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Tips for applying Student Visas to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia
This page gives you a detailed breakdown of the requirements and advice needed when applying Student Visas to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. Pay close attention to details unraveled in this disclosure which can be the difference to whether you are approved for a Visa or refused a Visa. Read attentively and make that dream of yours come true!
F1 STUDENT VISA (AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES)
This type of Visa is an academic Visa issued by the United States to international students who wish to enroll in US colleges or universities. With this type of Visa, international students are expected to return to their home countries after expiration of their studies as exactly stated on Form I-20; however, their stay can be extended only after an approval has been given. The Form I-20 is an eligibility certificate issued to non-immigrants by the university the student is applying to.
F1 STUDENT VISA
In order to qualify for the F1 Visa, there are certain requirements that need to be met and these requirements are very strict.
1. There is a need for the international student to have a foreign residence to which after the completion of studies, he or she ought to return to.
2. The F1 Visa requires that students cannot arbitrary change universities once the Visa is issued as it is based on the application from the academic institution that the Visa was issued.
3. Strong ties or connection to the student’s home country is very essential. These ties can be demonstrated through a job offer letter, bank accounts, properties and asset documents such as lands, cars and houses.
4. There should be a demonstration of sufficient financial support from the applicant.
The admission requirements vary from one university to the other so the chosen university would inform you of their demands to make you academically eligible. Demonstration of financial support to the university is very critical as they have to be convinced that you can support yourself whiles studying and the possibility of you not being supported by working whiles at the school. Having a health insurance cover is very pertinent as well. Most universities have their own health insurance and it is often mandatory for international students to sign onto it, even though it is not compulsory by the federal government. An advice to international students is that they must strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle once admitted on campus to avoid illnesses and visiting the hospital and clinics.
Once the university is satisfied with your application and having met the conditions for admissions, they then issue to you the Form I-20 which you would use to process your F1 Student Visa.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS WHEN APPLYING FOR FI VISA
The Visa application process is usually a strenuous one with some important steps to follow. Students must note that a non-refundable application fee applies to their Visa application; and this means that in the event the application fails, the money would not be refunded. Secondly, there is an online application form, the DS-160 which needs to be completed and submitted for a non-immigrant Visa. Also, a DS-157 for males between the ages of 16 and 45 years needs to be completed and submitted. The passport must be valid and reflect your current appearance and the validity should exceed 6 months on the expiration or completion of your studies. A digital photo should be uploaded and should be sized as 1 inch in head, be taken in front of a white background and with open eyes.
To determine whether or not you are qualified for the Student Visa, a visa interview is used to determine that. At this stage, applicants must ensure that they are prepared well ahead of time as the interview would explore personal background and the rationale for wanting to study in US universities and not any other university. The consular officer often expects cogent and coherent reasons for your decision. An applicant must ensure that at the interview, they come along with all required documents and prove that their ties and home obligations would guarantee them of returning back to their home country after completion of studies. Notable questions that would be asked include academic qualifications and a financial plan to cater for your stay on campus as expenses in the US are very high.
Most notable questions asked during the interview include?
• Why do you find education in the US attractive and why not opt to study in your home country?
• What is your reason for choosing this particular school and explain why you deem it the best?
• What scores do your test scores (SAT, GRE, IELTS, TOEFL) indicate and describe your general student performance over the past years.
• How do you plan to fund the entirety of your schooling taking into account expenses such as tuition, transportation and accommodation?
• After graduation, do you intend to remain in the United States of America or return home ?
Upon satisfactory response on the interview, the consular officer may approve your visa and you would be required to pay a fee for its issuance. Then your fingerprints will be digitally recorded and passport taken for issuance. You would then be informed of the date to come for your passport either by the mail or you picking it up.
Please note that the issuance of the visa is not a guaranteed process and in the event of a refusal, reasons would be provided and would be well grounded on immigration law. Often, the visa is denied due to failure to provide the needed necessary documentations; and other times too failure to demonstrate strong ties back home to guarantee that you would return. Other factors such as health and criminal background are considered.
