What is a Schengen student visa and how do I get one?

If you are looking to study in Europe for a period of fewer than three months, you should apply for a standard Schengen Visa that will allow you to travel throughout its member states. However, if you want to study for longer, you should apply for a Long-Stay National Student Visa from the embassy of the country you are planning to study in.

What different types of Schengen visas exist ?

What documents will I need to get a Schengen Student Visa?

The mandatory documents required to obtain a Long-Term D-type Student Visa are:

  • valid passport (issued within the last 10 years and with at least 12 months validity left after the scheduled return)
  • 1 copy of your passport’s data page (A4 size copy)
  • 3 passport pictures according to biometric specifications
  • cover letter from applicant explaining the exact purpose and duration of stay
  • letter of admisssion from university
  • proof of payment of study fees, if applicable
  • proof of language proficiency in English and/or the language of the host country
  • proof of other academic qualifications, if applicable
  • proof of financial means to cover the costs for the time of your studies by one of the following documents:
    • confirmation of scholarship/ stipend
    •  “Verpflichtungserklärung” (formal obligation letter) by sponsor living in Germany
  • travel health insurance covering the period from your departure to the date of enrolment at the university (mentioned in your letter of admission) (approx. 3 months)

Please prepare two identical application sets with the above-mentioned documents and bring your original certificates along.

Countries also have their own student visa criteria that must be met if you want to study there:

For example,  students in Italy must prove they have the financial support of at least €448 per month for the duration of studies. Those studying in Italy must also obtain a residency permit. Getting a visa to study in Germany requires proof you have the funds: an average student needs to live on - €853 per month. You will have to pay a processing fee of €75 via a bank transfer to study in Germany too. You can apply for your visa at your host country’s embassy, consulate, or visa application center and may have to attend an interview.

Is there anything else I need to apply for a Schengen student visa?

If you are a student at an institution in your home country, planning to travel to the Schengen Area to study for a period, you may want to get a no objection letter from officials at your university. This is a short letter stating that they have ‘no objection’ to you traveling as they expect you to return to your studies after your trip. It can help with your visa application as it helps confirm that you will not overstay your Schengen student visa. You should ask someone in a position of responsibility for this.

How much time does it get to obtain a Schengen student visa?

The processing of your application will take six to eight weeks. We advise you to apply well in advance of the proposed beginning of your studies.

Can I work while I study?

Working while in a country on a student visa is against the law without securing an employment visa from your host government. Therefore, you can combine studying with work. For example, in France, the law authorizes foreign students to work 964 hours, which corresponds to 60 percent of normal working hours. However, part-time work will not be sufficient to cover all your expenses and should be considered as a secondary source of income. Violating these rules could seriously jeopardize your studies and future employment prospects, as breaking local immigration laws may result in a travel ban.

Where do I obtain the form to apply for a Student Visa?

A Student Schengen Visa form should be available from the website of the consulate of the country or visa application center you are applying to visit. For example, Indian students who apply for a Student visa in Germany will find the information here: india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/2288440#content_0

Can I extend a Schengen student visa?

A Schengen student visa can be extended only in some very specific cases, such as late entry, humanitarian reasons, important personal reasons, or some kind of unforeseeable circumstances. You cannot extend your Schengen student visa for the purpose of continuing your studies.

If you do wish to continue your studies beyond the original period planned, you will have to return to your home country or country of residence and apply for a long-stay study visa.

How can AXA help?

With time of the essence, it’s better to apply for a European study visa as soon as possible. AXA can help by providing you with LOW COST student travel insurance that meets your Europe student visa requirements from as little as €22 per week. Perfect for those on a tight student budget! A certificate proving you are insured will be available immediately, meaning you can get on with your EU student visa application.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about applying for a Schengen student visa

Can I bring my family to Europe with a Schengen student visa?

You cannot bring in family members on a Schengen student visa or a family reunion visa. They can apply for their own tourist visa to visit family.

Is there any age limit to apply for a Schengen student visa?

There is no age limit for those applying for a Schengen student visa to attend a training or study course.