Travelling and Schengen visas

  • If you plan to visit another country while you are in the UK, check if you need a visa with their embassy in your home country, before you leave. It is usually easier to apply there than from in the UK. This is very important if you wish to visit the USA.

    If you are already in the UK, then before confirming your travel we recommend that you check the visa requirements for the country you intend to visit. You will need to do this plenty of time before you travel. For travel to Europe, most embassies describe the process as taking at least 3 weeks, but this can be longer depending on your nationality and during busy travel periods. To find out if you need to apply for a visa to visit the country you are travelling to, please check the website of the embassy of the country you wish to visit.

    List of all embassies in the UK »

  • 26 European countries participate in the Schengen Visa Scheme. This means that a visitor need only apply for one visa to travel to any number of the Schengen countries in one trip.

    Where should I apply?

    • If you are only visiting one country, you should apply to the embassy of that country.
    • If you are visiting more than one country, you should apply to the embassy of the country which is your ‘main destination’ – the country you plan to spend the most time in during your visit.
    • If you are spending equal time in more than one country and do not have a ‘main destination’, you should apply to the embassy of the country you will enter first.


    It is mandatory to have travel insurance when you apply for a Schengen visa, if you do not have insurance your application will automatically be refused. The insurance cover required for the country you are going will be listed in the documents required for visa section of the application but all must meet the following requirements:

    • It should cover at least €30,000 for medical expenses and emergency evacuation.
    • It should be valid in all 26 countries in the Schengen Zone.
    • It should be valid for the entire duration of time you are in Europe.

    A basic policy for Schengen travel insurance should cover:

    • Cost of medical treatment (minimum of  €30,000) for emergency medical treatment anywhere in the Schengen zone.
    • Cost of repatriation in the event that you are seriously ill and require medical treatment from your home country. It should also cover repatriation in the event of death.

    The website provides further information on applying for Schengen travel insurance. Useful websites that provide travel insurance for Schengen applications include: AXA SchengenMyTravelVisa and the Post Office.

    For more information about Schengen visas, please see the UKCISA website and refer to the Embassy websites below. You can also try Schengen Visa Info.

    View Austria
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    View Czech
    Czech Republic
    View Denmark
    View Estonia
    View Finland
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    View Germany
    View Greece
    View Hungary
    View Iceland
    View Italy
    View Latvia
    View Liechtenstein
    View Lithuania
    View Luxembourg
    View Malta
    View Netherlands

    The Netherlands
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    View Poland
    View Portugal
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    View Spain
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    View Switzerland
    • When you re-enter the UK, the immigration officer may ask you to prove that you are still a registered student. For this reason, we advise you to carry a copy of your attendance certificate with you. You can obtain a copy from Student Central or via your Student Information.
    • If you are travelling during semester time, you should carry a letter from your Academic Adviser confirming that you have permission to take time out of your course.
    • If you are travelling at the end of your course, but before your visa expires, you should carry documents to show why you are re-entering the UK, for example, if you are going to study on another course, a copy of the CAS for the new course (or offer letter if you don’t have the CAS), or proof you are awaiting results or attending your graduation ceremony.
      Border Force officials will need to be satisfied when you are entering the UK that you will either complete the activity you intend to carry out* and leave the UK before your visa expires, or that you will submit an in-time application to extend your leave in the UK. You should carry any documentation relevant with you when you travel to show to the Border Force officer if required."
      * For example: permitted work; collecting your possessions together; attending your graduation ceremony, visiting areas of the UK.
    • If the University reported to the UKVI that you completed your course early or you took approved temporary withdrawal, then you should not try and re-enter the UK on your current visa. This applies even if you are in the four months 'extant leave' after your course ends or the 60 day period you have to leave the UK.
    ISAT can help answer your questions about travel to other countries, but we are not specialists so you may want to use a  visa travel company to help you with your application (they will charge for their service).
  • Contact us

    International Student Advice Team

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