Student Visas for Study Abroad: Requirement, Fees and Application Process

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Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 14, 2022 02:23 IST

Student Visas for Study Abroad: Student Visas, as the name suggests are visas issued to applicants whose primary purpose of visit to a foreign country is for the pursuit of education. Needless to say, while getting admission to the university is extremely important, these legal documents stand in the way of all your pursuits. Every country is governed by its Immigration Laws. These could vary in terms of the requirements of documents to the different proof of funds acceptable to what all the visas would let you do apart from studying in the country. Also, some broad commonalities are visible in all student visa applications.

What is a Visa?

Simply put, a visa is an official travel document. The visa which is usually stamped or glued onto the passport of the bearer allows him to legally enter a foreign country. A visa can be of multiple types. To start with, there is a Tourist Visa for people looking to visit a country for tourism, there is a Student Visa for students looking to travel to a foreign country to pursue education and so on.

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When should I apply for a Student Visa?

Studying abroad requires meticulous planning to say the least. Students are always advised to plan their admission/ application process keeping in mind university deadlines and working backwards. Students are required to appear for English eligibility tests as per the university policy and also have required documents in place for the smooth processing of their application. Hence, students are always advised to apply 1-3 months in advance to avoid any last-minute rush. Candidates seeking financial aid, scholarships and education loans should add another couple of extra months to the process as these applications take more time. 

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What type of visa do I need?

Student Visas are often classified based on two broad distinction points

Student Visa Classification Based on Program Duration

Depending on the length of tenure of the programme the applicant is planning to undertake, the countries often divide the student visa into Short Term Student Visas or Long-term Student Visas. Often, short-term visas are given to students who plan to take a short course of a language or a diploma certificate course and the entire duration is often limited to 90 days (3 months). Long-term visas, on the other hand, are given to students who are planning to take up degree courses extending beyond the 3 months. These could include internships and small certificate programmes of 6 months and so on. European Union Countries often have this broad classification.

Student Visa Classification Based on Type of Programme/ Student

Irrespective of the duration of the course, some countries classify student visas basis the type of student. This could be the level of degree applied for (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral), exchange student or student applying for a vocational/ diploma course. Broadly speaking, as these visas also depend on the type, of course, the student is applying for, these are somewhat linked to tenure. However, in these categories, the first point of distinction is not how long the programme would be for. If you are, say, for instance, an exchange student, you could be going for 3 months or 3 years, the category would still be based on the type of student and not the tenure.

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Documents Required for Student Visa Application

Every country, depending on its immigration laws has a specific list of documents. However, while the exact requirements are different in terms of actual terms, the list is generic. However, there are two documents which you would require certainly.

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Valid Passport

This is the primary requisite. While you would need a valid passport, what you need to know is that for different countries, the requirement of the validity of your passport might vary. Some countries would want you to have the validity until the end of the course even at the time of applying for the student visa. Some, on the other hand, might let you apply but request you to have a validity that extends beyond the intended stay in the country. You also need to ensure that you have at least two blank pages in your passport for stamping a visa. What is important to note is that in case you have any expired passports, you would still have to submit a copy of all such passports.

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Proof of a Bonafide Student

No matter which country you are applying to, if you are applying for any category of Student Visa, you must be able to prove that you are a bona fide student. This is often done by producing confirmation of admission with an educational institute in that country.

Financial Lucidity

Most countries would require you to prove that you are capable of not only taking care of the tuition and college expenses but also having the requisite funds to afford your stay in that country for the intended study period. While many countries have a stipulated amount of funds it would require, some have broader more extensive guidelines. For instance, many countries in Europe (like GermanyNetherlands, etc.) have a minimum living cost computed as per government standards. Students applying for student visas in these countries, accordingly, must provide proof that the said amount is available with them in ready cash. Read more about the Financial Documents Required for Study Abroad Applications. You might also want to learn about the Requirements for getting a Student Visa and Express Entry to Canada.

Language Proficiency

Another thing which is required perhaps across various countries is proof that you can communicate in the language which would be your medium of instruction. Since most of the students plan to study in English-speaking countries, most of them would require you to provide proof that you can communicate in English - both written and verbal. This is usually done by a minimum score requirement for various English Language Tests like TOEFLIELTS and/or PTE. Accordingly, if you plan to take up a course in any other language (say German for instance), you would be required to provide certification for that language per the CEFR Certified Levels.

It is important to note here that while universities might accept different any or either of the above-mentioned tests, for Visas, at times, the requirements are set. Hence, it is important that before a student writes an English Language Test, he/she checks whether or not the country's immigration department recognizes that test. Also, Visa Guidelines for different countries usually mandate a minimum score. While Universities might offer admission at a lower score, Visas would be rejected until the minimum standard is met.

The complete list would depend on the country you are applying to. While some countries would require medical proof, some might require a blocked account. Many countries also require an SOP. Provided below is the link for the individual country visa requirements and the process, visa fees and documents required.

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Popular Scholarships for studying abroad

Gaining a quality education in top international universities is a dream for many aspirants, however, arranging funds can prove to be a major hurdle to realizing those dreams. To overcome this hindrance, many organizations, universities and governments give scholarships to talented students, so, they are not denied quality education. Below we have provided a list of top international scholarships which students can avail themselves to pursue higher education abroad.

