European and Schengen Visas

What is a Schengen Visa?

Many International Students at Edge Hill University choose to travel to other European countries during their studies. For student who do not hold and EU/EEA passport you may need to apply for a visa prior to travelling to other European Countries from the UK. A Schengen Visa will allow you to travel to all countries in the Schengen zone using one visa, for a list of countries in the Schengen zone please click here.

If you wish to travel to any European country not in the Schengen zone you should contact that countries embassy in the UK for more information about the immigration procedures.

Types of Schengen visa:

  • Short Stay Tourist Visa
  • Airport Transit Visa
  • Transit Visa

If you are planning on visit the country and not just travelling through you will require the Short Stay Tourist Visa.

Where to apply for a Schengen visa

  • If you are visiting one country in the Schengen zone you should apply to their Embassy in the UK.
  • If you are visiting several countries in the Schengen zone you should apply to the Embassy of your “main destination” – the country you plan on spending the most time in during your travels.
  • If you are travelling to several countries in the Schengen zone but do not have a main destination, you should apply to the embassy of the country which you will first enter/visit.

Once you have decided which country’s embassy you should make your application to, please visit their embassy’s website for more information and advice regarding the application process. Many countries will use a third party organisation to assist with the processing of visa application e.g. VFS, please check the information on the embassy website carefully.

Supporting documents

You will need the following to apply for your Schengen visa:

  • A valid passport with a blank page for the visa to be affixed.
  • Evidence of your residence in the UK, this would usually be your Visa in your passport or BRP card if you have one.
  • A completed application form: this may be completed online depending on the country you are applying to.
  • Recent photograph(s): this can vary depending on the country you are applying to.
  • Proof of the purpose of your visit: This could be an invitation letter from friends, a conference booking, provisional travel bookings etc.
  • Evidence of sufficient money: You have to show you can support yourself during your trip. There is no set amount to show but Austria and The Netherlands suggest £30 a day. However, this is a low estimate and you may want to have extra fund available, e.g. approximately £40 a day. Evidence can be in the form of bank statements or credit card statements showing the available limit. Some countries may accept cash funds.
  • Proof of medical insurance for your trip.
  • Evidence of student status: You should request a letter from either the International Office or the Student Information Centre confirming your student status and that you are required to return to studies after visiting the Schengen area.
  • You must check that your current student visa has enough time remaining to allow you to return to the UK after your trip. Most Schengen countries require a specific period of leave remaining on your student visa beyond the trip for which the Schengen visa is sought.
  • Visa fee: this can vary from country to country. Most will require you to pay in cash (usually pounds sterling or euros in some cases) or postal orders.
  • A copy of all of the above documentation: some embassies require a copy to be submitted but you should also keep a copy for yourself.

When to apply and how long will it take?

It is important to plan ahead and ensure that you are leaving sufficient time to make an application and receive the visa before you intend to travel. You should apply for your Schengen visa as soon as the embassy you are applying to allows, please check this carefully as this varies from country to country.

Depending on your nationality and other factors (including volume of applications, particularly as busy time of year e.g. Christmas) the process can take a few day to several weeks. Please check the embassy website for the country you are applying to for further information.

Some countries will require you to submit the application in person and return to collect your passport/visa at a later date, please ensure you leave sufficient time and plan ahead for this as you may be required to travel directly to the embassy.