Schengen Visa - A Guide for International Students

We can offer limited advice and guidance on the visa requirements for International students who wish to apply for a Schengen visa to visit an EU or EEA country.

What is a Schengen Visa?

25 Countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) have signed the Schengen Visa Scheme.

When you visit an EEA country you will still be subject to immigration control at each port of entry. However, having a valid Schengen visa for one of the countries, usually enables you to travel freely within the Schengen area for up to three months.

Please visit here for a list of EEA countries.

How to apply for a Schengen Visa

As the various countries update their websites and processes regularly, we cannot list the individual countries requirements. However, further details on the application process for individual countries are available from the respective Embassy or consular Office in the UK. Please visit here for the list of Foreign Embassies in the UK.

Some countries have adopted an online visa form, whilst others require you to print and complete a paper visa application form and book an appointment. Therefore, it is very important that you check the requirements carefully.

If you want to visit more than one Schengen country you need to apply to the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will spend the most time. If you intend to spend equal amounts of time in several countries, you can apply to the Embassy or consulate of the first country you will visit.

Types of Schengen Visas

The most usual type of visa is the Short Stay visa, which allows you to travel for up to 90 days in any 6 month period within the Schengen. The purpose for travelling in the Schengen area for could be for tourism or even attending a conference. Below explains the different types of this visa:

  • Single-entry visa allows its holder to enter a Schengen country (Schengen Area) only once for the certain period of time. Once you leave the certain Schengen Area you entered, the visa validity expires, even if the time period allowed to stay in the Schengen Area is not over yet.
  • Double-entry visa applies is similar as above. However, you are allowed to enter the Schengen Area twice, meaning that for the certain period of time permitted by your visa you can enter the Schengen Zone, leave and enter again without any problems. Once you are out of the country for the second time the visa expires.
  • Multiple-entry visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as pleased. However, this visa allows its holder to stay in a Schengen Zone for maximum 90 days within half the year, starting from the day one crosses the border between a Schengen member country and the non-Schengen member country.

There are other types of visa, you may require such as: 

  • Airport Transit Visa - If you are going through the international transit area of an airport of a Schengen member state, but are not going to leave this area before you fly on to your next destination.
  • Transit Visa - If you are passing through one or more Schengen member states on your way to another country outside the Schengen area.
What documentation do you need?

Please check individual Embassy requirements as they may have additional requirements

  • Passport / official travel document - you need to have at least two blank pages in your passport. You also need to have at least 3 months left on your passport, as well as 90 days left on your UK visa (some Schengen countries require 180 days) on the day you plan to travel back to the UK. Please check with the embassy of the relevant country.
  • Completed application form(s) (available from embassy website of the country you are applying to)
  • Passport-sized photograph(s)
  • Certificate of Student Status from the Student Services Centre
  • Evidence of purpose of visit e.g. official letter of invitation from conference; confirmed return airline ticket, or a confirmed hotel booking
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover visit e.g. bank statements, travellers cheques or credit cards
  • Evidence of travel insurance to cover medical costs, for the entire trip, most countries state a minimum of 30,000 Euros.
Further Advice

If you require further advice or information on applying for a Schengen visa you can book an appointment with an Immigration Adviser by contacting  visas@le.ac.uk  or by calling us on 0116 229 7400

Further information is also available from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website

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