The student visa is an important document for people who intend to study abroad. It is very natural to focus solely on choosing the course and accommodation at your university of choice but one needs to some degree of attention and energy in learning all about the student visa application. A valid student visa must be acquired well before the travel date and it should cover the entire duration of the course. It is important to get admitted to a prestigious university, but it is also important to apply and get the student visa well before time. However, not many students are aware of how to go about it. To make things simpler we have compiled a list of tips and instructions so that you can apply for your student visa effortlessly.
No time for Procrastination
You need to apply for your student visa at least 3 to 5 months before the start of your course but the actual time will depend on the country you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for Australia then you need to apply at least 4 months in advance or you may not be able to leave on time for the orientation classes. But first you must inquire with the college or the concerned embassy about the visa category for which you need to apply. This phase is very important as visa regulations not only differ from one country to another, but it also varies from one region to another within the same country.
The next step would to check the list of documents that would be required for your visa application so that you have all the documents and photos ready at the time of submitting your visa application.
Read the Acceptance Letter carefully
It is important to note that students can apply for his/her visa only after getting the acceptance letter from the university where he/she wishes to study. The acceptance letter is very important as you need to submit the letter along with the tuition fees at the time of applying for the visa. The type of student visa is vastly determined by the length of the course of your choice.
For example, a short-term visa is granted for courses which are of less than six months and this type of visa will not allow you to do a job while studying.
Overall Health is very important
Believe it or not, there are some countries in this world which have put health restrictions on the student visa category. Simply said, one will have to undergo a battery of medical tests to prove that you are not carrying any infectious disease or that you are immunized from diseases like cholera/yellow fever et al. The majority of the countries will urge you to take a health insurance cover even before you apply for your student visa. Some of the insurance providers will actually help you in choosing the best policy; so you will never feel alone at any stage of the application process.
Get the Documents Ready
One will need original as adequate number of photocopies of all documents such as English language test scores (IELTS/TOEFL), academic certificates, school/college mark sheets, official transcripts and, of course, the passport which should be valid for a minimum of 6 months. There are some common documents which you will require for your visa interview and these include:
- Passport-size photographs
- Acceptance letter
- Approval letter for student loan (if applicable)
- Proof of Overseas Student Health Cover
- English Language Test Scores
- Academic Transcripts
- Letter of Acceptance from the University and
- Passport which is valid for at least six months
This is an indicative list only and one needs to check with the official website for the exact set of documents that needs to be carried at the time of interview. The visa interview is a very important step in getting a student loan. One needs to ensure that all documents are in order and he/she must arrive for the interview at least 15 min ahead of time. The academic transcripts must be in English and should clearly state the grades obtained by you in various examinations and never forget to carry your financial documents as these will serve as proof of funds. If you are unable to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover the education costs at the university then your student visa will not be granted and this will be a big setback for you after all these preparations.
Read the Visa Conditions Carefully
You will definitely feel elated when you get your visa but do not go overboard. There is some more work left to do! Now that you have got your visa, you need to study the visa carefully to understand the finer aspects of your particular visa category. Now this is easier said than done. Understand what the visa stamp actually says. Can your family accompany you? Is there any scope for part-time work? For how many hours can you work in a week? Also try to understand whether the visa allows you to work after graduation. Every country has different requirements and parameters; so it is very important to study the visa conditions before you fly.
Going abroad to study is a huge decision and there are loads of factors, steps and hurdles to cross in order to achieve that dream. The student visa application is an important step and this is where the bulk of the students err. However, with proper planning you can actually ace through the student visa application process. One may also contact the student representatives of the university to understand the process better and even speak to your local education counselor (registered and recommended by the university) to do away with the fear factor. Facing the interview is a nervy period, but you will do well to treat it as just another interview and shed all your fears and nervousness. Once you get through this, you will be on your way to your land of dreams and commence your studies there.