Student Visa

There are 50 countries in Europe, you might want to decide which one you intend to study in!

To get a student visa you need to apply to, and be accepted by, a university. Once you've been accepted you can start the visa application process with the Embassy of the country the university is in. While some agencies might assist in getting a student visa, they charge a lot of money, and can't do anything extra for you. Be very wary if they promise to get you a student visa, it doesn't work this way, you need to be accepted by a university first before anyone can work on the visa.

Just remember that being an international student is extremely expensive. While you are allowed to work a few hours each week, you will not earn enough money to cover course fees, accommodation, food, transport, books etc.

Schengen Visa:

The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.

The Schengen Visa enables people from outside Europe the right to move freely within the signatory countries of the Schengen Agreement as internal borders checks no longer exist within Europe. You will need to apply for a Schengen Visa if you plan to study in Europe in any of the states listed below:

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (but not Ireland and the United Kingdom) plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (which are not EU members).

Countries whose citizens don't need to apply for a Schengen Visa:

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamy, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croacia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Japan, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Salvador, San Marino, Serbia (only holders of new passport), Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America (USA), Uruguay, Venezuela.

Application forms and additional documentation
  • Valid passport or travel document
  • Documentation to prove how you intend to support your stay in Europe. You may present the following as a proof of means of subsistence: cash in convertible currency, travellers cheques, cheque books for a foreign currency account, credit cards or any other means that guarantees funds in hard currency.
  • Supporting document regarding accommodation. However, you may be exempted from providing the required documentation if you have sufficient financial means to support your stay and accommodation costs while in Europe.
  • At least 2 passport-sized photos
  • Travel itinerary
  • Medical/travel insurance valid for your entire stay in Europe
  • Letter of acceptance from your university
  • A bank receipt to prove you have paid the processing fee
The consulate or embassy of the country you are submitting your application form to, may also request you additional documentation, like for example, a certificate to prove you have no criminal records.

The Schengen Visa is valid for stays of up to 90 days. If you plan to study in Europe for more than 90 days, you will need to also apply for a residence permit. Some states allow you to apply for the residence permit once you are in Europe. You may use your residence permit to move freely within the signatory countries of the Schengen Agreement.

During the time your Schengen Visa is valid, you can move freely within Europe. However, you have to notify the authorities if you intend to make trips in and out the Schengen space.

The maximum response time for a Schengen Visa to come to study in Europe is 3 months. If you have not received any notification within 3 months, it means your application has been denied.

For student visas, the usual response time is about 1 month.