Schengen visa information

If you are a non-European Economic Area national planning to visit Europe you will need to check whether you will need to apply for a visa before travelling. 

Most countries in Europe have opted to be part of the Schengen Area.  The Schengen Area allows free movements between the different countries with only one visa.  A single trip visa allows travel for a maximum of 90 days over a period of six months, a multiple entry visa allows travel in and out of the country over a six month period for a maximum of 90 days.

There are 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area:

• Austria
• Belgium
• Czech Republic
• Denmark
• Estonia
• Finland
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Hungary
• Iceland
• Italy
• Latvia
• Lithuania
• Luxembourg
• Malta
• Netherlands
• Norway
• Poland
• Portugal
• Slovakia
• Slovenia
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Liechtenstein
 
To check whether you need a Schengen visa, please go to: http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/who-needs-schengen-visa/.

There are three types of Schengen visas: Short-stay or travel visa, Airport transit visa and Transit visa.  Most students will require a Short-stay or travel visa for tourism purposes, if the purpose of your travel is for other reasons apart from tourism, for example to attend a conference, please check with the relevant embassy on what type of visa you will need.

Where to apply for your Schengen visa?

  • If you are visiting only one country in the Schengen area, you should apply to the embassy of that country.
  • If you are visiting several of the 26 countries, you should apply to the embassy of whichever country is your 'main destination' - the country in which you plan to spend the most time during your trip.
  • If you are visiting several countries in the Schengen space without having a main destination, you should submit an application to the embassy of the country where you will first enter the Schengen space.

How to apply for a Schengen visa?

Visa fees, eligibility criteria and documentation required vary, according to which type of visa you need and the country you are applying to. You should check the website of the relevant embassy, or contact them to check what needs to be submitted with your application. You will have to fill in an application form, which you can probably download from their website. If the website does not have the information you need, you will need to telephone the embassy (most embassies have a telephone line giving detailed recorded information).

Most embassies will require the following documents to be submitted with a Schengen visa application:

  • Completed Schengen Visa application form (available from the Embassy website or from Schengen Visa Information link http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/ ).
  • 2 passport photos.
  • Your passport– valid for at least 3 months beyond return date – are required. Your passport must have at least two blank pages. 
  • Copies of your previous visas - Note that most Schengen states require your UK student visa to be valid for a certain period beyond the end of your trip. The length of time required will vary, but may be as long as six months.
  • A copy of your return-ticket reservation, it is not recommended to purchase the ticket before obtaining the visa.
  • Travel medical insurance – the insurance companies that we recommend are www.insureandgo.com or //www.endsleigh.co.uk/personal/travel-insurance/single-trip-travel-insurance/.  Medical cover must be up to Euro 30,000.
  • Hotel reservations
  • Proof of enrolment/registration status letter from Aberystwyth University
  • Bank statement of the last 6 months

You will need to make an appointment to submit your visa application and supporting documents.  Appointments for popular destinations such as France, Germany and Italy, can get booked up easily so please ensure that you apply well in advance.