Visiting Other European Countries - Visa Information

Do I need a visa to travel around Europe? 


Check the website for the UK embassy of the particular country you want to visit - the most commonly visted ones are listed below. The embassy's website will tell you whether people of your nationality need to apply for a visa before travelling to that country.  The FCO website can help you to find a foreign embassy in the UK.

Do I need a visa to transit through a EU airport?

Nationals of certain countries are required to obtain an airport transit visa before taking connection flights at EU airports. If you hold a valid UK student visa however, you should be expempt from needing an airport transit visa, but you would need to show your BRP/sticker to the airline staff when checking in. The following nationalities are subject to this restriction: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka. If you are unsure, please check the information on the relevant consulate website or with your airline.

What is a Schengen Visa?

The most popular European tourist visa is called a Schengen visa. You can use a Schengen visa to visit 26 different European countries (NOT including the Republic of Ireland, see below). If you plan to visit more than one of the Schengen countries, you should apply to the country that you plan to stay in for the longest time.  If you plan to visit the countries for an equal time, you should apply to the country that will visit first. For more information about the Schengen visa (including a list of Schengen countries), see the UKCISA web pages

Please note:  

  • Most Schengen visa applications will require a face-to-face appointment at the embassy or consulate.

  • You should apply for your Schengen visa at least a month before you travel.

  • You will need to book return travel, hotels (if required) and travel insurance before you make your visa application.

  • You must have at least three months remaining on your UK visa (after your planned trip to Europe).


Links to Visa Offices in the UK:     

Austria  Belgium


Denmark (plus Iceland) 
France (see 'Procedure', 'Documents' and 'FAQs') Germany                
Greece Italy Norway Poland - Info / Poland- Apply
Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland   
The Netherlands ("Holland")    
Other - Find an embassy


Republic of Ireland

Ireland is NOT part of the Schengen agreement.  To check if you need a visa for Ireland and for information about how to apply see the Embassy of Ireland website for more information.  Applications are usually done online and the supporting documents are then submitted by post.    Note: If you are in the UK with a Visitor visa and you need to apply for a visa for Ireland, then you must return to your home country to make the visa application.

Visa Waiver Programme
If you’re a citizen of one of the below countries and you meet Visa Waiver Programme requirements - which includes having a C-Vistor visa (including student visitor visa) you may be able to travel on to Ireland from the UK without the need to obtain a separate Irish visa.  If not, you’ll need to apply for an entry visa before you travel to Ireland.
Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, People's Republic of China, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE and Uzbekistan.
This also applies to nationals of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who have entered the United Kingdom on foot of a C-visit Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW).

British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)
If you are a visitor to the UK AND a national of a state or territorial entity specified below AND your visa has been endorsed with the letters “BIVS”.
India and People's Republic of China