FAQ 1711
How can I apply for a Schengen visa?

If you're planning to travel around Europe during your studies at BU you may need to apply for a visa to be able to enter a European country. You can check which countries are part of the Schengen area. It is relatively simple to apply for a visa for these countries, provided that you have a valid UK visa already. However, there are a couple of things you need to do to ensure that you make a valid visa application:

1. Visit the website of the embassy/consulate of the country you want to go to; you'll need to check what specific Schengen visa requirements the country you want to visit has. The number of the Schengen countries changes from time to time as more countries join the Schengen area. The following websites will give you the information about any country specific application processes e.g. fees, list of supporting documents, opening and processing times. There are many unofficial, non-reliable websites which may misinform you. Therefore it is highly advised that you use the following resources when you seek information about the Schengen countries and their embassies:

2. Get two copies of a Student Status Letter from AskBU as a supporting document. You should submit one of these copies with your Schengen visa application. The second copy of the letter you should keep in your hand luggage and show it to the Immigration Officer when you re-enter the UK, if you are asked for it. It is worth getting this letter and sorting your Schengen visa out before you complete your studies i.e. hand in your dissertation/final project/assignment. To request a Student Status Letter, please complete the online letter request form.

If you have finished all your studies already and you're only waiting for your final results in the UK, it is still possible to get a Student Status Letter. The dates will clearly indicate that you've finished your studies, but AskBU can insert an extra sentence saying that you're waiting for your results. If you are in this situation, please let AskBU know about this when you request your letter. Your Schengen visa application could still be successful, even if you have finished your studies, if you submit a letter with the extra information.

However, you must meet all the other requirements for the visa. When you visit the relevant embassies’ websites, you will find information about the documents you need and how you can apply for the Schengen visa for that particular country. Once you have all your documents ready, together with the Student Status Letter from AskBU, you should be set to make your Schengen visa application. You can find further information, including applying for a Schengen visa for more than one country, on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that international visitors are often targeted by thieves and pickpockets and there have been lots of students who have had their passports and UK visas stolen with their bags or wallets. Therefore you are advised not to carry your passport and UK visa with you when you are out and about during your holiday. Please check with your accommodation whether they offer guaranteed secure storage of documents in their safe. If not, leave your passport and UK visa card in your hotel room.

If you need further help please contact AskBU.