There are many students all over the world aspiring and putting their efforts to moving outside their home country and studying somewhere else. With the rising number of such students globally, student visas are now getting increasing popular day by day.
Young individuals today are eager to embark on a new journey on a whole new different land, and if you are one of them, you must know that you can not do so without a valid student visa. The student visas vary from country to country. The eligibility requirements as well as the application process is also different in each cases. Don’t worry though, we are here to help you with that.
In this article, you will find the separate guidelines in detail for obtaining student visa in the top and most commonly visited countries by students for study purposes. Stay tuned as we explore these topics more in a detailed manner.
About Student Visa
A student visa refers to the document that allows any international student to study in a foreign country. Please note that these visas, their eligibility criteria and application processes vary from country to country. Usually these visas allow students to stay for a certain period of time( usually the duration of the study program). A common eligibility criteria is to be accepted into an educational institution of the host country.
Types of Student Visa
As we said earlier, student visas are different in each country and we have listed a few common types here:
- USA Student Visa: For international students about to pursue any educational program in the USA, this visa is mandatory. There are different types of visas for students in regular academic program, vocational program and exchange programs. The most common is the F-1 type of visa for students in regular academic program. This type of visa can have a validity of one year to the duration of the study program at most. To obtain this visa, you must be enrolled at any US academic institution, language school or seminary. Please note that the institute you are enrolled in needs to be approved by SEVP Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
- UK Student Visa: The UK government allows international students to study in the country but you can not do so without having a valid student visa. You have to apply for this visa at earliest, preferably three months before the start of your program. To be eligible for this visa, you must be accepted at a valid UK university and an acceptable score in any English Language proficiency test such as the IELTS, and lastly, a proof of financial capacity to support yourself and the cost of the program.
- Canada Student Visa/Study Permit: Canada offers study permits to international students aiming to pursue a degree or academic program in Canada and this permit acts equivalent to the student visa. This permit remains valid for 90 days after your study program has ended, which gives you adequate time to get things ready before heading back home. In order to be eligible for this visa, you need to be enrolled at a designated learning institute of Canada and have enough financial capacity to bear the associated costs during your stay, and lastly should possess excellent physical health as well as no criminal record.
- Australia Student Visa: In order to pursue higher studies in Australia, you would need visa subclass 500. The validity of this visa is five years as per your enrollment. To obtain this visa, you need to be enrolled in a valid study program in Australia, be 6 years or older, and in case of a minor, you need to have a welfare arrangement, hold an overseas student health cover and lastly, you need to have a proof of language proficiency.
- EU Student Visa: This student visa is commonly known as the Schengen Visa and is for international students aiming to pursue an academic program in any of these following countries-Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. To obtain this visa, you are required to submit all the necessary documents( Application form, a valid passport from your home country, recent photograph, proof of accommodation, travel health insurance etc.) to the visa center or embassy in your country. Upon submitting all these documents correctly, you are sure to receive your Schengen Visa without further issue.
Also Read: How to Apply for UK Student Visa in 2023
Common Student Visa Requirements
Even though there are specific requirements which vary from one country to another, there are certain common requirements for every one of these student visas:
- For starters, you would need an acceptance letter from a valid and recognized educational institute in the host country. It is a must need document for you to get that visa.
- You need to fill out the visa application form provided by the visa consulate or the embassy of the host country in your home country.
- You must have proof to demonstrate your financial capability to cover your tuition fees and other necessary expenses during your stay at the host country. If you are a scholarship recipient, you need to show proof of that as well.
- You need to have a valid passport that will remain valid for the entire duration of your program. Depending on the country, you might need to have a passport for at least six months before your departure date or during application.
- You need to submit some recently taken passport sized pictures with the application form. The exact specifications regarding these pictures vary from country to country.
- You need to pay a certain amount of visa processing fee to the embassy or consulate of the host country and it also varies depending on the country. Please note that this fee is non refundable, even if your visa application gets rejected.
- Depending on the host country, you may need to have a health insurance coverage for the entire duration of your program in there.
- Lastly, you would need to submit academic records and transcripts, certificates and other academic documents from your previous university or other educational institute, along with a language proficiency certificate where needed, a clear and concise statement of purpose, and civil documents like your birth and marriage certificate( if applicable), and your updated CV.
Tips for applicants regarding the application process
You have checked all the general requirements so far, and if you are eligible, the congratulations, you are one step closer to your dreams. Now comes the application process, and in order to submit a successful student visa application, we advise you to do the following:
- Since the visa processing time varies due to a lot of factors, it is always best to start as early as possible considering your intended departure date.
- Make sure to fill out the form accurately and completely. Do not include any false or fabricated, or even partially true information.
- Properly demonstrate your financial capacity by showing proof of your source of funding, such as bank statement, scholarship letters etc.
- Keep copies of all necessary documents before submitting in case you need to submit again, or the previous ones are lost.
- Always make sure to double check the eligibility criteria of certain type of student visa and see you are actually eligible or not. These criteria may be different in each country.
- Attend the visa interview with adequate preparation and confidence. Browse and research potential questions regarding your study plan and program, and then prepare accordingly.
- Always keep a backup plan in case your visa application is rejected. You can reapply or go for alternative options for your study.
We hope this article was successful in providing you with a general overview of the student visa in different countries. Good luck to those of you who are trying to move abroad for studies in the near future.