WHAT IS THE SCHENGEN AREA AND A SCHENGEN VISA?
If you are a non European and you plan to travel to Europe, you may need to apply for a Schengen Visa. The Schengen Visa Scheme is a scheme that allows those wishing to visit certain countries within the European Economic Area.
A list of the Schengen countries is shown below.
DO I NEED A SCHENGEN VISA?
Holders of any European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) or Switzerland passport do not need a visa for the Schengen area, and are generally allowed to stay for as long as they want.
Or if you are from any of the countries shown below then you don’t need a Schengen visa.
|ALBANIA (*)||ANDORRA||ANTIGUA & BERMUDA|
|BARBADOS||BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (*)||BRAZIL|
|HONDURAS||HONG KONG (1)||ISRAEL|
|JAPAN||MACAO (2)||MACEDONIA (*)|
|MONACO||MONTENEGRO (*)||NEW ZEALAND|
|SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS||SAN MARINO||SERBIA (*/**)|
|TAIWAN (***) (Republic of China)||SALVADOR||SWITZERLAND|
|UNITED STATES||URUGUAY||VATICAN CITY|
|SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA|
|HONG KONG S.A.R. (NOTE 1) - THE VISA EXEMPTION APPLIES ONLY TO HOLDERS OF A "HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION" PASSPORT.|
|MACAO S.A.R. (NOTE 2) THE VISA EXEMPTION APPLIES ONLY TO HOLDERS OF A "REGIÃO ADMINISTRATIVA ESPECIAL DE MACAU" PASSPORT.|
|TURKEY (NOTE 3) GREEN PASSPORT HOLDERS ONLY ENJOY VISA FREE TRAVEL|
(*) nationals of Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia need a biometric passport to enjoy visa-free travel.
Individuals in the following category can enter Schengen Area: BULGARIA, CROATIA, CYPRUS, ROMANIA
I NEED A SCHENGEN VISA – WHAT DO I DO NOW?
1. Contact the embassy (TLS for France) or visa application centre for the country you are travelling to first. If you are travelling more than once to the Schengen area then apply for the visa at the embassy of the country you stay for the most amount of time or if equal time in each main destination then its the first country you stay in. Note: You can apply for a single entry visa, double entry visa (twice) or multiple entry visa (3 or more times entry to Schengen area).
2. Pay for the tour with UKstudy Tours (which should be departing about 3 weeks after your appointment date to ensure visa process is completed) and contact us to get a visa letter showing hotel accommodation (which you will need with other paperwork for your appointment - see below for other items required)
3. Take your visa letter and ticket with all your required items to the embassy appointment (see below for the list of items you generally need)
4. If you are not successful in your application for the Schengen visa then contact UKstudy Tours immediately to receive your money back for the tour (other cost involved unfortunately cannot be refunded).
LIST OF ITEMS GENERALLY NEEDED FOR EMBASSIES
- Completed application form
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for) Your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 x passport photo
- Health insurance to the value of at least 30,000 EU. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online The insurance company will provide you with a letter or certificate to include with your application
- Proof of travel plans this will be the tour ticket and UKstudy visa letter available on request.
- Proof of accommodation this will be on the visa letter we can send on request.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £60 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country and will be about £50 to £80 normally.
- Self-addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
- Letter from Parents giving permission to travel on a tour abroad (under 18s only)
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT OR CONTACT THE EMBASSY?
See below for an application centre which can process visa application for some countries and also the embassy contact details for countries we travel to.
The whole process may take up to 6 weeks to get and appointment and receive your visa so please keep this in mind for your travel. It is worth noting that arranging a Schengen visa can be much cheaper and quicker if arranged in country of origin before you arrive in the UK.
Walk in & Postal Joint Visa Application Centre
RECOMMENDED SERVICE FOR MOST VISA APPLICATIONS
Application centre can process a Schengen visa for: Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Denmark & Spain
All applications to the application centre must be made in person between 8:30-12:00pm mornings only. Limited number of applications accepted per day on a 'first come, first served' basis. APPOINTMENT NORMALLY REQUIRED.
The application centre's helpline number is 0871 376 0023 (line open from 8:30 to 17:30 Monday-Friday).
TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION: PHONE 09067 530 530
You will need when you phone: Passport number, Passport vaild from date/expiry date, your contact number and email address, your UK residence address.
Embassy of the Netherlands (Holland)
The Netherlands embassy outsources visa appointments to VFS and you can book an appointment online by following the instructions on the link below
Embassy of Belgium
The Belgian embassy outsources visa appointments to VFS and you can book an appointment online by following the instructions on the link below
Embassy of Italy
OR USE THE Walk in & Postal Joint Visa Application Centre (see above)
Embassy of France
Embassy of Germany
The German embassy outsources visa appointments to VFS and you can book an appointment online by following the instructions on the link below
Embassy of Denmark
A visa application can be submitted by the Applicant in person only.
VISA FOR IRELAND
You can get information and apply for a visa for Ireland by clicking here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Irish%20Visa%20Information
Online Application form: https://www.visas.inis.gov.ie/avats/OnlineHome.aspx
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Ireland. (List of Countries) S.I 345 of 2011 Schedule 1.
(see below for more nationals who do not need a visa below on short stay visa waiver programme.
INFORMATION NOTE - Short stay visa waiver programme allows extra nationalities to Ireland without Irish visa
The Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme was announced by the Government as part of its Jobs Initiative with a view to promoting tourism from emerging markets. It commenced on 1 July 2011. The programme will run up to end October 2016 but may be amended or expanded at any point.
The below link to a document contains current information relating to the Irish Short Stay visa waiver programme.
Information Note - Short Stay Visa Waiver programme March 2012 (Size 77KB)