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Visa Information

Visa-Waiver Countries

There are some countries whose governments do not require a visa for visiting students. Those countries that do not require a visa for approved study are called "Visa-Waiver Countries". Some schools also allow students to study part-time as tourists. After selecting a destination country for studying abroad, students should research whether or not a visa is necessary and if so what type. This information can easily be obtained from your chosen ESL school or by contacting the destination country''s Consulate or Embassy.

Student Visa

Depending on the country you visit and the length and purpose of your stay, you may need a student visa. A visa is an endorsement or stamp placed in your passport by a foreign government and it grants you permission to visit a country with a specified purpose for a determined period time. To study in a particular country, you often need a student visa. In most cases, you will have to obtain this visa before you travel abroad. As it takes time to apply for and obtain a student visa, be sure to account for the time required to get your student visa when deciding when you want to begin your studies abroad. If you have questions, be sure to ask the school you are interested in and the embassies or consulates of the countries you plan to visit.

Visa Application Process
Remember that the visa application process differs in degree of complexity according to the relationship between your home country and the destination country. At the very least, the visa application form itself and its processing fee, a financial statement (proof that you have the necessary funds), a health certificate, and an acceptance letter or authorization of enrollment issued by the school (for students traveling to the U.S.; the I-20 Form) are needed when applying for a student visa. However, in some cases, an essay stating your purpose, a recommendation letter, grade transcripts, and an official certificate of the degree proving that you graduated from high school or university could additionally be required.

Applying for Your Visa
Find out what is required of you by your school and the government of your destination country and then apply for your visa well in advance of the date you will begin your studies. Extra time will provide for any delays at the Embassy or if you need to appeal a denial. It might take longer than you expect to be issued a visa. There are times of the year when Embassies are particularly busy, and there can be delays in processing visa applications.