Student Schengen Visa


A student visa best translates into a genuine authorization the government of the designated country issues to students who are already accepted at a certified educational establishment. The holder of this type of visa is not required to have the citizenship of the designated country in order to follow studies yet it is no immigrant visa either. Every student with the citizenship of a country that requires a visa to enter the Schengen zone must obtain a student visa in order to follow studies in the educational institute of the designated Schengen country.

Who needs a Schengen Visa?

The students who are not citizens of any European country yet still wish to come and study in Europe must apply for Schengen student visa. Together with the visa, if the duration of the studies is longer than 90 days as it happens with most of the students that wish to complete a whole academic year or even more, students must also apply for the residency permit that allows you to reside in the designated country for a period of one whole year.

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What documentation is required?

First of all, the student must download the application form from the internet and fill it completely and sincerely. You can electronically fill in the form for a Schengen Visa and print it out. The signed application form must be followed by other mandatory documents, handed personally at the consulate/embassy or the representative of the country you are planning to study in.

  • A valid travel document/ passport (At least 3 months up to its expiration date)
  • Documentation to prove how you intend to support your stay in Europe. You may present the following as a proof of means of subsistence: cash in convertible currency, travellers cheques, cheque books for a foreign currency account, credit cards or any other means that guarantees funds in hard currency.
  • Proof regarding your accommodation. This is not necessarily required in case the students proves that he/she will have sufficient funds to maintain themselves during their stay in the foreign Schengen country.
  • Two current passport-sized photos (Appropriate for the designated embassy/consulate)
  • Travel itinerary
  • Medical/travel insurance valid for your entire stay in the Schengen country
  • Letter of acceptance from your university
  • A bank receipt to prove you have paid the processing fee

Depending on the embassy/consulate that you will be applying to, they might require additional documents to assure the request and the information are genuine, as for example, some embassies/consulates require a certificate that proves you have no legal issues pending or a criminal record. As, the students must personally hand the documentation at the previously made appointment (as usually it is required), the person in charge at the embassy/consulate will notify you if there is any additional documentation needed and the nature of that documentation.

Where to submit the application?

You have to submit your application for a Schengen Visa to the consulate or embassy of the country where you will be starting your studies.

How long is the visa valid for?

The Schengen visa is commonly valid for stays no more than 90 days. For the students who are planning to study in the Schengen country, it is mandatory to apply for a residency permit at the appropriate authorities. Commonly, you apply for the residency permit after you arrive at the Schengen country with the Schengen visa.

The great thing about the residency permit is that it allows you to freely travel throughout the whole Schengen area, without any additional documents needed. The residency permit is stamped in your passport. The Schengen visa validity is predetermined by the authorities the day you are issued the visa. As aforementioned, as a student visa it commonly encompasses duration of up to 90 days, with multiple-entries, however that is no rule. During that time, students are allowed to travel in and out of the designated country, within the Schengen area. However, you have to notify the authorities if you intend to make trips in and out of the Schengen space.

Schengen Visa requirements for students who are already on a student visa

If you are already living on a student visa in some other country out of the Schengen Zone yet you wish to visit Europe apropos the Schengen area, you are to apply for a Schengen visa first. Beware of two essential issues first regarding the matter: you must be living in the country you hold the student visa for, for at least one month before you can apply for a Schengen Visa and you can only make a visa application while you are still studying in that country. If you want to travel around Europe after you have completed your studies you must submit your visa application in your home country.

Before you apply for the Schengen visa make sure you have all the mandatory documents in order. The documents required for applying for a Schengen visa are as follows:

  • Fully and appropriately filled application form (signed as well).
  • Your passport with the residence permit stamp.
  • Two current passport-size photos (Photo detail according to the embassy/consulate requirements)
  • The University official letter that states that you are a full time student of the certain institution. The original, signed and stamped, not the copy is handed to the authorities. The document must not be older than one month. Some embassies/consulate also requires a document from the University that allows the student to travel in the designated period of time.
  • Original bank statement that covers last full month and shows sufficient funds.
  • Travel itinerary including booked return ticket and accommodation. (Once they issue the visa, they will ask for the purchased ticket and paid accommodation.
  • Travel Insurance that covers the days on the itinerary.

How long does it take to receive the visa?

It takes a maximum of 3 months to get a reply after one has applied for a Schengen visa in order to study in Europe. In case one doesn’t receive any response during this time (commonly the appropriate authorities reply even if the response is negative), one must assume that the request has been denied.  For student visas, the usual response is delivered in about 1 month.