Home Travel tips Planning Everything you need to know about the student visa

    Everything you need to know about the student visa

    Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, checking on the visa requirements for your destination should be part of your preparation. Students are no exception: in fact, ensuring that you have accurate information and the right documents is crucial for a student visa. Unlike tourist or business visas, student visas are specifically designed for travel and residency related to academic purposes, including the Erasmus program and language studies. We don’t want to get dramatic here, but if you fail to obtain your student visa, you might not be able to complete your studies and the entire trajectory of your life will change. You can request support from education consultancy companies and visa centers on student visas, or you can carry out your own comprehensive research and manage the whole process on your own.

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    How to get a student visa

    We suggest starting with a review of the visa procedures for the country where you’ll be studying; requirements vary among both countries and schools. Nonetheless, we have provided a list of what will generally be required by every country.

    A woman with a backpack at the airport

    Documents required for visa application

    • A completed student visa application
    • Passport, valid at least for one year
    • Criminal record or proof of no criminal record
    • School acceptance letter
    • Financial status records*
    • Residency document-
    • Travel insurance
    • Language selection form
    • Administrative fee document
    • Property deeds
    • Approved SSI documents of the individual or organization financially supporting the student while they are abroad, including employment and monthly insurance documents
    • Military service paper for men
    • Student certificate
    • Employment papers – if employed**
    • Diploma and transcript, if applicable
    • Visa payment receipt
    • CV and Letter of Intent stating your reason for studying-
    • Marriage certificate for married students
    • Work permit if the student will work
    • Permission from the parent if the student is not an adult
    • Exam certificates indicating the level of English for long-term visas

    * A letter explaining the status of the companies or individuals that will sponsor your education expenses, bank account documents of the sponsor or a letter from the bank, a certificate of commerce, a tax certificate, signature circular and official gazette showing the formation of the company.

    ** If you are employed: a letter from your employer indicating that you are on leave and that you can continue your work on your return, last three months’ payroll, social insurance for the last months

    Note: Students who will be supported by family relations in the country where they intend to study are asked to present documents showing the financial status of those relatives in that country, as well as copies of their passports.

    Other documents may be required or requested, depending on the country. You can get more information from the country’s official embassy or consular websites.

    The costs of a student visa

    You can expect to pay the following fees when applying for a student visa:

    • Appointment fee
    • Notary fees
    • Sworn translator fee
    • Visa fee
    • Travel insurance fee

    These fees may vary from organization to organization and country to country. As well, if  you engage an agency to help with the visa application process, additional charges may arise.

    The most preferred countries for studying abroad

    United States

    The United States is the first choice for many, for studying abroad. Maybe for some, the American dream starts with being a student there, but there are other ways to become a student in the US. If you are going to enroll in a language school or a university program, an F-1 visa is required. Applying for a different type of visa will make it harder to proceed; and keep in mind that fees may change depending on the visa. If you are eligible, and if your documentation has been submitted correctly and in full, your visa will most likely be approved at your interview. However, it will take around three days for it to be issued and inserted in your passport – so plan your travel accordingly!

    Harvard University's garden

    United Kingdom

    A preferred destination for learning English, the United Kingdom offers different categories for student visas. Make sure you apply for the correct one and have all the required documents; keep in mind that the fees will also vary. Studying for a period of six to 11 months in the UK requires a ‘Student Visitor Visa’ and knowledge of the English language is not necessary to apply for this one. If you’re looking into longer term study, you’ll need to apply for the ‘Tier 4 General Student Visa’, required especially for students planning to apply for internships. English language knowledge is required, and it is certified by an exam given at a UKVI-certified test center.

    A student sitting on a step, working at her laptop


    Obtaining a student visa from Canada is relatively easy. Canada is also a desirable country in which to study because of its excellent educational system and career options. To obtain a student visa, simply apply for a ‘Study Permit’ after collecting all the required documents, including the Letter of Intent, fill out the forms in full, and attend your visa interview, usually conducted in the Embassy or the Consulate. You can also apply online. The visa process normally takes up to two or three weeks. If you’re enrolling in a shorter program, one that is under six months, you can apply for a tourist visa.

    Students cycling by the seaside


    If you want to enroll in a program in Australia, the ‘Student Visa (Subclass 500)’ is the visa most commonly offered. For Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, you’ll need to have some knowledge of English, along with results from exams such as the IELTS and TOEFL. You can also apply online; the visa will be sent to you via email. In Australia, unlike some countries, student visas can be extended, or a tourist visa can be replaced with a student visa.

    A young man cycling in Australia

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