A student visa best translates into a genuine authorization the government of the designated country issues to students who are already accepted at a certified educational establishment. The holder of this type of visa is not required to have the citizenship of the designated country in order to follow studies yet it is no immigrant visa either. Every student with the citizenship of a country that requires a visa to enter the Schengen zone must obtain a student visa in order to follow studies in the educational institute of the designated Schengen country.

Which documents do you need for your university application?

The application closing dates in the table above usually mean that by then you must have submitted your complete application. Check with the universities for the details – but in general, applying for a Bachelor or Master means you have to submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae (CV, or resume)
  • Previous degree certificates or grade transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (usually IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Copy of your passport or national ID
  • Academic reference letters (sometimes)
  • Documentation for programme-specific requirements

Can I apply to university later?

It is definitely recommended to apply by the official application deadlines – and in some cases it is even technically impossible to apply later, because the websites through which you would have applied are shut down. However, many universities in many countries allow late entries when there are still places available. If you realise that you have missed the deadline, call or e-mail the university that offers the programme, and ask if they will accept a late application. You may just be in luck!

How long is the visa valid for?

The Schengen visa is commonly valid for stays no more than 90 days. For the students who are planning to study in the Schengen country, it is mandatory to apply for a residency permit at the appropriate authorities. Commonly, you apply for the residency permit after you arrive at the Schengen country with the Schengen visa.

The great thing about the residency permit is that it allows you to freely travel throughout the whole Schengen area, without any additional documents needed. The residency permit is stamped in your passport. The Schengen visa validity is predetermined by the authorities the day you are issued the visa. As aforementioned, as a student visa it commonly encompasses duration of up to 90 days, with multiple-entries, however that is no rule. During that time, students are allowed to travel in and out of the designated country, within the Schengen area. However, you have to notify the authorities if you intend to make trips in and out of the Schengen space.

How long does it take to receive the visa?

It takes a maximum of 3 months to get a reply after one has applied for a Schengen visa in order to study in Europe. In case one doesn’t receive any response during this time (commonly the appropriate authorities reply even if the response is negative), one must assume that the request has been denied. For student visas, the usual response is delivered in about 1 month.