Student Schengen Visa

Student Schengen Visa

What is a Student Schengen Visa?

A Student Schengen Visa is a type of visa that allows individuals from non-Schengen countries to enter and stay within the Schengen Area to pursue education or participate in educational programs. Its primary purpose is for short-term study, it allows non-European Union students to study in one of the Schengen countries for up to three months. 

Officially known as the Type C Schengen Visa, this visa allows for short stays in the Schengen Area countries for a variety of reasons, including short-term study. If you plan to study in one of the 29 European countries that make up the Schengen Area, you can apply for a Student Schengen Visa. With this visa, you are not limited to the country you are studying in. The visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Area, for example, for tourism, for visiting friends and family in other countries, or for trips related to your course. 

The validity of a Student Schengen Visa depends on the duration of the educational program or course of study that you intend to pursue. Typically, the visa is granted for the duration of the academic program (usually up to three months), including any preparatory courses or language tests that may be required before the start date of the main course.

Who Should Apply for a Student Schengen Visa?

Students from non-Schengen countries or countries that do not have a visa-waiver agreement with the Schengen Area and want to study in a Schengen country for up to three months should apply for this visa. It is usually recommended for students who are enrolled in short-term courses, such as a summer class, language class, or a short-term exchange program. 

Nationals of the following countries will need to apply for a Type C visa. This includes:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African, Republic Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Papua, New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra, Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Documents Required for a Schengen Student Visa

All travelers seeking to obtain a Schengen tourist visa must adhere to the Schengen visa requirements in order for their application to be processed successfully. 

When applying for a Schengen visa for short-term study, there is a list of required documents you will need to provide. Without the correct documents, your visa application will likely be rejected. The documents you will need to provide are:

A valid passport

You will need a valid passport with at least three months of validity beyond your intended departure date from the Schengen Area.

A completed application form

You will need to complete the Schengen visa application form as accurately and honestly as possible. You will also need to sign your application form.

A Photograph

You will need a recent passport-sized photograph that was taken in the last six months. The photo must comply with the ICAO standards, including:

  • In focus.
  • Clearly identifiable as you.
  • Taken against a plain, light-colored background.
  • Face forward, eyes open, and looking at the camera. 
  • Your natural skin tone must be represented.
  • No head coverings, except for religious reasons.
  • No eyeglasses, except for medical reasons.
  • Your face should be between 70-80% of the photo.

Course information

You will need to provide information regarding your studies and any supporting documentation (e.g. invitation to study and proof of payment of course fees) with your application. This usually goes in the ‘purpose of your visit’ section of the application.

Valid travel insurance 

Visitors require valid medical travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation for the entire duration of their stay in the Schengen Area.

Proof of ties to your country

Some applicants are required to provide documents demonstrating their ties to their home country, such as property ownership, family relationships, enrollment in an educational program, or other ongoing commitments, to establish their intention to return.

Additional documentation

Some applicants may be asked to provide additional documentation by the consulate or embassy they are making their application to, for example:

  • Medical certificate.
  • Criminal record certificate.
  • Proof of vaccination.

How to Apply for a Student Schengen Visa

Applying for a Schengen visa for students of short-term programs involves several steps and requires careful attention to detail to prevent any errors that could delay your application. Below is a step-by-step guide to help with the application process.

  1. Research visa requirements

    Before starting the application process, thoroughly research the specific requirements for obtaining a student Schengen visa from the embassy or consulate of the country where you intend to study. The Schengen student visa requirements can vary between countries, so you need to make sure you are following the correct guidelines.

  2. Gather the required documents

    You should collect all the necessary documents you need to support your application, as listed above. Ensure that you have all the required documents in the correct format and order before proceeding to the next step.

  3. Complete the visa application form

    Obtain the Schengen visa application form from the website of the embassy or consulate of the main destination country or the visa application center. You will need to fill out the form accurately and completely and follow the instructions carefully. Ensure that all the information you provide is correct and matches the details in your supporting documents.

