If a person decides to go to a foreign country to visit, work or study, he/she would need a visa issued by a competent authority of the foreign country. The rules to obtain a student visa maybe different for each country, but most of them require a set of standard documents to start the proceedings to obtain a visa.
- A passport, with at least six months of validity from the date of travel, is a mandatory document. To avoid any hassles and disappointments, the student should complete the formalities of either obtaining a new passport or renewing the old one if it is about to expire.
- The following academic documents should be kept ready before applying for a visa.
- Mark sheets: These are the bedrock of a student's visa process. The mark sheets and other academic documents should be obtained from the respective college / university. For obtaining admission to Bachelor's programme, mark sheets and passing certificates from the 9th grade onwards are required. For an MS/MBA/Ph. D programmes, all mark sheets, transcripts and degree certificates or a provisional passing certificate from the first year of the Bachelor's degree onwards is required. If a student has appeared recently for the final examination, and if the results have not been declared yet, then the student must possess the college ID card, examination fee receipt and examination hall ticket. This is especially important for obtaining a US Visa.
- The original admission letter from the university.
- I20 for US visa applicants. The form I20, also called the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students is a document issued by SEVP-certified schools (colleges, universities, and vocational schools) that provides supporting information on a student's visa status. This would have a student-tracking number and the code of the school to which the student has applied.
- SEVIS Receipt for US visa applicants. The Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVIS) is a programme within the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which monitors students and exchange visitors in the United States. A receipt for the fee paid for this programme is mandatory as proof before being granted a visa or admission.
- Admission and rejection letters of the Universities to which the student had applied.
- Financial aid or scholarship letters, if any.
- If the student is employed, then all documents related to the pertinent employment are required.
Each student has to do a thorough research to be aware of the documents needed at the time of applying for a visa. These documents should be kept ready before beginning the process, to avoid any hassles, delays and disappointments.
The author of this article, Binita Parekh, leads a team of dedicated and highly qualified counsellors and staff at Beyond Boundaries Education Consulting Services which offers advice and guidance to students for successful applications to prestigious academic institutions, enabling them to achieve and bring their dreams to fruition.