Do you dream of eating creamy gelato next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa or fancy munching croissants under the Eiffel Tower? Then get those bags packed and make the most of the cheap flights available to Europe. But before that, have you checked if you’d need a Schengen visa?

If you are on a Tier 4 visa you can apply for a Schengen visa, if you are intending to visit more than one European country. It will be cheaper and quicker than applying for a visa for individual countries.

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa will grant you a short-stay visa to a whole range of European countries. You won’t need a separate visa for each country as the Schengen visa allows you to roam freely throughout the countries included. It allows a visit up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

What countries can I visit?

There are 26 countries that allow free movement between the Schengen zones. These include Austria, France Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Portugal Spain and Switzerland. The full list of countries can be found here.

A map that shows all of the European countries that are Schengen states.

How do I apply for a Schengen visa?

It is important to first determine where you will be travelling to. If you are travelling to only one country then you will need to apply to that country’s embassy. If you are travelling to several countries then apply to the country’s embassy where you will be spending the most time. However, if you are planning to visit several countries each for the same amount of time, then you will need to apply to the country you will be visiting first. A full list of countries embassy’s can be found here.

Your application cannot be submitted more than three months before and no later than fifteen days before you intend to travel. To begin your Schengen visa application fill out the official European Commission application form.

What will I need to apply for a Schengen visa?

You will need to meet the following requirements:

  • a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date on which you intend to leave;
  • a passport with at least two empty pages;
  • a signed visa application form;
  • valid travel insurance;
  • and evidence that you can support yourself during your stay, hotel information and flight information. It is recommended that you budget £40 per day.

Do I need a Schengen visa if I am only going to one European country?

No, then you simply apply for a visa through the consulate or embassy of the country that you want to visit. Here are links to the forms for three of the most countries visited in Europe: France, Spain and Italy.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a Schegan visa is 60 Euros and can be paid at the embassy or consulate of the  country that will be your first destination. The fee includes airport transfers and a stay of up to 90 days. If you intend to travel around Europe for more than 90 days the fee will go up to 99 Euros.