Obtaining a student visa is often the most unpleasant and exciting part of studying abroad. At the same time, getting the very first visa is the most difficult. Instead of collecting documents and standing in queues at the consulate, students want to pack bags and get to the cherished educational institution as soon as possible.
But it is not so simple. To safely obtain the visa and start your studies on time, you need to pay attention to several conditions for visa registration. Preparing in advance will significantly facilitate the tedious visa procedures.
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What countries are open to students in 2022?
In 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, most universities worldwide switched to online learning, and embassies suspended issuing student visas to study abroad.
By 2022, the situation began to change gradually. Currently, universities in several countries operate in the normal mode or the format of hybrid study. Foreigners can obtain a student visa and analysis in these countries, in most cases, subject to specific measures.
Here are 10 general tips for getting a student visa that will benefit you, no matter where you are going to study abroad:
1. Check whether a visa is needed.
Visa requirements depend directly on the country you will be studying in. First, you should check the official websites to see if you need a student visa to look in that country. Even if you don’t need a visa, you may need some student ID or accreditation.
2. Take a language exam.
In some cases, a language examination certificate is required for university admission and obtaining a student visa. Ensure that your certificate will be valid when you apply for the visa, when it is processed, and for several months. If your certificate expires while studying, you may have to retake the test. TOEFL and IELTS certificates are valid for 2 years after taking the test.
3. Check your passport.
Before applying for a student visa, make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages. The visa will likely only take 1 page, but many consulates require several more blank pages. Get a new passport in advance if the old one does not have enough blank pages. If this is the case, the total visa processing period will take longer and incur additional costs.
4. Prepare your photos and documents.
Before applying for your student visa, double-check that your documents meet all the requirements. If you submit the wrong papers, you risk not getting your permit, making the application process more complicated and time-consuming, and paying again for your paperwork. Pay attention to check the photos you submit for your visa application. Some countries have strict photo requirements for students and will not accept other types of images.
5. Be prepared to pay.
The student visa application process always involves the payment of a bill. You usually have to pay directly at the time of application or after the interview at the consulate. Some countries accept student documents online, with payment by credit card. Check during the visa application process to see if other bills are to be paid at the consulate, and be prepared to pay in cash. Failure to pay the necessary bills after the interview can lead to severe difficulties in obtaining a visa.
6. Submit your documents well in advance.
Visa processing can take a lot of time. It involves procedures that are in no way up to you. If your visa is not ready in time, you risk missing the start of your studies abroad. Check official websites for information on visa processing times, but be prepared for the process to take longer. Apply early, and don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Getting your visa a few weeks before you fly abroad will make getting ready and starting your studies more accessible.
7. Submit your documents in the proper form.
All documents you apply for a student visa must be translated into English and be certified. Some consulates translate and permit student papers themselves, but you need to do this before officially submitting them. However, in most cases, you will have to arrange for the translation and certification yourself, and you should do this as early as possible. Lots of professional writing services can help you with that.
8. Make photocopies.
Make photocopies of all official documents you submit and bring them to your interview, even though the consulate must give you the documents after the visa is issued. You should always keep copies of your passport and other essential documents for your peace of mind and safety. It is also good to make extra copies of any papers you will take with you on your trip.
9. Prepare for your interview.
Interviews are a prerequisite for obtaining a student visa in some countries, including the United States. If you are required to have an interview, prepare for it by finding out as much information about your program and university. You may also be asked to explain why you have chosen this particular program of study. If you cannot answer simple questions about your academic plans while abroad, it won’t be easy to convince the consular representatives that you are going to their country specifically to study.
10. Don’t worry.
The visa process is stressful for some students. However, as long as all your documents are in order and your bills are paid, you have nothing to worry about. If you become overly stressed, fidgety, or behave erratically, you will only give the consulate reason to doubt your candidacy and extend your visa application process. Remember, the purpose of consular officers is to help you, and visa processing is a routine administrative process, no different from many others. To know how to take care of your mental health, we advise you to read this article: 7 Tips to Help Students Feel Better About Their Mental Health.
Read also: 7 Ways to Save Money While Studying Abroad