Student Visas for Study Abroad: Student Visas, as the name suggests are visas issued to applicants whose primary purpose of visit to a foreign country is for the pursuit of education. Needless to say, while getting admission to the university is extremely important, these legal documents stand in the way of all your pursuits. Every country is governed by its Immigration Laws. These could vary in terms of the requirements of documents to the different proof of funds acceptable to what all the visas would let you do apart from studying in the country. Also, some broad commonalities are visible in all student visa applications.
Studying abroad requires meticulous planning to say the least. Students are always advised to plan their admission/ application process keeping in mind university deadlines and working backwards. Students are required to appear for English eligibility tests as per the university policy and also have required documents in place for the smooth processing of their application. Hence, students are always advised to apply 3-4 months in advance to avoid any last-minute rush. Candidates seeking financial aid, scholarships and education loans should add another couple of extra months to the process as these applications take more time.
Student Visa Classification Based on Program’s Duration
Depending on the length of tenure of the programme the applicant is planning to undertake, the countries often divide the student visa into Short Term Student Visas or Long-term Student Visas. Often, short-term visas are given to students who plan to take a short course of a language or a diploma certificate course and the entire duration is often limited to 90 days (3 months). Long term visas, on the other hand, are given to students who are planning to take up degree courses extending beyond the 3 months. These could include internships and small certificate programmes of 6 months and so on. European Union Countries often have this broad classification.
Student Visa Classification Based on Type of Programme/ Student
Irrespective of the duration of the course, some countries classify student visas basis the type of student. This could be the level of degree applied for (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral), exchange student or student applying for a vocational/ diploma course. Broadly speaking, as these visas also depend on the type, of course, the student is applying for, these are somewhat linked to tenure. However, in these categories, the first point of distinction is not how long the programme would be for. If you are, say, for instance, an exchange student, you could be going for 3 months or 3 years, the category would still be based on the type of student and not the tenure.
Basic Requirements For Obtaining A Student Visa.
Determine which countries will accept your application: This information may be found on the website of the country’s embassy or consulate in your own country, or by searching online.
- You must have been accepted by a university in the country where you wish to study.
- You must also show proof of financial support for your stay as well as confirmation of health insurance coverage.
- To be eligible for a student visa in any country, you must meet these basic requirements.
After you have met all of the requirements, you will need to complete several key paperwork to get a student visa for travel.
10 Important Documents Needed To Process A Student Visa
Current Valid Passport
A valid passport is required to apply for a student visa. It is critical to ensure that the passport has not expired and has at least six months of validity remaining. This is the primary requisite. While you would need a valid passport, what you need to know is that for different countries, the requirement of the validity of your passport might vary.
Some countries would want you to have the validity until the end of the course even at the time of applying for the student visa. Some, on the other hand, might let you apply but request you to have a validity that extends beyond the intended stay in the country. You also need to ensure that you have at least two blank pages in your passport for stamping a visa. What is important to note is that in case you have any expired passports, you would still have to submit a copy of all such passports.
Certificate Of Enrollment
A certificate of enrollment is a document that testifies to a student’s enrollment and attendance at a foreign university. It is usually given to the student by the educational institution.
No matter which country you are applying to, if you are applying for any category of Student Visa, you must be able to prove that you are a bonafide student. This is often done by producing confirmation of admission with an educational institute in that country.
Financial Proof Of Funds
Financial proof is a bank statement document that the student must present to their embassy to demonstrate that they have the funds to maintain themselves financially. The bank statement must be less than three months old at the time of application. Most countries would require you to prove that you are capable of not only taking care of the tuition and college expenses but also having the requisite funds to afford your stay in that country for the intended study period. While many countries have a stipulated amount of funds it would require, some have broader more extensive guidelines. For instance, many countries in Europe (like Germany, Netherlands, etc.) have a minimum living cost computed as per government standards. Students applying for student visas in these countries, accordingly, must provide proof that the said amount is available with them in ready cash.
Proof Of Parental Approval
This is a document in the form of an email, letter, or other written confirmation from the parent saying that they are aware of their child’s plan to study abroad. The applicant’s parent must be over the age of 18 and have parental responsibility for him or her.
Medical Clearance Certificate
A medical clearance certificate is required to get a student visa. This certificate is produced by a doctor in the country where you live and then forwarded to your home country’s embassy or consulate. It must be given within 12 months of your date of entry.
The above are the most important documents required for the processing of a student visa. Some countries will require you to fulfill additional requirements.
Visa Application Form
This is a form that the student fills out and submits to their country’s immigration authorities. The form can be received at their country’s embassy, in their home country or online.
The student visa interview procedure is tough. It is administered by an immigration officer who inquires about the applicant’s personal and professional history.
Proficiency in the language
You must demonstrate that you have a particular degree of competence in the language taught at the institution. Another thing which is required perhaps across various countries is proof that you can communicate in the language which would be your medium of instruction. Since most of the students plan to study in English speaking countries, most of them would require you to provide proof that you can communicate in English – both written and verbal.
The documentation necessary for sponsorship varies based on the type of visa being obtained. For example, if you’re applying for a student visa, you’ll need an offer letter from the institution you’ll be attending as well as confirmation that they have the funding to support your stay in the country.