Student Visa: A Beginner’s Guide for International Students

Obtaining your student visa is a dream moment. However, the process can be overwhelming, involving application, documentation, biometrics, and an interview. For international students, a student visa serves as proof of their student identity and lets them immigrate abroad for educational needs.

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What is a Student Visa?

A student visa is a type of visa that is mandatory to study in a foreign country. It is a government-issued document that protects international students from legal issues when migrating to a new country. Typically, the visa validity expires after one or two years after the course years and can be renewed for eligible students. The embassy or consulate general issues student visas.

Types of Student Visa


This category is applicable to full-time students abroad. They are eligible for part-time work up to 20 hours a week and can apply for a post-study work permit. Full-time visa holders usually are permitted to stay 1 – 2 years in the country abroad for professional explorations.

Exchange visitor:

Exchange visitor visa holders can study abroad for a fixed time, usually 3 – 6 months. In general, they are not permitted to extend their stay or work during study.

Research visa:

For research activities and collaborations, universities abroad offer research visas to international students. Also, those wishing to do internships or work abroad as part of their research can apply for research visas.

Who is Eligible for a Student Visa?

International students getting admission abroad are eligible to apply for student visas. Usually, it takes 2 or 3 weeks or more to complete the student visa application process. It is important to submit your acceptance letter abroad and proof of funds to sponsor your study.

To be eligible for a student visa, one must meet the following requirements:

  • Get admission to a school abroad
  • Provide proof of funds
  • Have an English proficiency certificate, such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or Duolingo.
  • Possess a valid passport
  • Clear the medical check-up

Student Visa Application Process

  • Gather your documents: Make sure you have all documents handy before applying for a student visa. It includes your academic documents, financial evidence, travel-related documents, etc.
  • Fill out the online application form: You can fill out the application online by visiting the official website for each country. Complete the application at least one month before your class commences since it takes 2 – 3 weeks to wrap up the process in typical cases.
  • Pay the application fee: The application fee can be paid online. Visit the official website of your country abroad to see the payment guidelines.
  • Book your interview and give biometric details: Select a convenient date and book your visa interview and biometrics appointment at centers near you. Give your biometric details (fingerprint, eye scan) and get the results before your visa interview.
  • Attend the visa interview: Face the consular visa interview with all the document copies. The interview might last for 3 – 10 minutes. Be honest with your answers and express your purpose of study confidently.

Documents Required for a Student Visa Application

Proper documentation is inevitable for your student visa application. Each country has their own document requirements for study visa applications. Refer to the table below for a general checklist:

  • Passport
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • English Proficiency Certificate


  • Academic Transcripts
  • Health Insurance
  • Application Fee Receipt


Apart from these documents, there are country-specific documents, such as

  • Form I-20 and DS-160 for the US
  • A Provincial Attestation Letter for Canada
  • A CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance to Studies) letter for the UK

Student Visa Application Fee in Different Countries

The application fee for a student visa varies by country. The table below shows the study visa application fees in the top countries abroad.

Country Student Visa Application Fee
185 USD
150 CAD (110 USD)
490 GBP (620 USD)
710 AUD (472 USD)
New Zealand
375 NZD (229 USD)

Student Visa Interview Process: Tips & Tricks

Do you know that your student visa interview can be a deciding factor? Many applicants face the interview with less preparation, and it ruins their chances. You must prepare well and submit proper documents during the visa interview.

  • Be goal-ready: The consulate officer primarily assesses your intentions when choosing a particular country over your home country. Give convincing answers on choosing a particular country and course. You can highlight academic opportunities, networking, internship opportunities, and cultural differences
  • Be confident: Maintaining a confident voice is crucial. A confident voice expresses transparency in your intentions and vision, ensuring no threats. Prepare well with answers to be confident at the interview.
  • Answer on point: When you are asked a question, always provide on-point answers. Avoid vague or cliche answers in the student visa interview. Strive to give unique answers highlighting your right candidacy for a student visa.
  • Express your interest in coming back: Don’t forget to talk about your intention to return to your home country after your studies. If you have stay-back plans, it is better not to express them during the visa interview. You can talk about your family ties in your home country, social involvement, and a future plan to convince the officer that you have no plans to stay back.

A student visa is your golden ticket to global dreams and success. Approach the process with all seriousness and strive to get it on the first chance. For detailed guidance and support, visit Nomad Credit, your study abroad partner. Our counselor streamlines the whole process at zero cost and helps you with visa application, documentation, and education loan options to finance your studies. Start with Nomad Credit right now and step into global study dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions Section

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a student visa?

A student visa is mandatory for students to study in a foreign country. It is a government document that shows your identity and the purpose of migration to a foreign country. 

Can I have multiple student visas at the same time? 

No. Students can only have one valid student visa at a time. If required, you can apply for a second student visa. 

What is the difference between a student visa and a regular visa? 

To study abroad for credited courses, it is mandatory to have a student visa. Regular visa holders are allowed to study only non-credited courses.

How long is a student visa valid? 

A student is valid for up to course years plus 2 – 3 years. Typically, 5 years is the validity for student visas abroad.

Can students with scholarships apply for a student visa at zero cost? 

No. Everyone needs to pay the student visa fees abroad. Many scholarships, however, cover the student visa fee. 

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