Complete Application Process for Obtaining a European Student Visa

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europe student visa process

To study in a European country you need a student visa. A student visa legally authorised your stay and study in a European country. For example, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, etc. Typically, if you want to stay for less than 3 months in a European country you would have to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa. On the other hand, those who want to study for more than 3 months will have to apply for a National visa. If you are interested in studying in a country from the European Area, you must know about the Europe Student Visa Process. In this blog, we have explained it in detail.


Who Needs a European Student Visa?

A European student visa (A Schengen Visa/National visa) is only needed by applicants outside the European Union countries or the European Economic Area. Nationals from the EU or EEA do not need a visa to enter the region. For example, nationals from Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. This is a special right granted to EU citizens only, Therefore, the Europe student visa process is only for Non-EU/EEA nationals.

Europe Study Visa Types 

The Europe Study Visas are of two types. They are as follows:

europe student visa process

The Schengen Study Visa

A Schengen study visa is given for short-term study. The visa is only available for those who want to study in any European country for less than 3 months. The visa allows you to travel to Schengen countries and study. If you are planning to study in any European country that has sought liberalization from the Schengen area then you can study without this visa for less than 3 months. However, it is important to keep in mind that from 2024 onwards you will need an ETIAS (multiple short-term entries for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days) even in that scenario. A Schengen study visa is also called a Europe study visa,

National Study Visa 

A National Study Visa is a visa that you need to apply to study in a European country for more than 3 months. Every European country has a specific regulation regarding a national study visa. Hence, you need to check the same before applying. Note: Getting a long-term visa from any of the Schengen countries would mean access to other Schengen countries in terms of travel up to 90 days. UK and Ireland do not come under this category. 

Learn about German student visa in detail 

Europe Student Visa Requirements 

The general visa requirements for the Europe student visa process are provided below. Note: the exact student visa requirements can vary from country to country 

  • A valid passport– The passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the date of leaving from the Schengen area. 
  • Duly filled in visa application form and a photograph that meets the ICAO standards 
  • Additionally, you need to have obtained medical insurance 
  • Submit supporting documentation related to the purpose of your stay,  accommodation during your stay, proof of finances, and proof of intention to return to the home country after the duration of your stay.
  • Moreover, your fingerprints are collected. (Exemptions are applied in certain situations)

Apart from these documents, the consulate might request additional documents.

Where to Apply for a Europe Student Visa Process?

You can apply for a Schengen visa at the consulate of the country you want to visit. Generally, you  must apply for a Schengen visa at the consulate with the territorial responsibility of the country you are a resident of., 

Particulars Application Center 
Intends to visit more than 1 Schengen countrySend the application to the consulate of the country where you would be spending most of your time 
Visiting several Schengen countries ( equal duration)Send the application to the consulate of the country where you will be visiting for the 1st time

When to Apply for a Europe Student Visa Process?

You must apply for a European student visa process at least 15 days before your travel date. However, the application must not be sent more than 6 months beforehand. In certain cases, you will have to book an appointment before sending your application.

Europe Student Visa Process 

Generally, a Europe student visa process consists of the following steps:

europe student visa process

Gather the essential documentation 

For example, passport, educational documentation, offer letter, proof of finances, photographs, and other documents requested by the embassy or consulate. Make sure that you are only submitting accurate information. Stay away from fraudulent activities, and submit correct information.

Arrange an appointment with the consulate of the country you intend to visit

Ensure that you book the appointment as early as possible. This is particularly important if you are applying during the peak time like the start of a new academic year. 

Submit the visa application

Pay the visa application fee, and submit the visa application fee. The visa application fee can differ based on your age,. Next, you will be called for an interview. You need to clear the same to obtain the visa. It is important to be prepared for the interview in advance.

Visa application processing

Lastly, the visa application will be processed. The visa application processing can take from a few days to a few weeks. At times the Europe study visa processing can take a long time. For example, due to workload, or the time of the year. When your visa application is approved you need to pick out the visa in person. The same can be mailed to you.

Watch this video to learn more about Schengen visa application form filling 


Click here to learn about the Europe Work Visa application process

Cost of Europe Study Visa

For the Europe study visa process, you need to pay the fees. Below we have listed the Europe study visa fees for Schengen (short-term) visas. Note: additional fees are application if you are applying through a visa application centre.

Age GroupSchengen Visa Fee
Adult EUR 90
Children (6-12 years)EUR 45
Applicants from (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus) certain countries EUR 35
Applicants from Cabo Verde EUR 67,50

Time Taken for Europe Student Visa Processing 

A Europe student visa/Schengen visa processing time is generally 15 days. However, in some instances, the visa processing time can take longer for detailed examination purposes. For example, if additional documentation is requested. Moreover, under certain circumstances, the family members of an EU/EEA national may be eligible for an accelerated visa processing

Particulars Visa Processing Time (working days)
Schengen Visa (general time taken)15 days
Extended time taken45 days

Refusal of a Schengen Visa Application

A Schengen visa application can be rejected. In case of a visa refusal, the reasons for the visa rejection will be provided. Along with it, the conditions for appeal are provided. Generally, when a Schengen visa application is rejected you have two options:

  1. You can choose to reapply for a visa: Ensure that you correct the previous mistake and apply again 
  2. You can appeal the visa decision: If you feel that your visa application rejection was unfair you can appeal against the decision in court.

Learn What You Can Do In case of a Visa Denial 

Duration of a Schengen Visa 

The duration of a Schengen visa can vary depending on the visa the applicant is holding. The visa duration is provided below:

  1. A short-term Schengen study visa: This is only given for staying in any European country for less than 3 months in 180 days. 
  2. A long-term visa or a National Visa is given for studying in a European country for more than 9- days. A visa extension is possible in some instances.

Tips for a Successful Europe Student Visa Processing 

Below are a few tips for a Successful Europe Student Visa processing.

  • Apply early, particularly during the busy months like the new academic year
  • Ensure the documents submitted are accurate and complete 
  • Do not engage in any fraudulent activities, and provide additional documentation immediately when requested 
  • During the visa interview, be prepared to answer questions regarding your purpose of visit, plans, etc
  • Do not apply for a study visa to immigrate. If you are not a genuine temporary entrant your application will be rejected. 
  • After arriving in Europe register with the local authorities within a week

Top Universities in Europe in 2024

Here is a list of some of the top universities in Europe where you can consider studying. We have provided the QS Ranking 2024 for your reference

UniversityQS Ranking 2024
Imperial College London6
University of Cambridge2
University of Oxford3
ETH Zurich7
The University of Edinburgh22
Université PSL24
The University of Manchester32
Technical University of Munich37


How long does it take to get a student visa for Europe?

To get a short-term Europe visa/Schengen visa it can take around 15 days. However, in certain circumstances, the visa processing can take longer. In such cases, the visa will be processed within 45 days.

Which is the easiest student visa to get in Europe?

Germany’s student visa is one of the easiest to obtain. Germany offers a 1-year language school visa.  This makes it easy for students to apply and travel to Germany for a language study.

Is IELTS required for Europe?

You need to clear an English proficiency test to apply to study in Europe. This can be an IELTS or TOEFL exam. This is because the medium of instruction is in English. On the other hand, Germany has its own language pathway course. This doesn’t require the student to appear for a language proficiency test.

We hope you now understand what a European Student Visa is. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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