[UPDATED: January 6, 2022] Applications for 2022 are now open! Please note that due to COVID-19, your desired study abroad options may be affected. ApplyESL recommends applying well ahead of your desired start date to ensure adequate time for processing. Contact your program, or ApplyESL, to check program status, and your local embassy or consulate to confirm visa services currently available. We look forward to receiving your application!
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5 Steps to Study Abroad Success

Step 5 Get Ready

Admissions and Visa

Visa Documentation

A visa is a permit issued by the foreign affairs or state department of a country. A student visa allows you to enter the country legally for opportunities such as school enrollment, school transfers, and program changes. You may need a visa, depending on the country you visit and the length and purpose of your stay. Please note that not possessing the appropriate visa when going abroad can lead in certain cases to you being asked to return immediately to your home country.

Once you have selected the country where you wish to stay, you need to find out what is required of you to enter the country as a student. Most schools will inform you if you are required to apply for a specific visa and what documentation you need to prepare. The length of the application process and how long it will take to obtain a visa will depend on the relationship between your home country and the destination country. Therefore, you should start applying for your required visa as soon as you receive the required documentation confirming admission to your school overseas. If you need to send an email or letter to the school regarding the required visa or necessary documents, please refer to our Resource Library for sample letters you can use.

The most important document you must submit when you apply for a visa is your passport. Your passport is proof that you are a citizen of your home country. Your visa is stamped inside it. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months before traveling. Some countries do not issue a visa to people whose passports expire less than six months after they plan to leave the country. You will need copies of the application form, completed and signed by the school.

Required Documents needed for a Visa application:

1. Visa application form
2. Visa application fee
3. Financial statement (if necessary)
4. Health certificate (if necessary)
5. Acceptance letter or authorization of enrollment issued by school
6. Passport