A study abroad journey always requires a lot of planning and preparations for everything to go in a smooth manner.
While getting an acceptance from a university of your choice is a daunting task, obtaining a student visa is even more difficult.
Why do you need a student visa?
You require a student visa as a part of legal proceedings that are to be done for entering your study destination and for pursuing university/ college education.
Classification of Student Visas
They are classified into two types depending on:
- Duration of a course/ program
- Type of a program or student
Duration of a course/ program
Depending on the tenure of your course, the visas may be classified into short term or long term student visas.
A short term visa is given when a student is planning to undertake a short course of up to 3 months. This is true especially in the case of a
- Summer school
- Language Program
- Any diploma/ certificate course
A long term visa, however, is given when a duration of the program extends beyond 6 months. This is relevant when students are planning to pursue degree programs or diploma courses of more than 3 months.
Type of a program or student
Some countries have classified types of student visa on the basis of a student type that is if a student is going to be an undergraduate, graduate or doctorate. Further, a student could fall into the category of an exchange student or an applicant for a diploma course.
Documents Needed for Student Visa Application
Different countries are governed by separate immigration laws and students must conform to the laws that govern the destination country.
Requirements for documents may, therefore, vary depending on your study destination. However, there is a list of documents that remain common for every visa application irrespective of your study destination.
A list of generic requirements is as given below:
1. Valid Passport
When applying for a visa of any type, you always need a valid passport.
The requirement for your passport’s validity may vary depending upon your study destination.
Your passport must have a minimum of two blank pages for getting the visa stamped.
There are countries that demand passport’s validity until the program’s completion. Even the countries that are liberal at the time of application are going to ask you to get the validity extended beyond the intended time of stay.
Note: You must also submit copies of your expired passports if there are any.
2. Admission Letter/ Student Bonafide
For student visa, you need to showcase a legit admission letter from the institution of admission. A letter has to confirm your admission, thereby, stating you’re a registered student with the given institution.
3. Language Proficiency Proof
You need to demonstrate your proficiency in a language that will be the medium of instruction at your study destination.
Because the majority of the students plan to study in English speaking countries, they must prove their ability to communicate in the English language. This includes both verbal and written forms of communication.
This can be done by undertaking an acceptable English language test like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE. The requirements for the minimum score and type of exam may vary from one country to another. It is, therefore, important that the exam is recognized by an immigration department of the destination country.
Note: Even if the universities may grant you admission at lower scores, the language proficiency requirements for a visa cannot be changed. Your visa is rejected in case there is a failure in meeting the set criteria.
4. Financial Lucidity
For a successful visa application, it is mandatory that you prove your financial capability of managing tuition and living expenses.
Every country has its own guidelines for study abroad financial documents that are to be submitted by the students.
Final words: You must check all student visa requirements for your study destination well in advance so as to avoid any problems at the later stages.
Image source: ico.ku.edu.tr