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Student Visa Requirements & Procedure for your Study Abroad Destination USA | Canada | UK | Australia

If you are preparing to study abroad in Australia, USA, UK or Canada and you are looking for all the information you need to apply for your student visa then this article is for you. In this article we will talk about the requirements that you need to fulfill to apply for a student visa for the USA, UK. Canada or Australia. Applying for your student visa is an important step in your study abroad journey and you can always benefit from having all the information you need beforehand.

USA, UK, Canada, and Australia are the major destinations for students from around the globe and all of these countries offer specific visas to students once they receive an acceptance from their desired educational institution. Student visas are issued for the duration of your study programme and all the above stated countries offer student visas under certain and specific requirements.

We will discuss the student visa requirements of these countries one by one.

USA – Student Visa Requirements:

If you are planning to study abroad at a university or college in the USA then the F-1 visa provided by the USA to international students is what you need to know about.

F-1 visas are non-immigrant visas that are issued to international students to enter and study in the USA at an institution certified by their Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP). The SEVP certification is a proof given by your educational institution that it has the resources to provide you with an education.

When to apply?

You can apply for an F-1 visa once you get admitted to an SEVP certified institution.

Visa Duration

Once you receive an acceptance from an SEVP certified educational institution, you will be provided with an I-20 which will mention the expiration date of your study programme along with other important details of your study plans in the USA. The duration of your visa will be according to the deadline provided in this I-20 form.

If your degree does not require you to go for an optional training programme ( OTP ) then you will need to return to your home country within 60 days of the completion of your study programme. However, if you go for an optional training programme then you will be able to stay in the USA for an additional 12 months after your study visa expires. If you are from a STEM designated study programme then you can apply for an additional period of 24 months at the end of your initial 12 months.

Optional Training Programme (OTP) is a type of work permit that the USA issues to international students after the completion of their study programme so that they can stay and gain practical work experience in their area of study.

Following are the requirements that you must meet in order for your application to be accepted for an F-1 visa.

  • Institution Certification – The college or university that you received an acceptance from needs to be certified by Student and Exchange Visitors Programme ( SEVP )
  • A valid passport – Your passport should be valid for at least 6 more months after the completion of your study programme
  • Home country residency – You are also required to have a residence in your home country / country of origin to return to after the completion of your study programme
  • Proof of sufficient funding – You must have proof that you have the financial means to support your stay and education in the USA for the required period.
  • Full time enrollment – You must be enrolled in a full time study programme to apply for an F-1 visa.
  • English language proficiency – You must meet the language proficiency score requirements of the education institution that you are going to attend.

Additional steps to take:

Now before you start filling out your visa application you need to do the following tasks because this will be a requirement when you fill out your student visa application.

  • Make sure you have received your I-20 form from your SEVP certified university because you need it to fill out your visa application
  • Make sure you have paid your SEVP fee. You will need to pay an SEVP fee of $350. You can pay this SEVP fee at this official portal link
  • You need to save the SEVP receipt because you will need it at your visa interview.

Filling out your Visa application ( DS – 160 )

DS – 160 is your visa application form. You need to fill out this form to apply for your F-1 visa.

You can fill out your DS-160 at this link of US government’s official website

Documents checklist for USA student visa application:

You will need the following documents to complete your DS – 160 student visa application form:

  • I-20 issued by your university
  • A valid passport
  • Passport size picture for your visa
  • Travel Itinerary

F-1 student visa Cost:

You will also need to pay a student visa fee of $160. This will cover the cost of your visa application and your interview.

Total Cost:

Total cost to apply for your F-1 student visa is:

SEVP fee + student visa fee
$350 + $160 = $510

Scheduling your F-1 visa interview

After submitting your visa application you can schedule your visa interview online at the following link of US government’s official website

Attending your US F-1 student visa interview:

While you prepare for your F-1 visa interview, you should make sure that you have the following documents ready to be evaluated by your consular officer on the interview day.

  • A valid passport
  • A copy of the photo for your visa
  • Printed copies of your DS-160 and I-901 SEVIS payment receipt
  • I-20 form
  • Transcript and official test scores attached with your university application
  • Diploma (if applicable)
  • Bank statements / proof of finances

After you complete your interview, you will be given an F-1 student visa for the duration of your study programme.

