How to Get a Schengen Visa for Short-term Study and Research Purposes
If you are looking to study in Europe for a period of fewer than three months, you should apply for a standard Schengen Visa that will allow you to travel throughout its member states. Like all other types of Schengen visas, you can only stay in any of the Schengen countries for up to 90 days with the Schengen Student visa.
If your study or training course is expected to be longer than that, the applicant should consider applying for a National Visa which permits you to stay longer, and state study as their purpose for travel.
Traveling to the Schengen Area amid Coronavirus travel restrictions
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, travel restrictions have been set up worldwide preventing travel for most, separating friends and families for months, and restricting access to visitors who do not fall under the exemptions for travel.
These restrictions are updated regularly, whether it is to remove them, add exemptions, or extend them depending on what officials feel is appropriate for the current circumstances, so it is always best to check the travel restrictions or upcoming travel restrictions per country if you will be allowed to travel.
The good news is that there are many exemptions to the bans, like the love contract that many Schengen countries honour in order to let couples reunite.
If you are unsure about whether you will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area right now, feel free to book a consultation with us and we can check for you.
Who needs to apply for a Schengen Student Visa in the UK?
Any UK citizen who holds either a full UK passport or a BOTC, BOC, BPP or BS passport can travel to the Schengen area for studies/research visa-free.
Keep in mind that the rules on travel have now changed due to Brexit.
Many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to the Schengen area they want to study in.
Citizens of the following countries residing in the UK and planning to visit a Schengen area for studies/research are required to get a Schengen Student visa.
|Angola||Ghana||Papua New Guinea|
|Belize||Indonesia||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Burkina Faso||Kazakhstan||South Africa|
|Central African Republic||Lebanon||Syria|
|Dem. Rep. Of Congo||Mali||Tunisia|
|North Korea||Northern Mariana’s|
You can also check with our eligibility checker to see if you need to apply for a visa for the other types of Schengen visas.
The main requirement is that you must have a UK residence permit valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen Area.
Before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to The Schengen area for studies/research, make sure to check whether you need a visa to Schengen Student Visa or not.
If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for three more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Schengen student visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK.
Note: You can stay in the UK until the decision about the extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.
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- 18 Non-Schengen Countries You Can Visit With a Schengen Visa
Steps to Applying for a Student Schengen Visa from the UK
Step 1: Know your visa type and validity
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for different purposes.
Short-term Visa — this is the most popular Schengen Visa. It allows its holder to visit and stay in a Schengen Area for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity. It is primarily issued for tourism, visiting family and friends, student and other authorized purposes. It can be provided for single entry, double-entry, or multiple entries, depending on the purpose of your travel.
- Single-Entry Visa
A single-entry visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, within the given period of time, as indicated in the visa sticker stamped to their passport. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory, the holder cannot go back without getting a new visa; no matter how short the duration the he/she spent in the Schengen area.
- Double-entry visa
A double-entry visa allows the holder to enter the Schengen area twice. This is very handy especially when you are travelling to a Schengen country, and then visit a non-Schengen area and back to a Schengen area to conclude your trip. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory for the second time, he or she can no longer go back without getting a new visa; even if you have not spent all of the days you were permitted to remain there.
- Multiple-entry visa
A multiple-entry visa allows the holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area multiple times for up to 90 days at a time at any given 180 days period.
Several factors the consulate will consider in order to give a multiple-entry visa include;
- The need/justification to travel to the Schengen country frequently
- Your financial status in your country of residence
- Whether you have adhered to leaving in time during your previous visits.
- Your authentic intention to leave the Schengen Area after your time is up.
Depending on how frequently you travel to the Schengen zone, you may apply and obtain one of the following multiple-entry visa types:
1-year multiple-entry visa – This visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen Zone multiple times, as long as they do not stay more than 3 months within this period.
3-year multiple-entry visa – This visa gives you the right to enter the Schengen zone multiple times within a period of three years. However, even in this case, you are only allowed to reside in the Schengen area no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.
5-year multiple-entry visa – This visa allows its holder to enter 26 countries in the Schengen region as many times as they wish, within five years, as long they do not stay for more than 90 days within a 180-day period.
