The Schengen Visa Scheme allows people wishing to visit certain countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) to travel using only one visa for a trip that could last up to 3 months.
At the moment, there are 24 countries which have signed the Schengen agreement and which make up the Schengen space. These countries are listed below.
If you are planning on visiting more than one country, you should apply for your Schengen Visa from the country that you enter first or in which you will be spending the most time.
Types of Schengen Visa
There are various types of Schengen visas available. These include:
- Airport transit visa – allows you to pass through the transit area of an airport of a Schengen member state but not to visit the country, before flying on to your final destination (for example if you pass through Amsterdam airport en route to Nigeria)
- Transit visa – allows you to pass through one or more Schengen member states on your way to another country outside the Schengen space
- Short-stay or travel visa – allows you to visit Schengen member states for up to 3 months in any 6-month period. This is the visa most students will need to apply for if they want to travel within the Schengen space. This visa does NOT allow you to travel to and from the Schengen space at will. You will be usually be expected to submit details of travel and accommodation for all trips with your application
Some points to remember:
Some embassies have a limit on the number of applications they will accept each day. You should aim to arrive at the embassy very early if you are making your application in person. Other embassies require that you make an appointment for an interview. Embassies close on days which are national holidays in their own country.
Please be aware that visa information lines can be very expensive and only give pre-recorded basic information. It is better to use the embassy websites.
How to apply for your Schengen Visa
Clicking on the individual countries below will provide you with a specific and comprehensive guide to applying for a Schengen visa from that country. Following our easy step by step guides will help you to make your independent Schengen application:
- Czech Republic
- Switzerland & Liechtenstein
Please note that it is a student’s responsibility to apply for Schengen visas for their own travel and that the University can not do this for you.
International Students travelling to Europe
Are you thinking of travelling to Europe for Christmas or at any other time during your studies? If so, check out the Travelling to EU countries page for information and tips on where to start.
The UK is an ideal starting point for travel in Europe and it may be cheaper than you think to see some famous sites. Whether you want to travel by ‘plane, train or automobile’ it is fairly easy to plan an exciting vacation somewhere new.
The International Student Support Service has put together some information to help you get started and give you some guidance on where to look but it is still worth checking the internet and local travel shops for any other possible bargains!