Congratulations! By now you must have bagged your dream admit !
The final lap of your application process is the visa. You need to start working towards getting your visa 6 months before the date of your visa application.
You need to remember that the officials at universities granting you admission, the visa officials and the immigration officials at the point of entry for all countries are different entities and require documents that prove not just your valid status but also your compliance with their laws.
To be eligible for a student visa, you must intend to stay for a temporary period of time and have proof of compelling ties to your home country to which you will return after the visit. You must also meet the following criteria:
- You must be proficient in the English Language with respect to communicating your ideas and thoughts to the visa officer
- You should have completed the prerequisite course of study normally required for enrollment.
- You must prove that sufficient funds are readily available with an identified and reliable sponsor to meet all expenses for the first year of study, and that adequate funds will be available for each subsequent year of study including living any other school expenses.
- You must have an admit letter from the school.
Some common reasons for Visa Rejection
Student visas at all countries get rejected primarily for two reasons i.e. “potential immigrant” or
- Potential Immigrant
Before a visa is granted you need to prove to the visa official that you have every intention to return.
You can influence the consular office to grant a visa or change a prior visa denial only through the presentation of convincing evidence of strong ties that would compel you to end your temporary stay.
Strong ties can be a family, a job, a house, or a bank loan. “Ties” like your family and social relationships, employment, and possessions. Consular officers consider your intentions, family situations, and long-term plans and prospects within the home country.
Further, if you have a good academic record and good scores in the standardized test and have got into a reputed institute, the chances of getting a visa are higher.
The Visa Officer will be convinced that the student is good and will add value to the university he will be studying in.
- Insufficient Funds
You must show enough financial resources to cover your educational and living costs.
If the documentation you carry does not sufficiently prove that you have the ability to pay for your course then no matter how good the school your visa will be rejected.
Therefore ensure that all your paperwork is in place.
Documents Required for US Student Visa:
Following are the documents you need for your visa irrespective of the country you are going to study. (http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/)
Always keep a photocopy of all the documents.
- Visa Application Form: The form for Student Visa is different. For example in case of US visa all applicants need to fill up the form DS 160
- Passport: Passport, which is valid till at least 6 months after the date of commencement of your course. For example, if your course starts on 15th August 2018, your passport should be valid at least till 14th February 2019. Also an additional Photocopy (total 2 copies) of the first page of the Passport is normally required.
- Recent Photograph: The photograph should not be less than 6 months old. Currently, you do not need a photo since on the biometric day they take your photo
- Visa Fee: Do check the recent visa issuance fees – you have the option of paying the fee online as well (http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/)
- Sevis fees : Currently its $200 https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html
5) Academic Documents:
- Acceptance Letter from the University: Carry all your admit letters. It’s advisable to carry any other University admit which you may have received since it only strengthens your case.
- Degree/Transcripts: Bachelor’s degree or high school diploma along with mark sheets.
- Official Score Reports: Relevant test scores, for example: TOEFL or IELTS scores, GRE scores.
- Application Documents: Copies of documents you sent to the university viz. SOP, Application essays, Letters of Recommendation.
6) Financial Documents
Evidence of financial resources to cover the yearly cost of study at your chosen university which would include:
- Evidence of liquid assets sufficient to pay for the entire 1st year education.
- Evidence of readily available funds to cover the remaining years of study. If utilizing bank loan, evidence of loan approval.
- To establish financial resources, a student should bring to the Consulate, Tax returns of sponsor & self for past 3 years (specifically Form 16)
- Original Bank records and/ or fixed deposit statement of your parent or sponsor. The officers look at past 6 months to 1 year bank statements.
- Though anyone may sponsor your education, it is more persuasive for the Consular officer if a parent or close family member finances the studies.
- If you receive a scholarship, it should be mentioned on the letter confirming your admission from the university.
Tips for the Visa Interview
- Be yourself, be honest and try to relax.
- Be prepared. Make sure you understand the process and have researched about the university. Speak to current students.
- Know your resume and cover letter. Anticipate questions and consider responses. Understand what your strengths and skills are and how best to highlight them through examples.
- Understand your own goals and objectives: to make a favorable impression, to collect information about the university and to assess your own “fit”.
- Try not to be too “scripted” or prepared but remember to adapt to the conversation (i.e.. sometimes answers to questions can appear “canned”).
- Wear comfortable formal attire
Common Interviewing Mistakes
- Lack of preparation: no knowledge of university’s research areas and program.
- Nervousness: try to relax; remember on paper you have already met the University standards.
- Not listening to/understanding the question asked: be responsive and ask for clarification if unsure.
- Being too scripted or prepared.
All the very best for your interview!