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Ashwin Sriram
17 Aug 2015 41.8K 3 mins Share

How to apply for a visa

Don’t know how to apply for a student visa? Those applying for a visa in order to study abroad can gather all the necessary information from this article.

17 Aug 2015 41.8K 3 mins Share
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Once you’ve secured your admission into a university, the next big step is to apply for a visa. Worried about facing the consulate officer? Concerned your answers during the interview would wreck your chances of getting a visa? Don’t worry; we are here to help you.

Getting a visa is all about meticulously following some basic instructions and being able to clear the interview rounds. There is no one universal process to getting a visa because certain countries are more relaxed with their visa rules and procedures; while others like the US and UK are not. However, the whole process is largely similar across different countries, and we can take you through it.

All You Need to Know:

  • Provide all the necessary documents sought by the visa office. The documents could range from bank statements to university clearances.
  • Mention clearly your period of stay and financial strength with supporting documents. Remember, you are trying to convince the visa office that you can manage all your expenses (barring any financial aid you receive in the form of scholarships) abroad on your own.
  • If you have any guardians in the country you are intending to travel to, then get a signed letter from them confirming their support.
  • If you are travelling on a scholarship program then specify all the details pertaining to it. The validity of your scholarship and the amount of aid you are receiving must be indicated clearly.
  • Apply at least 2 to 6 weeks before your intended date of travel to give yourself some extra time in the event of any inordinate delays in your visa processing.
  • It is possible that you may be denied visa on certain grounds on your first try, but don’t be disheartened; try again. You could still get the nod on your second attempt, if you apply with care. Failure to submit necessary information or supporting documents is one of the common reasons why a visa application is denied. The visa office is bound by law to give you a reason if your visa is denied.
  • If you have a spouse or child who is financially dependent on you, then be prepared to explain how that person will support themselves in your absence.
  • Mention the tentative date of your travel in your application.

A Checklist for Documents

Here’s a checklist to help you sort out all the requisite documents you need to apply for a visa.

  • The letter of acceptance from the uni is among the first documents you must submit. Apart from that, you must have documents specifying the course you’ve enrolled in, duration of your studies, funding details, and a letter from your sponsor, if any.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from your school teacher or college professor detailing your progress as a student under their supervision. If you’ve already worked somewhere, get a reference letter from that employer and pass it over to the visa office.  
  • Hand in all your previous degrees, certificates and transcripts detailing all the modules you’ve completed in your college or school. Attach documents, if any, indicating your academic and non-academic achievements in school or college.
  • It is likely that you’ve had to take the IELTS or TOEFL to prove your English proficiency, and if so, ensure you take those scores along with you. If you’ve had to clear a GRE or SAT, then you must attach a copy of those results as well.

Other Mandatory Details:

  • Ensure your passport is not facing its date of expiry when you submit it.
  • Provide the visa office with a recent copy of your passport size photos.
  • Make the payment on your visa application fee on time before submitting the form.
  • The bank letters you submit to substantiate your financial capacity should be recent and dated no older than 30 days from the date of application.
  • If you have any previous work experience, please ensure you submit an experience letter validating that.

Clearing the Interview

One of the conveniences of modern times is that technology has eased the cumbersome process of applying for visas. Today, you can apply for a visa online, and get a date for the interview. UK, for example, employs a simple point system test to evaluate the capacity of students applying for visas. Clear that and you may even get to avoid the interview process.
The process of obtaining a student visa from the embassy may seem extensive and difficult at times, but if you diligently follow the procedures, you could be on your way abroad without too many hassles. Just make sure you submit all the documents sought by the visa office and state your intentions clearly. These are the two crucial elements to remember when applying for a visa.

These are our suggestions to help you get a visa. We hope you have found these tips useful.

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Jasmine Sukhija Jasmine Sukhija,
Study abroad expert.
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