How to Apply for A Schengen Visa From The UK: International Student Guide

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Embarking on an international adventure as a student is thrilling, but navigating the visa process can be daunting. If you’re planning to explore Europe during your studies, understanding the Schengen visa application from the UK is crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of applying for a Schengen visa, tailored specifically for international students residing in the UK. From gathering necessary documents to filling out the application form and attending the visa appointment, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure a smooth and successful visa application process.

Passport and application form

Can I travel to Europe with a UK Student BRP?

A commonly asked question is if students who have a UK Biometric Residence Permit can travel to Europe with it. Unfortunately, as of now, international students with a UK Student BRP can’t travel to Europe without a Schengen Visa. 

Girl thinking

What is A Schengen Visa 

A Schengen visa is a travel document that allows individuals to visit and move freely within the Schengen Area, which comprises 26 European countries. The Schengen visa is typically issued for short stays, such as tourism, business trips, or visiting family and friends, and it permits entry to any of the Schengen member states during its validity period. It is an essential requirement for nationals of many countries who wish to travel to the Schengen Area.

Person holding a Schengen visa

Do You Need A Schengen Visa as A Student In The UK

The sole factor which decides whether or not you are permitted into the Schengen region without a permit or if you need a visa depends on your nationality.

Some nationalities that are exempt from applying for a Schengen visa include Malaysia, Australia, Japan and South Korea to name a few. 

People with nationalities that are exempt can visit for short stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day timeframe without a visa. 

All other nationals who are not exempt will have to formally apply for a Schengen visa to be able to visit and enter the Schengen area.

Visit this page on the Schengen Visa Info website to find out if you are exempt from applying for a Schengen visa or not.

Girl thinking

What Constitutes the Schengen Area

According to the European Union Home Affairs the Schengen area constitutes 26 countries out of which 22 are EU countries.

This includes Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Flag and a flight marker on top of it

How to Apply For A Schengen Visa 

If you fall under the category of individuals who need a Schengen visa, then we will guide you through all the steps you need to take to obtain it. 

Application Form

The first step to obtaining your Schengen visa as a student in the UK is to complete the application form for the designated country you have chosen. 

Although the Schengen visa application form is similar for all countries, some of them have slight differences as well.

Visit the website of your chosen country’s embassy and download the application form from there. 

If you are planning to visit multiple countries, then you should choose the application form of the country you will be entering first or the one where you will spend the longest time. 

You should fill out the application form as accurately as you can with details regarding where you will be staying, the number of days of your trip, your flight ticket details and so on. The more details you provide, the higher the chance of your Schengen visa being approved. 

Person filling out the Schengen visa application form

Appointment Booking

Once you have completed the application form, the next step is for you to book a biometric appointment with the embassy or their representative in the UK. This is usually either VFS or TLS contact. 

You will have to create an account with one of these providers depending on your destination. 

If the provider for your destination is TLSconatct, you will have to fill out the application form online before you can make an appointment whereas you only need the physical copy for VFS.

The appointments for the biometrics get booked pretty quickly, so be sure to check at regular intervals to secure your slot. Be sure to find a booking at least 15 calendar days prior to your travel date to give them sufficient time to process your application.  

Girl using a laptop

Biometric Appointment 

Once you have secured your slot, you can then begin gathering documents that you will need to bring with you. 

This is one of the most important steps when you are applying for a Schengen visa.

Here is a list of documents you will need if you are applying for a Schengen visa as a student in the UK.

  1. Application form filled and signed
  2. Passport photo
  3. Passport original and copy 
  4. Travel itinerary for the duration of the stay
  5. Proof of funds – 3 month bank statement, 3 month payslips 
  6. Proof of flight and hotel bookings
  7. Letter from your university confirming your course dates and enrollment and no objection letter for your travel
  8. If applicable, proof of (part-time) employment
  9. Travel insurance covering minimum €30,000
  10. BRP original and copy
  11. Cover letter 

Depending on the country you are visiting, they might have extra documents other than the ones listed above. 

But be sure to print the accurate checklist for your chosen country along with these documents. 

Once you have gathered all your documents, you are pretty much ready to go. All you have to do then is show up to your appointment on time and submit all the documents and the biometrics. 

Man at a Schengen visa biometric appointment

Application Processing Time

The processing time is said to be 15 calendar days minimum with this number changing depending on which city you lodge your application, peak and off-season and if they request additional documents. 

Schengen visa

We hope you found this blog on How to Apply for A Schengen Visa For UK Students helpful.

Navigating the process of applying for a Schengen Visa as a UK student may seem daunting at first, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a manageable task.

Remember to carefully gather all required documents, plan your itinerary, and submit your application well in advance of your intended travel dates. Utilise online resources and seek guidance from the appropriate authorities or visa application centres to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

By following these steps and staying organised, you’ll soon find yourself ready to embark on your European adventure with confidence. Safe travels!

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