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Schengen Area: How do I obtain a study visa?

Students from outside of the EU who wish to study in one or more countries within the Schengen Area must obtain residence permits if their course of study is for longer than three months. If your program is at least a year long, your residence permit will be for one year. If your program is less than one year long, your permit will be for the length of your program. In both instances, you may renew your permit if circumstances warrant your staying longer.

Visa holders are able to work part-time - at least 10 hours per week. You may also travel to another Schengen Area country within the EU to study in an area related to your original program.

Required Documentation

You will need to provide the following documentation to obtain a residence permit for your period of study.

  • Proof of academic program admission
  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources to support yourself (and any dependents) during your program
  • Passport or other acceptable travel document
  • Parental consent (for minors)
  • Proof of health insurance, if applicable
  • Receipt for residence application fee payment

How to Apply

Each Embassy or Consulate produces its own application form and charges vary. You may have to attend the Embassy in person to apply or submit a postal application. Check with the embassy about the necessary process.

Processing Time

It is recommended that you apply within 3 months of your travel date and not less than 6 weeks before. Long stay visas (work, study, residence) initiated at the visa desk abroad usually take between eight to ten weeks.

Bringing Family

You should be able to bring your immediate family members. Family members include opposite-sex spouse, dependent minor children, and may also include same-sex spouse or an unmarried partner, depending on your country of citizenship or residence and the regulations of the country where you wish to study.


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