The next thing that you will need to think about is which embassy to submit your application to as this will affect how you apply.

Which embassy you apply to will depend on where you are travelling to and for how long:

  • If you are only visiting one country in the Schengen area, then you will make your application directly to the Embassy of that country
  • If you plan to visit more than one country in the Schengen area, then you will need to make your application directly to the Embassy where you will be staying the longest. 
  • If you will visit more than one country in the Schengen area, but staying for the same amount of time in another place, then you will need to apply to the country you will travel to first

How to apply

Once you have decided which Embassy you will need to apply to, read the relevant information below to help you make your application.

You will need to complete the visa application form which you can download from the website of the embassy to which you are applying. 

You will need to submit the application form with the application fee which is usually equivalent to 60 Euros but should be paid in local currency (either as a postal order or with exact change if paying by cash) and any supporting documents to the Embassy before you intend to travel, please see the section below on when to apply.

Most Schengen applications need to be made in person, we recommend that you check the application requirements including the supporting documents that you will need to include with your application. It is important to include the documents listed as without these documents your application is likely to be refused.

Please be aware that if you are applying from within the UK your current passport and the visa you hold must both be valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of the Schengen visa you are applying for.

When to apply

Schengen Embassies will not accept applications made more than 6 months before you intend to travel, and the majority of embassies will be able to process your application within 15 working days.

It is therefore recommended that you check with the embassy that you are applying to if they have any delays or their recommendation of when to apply, and if there are no delays, then apply 4 - 6 weeks before you wish to travel.

For more information about Schengen visas.