Studying Abroad 101: Which Documents Do I Need to Get a Student Visa?

Studying Abroad 101: Which Documents Do I Need to Get a Student Visa?
  • Opening Intro -

    You made a decision to study abroad and your application has finally been accepted?

    Congratulations, we're proud of you!

    However, completing application forms, motivation letters, and other documents won't be enough to finish the process.


Getting a student visa is the last step of this journey. This type of visa will allow you to stay in a foreign country longer than a typical tourist. It’s available for both undergraduate and graduate education, so stay with us to learn more about the process of getting it.

Here are five essential documents you’ll need to provide when applying for a student visa. So, keep on reading, check them out, and get down to business right away!

An acceptance letter from the institution you’ll be studying at

The first document you’ll need is an acceptance letter from the college or university you’ll be studying at. Also, a letter of acceptance is a mandatory document you must provide when applying for a student visa. Of course, it slightly differs from country to country, university to university.

The admission requirements will depend on a certain program of study. However, the first step towards receiving this letter is submitting a complete application to the institution you want to study at. To meet general admission requirements, you’ll probably need to submit a personal profile and/or a motivation letter as well.

A passport

Needless to say, a valid passport is another essential document you need to have when you plan on studying abroad. You can find the issue date of your passport on the data page of your passport book or the front of the passport card.

This document is valid for 5 years if you were under 16 when it was issued. But if you were older than 16, your passport is valid for 10 years. Some rules say that this document should be valid for at least 30 days after leaving a foreign country.

However, some countries require six months validity past your departure date. Of course, if you aren’t really sure what to do, contact your immigration lawyer ASAP. They’ll help you out with anything you need to get a student visa.

A medical evaluation

A medical evaluation or doctor’s letter is also a must when you want to study abroad. This document is essential simply because a certain institution must decide if students can safely participate in their education programs.

Depression, anxiety, severe allergies, diabetes, and eating disorders are the most common health issues in students who study abroad. To prevent potential problems, your doctor needs to do an evaluation to keep specific conditions stable.

Also, they must make sure that at least a two-month supply of medications can be brought abroad. Apart from your physical health, your doctor should assess your mental health, too. All of these factors make medical evaluation super important when applying for a student visa.

A national criminal background check

Did you know that certain consulates require a criminal background check as a part of the visa application process? That’s right, so bear that in mind as well. If you live in the US, you’ll need an FBI background check, also known as a national background check.

To get your FBI clearance, you should complete a specific document and mail it to their address. Be sure to include a set of your fingerprints, too.

This process usually takes about 12 weeks – sometimes even longer than that. In most cases, it can’t be expedited. Just remember that you’ll have to make the request for yourself. Obtaining information about another person is not possible.

Academic qualifications and test scores

Depending on the institution you’re applying for, you’ll have to provide academic qualifications and test scores, too. There are six types of qualifications: higher certificate, national diploma, bachelor’s degree, honors degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree.

other valuable tips:

In comparison to certificates and diplomas, degrees are more theoretical. Also, degrees are frequently recognized internationally, unlike diplomas. When it comes to tests and exams for studying abroad, the most frequent ones are SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, and similar ones.

You’ll sometimes be required to clear more than one exam to be admitted. As for the tests, TOEFL evaluates your ability to understand and use English in academic settings. GMAT is for graduate business administration programs, whereas the SAT is necessary if you want to study in the US.

As you can see, there are many things you need to bear in mind when you want to study abroad. This is particularly true when it comes to documentation you need to get a student visa.

Even though it often is a very exhausting process, we can freely say that it pays off in the end. Studying abroad truly has so many amazing benefits, so you won’t make a mistake if you give it a try. That’s a promise!

Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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Categories: Study Abroad