Friday 12 August 2011

Visa - The Final Step

Admission in an international university program does not ensure that you get a visa. Whether you can travel and study abroad or not, depends solely on a single all-important document that can make or break your future plans: your student visa.

The visa is one of the most important steps in the process and often result in a lot of anxiety. Visa is an entrance clearance stamp placed on your passport by the concerned country's High Commission or Consulate, which gives you the permit to travel to that country. Each country has its own document requirements, process and application deadlines and processing times for student visas. All the aspects are taken into account before endorsing the visa.

The rules and regulations for getting a student visa can get confusing as it varies for each country. But the good good news is that you can easily overcome this hurdle by being prepared with all the requisite documents and fulfilling all the requirements before you submit your application, say counselors at Edwise. Knowledge of the visa application procedure will ensure that the student is clear about the process and does not fall prey to any malpractice or procedural bottlenecks.

Something's the student needs to demonstrate are strong ties with the home country, establishing genuine purpose of visit, financial stability of self as well as of the sponsor, relevance of study program, etc.

Common requirements for a Visa application are a perfectly filled visa application form ,visa fees, an unconditional offer letter , passport with a validity of over 6 months, recent passport size photographs, proof of funds to cover tuition and accommodation expenses , educational certificates and mark sheets along with relevant test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, SAT, GRE.

It is important to understand how much funding is required in liquid and semi liquid form. Some factors looked into by the visa officer are flow of income, relationship with sponsor, bank account statements, education loans, recent financials activity ,source of funds, etc.

UK has introduced a new visa system from 1st April '09 called the Point Based System for Admissions in UK. Students are encouraged to apply for visas through a Trusted Partner of British High Commission such as Edwise, at the earliest as currently some new rules have been temporarily relaxed.

USA requires students to be well prepared for a personal interview which is a part of the process for grant of visa.

Canada's new SPP-(Student Partner Program) process has simplified the visa process, minimized the documentation and expedited the duration along with positive results.

AUS: The eVisa process of Australia has simplified the student visa process for Study in Australia. Edwise is authorized agent for eVisa. The student need not visit the High Commission or VFS and instead apply through an eVisa agent.

NZ: The visa process is simple and fast for those candidates who meet the requirements of the eChecklist.

Presentation of documents is very important and one should volunteer all information in the simplest manner. The officer goes through numerous applications everyday and can quickly find uncertain areas in the application. It is the duty of the visa officer to make sure that only deserving students are granted visas.

So with all the above odds of visas it is crystal clear that proper guidance is mandatory and that is exactly what the Visa Counselors at Edwise execute. So start now with your visa process.

Sushil Sukhwani 

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