Applying to study abroad requires meticulous planning. The process involves many stages, from searching and applying to a program in the university abroad to submitting the necessary documents. One such important stage is learning about the student visa application process. Here is what you should know about a student visa and the requirements to apply for it. Starting from the basics:
What is a visa?
It is a travel document issued by the government allowing a person to legally enter a foreign country. A visa can be of numerous types and is usually stamped or glued on the passport of the person.
What is a student visa?
A student visa is a travel authorization given to an applicant whose intent of traveling is to pursue education abroad. It is a non-immigrant visa that does not require the holder to obtain citizenship.
Every country has a different set of requirements for international students applying for a student visa. This blog focuses on giving information on the student visa requirements for top study abroad destinations, i.e. the USA, UK, and Canada:
Applying for a US student visa:
The first and foremost step in getting a US student visa is to apply and be accepted by an academic institute certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once this happens, the student is issued Form I-20 from the international office of the applied institute.Â Â
Types of American student visas:
The American government offers three types of student visas, namely:
F-1 student visa: This allows a student to study at an American academic institute or study English at an English language institute in the US.
J exchange visa: This is issued to students who wish to participate in a high school or university exchange program.
M student visa: This type is granted for non-academic or vocational training or study in the US.
- Valid passport
- Photographs in the requested format.
- Acceptance at a SEVP-approved school and Form I-20.
- Proof of application fee payment for SEVIS.
- Non-immigrant visa application along with Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Academic documents, including mark sheets, transcripts, and degrees or certificates.
- Proof of funds
Students applying for a student visa will have to pay US$160 as an application visa fee along with a SEVIS fee of US$350 on the F and M visa application and US$220 on the J visa application.Â Â
Applying for a UK student visa:
There are 3 different types of UK student visas issued to international students:Â
- Student route visa: Known as Tier 4 Student Visa, this visa is for students coming to the UK for the purpose of higher education.
- Child Student visa: This visa is for children belonging to the age group of 4 to 17 years wishing to study at an independent UK school.Â
- Short-term study visa: This is issued to applicants who want to study an English language course for a duration of up to 11 months.Â
- Original mark sheets/provisional certificates
- A complete student visa application form
- CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
- Proof of funds
- The visa fee payment confirmation receipt
- Proof of English language proficiency
The fee for a Tier 4 Student Visa is Â£348, along with a healthcare surcharge, which is not included in this fee and depends on the duration of the student’s stay.Â
Short-term student visas cost Â£97 for 6 months and Â£186 for 11 months.
Applying for a Canadian student visa:
- Valid passport
- Proof of acceptance by a DLI (Designated Learning Institution)
- Proof of Funds
- Passport Size Photographs
- Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
- English Language Proficiency Exam Score
- Statement of purpose
- Credit CardÂ
Students are required to pay CAD$150 as a visa fee. This does not include VAC service charges or any additional service charges which student needs to pay as applicable for their region.Â
Presenting the right set of documents is only the first step in the application process for a student visa in the country of choice. What is important is that the student follows the correct method of applying for a visa to avoid the chances of visa refusal. To get more details on the application process and apply with the guidance of experts, visit the nearest Canam
When should an applicant apply for a student visa?
As soon as the students receive an offer letter from the applied institution, they should begin the process of applying for their Student Visa.
What is the cost of applying for a student visa?
The student visa fee varies from country to country; hence students need to inquire about the amount they need to pay through their visa consultants.
Where should I apply for the student visa?
Students can either apply online for a visa or can personally visit the visa issuing authority with the necessary documents and fees.
Can an international student work on a student visa?
Yes, international students can work on a student visa, but they must keep in mind the number of work hours allowed in every country. For instance, in Canada, international students can work part-time for up to 20 hours or less (per week) during program sessions.
Can international students work full-time?
Yes, international students are allowed to work full-time during their session breaks. In order to work off-campus, they must provide a valid study permit or have already applied to extend their study permit before it expires. In case the student has completed the program, they must have written confirmation of the same from their current school.
What can lead to visa rejection?
- There can be many things that can lead to visa rejections, such as:
- Incorrect or incomplete documentsÂ
- Misconduct in the visa interview
- Lack of sufficient financial funds
- Inadequate communication skills
- The inability to confirm a necessary return to India after completion of education
- Failure to explain the reason for choosing a particular course, university, or country
- Inability to provide convincing answers during the interview
In order to study in Canada, do I need both a study visa and a study permit?
Yes, every international student requires both documents to study in Canada because while a student visa allows the student to enter Canadian territory, a study permit lets them stay and study there. A student visa gives international students the authorization to enter the country, but the study permit carries the details of their purpose, duration of their stay, course they have opted to study, and more.