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Schengen visa

If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and want to travel to Europe you may need to apply for a Schengen visa.

The Schengen Visa Scheme allows students to visit all of the participating countries in the Schengen area using just one visa. These countries are:

N.B. The UK and Republic of Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen space.

Not all nationalities need to apply for a Schengen visas to enter the Schengen area. To find out whether you need a Schengen visa please check the EU immigration website


Where to apply

  • If you are intending to travel to only one Schengen country, you will need to apply for a visa at the embassy of that country.
  • If you intend to visit a number of Schengen countries, you need to apply for a visa at the embassy of the main destination country (i.e. where you will be spending the most nights).
  • 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 you are visiting first.

How to apply

Visa fees, eligibility criteria and documentation required vary according to which type of Schengen visa you need and the country you are applying to. You should check the website of the relevant embassy before making your application. Applications should be made as early as possible, in case there are any unexpected delays in processing the application.


What you need in order to apply

  • Completed application form - Please download it from the relevant embassy website.
  • Visa fee - Please check the current fee and which forms of payment are acceptable before submitting your application.
  • Original passport or official travel document.
  • Recent photograph(s) - The exact number required varies between countries.
  • Proof of purpose of the visit - Invitation letters from friends/conference. Reservations for accommodation or tours may need to be shown.
  • Evidence of current UK immigration permission - Most Schengen countries insist that your immigration permission to be in the UK should last for at least 3 months after you return from your trip.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds - You have to show that you can support yourself during your stay. Evidence confirming this can be recent bank statements, and credit card statements showing the current credit limit.
  • Evidence of student status - You can obtain a Schengen Visa letter from UCL confirming that you are enrolled and attending a programme of study. You can request this letter in person at the Student Centre.
  • Travel insurance to cover the period - You have to show a proof of medical/travel insurance which covers the entire trip.

If you have finished your studies, or are intending to travel after your studies have finished, you will not require a Schengen visa letter. The Student Centre will NOT issue you a Schengen visa letter if you have finished your studies. 


Application tips

  • 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 upon which embassy you are applying to. Applicants are advised to leave plenty of time (two or three months) before they plan to travel.
  • Take a copy of the application form and any additional documents that you send, for your own records.