What is a Schengen Visa?

This visa allows non-EEA nationals the right to enter these countries as a visitor (with the purpose of the visit being leisure, tourism or business). A Schengen Visa allows the holder to travel within the below listed countries for a maximum stay of 90 days in a 6-month period.

The Schengen visa scheme has been in place since March 1995. The following European Union and EEA countries currently participate in the scheme:

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece Hungary
Iceland Italy Latvia Lichtestein Lithuania
Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland
Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden
Switzerland        


The UK and the Republic of Ireland are not currently part of the agreement.

  • If visiting only one country in the Schengen area, you should apply to the embassy of that country.
  • If visiting several of the 26 countries, you should apply to the embassy of whichever country is your main destination - the country in which you plan to spend the most time during your trip.
  • If visiting several countries in the Schengen area without having a main destination, you should submit an application to the embassy of the country where you will first enter the Schengen area.
Travel to the Republic of Ireland

If you are a Visa National and are studying at GCU with a UK Short Term Study Visa you may not need to apply for a visa to visit the Republic of Ireland under the Visa Waiver Programme if:

  • Your visit is less than 90 days
  • You are a national of a country listed below
  • Your visit to Ireland ends before your UK 'leave to remain' ends 
Eastern EuropeMiddle EastAsia
Belarus Bahrain India
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kuwait* Kazakhstan
Montenegro Oman* People's Republic of China
Russian Federation Qatar* Thailand
Serbia Saudi Arabia Uzbekistan
Turkey    
Ukraine    

*Note: Kuwait, Oman and Qatar

In the case of nationals from Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, the United Kingdom (UK) Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) cannot be used to travel to Ireland from a third country.

The EVW is only valid for a single journey and you have to specify the exact flight you will be getting to the UK.

Who needs a visa?

All Visa Nationals who are in the UK with a long-term visa including Tier 4, Tier 4 DES, Tier 1 GE, Tier 5 and PBS Dependent are required to apply for an Irish short stay visa if they wish to visit Ireland for tourism or study for up to 90 days. Further information and to apply online can be found on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.