Applying for an international visa is not an easy task, especially if you are doing it for the first time, all by yourself and as an international student. After all, most of us are not used to such thorough and precise paperwork. The biggest issue is the pressure one has to tackle; because we all know, one small mistake and all of our hard-work will go down the drain. Usually, the school admission letters become pointless if the International Student Visa application is rejected; except, if the school has a deferral system available, that would attract another year’s application fees and maybe, even a hefty deposit. Thus, if you’re a student – there is an extra incentive for you to get it all right in the very first go.
The best place of information that you can absolutely rely on, is the website of your about to be host country. Each country has its own visa granting body, that usually tends to work with the foreign/foreign affairs ministry in that country. I would suggest you to go through the entire website, and look for all the relevant information that might be useful to you.This would include the procedures, the documents you will need and even the timeline you should follow.
The university you have been admitted, would likely have had a few students from your country. This would have equipped the university’s administration office to understand any specific visa issues that may occur in a prospective student’s application. Thus, I would suggest that you consistently stay in touch with the admin office of the university you have been admitted to.
Usually, universities also appoint specific points of contacts and student ambassadors, who may help you further. Additionally, many of these pages have guides on documents you will need as well as the links to get to other important websites. For instance – you might find the links for the host country’s consulate in your country, as well as leading to student discount card providing companies. This will help only once you’ve landed in that country.
Generally, the visa consultant’s website will be full of data that you may need. I personally took the help of IDP Consultancy and their website proved to be very informative. Here, the data will be presented in a way that is more applicable to you. For instance, you might even find the right descriptions in your local language here. Along with your visa consultant, any travel agent who arranges global flights will also have a dedicated international travel page.
Once you’ve gone through all these pages, you will have enough information to get started. It is recommended that you start with a spreadsheet and compile a list of all the processes you have to go through, the documents you will need and the documents you have.