This section contains guidance on Schengen visas. While ISS are unable to offer advise or application checks for Schengen visas, we can offer information and some general guidance such as that discussed below.
When and how to apply
Please check directly with the Embassy or Consulate (or visa application centre) of the country you are applying to for their application information.
The visa application process will involve completing an application form, collecting supporting documents and submitting these to the Embassy or Consulate of the country you wish to travel to.
If you are a national who is required to submit a Schengen visa application before travelling, you will usually be required to apply at least 15 days before the intended journey (but no earlier than 3 months before the intended journey).
Although application forms vary depending on the Embassy/Consulate at which you will apply, you may find our example of a completed Schengen visa application form useful for general information on the questions asked. If previewing in a browser only, please open using Internet Explorer or Firefox.
See our ISS Schengen Visas Guide for information and to establish which country you should apply to if travelling to more than one country in the Schengen area.
Please check with the Embassy / Consulate (or visa application centre) of the country you will apply to and check what documents you need prepare, as well as the requirements your documents must meet.
You should prepare any required documents before you make your Schengen visa application.
See our ISS Schengen Visas Guide for information about the documents most commonly required when making a Schengen visa application.
Here are some tips which you can use to plan in advance for your journey.
Before you go:
- Buy a guidebook/map!
- Think about how you wish to pay for your trip – Will your bank charge you to use an ATM machine abroad? Would a Travel Money Card be a useful option for you?
- Research travel passes - you may make substantial savings on the cost of travel, as well as avoiding having to visit the ticket desk too often!
- Check the emergency number(s) for the country/countries which you will visit.
- Check the details of your country’s embassy in the country/countries that you will be visiting in case you need any assistance while you are travelling.
- Take a copy of your passport ID details page and visa/BRP card. Store these in a separate place from your original documents.
- Don’t forget your mobile phone chargers (with plug converters!) so that you can keep in contact with friends/family.
When you arrive:
- Transport from airports and train/bus stations to your accommodation should be well-planned, especially if you are arriving late at night.
- Be prepared to carry some change in the local currency (coins or notes in small amounts) to pay for initial travel costs where change may not be readily available.
- If you catch a taxi, ensure that it is a licensed taxi – usually these are signposted at airports.
- If your accommodation has a safe for you to use, store your valuable belongings in it.
- When you are travelling on public transport, keep a close watch on your belongings.