Study Visa


With over a billion international students across the globe, student visas are now more in demand than ever. The idea of spending a semester or completing a study program abroad is highly appealing to young students everywhere. But, everyone who plans on becoming an international student must learn how to apply for a student visa.

What Is a Student Visa?

A student visa is a document that allows you to pursue a study program in a foreign country. Student visas are usually issued for short-term purposes, and you must have already been accepted to a university or educational institution to qualify for the visa.

Student Visa Guidelines

To make sure your student visa does not get canceled, you have to follow the student visa rules: 

You can only work limited hours (usually 20 hours per week) in campus jobs. 
You have to attend all your classes (unless there is an emergency).
If you have a scholarship, you have to maintain a specific GPA. 
You cannot stay after your visa expires. 
You cannot apply for permanent residence under a student visa. 

These are the student visas for some of the most popular student destinations: 

  • US student visa. The US student visa is also known as an F1 student visa, and it’s valid for one year. If your study program lasts longer, you must renew your F1 visa. To qualify for this type of visa, you must first be registered with the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). There are also some other types of visas which students can apply for in the United States.
  • UK student visa. To qualify for a UK student visa, your study program must meet the course requirements depending on whether you are a full-time or a part-time student. You must also provide evidence of language proficiency. 
  • Australian student visa. Australia issues a student visa (subclass 500) for five years. You must be a student in an Australian institution and provide a language certificate to get this visa. 
  • Germany student visa. A student visa for Germany can be valid for three or six months, depending on your study plans. Usually, if you have a long-term student visa after entering the country, you can apply for a temporary student residence permit and no longer need a visa. See how to write a cover letter for a German student visa.
  • Canadian student visa. The Canadian student visa is valid for the length of your study course plus an extra 90 days, which allow you to get your affairs in order before going back home. To qualify for this visa, you need to be enrolled in a Canadian institution and meet the financial requirements for a student visa.

See other countries that offer student visas below: 

How To Get a Student Visa?

The application process for a student visa goes as follows: 

  1. Apply for a study program. 
  2. Make an appointment at the embassy or consulate.
  3. Gather your documents. 
  4. Submit the visa payment. 
  5. Attend your student visa interview.

Apply for a Study Program

To be eligible for a student visa, you must be enrolled in a valid study program in a foreign country. So before you can apply for the visa, you have to submit your application for the study program of your choice. 

Make an Appointment at the Embassy/Consulate

Once you’ve been accepted to a study program, you have to find a local embassy or consulate in your country and make an appointment for your visa interview. Please note that an embassy and a consulate are different units, and in cases where both are absent in your home country, you may be required to submit your application to a neighboring country’s visa office. 

Gather Your Documents

To submit your application, you must prepare the required documents. Make sure you make photocopies of any required documents, have them certified with an apostille stamp, and take your passport pictures. Also, check with the visa office to see which documents may require translation so you can get them ready. 

Submit the Visa Payment

You have to pay the visa application fee in time. Some visa offices may ask you to do that before you attend your visa appointment, while others may ask you to do it on the same day— make sure you double-check with the proper authorities.

Attend Your Student Visa Interview

Finally, all you have to do is attend the visa interview as scheduled. Make sure you don’t miss the date or the time, as it might be challenging for you to reschedule before your semester starts. 

Student Visa Requirements

You will need the following documents for your student visa application: 

  • Passport (with six-month validity). Your passport must be valid for at least six months when you apply for your visa. If your travel document is about to expire soon, you should apply for a new passport.
  • Student visa application form. You need to fill out the student visa application form with your details— you can usually find the form at the embassy/consulate.
  • Passport pictures. You must also submit a few passport pictures that you took recently— the number of pictures required changes from country to country.
  • Proof of admission. Submit your admission letter or enrollment records to show that you have been accepted to a study program in your destination country.
  • Evidence of financial means. You must prove that you can financially support yourself during your study program. If your family supports you, provide financial statements from your family members. If you have a scholarship, you need to attach proof that you are a financial aid recipient.
  • Civil documents. You must submit your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if you are married), and your CV.
  • International student health insurance. Depending on the country that you want to study in, you might be required to purchase a health insurance plan, that covers the entire period of your studies.
  • Previous university records. If you attended a university prior to applying for your foreign study program, you must submit your university records for the student visa application.

How Long Does a Student Visa Last?

A student visa lasts for the duration of your educational program. So, if you will be studying for two years in a foreign country, your visa will be issued for the same amount of time. Most study visas are issued anywhere between two to four years.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Student Visa?

It takes several months to finish processing your student visa application. Some countries may finish faster than others, depending on how complete your application is and how many people have applied for student visas. 

Student Visa Fees

Student visa prices range anywhere between $160 and $600, including your service and administrative fees. The fee for a student visa changes based on which country you will study in; some countries may waive the visa fee for students altogether— you have to contact the embassy or consulate to find out the required fee. 

Can I Extend a Student Visa?

Some countries may allow you to extend your student visa if you are behind on your study program. However, the visa extension policy is different in every country, so you need to check with the embassy and your education provider. 

Can I Bring Family Members With Me on a Student Visa?

Yes, but you can usually only bring your partner/spouse and minor children. Please remember that your family members will also need to apply for their visas. 

Common Reasons for Student Visa Denial

Your student visa can be denied for the following reasons:

  • You submitted an incomplete visa application.
  • You have no proof of financial support.
  • You have a criminal record.
  • Your passport is not valid for the student visa.
  • You are not enrolled in an educational institution.

What Do I Do If My Student Visa Is Rejected?

You have to re-apply for your student visa. Before you submit another application, make sure you identify the reasons for your initial denial and address them. However, you should also keep in mind that you might miss the deadline to enter the country for your study program if your student visa is rejected. 

In this case, there is a possibility that you might lose your spot in the program. At this point, you have to contact the admissions office and let them know that you are having issues with your student visa and see if they can give you an extension. 

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