Students across the world interested in studying in the world-famous universities in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, or Europe, ask the following questions about student visas:
1. What is the difference between a student visa and other types of visas?
Student visas are for people who want to study in another country. Unlike other visas, they do not lead to permanent residency or citizenship in that country. These people leave when their studies end.
2. Can I get a student visa if I am not a national of the destination country?
Most countries have a list of so-called “sending” and “receiving” countries. If you come from a sending country, you may need to apply for a student visa or other temporary resident visa. Countries on both lists are considered ‘sending’ and ‘receiving’. In many cases, you will not need a visa if you are from Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or certain countries in the European Union.
3. How do I apply for a student visa?
Each country has its own rules about how to apply for an entry permit. The requirements vary with each country, so you’ll need to find out what the rules are where you want to study.
Generally speaking, student visa requirements ask for:
- A letter of acceptance from the school you plan to attend
- Proof that you or your parents can pay for all of your expenses
- Documentation showing that you have a valid passport and no criminal record
To apply, follow the instructions on the official website of the concerned authority of your target country.
4. Can I apply for my student visa at any time?
Generally speaking, no. You must wait until your school or university has approved you as a student and issued an admission letter before applying for a visa. This may take several months, so be sure to plan ahead.
5. How long is my student visa good for?
That depends on the country and visa type. Some visas are valid for one year, others for six months or less. The length of time you can study in a single destination also varies with each country. Find out what rules apply in your case.
6. What is the difference between a study permit and a student visa?
A study permit is an official document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or your provincial immigration authority. It allows you to come to Canada as a student. A student visa, on the other hand, is issued by a foreign country and lets you travel to that country for the purposes of studying there.
7. What if I want to switch schools?
You need to tell both your school and CIC before you apply for a new visa or study permit. That way, you won’t have any problems when your new study permit arrives.
8. Does my spouse or children need student visas, too?
It depends. If they plan to study in the same country as you, the rules are generally the same for them as they are for you. If not, find out whether they need a visa and how to apply for one.
9. Can I work while I am a student?
Yes, but check with your school about the rules. Also, you must apply for a work permit if you plan to work in addition to studying during your stay.
10. Can my parents or family come with me?
You may be able to include your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children on your application. If not, they will need student visas of their own if they want to study in the same country as you.
11. What happens if I overstay my visa?
If you remain in a country after your official permit has expired, you will be living there illegally. That’s an extremely risky move, and it can hurt your future ability to travel or study in other countries. Make sure you leave Canada when your student visa expires — even if that means leaving your family behind.
12. What if I don’t like my school?
You will need to transfer schools if you decide not to stay at the one you originally chose. You can do this, but make sure you apply for a new study permit before your current visa expires. Also, remember that you may have to reapply for a student visa if you switch to a school in another country.
13. How can I extend my student visa?
You may be able to extend your student visa, but only if you have left Canada after your original permit has expired. If not, you will need to apply for a new study permit from outside the country.
14. What is the difference between a study permit and a work permit?
Both will allow you to attend school in Canada, but only a student visa will let you enter the country. A study permit also allows you to work part-time on campus, but your employer must get approval from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
15. What is the best student visa for me?
It all depends on your circumstances and what you plan to do. Think about where you want to study, how long you will be there and whether you want to stay in the country afterward. Research before applying for a visa because each country has different requirements.
16. Is it better to get a student visa or a study permit?
Generally speaking, if you plan to stay in a country for more than six months and want to work after your studies are complete, you will need a student visa. If not, a study permit will usually serve the purpose.
17. What happens if I change my mind?
You may come to Canada as a student, but that does not mean you can never leave. You can always return home or apply for another type of visa in the future.
18. Can I go back and forth between the two countries?
Yes, but make sure you do it correctly. If your student visa expires while you are out of the country, your application to return will be turned down. However, you can always try again with a new student visa after leaving and re-entering Canada.
19. Can I get a different visa if my plans change?
Your plans may change for many reasons — such as financial difficulties or political unrest — so be prepared to apply for a different type of visa. Some countries give students just one opportunity to come and study, but there are others where you can change your mind as often as you like.
20. How do I get a student visa?
It’s best that someone else helps you with the process, such as an international student advisor. Transtutors experts can guide you about student visas of all major study destinations across the world. Talk to them now to ask any question you want.