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If you are from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) national and want to travel to Europe, you may be required to apply for a Schengen visa before you travel, unless you are a visa-free national. Nationals of the following countries are normally considered to be visa-free.
Antigua and Barbuda
United States of America
Hong Kong s.a.r**
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Bosnia and Herzegovina*
Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of*
*if you have a biometric passport only
**if you have a ‘Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’ passport only
***if you have a ‘Região Administrativa Especial de Macau’ passport only
****your passport must include an identity card number
British nationals overseas can also visit the Schengen area for up to 90 days without first applying for a visa
The Schengen Visa Scheme allows visitors to obtain one visa to visit a number of designated countries within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Please note that the UK is not a Schengen state so you can not re-enter the UK on a Schengen visa, you must make sure you have a valid visa for re-entry into the UK.
You will be required to prove that you have adequate travel and medical insurance to cover you whilst you are in the Schengen area. Most visa application centres have travel insurance that you can buy via their website.
There are currently 26 countries which have signed the Schengen agreement and which make up the Schengen space. These countries are:
Each embassy or consulate produces its own application form and charges vary. Applications are normally submitted via a visa application centre in person, for which you usually require an appointment. Most visa application centres operate a premium rate telephone information service if you cannot find the information you require on their website.
In order to check if you need a visa and/or to apply for a Schengen visa you should contact the relevant visa application centre for either:
The validity of a short-stay Schengen visa (which would allow you to visit any number of the 26 participating states during the course of one trip) is three months.
Charges will vary depending on which of the Schengen countries issues the visa.
More frequently asked questions are answered by UKCISA, available on their website:
UKCISA - Schengen Visa
You should plan any trips to the Schengen states well in advance. Processing times vary from embassy to embassy and national holidays and busy periods will result in a longer wait. We recommend that you apply within three months of your travel date and not less than six weeks before.
You will need between three and six months left on your passport and UK visa, depending on the country you are applying to:
Complete all sections of the form before you attend your appointment.
Please note: Most Schengen states require that you have a number of months remaining on your UK student visa beyond the end of your trip. The length of time required varies, but can be as long as six months.
Visa fees can usually be paid by credit/debit card via the visa application centre website. Alternatively you may be able to pay in person when you attend your appointment.
The fee will not be refunded even if your application is unsuccessful.
You should plan any trips to the Schengen states well in advance to coincide with university vacations. You should allow approximately three weeks, but for certain nationals and depending on demand it could take up to eight weeks.
Some visa application centres have a limit on the number of applications they will accept each day. You should aim to arrive promptly for an interview as if you are late you may miss your slot. Please note that embassies close on days which are national holidays in their own country, which can delay the visa application process.
If you need any further information or advice please contact the international advice service via email at email@example.com call into the Student Hub (RM050).
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Page last updated on Wednesday 27 June 2018 at 2.49pm.
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