An Ultimate Guide on everything about Student VISA
Probably every student’s worst nightmare. I’m not going to lie, the application process for certain countries can be a pretty big pain. However, it’s not impossible, and if you follow the basic guidelines that we tend to provide here as well as those from the state department of the country you’re going to be studying in, you should have no trouble.
Unfortunately, unlike a passport, there is no single application for a Student Visa as the requirements differ from country to country.
STEP 1 : Knowing the Student Visa application process
Your first step should be to look at the Visa Requirements and all information related to applying from the country of your interests official website
This won’t take you directly to the visa application, but it will give you a rundown on things like the location of the embassy and any consular offices; whether you need a visa; crime and security information; health and medical conditions; drug penalties; and localized hot spots among other things.
STEP 2 : Find Information on Applying
Your next step should be to visit the Border Agency website of your host country. This is where you’ll find your visa application process information. The sites themselves shouldn’t be that hard to navigate.
Look for a section titled “Students” or “’Studying in…”. There should be an FAQ section and a section explaining both the parts of the visa application process and the terms used in the application.
STEP 3 : Point Based System
Many applications are done on a point based system so as long as you have enough money and are sponsored by an accredited institution, then you should have the required amount of points. Like I said earlier, there is no general application for a visa, so below I’ve written hints and tips that should clarify a few aspects of any application and make the whole process a little smoother. Here is what is often required in addition to the basic online application.
- A letter from your abroad institution on their own letterhead stating that they are sponsoring you It should include things like tuition and room and board costs, proof of housing, etc.
- Written proof that you have a certain amount of money in a bank account with your name on it with which you will use to live (This is separate from room and board costs so there is no way around it. When I went to the UK, the required amount was $5400. If you don’t have that much money, see if you can get a parent or relative or someone with some cash to put the money into an account with your name on it. After your application has been approved, they can take the money back out.) Again, just as with the letter from your abroad institution, the letter from your bank needs to be on their letterhead.
- Proof that you have some way of paying your tuition. If any organisation is looking to pay your fees on your behalf you may have to look for their eligibility to do the same and get a affidavit on their letter head. If your parents are taking the study expenses, you are required to have their consent letter.
STEP 4 : Obtain your Biometrics
This is a fancy word for fingerprints. Pretty much when you finish your application online, you’ll automatically sign up for an appointment to get your fingerprints taken. On that day you’ll need to go down to the nearest immigration center, consulate, or wherever they require you to go, and they’ll get your prints electronically. If there’s no line, you’ll be in and out in 20 minutes. If there is a line, good luck.
STEP 5 : Your passport
At this point, you should already have a passport. You’ll be required to mail it in along with the rest of the documents proving that you have the means to live in that specific country for a summer, semester, or year. You’ll get your passport back with the visa inside.
A few more tips: Send out your Visa application at least 2 Months in advance for processing. There’s nothing worse than not having your visa the day you’re supposed to leave for the best experience of your life. Also, make copies of everything! Don’t be surprised if something gets lost in transit. Having copies of all documents will save you time, energy, and most important, money.
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Share with us your stories regarding VISA applications and the problems you may have faced in the process using the comment section below: