The Schengen visa allows you to move freely in all of the member countries within the validity of the visa, provided that you satisfy immigration requirements at the time of entry. It is valid for a maximum period of three months.
If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply for a visa at the embassy of that country.
If you intend to visit several of the Schengen countries you should apply for a visa at the embassy of the country that you intend to spend the majority of your time in.
If you are unsure what your main destination will be you should apply to the embassy of the first country you will visit.
How do I apply?
It is important to plan your trip in advance as applications can take many weeks or months to be processed. You will need to go onto the embassy website to check the procedure for applying and to download the application form. As some of the embassies are based in London you should check whether you can submit your application by post. You may need to book an appointment to go in person.
For most applications you will have to provide the following:
- Passport / official travel document.
- Completed application form(s).
- Passport-sized photograph(s).
- Certificate of student status.
- Proof of purpose of visit e.g. official letter of invitation from conference; confirmed return airline ticket, or a confirmed hotel booking.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover visit e.g. bank statements, traveller’s cheques or credit cards.
- Proof of travel insurance to cover medical costs.
But you should always check with the embassy for the specific requirements.
Most embassies specify that students must have a minimum period remaining on their UK visa before they will issue a visa. This can vary from one to six months.
It is also very important to check the validity of your passport before making an application. Many embassies require that passports are valid for a minimum period of at least three months beyond the end date of travel.
Re-entry to the UK
You will also need to consider your re-entry to the UK particularly if you have completed your studies and want to stay in the UK to work under Tier 2.