If your visa is approved, you are now eligible to enter the United States. Be aware at all times of this status and work towards maintaining the status as the visa can be withdrawn if you do not maintain the student visa status. Ensure that you are enrolled full time and always be in touch with your international advisor should there be a change in your address. Take advantage of on-campus work opportunities and avoid working off campus as your visa can be revoked when caught. A 60 day window is allowed for you to remain in the United States upon completion of your programme but you can only remain if you re-enrol in a higher course of study or transfer credits all with the aid of your international advisor and then you receive a new I20 form or apply to change your status.
F1 VISA INTERVIEW
The Canadian Student Visa is simply a permit that guarantees entry into Canada for higher learning. To be eligible for the Visa, there are certain processes and steps that must be followed to the latter. The Canadian Visa, just like any other visa is a daunting task to process but when the right steps are followed, it is no uphill climb. The following are the most important to secure a Canadian Visa.
THE CANADIAN STUDENT VISA APPLICATION
- There should be an acceptance letter from the educational institution.
- A valid passport
- A medical certificate by certified practitioners
- Bank statements to prove financial support for tuition and stay in Canadian Dollars.
- You have no criminal background (Police Report to prove)
To fill form online, the form is downloadable on the Canadian website and to fill it manually, the form can be picked up at the Canada Visa Application Centre, Accra. After carefully filling the form, pay the application fee and submit. When filling online, you need a scanner to be able to produce digital copies of the form and a credit card to pay for the fee.
After successful submission, the applicant needs to regularly check email alerts for updates on the application. Alternatively, applications can be tracked through through the VFS Ghana Global offices, which is the authorised body mandated by the Canadian government to assist with visa applications in Ghana or on the tracking page displayed on the website. Applications for study permits should always be done in advance, about 4 to 6 months prior before beginning of the programme of study. Study permits can take up to 140 days. Visit VFS Global website for more information.
The application can also be done at the Canadian Embassy located in Accra. The embassy, in its bid to rid of fraudulent actors, do well in answering or questions on payment of fees, how to fill the forms and the different Visa types.
If you intend to apply for a Canadian Student Visa, apply early.
Tier 4 UK STUDENT VISA (UNITED KINDGDOM)
Tier 4 Student Visa is required as a student from Ghana to study in the United Kingdom. Your visa application begins with acceptance from the university you wish to enrol who are classified as Licensed Student Sponsors. This institution would offer you Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) before you can begin applying for the student visa. It is always advisable to make the application for Tier 4 Visa, 3 months before commencement of the university programme and allow a period of between 3 to 60 days for a decision to be made on the application
The visa application entails you paying for an application fee online via the UK Visa website or alternatively, you can schedule an appointment from its Visa application centre in Ghana after which a GWF number, which is a unique application number without which you would not be updated on your visa status by the UK Visa and Immigration. With this number, you can now register on the Ghana visa application website. As a Ghanaian student, your fingerprints and pictures would be digitally recorded and stored for security purposes and you would be required to attend a visa interview as part of the visa process. To pay for the student visa, you can either do a bank transfer, online or at the visa application centre.
In order to qualify for the visa, there should be a demonstration of sufficient financial support from the applicant to prove that he or she would not be a burden and can financially sustain him or herself during the studies. You would be required to make payment of 1 year academic years in advance. You also need to demonstrate enough money to sustain yourself per month during your 1 year of studies (preferably, 1300 GBP per month). Also, a medical test (tuberculosis) is required to be taken before leaving the shores of Ghana. You may be asked to prove your level and knowledge of English by the education provider and a written consent from a financial sponsor if applicable.
UK attracts many students worldwide who find the universities to be highly reputable. As a cosmopolitan society, there are varied cultures and the uniqueness of British culture would ensure that you have the most pleasant of experiences.
Australian Student Visa
All travelers to Australia are expected to have a travelling Visa. It must be worth noting that the Australian High Commission does not handle issues of immigration and Visa enquiries as this is handled by the Australian Office in Nairobi. To lodge Australian Visa Application, student must visit VFS Global website . You can also call VFS Global on +233 302 746223.
Applicants from Ghana must go in-person to the Australian Biometric Collection Centre to have their photographs and fingerprints recorded from 8:30am to 3:00pm daily at Airport City, Accra. After lodging this application, the student can now contact the Australian Home Affairs using the immigration Enquiry form for which they might not receive a feedback response.