Applying for a Schengen Visa from the U.K.
Do I need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area from the U.K.?
If you are a U.K. citizen, you do not currently need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area if you plan on staying for fewer than 90 days, as the country currently has visa-free travel arrangements with the Schengen Zone of countries. However, this may change depending on Britain’s arrangements following its exit from the European Union (EU).
If you are a citizen of a country without a visa-free travel arrangement with the Schengen Zone, living in the U.K., you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
If I need a Schengen Visa, how and where do I apply from the U.K?
You will need to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to spend most of your visit, or, if spending an equal amount of time in two countries, the one which you will visit first. However, for many countries, you will not apply to the embassy but via a third-party visa application center which acts on its behalf for the initial stages of visa processing, such as checking supporting documents and the collection of biometric data. For example, the firm VFS Global handles visa applications on behalf of Italy and many other countries, while France is represented by the firm TLScontact. You can fill in your visa application form via their websites.
Applying for your Schengen Visa from the U.K.
Once you have established where you need to pay a processing fee of €80 (€40 for minors), you will need to book an appointment at your nearest visa center, embassy or consulate - these are located in London or a major city in each region. For example, VFS has centers in Edinburgh and Manchester.
What documents will I need for my appointment?
You will need a valid passport or travel document issued within the last 10 years that is valid for at least three months after the date you exit the Schengen Area. You will also require a valid U.K. residency permit or another form of identity card, one passport-style photo, travel and medical insurance which is valid in the whole Schengen Area and covers you up to costs of €30,000, a cover letter stating the purpose of the visit and your itinerary, including travel tickets and proof of accommodation, such as rental agreements, hotel bookings, or an invitation from friends and family, as well as proof of civil status, like a marriage or birth certificate, and proof of financial subsistence, such as bank statements. The amount of subsistence required varies from state to state.
Work and student visas
If traveling for a short business or study trip, you also need an invitation letter from the firm or institution inviting you to a Schengen state for work or educational reasons. A no objection letter from your employer or university in your home state will also be extremely useful in gaining your visa.
If you are applying for a long-term work or student visa in a Schengen state, then you will need to provide proof of employment, a work permit obtained by your employer, proof of self-employed status, or an invitation to study. You will also need documents like your employment contract, residence permits, and insurance documents.
What do I need from my travel and health insurance?
To obtain a visa, your travel and medical insurance must cover the whole 26 countries in the Schengen Area (even those you have no plans to visit) and cover accidents and illnesses for costs up to a minimum of €30,000 ($26,855).
Why choose AXA Insurance?
AXA offers several Schengen Visa compliant insurance policies for travel in Europe, from a low-cost option, priced at as little as €0.99 ($1.11) per day of your trip. We also offer a more extensive policy, as well as multi-trip insurance that will cover you for ongoing visits. None of these policies will require you to pay an excess fee on medical costs.
We also offer comprehensive products, like our international health insurance, for those planning a longer stay.
How to apply for Schengen visa in other countries ?
Frequently asked questions about applying for a Schengen Visa in the U.K.
If I’m a resident of the U.K. but not a citizen, do I have visa-free travel to the Schengen Area?
It depends on the country where you hold citizenship - the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico all have visa-free arrangements, but India and China do not, meaning you will need to apply for a visa.
What if I want to travel to the Schengen Area, return to the U.K, and then go back to the Schengen Area?
You will need to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa. These can come in double or triple-entry visas, or longer-term ones that allow you to make multiple trips over a period of one, three or five years.
Do I have to attend my visa interview in person?
Yes, except in exceptional circumstances, as officials will need to check your documents and collect biometric data.