The validity of your single-entry visa depends on the number of days you stated you are going to be in the Schengen zone on your visa application form and the actual decision of the consulate that issues you the Schengen visa.
If you are a frequent traveler you may apply to obtain an EU visa valid for up to 5 years, but you have to keep in mind that you cannot stay within the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period of time even if you hold a multiple-entry visa for Europe valid for up to 5 years.
For more information on how to read your Schengen Visa sticker, read our blog post here.
Step 2: Identify where to make the application and book an appointment
If you are planning to study in only one country of the Schengen member states, then you will have to simply apply for a Schengen visa for a Student at the embassy of that country in your home country.
But, in cases when you are planning to visit more than two countries inside this area, it may seem puzzling which embassy you have to apply. You do not have to apply at each embassy of every country you are planning to visit.
Simply put, if you are planning to visit two or more countries during the same study trip, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you plan to spend more time. If you are planning to spend equal time in two or more countries, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you will be landing first.
Appoint an interview through the website of the consulate or embassy of the country you are planning to visit, in your country of residence. You can appoint an interview six months before the earliest and two weeks before the latest.
Step 3: Complete your application form
The Schengen Visa application form contains questions about you including:
- Name and surname
- Date and place of birth
- Sex and marital status
- National Identity number
- Passport number
- Home address and email
- Purpose of trip
- Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
- Intended date of arrival in Schengen area you are visiting, and the intended period of stay
- Cost of traveling and remaining in Schengen area you are visiting, who will cover them, etc.
You need to indicate Studies/Research as the purpose of your travels.
Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.
Find out more about how to complete a Schengen vis application form in this blog post.
Step 4: Prepare your documents
What documents are required when applying for a student Schengen visa in the UK?
The difference between Schengen Student visa and other Schengen visa types lies in the requirements of the embassy or consulate where you will have to apply. There are some extra documents that you will be required to submit in order to be able to obtain a Student visa for Europe.
Here are the documents that you need to submit to apply for a Student Schengen Visa:
- A valid passport or travel document. Please make sure:
- Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
- Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
- Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
- A valid UK residence permit or another form of Identity Card.
- The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
- The UK residence permit must be valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area you are visiting.
- One Schengen Visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
- One recently taken passport format photo with a blank background and where all your facial features are clear, which must be glued to the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit to the Schengen area you are visiting
- Round trip reservation or itinerary – It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
- Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents, and even repatriation in case of death. We recommend WorldFirst Travel Insurance.
- Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This could be a hotel booking, a rental agreement, or a letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
- Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially during your Business trip to Europe. This can be one of the following:
- Bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
- Sponsorship Letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
- A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
- Scholarship. Original attestation of an official scholarship of a minimum of 631€/month.
- Proof of paid visa fee.
- Letter of acceptance at an EU University/College/School. A recent, official, and signed letter stating your name/type of studies/length of studies/part of a European program if applicable/number of hours per week.
- Proof of academic qualifications. Diploma, academic records, attestation of the application for equivalence, or decision/dispatch of equivalence.
- Evidence of employment status (where applicable).
- Employment contract and an employment letter with the company’s letterhead, at the very least, specifying the employee’s name, job title, salary, and the employment start date.
- Current personal bank statements for the last 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or proof of income tax deducted at the salary’s source.
- Additional documents such as salary slips may be requested.
- A copy of the business license
- Current company’s bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return form
- Additional documents such as the company’s memorandum, ownership records, and partnership deeds, etc. may be required.
For foreign students in the UK:
- Proof of enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
For underage children
- Birth certificate
- The Schengen Visa application form should be signed by both parents.
- A family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to the Schengen area, signed by both parents/guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.
Step 5: Attend your appointment
The visa interview is a meeting between you and the consular officer/interviewer. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer
Show up at the appointment center on time. Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment
You will also have to get your fingerprints scanned at the consulate’s office if you have never before applied for a Schengen Visa. If you have, then you don’t have to do it again, since the consulate should be able to look it up.
After the verification of your application, the application form information will be entered into the online system of the consulate or embassy and you will receive a printed copy of your application. This process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After you get the printed form, please make sure to verify all the details are correct and sign the form.
Underage applicants must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
Visa Fees for UK Residents
When applying for a Schengen visa there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay.
