These ten tips will help you in the student visa application process, regardless of the selected academic destination. Prepared?
Applying for a student visa could be the most stressful part of preparing to go to university abroad. Between getting all your documents in order and perusing “the fine print” on government websites, the only thing that makes you want to do is pack your bags and board the plane. Although it is complicated, it is important to pay close attention to your specific immigration needs and to follow the procedure diligently; Otherwise, you could have problems entering the host country just before you start your study program.
Let us help you with our tips, so that you carry out each step of the process correctly.
Check if you need a visa
Each country has different visa requirements, and depending on your origin you may not need permission to enter your academic destination. For example, those born in the EU do not require a visa to study in another member nation of the same group, while students of certain nationalities do not require a visa to enter Malaysia . Check the specific visa and immigration requirements of each country on the website of your immigration agency: even if you do not need permission, you will most likely need to process some accreditation to be able to study elsewhere outside your borders.
English language proficiency test scores
You may be required to submit dozens of English proficiency tests as part of your visa application. If this is the case, make sure that your results will still be valid at the time of your visa application, and for at least a couple of months afterward. If those results expire during your study program, be prepared to retake the exam if necessary. Both the TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years from the date of submission.
Make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages when applying for a student visa. Although the permit will only take up one page, many consulates require a minimum of two unused pages within a valid passport. If you do not have enough space, please renew it before the request. This will only make the preparation process take a couple of weeks, and you will likely incur additional costs.
Passport-type photographs and documents
It may seem obvious, but it is necessary to read the documentation requirements thoroughly and have everything in order before making any shipment. If the documents do not meet the requirements, not only will you be denied a visa, but you will have to go through the entire process again, and maybe even pay another set of application fees. Remember that each country has its own requirements.
prepare to pay
When you apply for a visa, you will always have to pay a kind of processing fee; either at the time of making the request or when completing the interview. Some countries accept online applications and payment via credit or debit cards; but it is often necessary to go to an office in person to collect the visa or submit additional documents. Check if there are additional charges, as well as the payment method.
Processing your visa application can take time and be subject to out-of-control administrative procedures. If it is not ready on the required date, you will simply not be able to enter your academic destination before the start of classes. Some websites provide an estimate of the time of the visa process, but you should allow a longer period to avoid the stress of waiting against the clock.
check the translations
ALL documents in your application must be translated into English, and signed by a relevant authority. Some consulates provide translation and legalization services, but it is essential to do so before submitting the visa application. Most of the time, an appointment is scheduled to request translation services, so take that into account.
Make photocopies of all official documents you submit and bring them to your visa interview, even if the consulate claims to return them to you after visa approval. Your passport and your national identity document are some of the most important credentials in your possession, and you should ALWAYS take precautions and have backup copies to have the data at hand. It’s also a good idea to make extra digital copies, especially when traveling abroad.
In some cases, such as US student visas , an interview is required as part of the application process. Make sure you are well informed about the program of study, the host university and be prepared to explain why you want to complete that particular course of study. If you are unable to answer a few basic questions about your academic plans, it will be difficult to convince immigration officials that you are traveling to their country to study rather than emigrate.
Applying for a student visa may seem stressful, but if you have all your necessary documents and payments there is no reason to be denied. If you are agitated, argumentative or defensive; you could give immigration officials a reason to examine your application unnecessarily and further delay the process. Remember: consulates and embassies provide services with the intention of helping you, and applying for a student visa is an administrative process like any other.