  4. Schedule an appointment

    You will need to contact the embassy or consulate of the main destination country to schedule an appointment for submitting your visa application. Appointment scheduling procedures may vary so follow the instructions provided on their website or via the designated visa application center.

  5. Submit Your Application

    On the day of your appointment, arrive at the embassy or consulate on time with all the required documents. Make sure they are neatly organized and that you are prompt and dressed well.

  6. Attend the visa interview (if Required)

    You may be invited for an interview as part of the visa application review process. If this occurs, ensure you have all of the information regarding your trip itinerary and your study plans within the Schengen Area.

  7. Pay the visa fee

    You will need to pay the required visa fee at the time of submitting your application. Payment methods may vary, so check the embassy, consulate, or visa application center’s website for accepted payment methods and fee amounts.

  8. Await visa processing

    After submitting your visa application, wait for the processing of your visa. The Schengen student visa processing time can vary. You can monitor the status of your application using any tracking tools provided by the embassy, consulate, or visa application center.

  9. Collect your visa

    Once your visa application has been processed and approved, collect your passport with the visa stamp from the embassy, consulate, or visa application center. It is recommended that you check that all the information on the visa sticker is correct before leaving the premises.

Where to Apply

You should apply for your visa at the consulate, embassy, or visa application center (VAC) of your main destination country. This will likely be the country you will be studying in. However, if you plan to visit another country in the Schengen Area for longer than you will spend in the country you are studying in, this may be your main destination.

The process for applying may differ slightly depending on the particular requirements of the country you're applying to. In some countries, you can utilize the Schengen visa for international students online application form and then arrange a time to submit documents and provide biometric data at the consulate, embassy, or Visa application center. Other countries require applicants to present their application and supporting documents in person, without prior online submission.

When to Apply

You should apply for your visa at least 15 days before you intend to travel to the Schengen Area. However, because multiple factors could cause a delay in your application, it is recommended that you apply for a Schengen student visa at least three months before your intended travel date.

By applying for your visa three months before your intended travel date, you can avoid last-minute stress and increase the likelihood of a successful application process. Additionally, you will need to check the student Schengen visa requirements and processing times of the embassy or consulate where you plan to submit your application, as these may vary.

Be aware that you are not permitted to apply for a student visa more than 6 months in advance.

Processing Time of Schengen Student Visa

It typically takes 14 working days to process an application, although some applications can take up to 45 days. 

Multiple factors can impact a Schengen student visa processing time, so make sure to apply well in advance to avoid any delays. These factors include:

  • The country you are applying from.
  • The volume of applications.
  • Whether you are applying for a single-entry or multiple-entry visa.
  • How accurate your application is.
  • Your nationality. 
  • The complexity of your application.
  • Any national holidays in your country of application.


What if I want to study in the Schengen Area for longer than three months?

Because the Type C Schengen Visa is a short-term visa, it is not suitable for long-term study. If you plan to study for longer than three months, you will need to apply for a different type of visa.

Can I study in more than one country in the Schengen Area?

Yes, because the Type C Schengen Visa allows you to visit multiple countries in the Schengen Area, you are also permitted to study in more than one country. However, you will be required to submit all the documentation related to both courses with your application. Your total stay (for both courses) cannot exceed 90 days.

Can I extend my visa when I am already in the Schengen Area?

In the majority of cases, Type C Visas are not extendable. If you want to stay in the Schengen Area for longer than your visa’s validity, you may need to leave the Schengen Area and apply for a new visa. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a new visa while you are still in the Schengen Zone.

Is a European study visa the same as a Schengen student visa?

Informally, the Schengen student visa is sometimes called the Europe study visa or the EU student visa. This is the same as the Schengen student visa. However, keep in mind that even if you hear it referred to as a European study visa, this visa does not allow you to study anywhere in Europe. It only allows study within the 29 European countries in the Schengen Area.

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