The Schengen visa costs vary depending on the type of visa and age of the applicant as well as some other exceptions stated below in the text. The Schengen visa fee can be paid in the designated consulate/embassy via cash, debit or credit card. However, some consulates may not allow you to pay by credit card.
The Schengen visa application costs include the visa fees payable at the corresponding embassy/consulate when applying.
|Schengen Visa Category||Fee in EUR||Fee in USD*|
|Child between 6-12 years of age||40€||45$|
|Child younger than 6 years of age||Free||Free|
|Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports traveling for official purposes||Free||Free|
|Family member of a EU/EEA national||Free||Free|
|Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip||Free||Free|
|Researchers traveling to perform scientific research||Free||Free|
|Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.||35€||39$|
Step 6: Receive your visa
Student Schengen Visa Application Processing Time in the UK
How long can the application process take?
Most applications for a Schengen student visa will be processed in around 10 working days, assuming you provide all the relevant information and there’s no issue with your application. However, depending on the situation, the processing time for a Student visa to Europe might take up longer if there is something extraordinary with the individual case or any political situation is on the go.
You can apply as early as 3 months before your trip, and it’s advised to not apply later than 15 days before you’re planning on arriving to the Schengen country of your choice.
Visa application decision
- Approved – Once your visa is approved, it will be stamped in your passport. Make sure to carefully check the visa sticker to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you need it.
- Rejected – if your visa has been rejected, it would have been for a specific reason and you have the right to appeal.
Common rejection reasons include:
- You applied for the wrong visa – it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa depending on how long you are going to the Schengen area for and your reason for travelling there
- It is not clear that you plan to return to the UK – it must be clear that you intend to return to the UK before the visa expires. If the visa staff have doubts about this, your visa will be rejected
- The purpose of your trip cannot be established – the reason why you are planning to go to The Schengen area must be made clear. You can do this by providing specific documents like a full itinerary, work contract or invitation letter, etc.
Want to know more reasons why a visa might get rejected? Find out in this blog post.
What if my Schengen student visa is rejected?
If you receive a negative answer in your Schengen Student Visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to The Schengen area for studies/research. You have two options.
- File an appeal for Schengen study visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for a Schengen study visa rejection.
- Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation to comply with the eligibility criteria for a Schengen Visitor visa.
Schengen Student Visa Extension
Short-stay Schengen visa extensions are permitted by the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Journal of Laws of the EU of 2009 L243/1). However, you will have very low chances to get one, if you do not have a strong reason as the basis of your application.
According to the Schengen visa policy, acceptable reasons to extend a Schengen short-stay visa are only the following:
You can base your visa extension application on this reason, only if you have a single-entry short-stay visa. However, this is your best case to extend your visa. You can apply for this visa extension if you have entered Schengen after your visa became valid. I.e. if your visa became valid on August 1, but you entered Schengen on August 15, you can apply for a two-week visa extension, and you are very likely to get it.
The Schengen visa policy has made it possible to extend a short-stay Schengen visa to prevent or overcome hardship for third-country nationals. You will be granted with a short-stay visa extension based on humanitarian reasons if you need to stay in one of the member states to continue receiving medical treatment, to take part in the funeral after the sudden death of a family member, to give support to a person close to you who is going through some kind of hardship, etc.
If something unexpected has occurred all of the sudden in your home country before your visa expiration, as a conflict or war, or even violent protests across the country, extreme weather conditions, no flight connections because of consecutive earthquakes or other reasons, then you have a good chance to get a Schengen short-stay visa extension. You will be granted an extension of a few weeks, or until the situation in your home country changes. If the situation does not change, you will have to apply once again for a short-stay visa renewal, to remain in Schengen.
Important Personal Reasons
Risky, but you should still give it a try if you have no other chance. If you have some unfinished business in one of the Schengen Member States, then you may apply for the extension. The immigration authorities will then decide whether you should be granted a visa extension or not.
Need to stay longer in the Schengen zone? Find out how to extend your Schengen visa and avoid penalties for overstaying your visa by reading our blog post: Overstaying in the Schengen Zone? Here’s How to Extend Your Schengen Visa.
Have any questions about the Schengen student visa? Comment below.
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