Visiting other countries

Many students wish to make the most of their free time between periods of study by visiting other countries, either in Europe or beyond.

For countries outside of Europe, students should apply for a tourist/visit visa for each country they will visit.  Applications must be made to the relevant Embassy in London (or Edinburgh, Manchester etc if offered).

For visits to European countries, Britain has a special agreement that means that international students in the UK with a Tier 4 (General) visa or with a Short Term Study Visa, can apply for a 'Schengen' visa to enter a European country or several European countries as part of the same trip.  The most important rule is that you should always apply to the Embassy of the country that you will be spending the most time - for example, if you are planning a trip and will fly into France for 2 days, then travel to Italy for 3 days and then cross into Germany for one week before returning to the UK, the application must be submitted to the German Embassy in the UK.

The visa application process is different depending on the Embassy, some allow postal applications, others ask you to attend a pre-booked appointment in person.  Many are now asking corporate partners to handle the applications for them, using companies such as VFS Global or TLS.  You should check the website of the Embassy you are applying to. 

The things that you have to submit are always the same however, and these are:

  • Your passport (and biometric card if your visa is not inside your passport)
  • Two recent passport photos
  • The visa application fee
  • The visa application form (downloaded from the Embassy website)
  • Proof of funds for the trip (3 months of bank statements ending no more than one month before application.  The amount recommended is £30 for each day of your trip)
  • Evidence of trip planning, e.g. any existing travel bookings, hotel reservations, letters from friends/family offering accommodation
  • Proof of Travel Insurance for the trip (the French Embassy prefer travel insurance policies from the Post Office)
  • Trip itinerary

Do check on the website for a full description of the documents required and consult International Student Support if you need any further help.

BREXIT UPDATE - At the present time, arrangements for a visa to travel in and around Europe remain the same.  It is not known what arrangements will exist in the future when the UK leaves the European Union.  If you have any questions, please attend a drop-in session at the Student Services Centre, Tawney Building.