Applying for a Schengen Visa: General Rules

If you are staying in the UK on a student, work and spouse visas or Limited or Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can apply for a Schengen visa from this country. But if you have come to the United Kingdom on a visitor, tourist or business visa, you do not have the right of obtaining a Schengen visa from here, this must be done in the country of your permanent residency.

Just being a resident in the UK is not enough though, one must have been living here for some time before he or she can apply for a visa. For instance, a person may apply for a visa for France only 1 month after they entered the United Kingdom; Italy and Switzerland require at least a 3 months period and Spain – 6 months.

Here is an example of how this works. We were contacted by a person looking to obtain the Italian Schengen visa. He holds the ancestral visa in the United Kingdom, has a job here but he arrived in this country only one month ago.

As we mentioned before, the Italian consulate will issue a visa only when the applicant has spent at least three months in the UK; but this requirement can be overlooked if you hold the ancestral or spouse UK visa, EEA Family Member card or if you depend on someone who has been living in the UK for over three months. As our customer holds the ancestral UK visa, he has strong connections with a person permanently living in this country and this person can come out as the visa application sponsor. He or she will have to provide evidence of their residency and financial stability (bank statements), employment (letter from work), relationship (marriage or birth certificate) and support (letter stating that the Schengen visa applicant will be supported by this person).

If it is possible for you to collect all those documents, you will not have to wait for 1, 3 or 6 months to be able to apply for a Schengen visa.

Here are two things you can do to keep away of complications when applying for a Schengen visa. Open a current bank account as soon as you come to the UK – monthly statements will support your application a lot. They will be seen as proof of your permanent UK residency and finances. The other thing is a job. An employed applicant has better chances of getting a longer term Schengen visa. If a person works – it means that he or she not only resides permanently in the UK and receives stable income but also has ties with the country. Those things are very important to any Schengen consulate and they will greatly help your visa application.

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