Apply for a Schengen Visa From the U.K. – Procedure and Documents

a visa stamp on a white sheet and a flag of the U.K. on a sunny day.

The Schengen visa is a short-stay permit that allows visitors to stay in the Schengen area for a total of 90 (ninety) days in a 180 (one hundred and eighty) day period. Not everyone who intends to enter the area needs to apply for a visa. For example, British citizens who travel to one or more of the participating countries for tourism or business don’t need to go through a Schengen visa application.

However, you might need to apply for a Schengen visa from the UK if you need to stay longer, study in a member country, or are not a U.K. citizen, such as a resident with a valid U.K. residence permit. If you want to know more about Schengen visas, keep reading this article and we will explain when you need to apply and how to do it.

How to apply for a Schengen visa from the U.K.

If you are a British citizen who intends to enter the Schengen zone for less than 90 (ninety) days in a 180 (one hundred and eighty) day period for business or tourism reasons, you only need to have a valid passport to be allowed in.

If you are not a citizen of the United Kingdom, and you want to enter the Schengen area for 90 (ninety) days, you need to apply for a Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) which will be accepted by all 26 (twenty-six) member countries.

If you only need to stay in one Schengen country, just refer to the visa application centre of their Embassy or Consulate. If you are going to visit multiple Schengen states for different periods of time, get a visa from the one you are going to stay in the longest. In case you will stay in more than one country for similar lengths, apply for a visa for the first one you’ll visit. In any event, visa applicants need to keep in mind that the 3 (three) month period does not reset from one country to the other.

You can start applying for a Schengen visa in the U.K. up to 6 (six) months prior to your intended travel. The latest you can make your request is 15 (fifteen) days before.

To start, you’ll have to make an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country you’ll visit. Most offices give you the possibility to book online; in others, you’ll have to do it in person.

Download the latest visa application form and make sure to insert all the requested data. Fill every part of the form; if a column doesn’t apply to you, write “NA”. Make 2 (two) copies and sign them. For minors (children aged 0 to 18), the parents need to provide written consent.

Before going to the appointment, applicants have to gather all the required documents for a Schengen visa:

  • the visa application form;
  • a valid passport;
  • 2 (two) identical visa photos;
  • travel insurance policy (available for online purchase);
  • confirmed flight itinerary;
  • proof of accommodation;
  • proof of sufficient funds;
  • receipt of the visa fee (on average €80 for adults, €45 for minors).

To these, you might have to add some additional documents, such as an employment contract or a pension statement, depending on which kind of visa you are applying for.

Then, you will have to attend the visa interview. The consular officer will ask you a series of questions about your background and the reasons for your visit.

You’ll generally know if your request was accepted in 15 (fifteen) days. The Schengen visa will then be given to you with all the pertinent instructions.

How to apply for a Schengen visa from the U.K. for students

If you are a student who wishes to attend a university in the European Union or in one of the other Schengen member states, you need to get an appropriate Schengen visa.

Before applying, you have to get confirmation from the host university, as the visa application requires documents from them.

Added to all the papers mentioned above, applying for a student visa requires:

  • proof of enrollment;
  • a no objection letter.

A no objection letter is a certificate from your university that states that you have a contractual obligation to return to your home country after you complete your studies.

This letter can be written and signed by an advisor, head of a department, or dean.

Apply for a Schengen visa online from the U.K.

As of May 2022, it’s not possible to go through the Schengen visa processing completely online. Forms and documents are available on the website of each member state’s foreign office, but all visa applicants need to go to the appointment in person.

The European Commission is currently discussing the idea of introducing the ability to apply for a Schengen visa online, from the U.K. and most other countries. However, this is still in the works and not many other details are available.

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Schengen visa pics with Passport Photo Online

Schengen visa applications need to be accompanied by two photos, taken according to the official requirements of each country, to allow the collection of biometric data.

To be sure you get your visa in time, you have to follow all the rules, avoiding any unwanted delays.

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Apply for a Schengen visa from the U.K.: FAQ

To close off the article, we will go through a few of the most common questions about applying for a Schengen visa from the U.K.

Can you apply for a Schengen visa now?

Yes, Schengen visas are currently being issued by foreign offices in the United Kingdom.

Can I apply for a Schengen visa from the U.K.?

Yes, both as a U.K. citizen and foreign citizen, you can apply for a Schengen visa through the appropriate Embassy.

Which country to apply to for a Schengen visa?

All member countries issue visas valid for the entire Schengen area. If you are going to stay in one country, apply at their foreign office. If you intend to visit multiple countries for unequal periods of time, apply for the one you are going to stay in the longest. If you are going to stay in more than one country for the same period of time, apply for the first one you’ll enter.

Apply for a Schengen visa from the U.K. – conclusions

If you need to get a Schengen visa, you need to apply at the foreign office of the country you are going to visit. The document they release will be a valid visa for all member states. Keep in mind that, as a British citizen, you can visit the area for 90 (ninety) days for tourism or business without a visa.

Trust Passport Photo Online to prepare perfect pictures for your visa application from home, using only your smartphone–as more than one million people have done before.

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