Canada: Student Visa Requirements

You can apply for your Canadian student visa right after you receive an acceptance from the college or university that you applied to. You will be eligible for the student visa only if you have received an acceptance from a post secondary designated learning institute (DLI). You can check all the designated learning institutes at this link.

How to apply for your Canadian Student Visa?

There are two methods to apply for a Canadian student visa.

  • Online application
  • Paper based method

Online method is faster than the paper based method.

For the online application, you will apply at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. You can access the website at this link. You will be notified about your eligibility once you apply for your study permit and if you are eligible, you will be given a list of documents that you need to submit.

For the paper based method, you will need to provide the following while applying for your Canadian study permit:

  • University Acceptance Letter
  • Passport valid for minimum 6 months
  • Financials,
  • Immigration history
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose

Requirements:

You will need to fulfill the following requirements to apply for your Canadian Study Permit.

  • Minimum-required IELTS level of English language ability of 6.0 in all sections (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
  • Purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000,
  • Have been accepted by an eligible Post-secondary Designated Learning Institute
  • Tuition payment for the first year of study at a DLI in Canada,
  • Completion of an upfront medical examination
  • All degree transcripts, certificates and marksheets from Secondary and Higher secondary school certificates.
  • Bachelor or Master’s degree and transcripts
  • Affidavit of support
  • Bank Statement and account maintaining certificate
  • Employment letter confirming job and salary
  • Income tax return, tax registration wealth tax
  • Rental income (rent agreements with evidence of ownership)
  • Travel history/ visa refusal
  • Clearance letter from local police station stating that you have no criminal record.
  • Must own a credit card

Canadian Visa Fee:

You will have to pay a visa fee of 150 + 85 CAD to apply for a Canadian study permit.

UK: Student Visa Requirements

Like many other study abroad destinations, you can apply for your student visa in the UK, once you have been accepted to the college or university that you applied to. The UK offers two types of student visas. It offers a short term study visa for courses that last less than 11 months. Secondly, it offers long term student visas for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. In this article, we will only talk about the long term student visa offered for undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

How to apply for UK student visa

Once you receive an acceptance from the university or college that you applied to, you will be required to formally accept the offer. After you accept the offer you will get your Confirmation of Acceptance letter (CAS). In some cases you will also be required by your educational institute to pay an initial deposit fee towards your overall degree charges before you are offered your CAS letter.

Once you receive your CAS letter you can apply for your student visa.

You can apply for your student visa and check your eligibility as well at this link.

Documents Checklist

In order to successfully apply for your student visa in the UK, you will need to have following documents:

  • Your CAS letter
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of payment for your course fee
  • Financial evidence to support your stay in the UK for the duration of your study programme
  • A medical certificate for tuberculosis

Detailed process

Once you receive your CAS letter and prepare all the above stated documents, you can successfully complete your UK student visa application.

You can access the application at this link.

Once you complete your application, you will have to prove your identity through biometrics. You can either do this at a UK visa application center or you can use the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app to scan your identity documents.

After this, you may also be called for an interview. However, if you are called for an interview then you must remember that this is just a part of the process to ensure that you are a legitimate student.

Once you clear all these stages successfully, you will receive your student visa stamped on your passport. Now, you are eligible to enter the UK.

Once you land in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of your arrival.

UK Student Visa Fee

You will be required to pay a student visa fee of £363 and you will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge for NHS of £470/year.

Australia: Student Visa Requirements

Australia offers subclass-500 student visa to all the international students. You can apply for this visa once you are admitted to an educational institute of your choice in Australia. Once you are admitted, you will receive an electronic confirmation of enrollment (eCOE) and can apply for your Australian student visa on the basis of this confirmation.

Documents Checklist /Detailed Requirements

You can apply for your Australian student visa by creating an account on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) online application system at this link here.

In order to successfully complete your student visa application you will need to fulfill the following requirements and you will need to provide the below listed documents.

  • A valid passport
  • Your electronic confirmation of enrollment (eCOE) from your educational institution
  • Your visa fee
  • Academic documents/transcripts
  • Work experience documents
  • Your english proficiency test scores
  • Your Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
  • Details of your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Passport sized photograph
  • Evidence of your financial ability to support your stay and education in Australia

If you are planning to apply for your student visa at any of the above destinations then the information provided above can be of great help. However, if you need further guidance and assistance in applying for your student visa then our experts at Shalee Global can help you with all you need for a successful student visa application

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