Travelling outside the UK

During your time as a student in the UK, you may wish to travel to other countries in order to widen your experiences of other cultures and to visit popular tourist destinations.

For most destinations outside the UK, you will likely need a visa in order to enter and travel between countries. This page aims to advise you which visa you may need and how to go about applying for one.

It is advised that you obtain a Confirmation of Study letter from the <i> prior to you applying for a Visa as you may need to show proof that you are a student. To get this letter either complete the online form or visit the <i> during normal opening hours. Letters can take up to 10 working days to be processed so please apply for your letter early. It is strongly advised that you do not make any visa appointments or arrange your travel until you have your letter.

Countries within the Schengen Area

Members of the Schengen Area have agreed to allow free movement of citizens within this area as if it were a single country, this is known as the Schengen Agreement. It is important to remember that not all European countries are part of the Schengen Area. You need to check whether the country you want to travel to is part of the Schengen Area before you make any travel arrangements.

You can check which countries are currently members of the Schengen Area by checking the Schengen Visa Info website.

Important tips before you apply for a Schengen Visa

If you intend to only visit one country, you should apply for the visa at the Embassy or Consulate of that country.

If you intend to visit more than one country within the Schengen Area you should apply for a visa from the Embassy or Consulate of the country which you will enter first or where you will be spending the majority of your time. You will only need to apply for one Schengen Visa even if you intend to visit more than one country within the Schengen Area.

A Schengen Visa is not free, you will need to pay the relevant fees as detailed on the Schengen Visa Fee page of the Schengen Visa Info Website.

Once you have entered the country for which you applied for your Schengen Visa, you will be able to travel freely within and between any other Schengen Area country. However be sure to check for all countries that you intend to visit whether there are any other conditions for you to be able to enter. For example, some countries may require you to show a return ticket as proof of onward travel. You should check each countries Embassy or Consulate website carefully before travelling.

 

Applying for a Schengen Visa

To apply for a Schengen Visa, check on the website of the country you wish to visit for any special requirements they may have for you to apply for a visa and to download the application form. The Schengen Visa Information website has more information on how and where to apply for a Schengen Visa.

Holidays should only be taken outside of the official University term-dates to avoid disrupting your studies and risking your UK Tier 4 Visa being affected.

It is strongly advised that you apply for your Schengen Visa no less than 6 weeks before you are due to travel, to ensure you have enough time for the visa application to be processed and a decision to be made.

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the date that you are due to arrive back in the UK after your travels. Your passport must also have at least two blank pages.

You will likely need to go to the Embassy in person and whilst some Embassies do have Offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, most are only based in London. So be prepared to travel to the relevant city for an appointment with the Embassy.

The GOV.UK website has a full list of contact information for Embassies and Consulates in the UK. Please be sure to check this list to be certain that you are going through the genuine website for that Embassy/Consulate.

Countries not within the Schengen Area

To travel to a country that is not within the Schengen Area, you must check with the Embassy or Consulate of that country to find out what is required in order to get a visa to visit that country.

The GOV.UK website has a full list of contact information for Embassies and Consulates in the UK. Please be sure to check this list to be certain that you are going through the genuine website for that Embassy/Consulate.