Global Study Awards London Business School Fund Scholarships Ontario Graduate Scholarship- Other Master Programs
Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship for SC etc. candidates Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters scholarships Heinrich Boll Scholarships for Undergraduates, Graduates, and PhD Students

What is the process for applying for a student visa?

The process for applying for a student visa begins with your university offering you a letter of acceptance. Students who have received their letter of acceptance are required to go ahead and begin their Visa Application Process. Candidates can apply for their visa via two methods:

  • Online Visa Application Process: the more convenient of the two, candidates can apply for their student visa through the online method by simply creating a student profile. The forms are all online and would have to be correctly filled by the student.
  • Offline Visa Application Process: the offline visa process would require candidates to download the application form, fill in the details and submit it to the required authorities.

The next step includes paying a Visa Application Fee. Every candidate would be required to pay a student visa fee for his application process. The final process would include the student submitting his application process along with their supporting documents.

Requirements for Visa Extension

A visa is issued for a specific time. If in case, your study permit expires before completion of your studies (program) then you need to apply for renewal of your study permit. Ideally, you should apply at least 30 days before your current permit expires. Candidates can submit their applications through mail or online.

NOTE: Different countries have different requirements. Here are some quick links to Student Visa Guides for the Top Study Abroad Destinations, Interview Guide for F1 Visa and SPP and non-SPP requirements.

Student Visa for the USA

Student Visa for Canada

Student Visa for the UK

Student Visa for Australia

Student Visa for Germany

Student Visa for Singapore

Student Visa for France

Student Visa for New Zealand

Student Visa for the Netherlands

Student Visa for Ireland

Student Visa for Sweden

SPP and Non-SPP Visa Requirements

Interview Guide for F1 Student Visa

Shiksha Counselling Services

FAQ for Student Visa

Q. Where do I start?

A. Once students receive their Letter of Acceptance from their desired university, it should be treated as a green signal to start their application procedure for their Student Visa.

Q. How good must my English be?

A. Every university has prescribed English language requirements which the student needs to successfully qualify. Hence, students are advised to check the university requirements and qualify for the same.

Q. What type of student visa do I need?

A. A student visa is called by several names, depending on your study abroad destination. While in the UK, a student visa is called a Tier 4 (General Student) visa, in the US, the student visa is referred to as an F-1 visa.

Q. How much money will I need?

A. Living expenses depend on multiple variables. Candidates can check out the amount of money they would require by going through our article, the most affordable countries to study abroad, mentioned above.

Q. Will consulates make exceptions and allow for emergency applications if a student is leaving sooner than the standard processing time?

A. This depends on the discretionary power of the consulate. They would handle such situations on case to case basis.

Q. Where do I apply for my student visa?

A. Candidates can apply online, on the official website of the consulate or simply visit the visa issuing authority in person with the required documents and Visa Processing fee.

Q. Can my family travel with me?

A. Yes. Families of students can travel. However, they would not be allowed to travel on a student visa and would require different visas for themselves.

Q. Can I work on my visa?

A. Most student visas allow students to work for 20hours/week once their semester begins.

Q. How long can I stay?

A. Students can stay for the entire period their visa has been issued for. A lot of times students are required to extend their visa to a later date, which can also be requested for.

Q. Where can I find more information?

A. Students can visit our website for the latest movement on studying abroad or simply get in touch with our counsellors for the latest information on visa applications and studying abroad.

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About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio





6 months ago

I complete my BE Mechanical Engineering in Tamil Nadu on 2021.I have 1.5 years working experience at welding QC. I want to apply for student visa in Germany universities. Please advise.

Reply to NIZKHIL E


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

a month ago

Hello Nizkhil. Thank you for writing in. To apply for a German Study Visa, you are required to apply to a German University first. Once you have got the admit letter from the German University and have the required funds to live in the country you can go ahead and apply for the German Study Visa.


nandani sharma

7 months ago

i complete my 12th with haryana open board and now i am doing ba in private mode can i apply for student visa in australia or if i apply is my visa accepted or not please tell me

Reply to nandani sharma


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Nandani. You are required to apply to a university in Australia before applying for your student visa to Australia. You can take a look at the popular universities in Australia here: If you follow the student visa guidelines mentioned here: https://st




7 months ago

How many years gap accept australia my 12th in 2021. Pte 60 score I apply

Reply to mohit


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Mohit. Gap years are treated on a case-to-case basis. Would request you to get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors for assistance with university admissions, here:


Budde Saivarma

9 months ago

Study loan is acceptable instead of paying tution fee for masters in canada

Reply to Budde Saivarma


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

9 months ago

Hello Budde. It is always advisable to fund part of the tuition fee and the rest can be sourced from a student loan. Funding a part of the tuition fee only reassures the visa-issuing authorities about the financial stability of the applicant.


sachin kumar

10 months ago

I want to apply study vise.

Reply to sachin kumar


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

9 months ago

Hello Sachin. You must apply to a university and receive a letter of admit (admission) before proceeding with the student visa application process. you can get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad counsellors for assistance with university admission here:

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