Schengen Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines for the UK Residents
Although the United Kingdom is not a member of the Schengen Area, British citizens can travel across Europe visa-free for a maximum of 90 days. Also, from 9 June 2014, all British Overseas Territories citizens (BOTCs), British Overseas citizens (BOCs), British Protected Persons (BPPs), and British Subjects (BS) are allowed to travel visa-free to the EU Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days.
UK citizens can also apply for Germany Schengen Visa.
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa in the UK?
To apply for a Schengen visa from the UK, your UK residence permit must be valid for at least another three months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen Area. If this condition is not fulfilled, the Consulate where you lodge your Schengen visa application will reject your application immediately.
Nonresidents such as travellers and tourists currently on a visa in the UK, cannot file their visa application at the Schengen embassies in the United Kingdom. Instead, they should apply for a Schengen visa at the appropriate Schengen embassy in their home country.
Use theSchengen visa eligibility checker tool to find out if you qualify to apply for a Schengen visa from the UK.
If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for three more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Schengen visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK. Find out moreon how to extend your UK visa.
Please, note that if you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence.
Visa Application Documents and Requirementsfor the UK Residents
All Schengen states are represented in the UK by Consulates and Embassies and they might have specific requirements for applicants. However, there are common requirements for each country and visa type.
The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a Schengen visa in the UK:
- A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure:
- Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
- Your passport has2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
- Your passport should be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
- A valid UK residence permit or other forms of Identity Card. The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
- One application form is filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
- One passport format photothat has a light background, is brightly coloured and shows full facial features. The photo must be less than six months old and be glued to the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit to the Schengen area
- Proof of travel arrangements: Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary (if the several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers the several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
- Schengen travel insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation in the Schengen Area (minimum coverage of € 30.000). The Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from Europ Assistance.
- Hotel reservations or proof of participation in group travel.
- A recent statement of UK current account or traveller’s checks shows funds of a minimum of £55 per person per day spent in the Schengen area. Photocopies of the original documents are also to be submitted. Documents should not be more than one month old. Find more information about proofing financial sufficiency when applying for a Schengen visa.
For UK employees:
- Reference letter of employment in the United Kingdom confirming that specifies:
- Hire date
- Dates of vacation
If the applicant is employed for less than 3 months, then a letter from their employer should clearly state when they started work.
- A recent letter (less than 3 months old) specifies:
- Professional activity
- Starting date
- Business registration
- Revenues from their solicitor or Accountant Bank Manager or Local Chamber of Commerce
- VAT certificate
For foreign students in the UK:
- An official recent (less than 3 months old) letter from their school, college or university within the UK, that states:
- The type of studies
- Details of the course
- Attendance record.
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
If unemployed and married to a UK citizen:
- A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer that states:
- Position held within the company
- Starting date
- Spouse’s valid passport
- An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation can be in English or the official language of the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in the UK
- If the Marriage Certificate was issued outside the European Union, it must be stamped by the Foreign Office of the issuing country or its Embassy in the United Kingdom.
At Which Schengen Country’s Embassy in the UK Should I Apply?
Depending on your purpose and/or length of visit – there are specifications that further clarify at which Embassy or Consulate within the UK you should apply.
- If visiting one Schengen country – you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate representing the particular country of your destination.
- If visiting more than one Schengen country – you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate representing the country of your main destination (the country of longest stay).
- If visiting more than one Schengen country with equal stay duration – you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate representing the Schengen country you will enter first.
- If you intend to stay in the Schengen area for over 90 days you must apply for a residence permit (Long-stay visa), not a Schengen visa. Instructions are on the respective embassy/consulate’s homepage.
Requirements and guidelines for UK residents when applying for a:
- France Visa fromthe UK
- Germany Visa from the UK
- Spain Visa fromthe UK
- Italy Visa from the UK
- Switzerland Visa from the UK
- Netherlands Visa from the UK
- Greece Visa from the UK
- PortugalVisa fromthe UK
- Belgium Visa fromthe UK
- Sweden Visa from the UK
- Norway Visa from the UK
- The Czech Visa from the UK
- Denmark Visa from the UK
- Iceland Visa from the UK
- Malta Visa from the UK
When Should I Apply?
The best time to apply for a Schengen visa in the UK is at least 15 days before the intended visit to Europe. If you can apply even earlier than that, it is even better – although not earlier than 6 months before the intended visit!
Holders of multiple-entry visas may apply six months before the expiry date of the valid visa.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa From the UK?
To apply for a Schengen visa from the UK you must book an appointment with the relevant Consulate or Embassy in London. This can be done in two ways:
- By going to the Consulate/Embassy office in person.
- By applying via accredited agencies like VFS or BLS
How Long Does It Take To Get a Schengen Visa in the UK?
Applications should be made final within 15 calendar days from the date you submitted the visa application to the corresponding Embassy/Consulate in the UK.
This period may be extended up to 30 days, especially in cases when further requirements are made to the applicant.
Consulates advise visa applicants to apply well in advance of their planned trip in order to avoid any unwanted complications.
Note: Holders of multiple-entry visas may apply six months before the expiry date of the valid visa.
There are however some specific individual cases where applicants can obtain visas faster through accelerated procedures:
- Applicants who have an EEA or EU citizen family member
- Cases of an extreme medical emergency
*Caution: When applying for a Schengen visa in the United Kingdom during the summer or winter seasons, be cautious and/or plan your visit earlier, as these are the months when the highest numbers of applications arrive in Embassies – consequently, taking longer to complete the visa processing!
Schengen Visa Fees for UK Residents
The fees of a Schengen visa application in the United Kingdom may vary from 36.5£ for children aged between 6 and 12 to 51 £ for adults (depending on currency fluctuations).
|Schengen Visa Category (by age)||Fee in UK Pound||Fee in Euro|
|Adult||73 £||80 €|
|Children between 6-12 years of age||36.5 £||40 €|
|Children younger than 6 years of age||Free||Free|
Note: Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can be paid only in UK Pounds.
Does the Spouse of a British National With UK Permanent Residence Need a Schengen Visa?
Yes, the non-EU spouse of a UK national requires a visa to travel to the Schengen Area.
Can an Indian Passport Holder Apply for a Schengen Visa From the UK?
IndiancitizensandIndian passport holdersthat have been legally residing inthe United Kingdomfor more than three months can apply for aSchengen visain theUK.
Non-residents such as Indian travellers and Indian tourists who plan on staying in the UK for three months or less should be discouraged from applying for a Schengen visa from within the UK. Instead, they should apply for a Schengen visa in India.
Do I Need a Passport if I Am Travelling From the UK to Europe?
For now, as a UK national, you don’t need a visa to enter any of the EU countries. However, you are required to have a valid UK passport when travelling to any of the EU countries.
As a non-EU citizen, you must have a passport and you might also need a Schengen visa to travel to Europe from the UK. The passport must not be older than ten years. They must hold a validity period of at least three months from the day you will be leaving the Schengen zone.
Children travelling alone, with a legal guardian, or with only one parent from the UK towards the EU, should additionally have a letter of authorization to travel. It has to be signed by either both parents, the legal guardian, or the second parent.
Becoming a British Resident
There are two popular ways of becoming a non-permanent UK resident: