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One of my contacts is in the UK right now on tourist visa which has 6 months validity. He wants to travel to Europe and, for that, he needs a Schengen visa. Can he apply from within the UK, or he has to apply from his country of residence?

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The general rule is that one must apply for Schengen visas in one's county of residence. Being in the UK on a tourist trip doesn't make your acquaintance a resident there, so ordinarily he wouldn't be allowed to file a visa application there.

The consulates are allowed to consider visa application from non-resident, if he can provide a good and convincing reason why he couldn't apply from his home country. Simply wanting to go on a pleasure trip won't cut it; a suddenly arising emergency or business need might well do.

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