Study Visa - How to Get a Student Visa
A study visa is necessary for those who plan to attend a college,
university or vocational school in a foreign country. Before you can
apply for a student visa, you have to be accepted into an educational
institution. You can start the application process immediately after
you receive official notice of acceptance. However, not more than six
months before you plan to start your program. If the application
process appears too complicated and you think you might need or want
some assistance, we recommend Travel Visa Pro's study visa service.
Study Visa Requirements
It is common for countries to request background information of study
visa applicants. The purpose of this is to establish that you have ties
that bind you to the United States. You have to show that there are
things in the U.S. that serve as motives for you to return after you
have completed your studies.
At the visa interview, consular officers try to determine that you have
adequate funds to avoid unlawful employment while in the country where
you will study, a credible support arrangement for yourself while
there, specific and realistic travel plans and strong ties in the U.S.
Most countries that do not have English as an official language
require some level of fluency in the native language. This is usually
determined by your score on a designated language proficiency test.
Some countries approve a study visa even when the applicant is not
fluent because language courses are incorporated into the applicant's
In order to get a study visa, you must also prove that
sufficient funds are or will be available from an identified and
reliable financial source to defray all living and school expenses
during the entire period of anticipated study abroad. Some student
applicants are required to prove they have enough readily available
funds to meet all expenses for the first year of study, and that
adequate funds will be available for each subsequent year of study. In
other cases, visa applicants must have evidence that sufficient funds
are immediately available to pay all tuition and living costs for the
entire period of intended stay.
Educational Instituation Acceptance Form
You have to be accepted by an approved educational institution
before any country will issue a visa to study. The institution should
provide you with proper documentation to make your request for a
student visa to study abroad. There may be different forms depending on
the type of institution at which you plan to study.
Applying for a Study Visa
While most countries require you to apply for a student visa through an
embassy or consular general of the country where you plan to study
while you are still in the U.S., there are a few countries that require
you to enter under a tourist visa and then make your request for a
It is important to understand the application process for the
county in which you plan to study. Some countries do not allow you to
apply for a new student visa more than a few months before your course
starts. The length of time varies from country to country.
Not all consular generals of a particular country accept every
type of visa application. It may be that the consular general nearest
you does not process applications for study visas. You need to verify
Schedule an Interview
An interview is usually part of the application process. Some
countries only schedule appointments online, others require you call
and, still other, require you to personally appear at the embassy or
consular general to do this.
Appointments are scheduled during workdays excluding public holidays .
Appointment times are staggered; applicants should arrive at the
Embassy at the time stated.
In special situations, you can request an expedited visa
interview appointment. These are scheduled on a slot availability
basis. You usually need to provide your passport number and a written
explanation of why the travel is urgent and include contact information
for consular staff to verify the claimed emergency situation. All
requests must include your telephone or e-mail contact information.
Student Visa interviews are conducted directly between the
consular officer and the applicant. Third parties, including lawyers,
are generally not allowed to be present at the interview, though
exceptions are sometimes granted.
At the visa interview, you will probably need to present the following:
- a fully completed, signed Study Visa Application Form
- a current passport valid for at least six months
- expired passports that show previous travel to the in the country in which you will study;
- application fee;
- a passport-type photograph;
- an original letter of acceptance sent by the school;
- proof of ability to pay for the first year of the study program in the United States;
- any documentation that might demonstrate your personal
situation in the U.S. and your incentive to return to the United States
after the completion of your studies abroad. In the past, some
applicants have found the following to be useful: a reference letter
from your employer verifying applicantâ€™s job, length of time in the
job, and salary, a receipt(s) for payment of applicantâ€™s salary, a
bank account statement showing recent activity in the applicantâ€™s
bank account, applicantâ€™s business card, permission from an
authorized entity to operate the business, your most recent tax payment
receipt, your companyâ€™s charter document, marriage certificates,
birth certificates, and a certificate of land ownership. Please note
that just bringing these documents will not guarantee the issuance of a
The visa application will normally be adjudicated at the conclusion of
the interview. You may be required to present additional information,
or to await further processing, before their applications can be
finally decided. Thus, you are encouraged to apply as far in advance as
possible before their intended departure, so that enough time is
allowed to resolve any procedural problems, should any come up. The
Embassy does not recommend anyone purchase nonrefundable tickets until
a visa is issued.
If you are married and/or have minor children, they may obtain
nonimmigrant visas to accompany you. Each family member must obtain
their own form from the school and meet all other visa eligibility
requirements, including evidence that they will have sufficient funds
for their support, and that they will depart when your course ends.
Spouses and children of students may not accept employment at any time.
School-age minor children may attend public schools on F-2 or M-2
status, and are required to attend school if residing in the United
Study Visa Issuance
After the student visa has been authorized, applicants are
generally told to return two or three days later to pick up their
passports with valid visas. Applicants who need their visas sooner than
what the Consular Officer states should consult with the Consular
Officer at the time of the interview.
You or a representative may return to pick up the passport with study
visa at the appointed time. If you send a representative, the
representative must bring with him/her the pickup ticket and know the
name of the applicants whose passport s/he is acquiring.
Once you receive your visa, you should verify the accuracy of
the data on it. Be sure to check your name, date of birth, gender,
photo, passport number, validity, type and name of educational
institution where you plan to study. Inform the Consular Section
personnel if you encounter any errors.
Validity of a Student Visa
Visa validity varies from country to country. Some student visas
are issued for up to five years. Other visas are valid for shorter
periods. The expiration date of the visa notes the last day you may use
the visa to apply to enter the country where you plan to study. The
expiration date is not the last day you are allowed to remain in the
country. Every time you plan to travel to the country where you will
study, remember to assure your passport is valid for at least six
months from the time you plan to depart that country. If your passport
which has the student visa in it expires before you complete your
course of study, you may travel with two passports -- one expired
passport with a valid visa and a new passport.
Interview at Port-of-Entry
A valid visa does not guarantee you will be allowed to enter the
destination country. An immigration officer will interview you when you
arrive. He or she will determine if you are eligible to enter and for
how long. In the event the immigration officer finds you ineligible,
you will not be allowed to enter and will return to the United States
immediately. The immigration officer may take your picture and
Usually, you are not allowed to enter the country where you
will study more than 30 days before your program begins. If you are
returning to continue your studies, you can usually enter more than 30
days in advance of the new school term.
Help with the Study Visa Application
In most cases, the application process for obtaining a study
visa is more complex and difficult than the process for getting a
tourist or business visa. There are several more steps, forms, and
documents involved. You may find yourself confused and frustrated. One
way to minimize the difficulty is to employ a professional visa
service. Their experience can contribute to a smooth application
Relocating a foreign country requires a great deal of preparation.
Contracting a visa service to accompany the application process is a
good investment. It can free you to focus on other tasks. If you think
this might be something you want to do, Travel Visa Pro comes highly
Click the link to learn more about their study visa service
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