Do I need a visa to travel?
You may need to obtain a visa before you travel. This will depend on your destination You should check with the country's embassy in the UK whether you need a visa and how to apply.
I'm travelling to Europe
What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa is a single visa for travel to countries in Europe that have signed up to the Schengen agreement. The UK is not in the Schengen Zone. Certain nationals need a Schengen visa to travel in Europe.
You can find out if you'll require a Schengen visa on the Schengen visa webpages.
How can I apply for a Schengen visa?
If you're travelling to more than one country, you can apply online via the embassy where you'll spend the most time. If you're spending an equal amount of time in each country, apply online via the embassy of the first country you plan to visit.
Important to know: You should always check the rules on the embassy website of the country where you plan to travel.
What documents will I need to provide for my application?
Most countries will require:
- A valid passport & UK visa (BRP card)
- Schengen visa application form
- Evidence of travel plans & accommodation
- Travel/medical insurance
- Evidence of sufficient funds
- Confirmation of studies letter (request a travel letter as above)
- Evidence of paid visa fee
You should check the exact requirements with the embassy of the country you're applying to, as the requirements can vary slightly by country.
For further guidance on travelling in Europe as an international student, please refer to the following guidance below:
- UKCISA guide on Schengen Visa
Take a look at our Immigration & Visa advice category for more articles on visa and immigration support throughout your studies at King’s.
What is a Travel Letter?
A travel letter is a document you can use to support your application for a visa to travel overseas while you are student. This confirms your enrolment status and is addressed to the embassy you are applying to for your visa.
Who needs a Travel Letter?
- Any taught student studying at King's on a visa, wishing to travel out of the UK during term time.
- Reading Weeks and assessment periods are included as term time.
- Any research student studying at King's on a visa, wishing to travel out of the UK at any time during the academic year.
What should I do before requesting a travel letter?
- Read the Foreign travel checklist on GOV.UK for further guidance on how to prepare for international travel, and to ensure you understand your responsibilities when travelling overseas.
- Check foreign travel advice for your chosen destination before booking your flight, as this may be subject to change at short notice.
I’m planning to travel during term-time, how do I request a Travel Letter?
For the steps you need to take to request your letter, please refer to the guidance in the section 'I need a letter to support my application to travel abroad' within our article I need to prove my term dates & course attendance.
I need to travel during term-time
If you need to travel during term-time, you’ll need to inform your academic department. This should not impact your current visa if:
- Approval is given from your academic department
- Your academic department is still able to effectively monitor your engagement with your studies in accordance with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and the university's attendance and engagement policy.
I want to apply for the Graduate Route visa
If you’re a current student wanting to apply for the Graduate Route, and your course was longer than 12 months, you must have held a Student visa for a minimum of 12 months. During those 12 months, all of your study must have taken place in the UK.
If your course duration was 12 months or less, you must have held a Student visa for the whole length of your course, and all of your study must have taken place in the UK.
UKVI will ask for your travel history as part of their eligibility checks for your Graduate Route application. Please note that we can't advise how UKVI will assess study in the UK criteria in applications and in relation to any periods spent outside the UK during your course.
Have a look at our article What is a Graduate visa? for more information.