Travelling to Europe - Schengen Visa

The Schengen visa, which is valid for three months, allows you to visit most, but not all, European countries.

European Union countries within the Schengen area are:

  • Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
  • Although the UK is currently a member of the EU, it is not a member of the Schengen Visa area.
  • Ireland has also opted out of the Schengen area.
  • Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are members of the EU but have not yet joined the Schengen area. 

In addition to the EU countries above, the following countries are members of the European Economic Area:

  • Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are all members of the Schengen area. Switzerland is neither a member of the EU nor the EEA but it is a member of the Schengen area.

You can also travel to the following countries with a Schengen visa

  • Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino

Applying for a Schengen Visa

If you want to visit only one Schengen country you need to apply to the Embassy or Consulate of that country.
You can find details of foreign embassies in the UK using this link.

If you want to visit more than one Schengen country you need to to apply to the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will spend the most time.

What documentation do you need?

  • Passport / official travel document
  • 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 Information Desk (SSiD)
  • 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, travellers cheques or credit cards
  • Proof of travel insurance to cover medical costs

For more information about Schengen Visas and travelling to Europe we recommend that you read the UKCISA information on "Schengen Visas" and from the Student Advice Centre webpage.