South African Girlfriend Applying for Schengen Visa in UK
  • Salutations one and all,

    In brief, my girlfriend (a South African citizen) is visiting me here in Scotland on a 6 month tourist visa. We wish to travel all around Europe this summer (Starting in Spain, where we would walk El Camino de Santiago) but have just found out that to apply for the Schengen Visa she must do so in her country of residence. Is there any way around this? 

    It seems preposterous that she would have to fly to South Africa, apply for the visa, then fly all the way back up to then begin our summer adventures. We have found mention on one website (http://www.immihelp.com/visas/schengenvisa/application.html) that states that if you are applying from a country you are not normally resident of you must provide a justification explaining why you are applying from a third country. However, we have not heard anything concerning this on the official embassy websites and have been informed by a member of staff at the Spanish embassy in Edinburgh that you have to apply in your home country.

    Any help, advice, or stories relating to our situation would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!


  • To apply for a Schengen visa from the UK, your current passport and the visa you hold must both be valid for at least 3 months beyond the expiry date of the Schengen visa you are requesting.
    I have no knowledge of the justification rule.
    Is there a reason why your girlfriend cant apply for the Schengen visa before she leaves South Africa.
  • She is here in the UK already...! As in right this moment!
  • Then she will have to apply for a Schengen visa from the UK and hope its granted.
  • Hmm... thanks for your help :) really looking for advice from someone who has been in the same situation as your recommendation isn't actually possible, and it's nothing we haven't already considered :) there is stipulation that one must apply for the Schengen visa in one's home country, which the UK isn't for her... so she cannot just apply for a Schengen visa in the UK... Cheers for the thought though! 
  • I practice immigration law in the UK and have done for many years. So I think I know my stuff, You have no option but to apply in the UK using the guidelines I gave in my first post other wise your girlfriend will need to return to South Africa to apply which she should have done before coming to the UK.

    You have nothing to lose if you apply in the UK they can say yes or no to the Schengen visa.  There is no where else you can go.


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