Student Visa

In almost all cases, you must apply for it while staying in your home country. Because of an agreement between many developed countries, some citizens do not require visas when they go to each other’s countries for short stays of less than three months, for business purposes, or as tourists. However, the purpose for which you enter a country must agree with the visa you receive. You cannot apply for most types of visas, or change visa types, once you are in the country. To enter as a student for a stay of longer than 90 days, you must apply for a visa before you travel. In other words, you cannot enter the country as a tourist and then register as a student. Similarly, you cannot get a short-term work visa and then enroll as a student.

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Validity of visa and Residency

In some countries, student visas remains valid only for a short period, almost for three months. This gives you ample time to enter the country during the period before the classes start. Upon arriving, you are expected to register at a university and obtain a residency card confirming where you will live while you are a student in this country. After you obtain the card, it becomes the proof of your privlidge to stay in the country for a specified period. If you go to a country as an intern for the summer and then begin a study program in the fall, you will probably require another visa and might have to return home before you apply ofr another venture.

When to Apply

It might take as long as four months to obtain a visa for certain countries. Therefore, you should apply for the visa as soon as you receive the necessary documents confirming admission to the host university overseas.

If your program is under the sponsorship of an American university or organization, it should provide you with instructions about this procedure, help you get the admission document, and arrange for your visa. Some program can arrange for your visa through a company that specializes in offering this service.

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Where to Apply

Each country that has diplomatic relations with the other country has an embassy usually in capital city with a consular section, plus one or more consulates in different regions of the country. There are authorized to issue visas to people who want to enter their country.

Documents You Usually Need

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The most important document you must submit when you apply for a visa is your passport. This is your proof of being a citizen of your country. Your visa is a sticker or stamp usually placed inside your passport. You must have a valid passport in hand at least six months prior to start studying abroad. Make sure that your passport is also valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to leave the country.

You apply for a visa on prescribed form obtained from embassy of the host country in which you are planning to study. Make sure to include all the copies of the application form, completed and signed. You’ll be asked for a document confirming your eligibility for a student visa and also the acceptance of the institution you applying for. This usually comes from the host university and confirms that the university has admitted you for a period of study as a visiting student.

In addition, you often need a financial guarantee. This is a statement from your bank or a notarized statement from your family or from the program sponsor confirming their intention of providing you with funds sufficient to cover all your expenses in the host country.

Many countries require students and their parents to provide some documented proofs stating that they have the financial resources to take care of all the student’s needs while in the host country. This ensure that a student will not demand financial assistance from the host country, either for medical treatment or living and boarding expenses. Sometimes, education department of the host country requires document stating that all of the program fees have been paid and the sponsor is providing everything the student needs.

Some embassies require proof from your insurance company that your health insurance is valid in their country. The French, for example, require a letter from your insurance company on official letterhead confirming that your health insurance is valid in France. This statement needs to be in very clear English, understandable to persons who do not speak English well. If this document is ambigous or in difficult to understand legal terms, visa section might reject these letters and ask for clearer ones.

Many countries (including Australia) might require you to submit the reports of a medical examination administered in accordance with their instructions.

Understand and follow the instructions very carefully and compose all the parts of the application exactly as instructed to do. Ask our study abroad agent for assistance if you have nay questions. Your address in the country, unless you have the exact address of the place you will be staying, will be the host university. Your contact person in the country will be the resident director of your program, if any.

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