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Visa requirements for the USA
Applying for visas is often seen as complicated, but our trained counsellors are experts in guiding you through the application process.
The visa you need will depend on the type of study you want to do in the United States.
The US Government offers three different student visa types:
F Student Visa: used to study at an accredited US college or university or to study English at an English language institute
J Exchange Visa: for participation in an exchange program, including high school and university study
M Student Visa: for non-academic or vocational study or training in the US
You must first apply and be accepted by a US institution that is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted, you will receive a Form I-20 from the institution's international student office, which is a paper record of your information in the database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
You will need the following documentation for your visa application:
A valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US (unless exempt by country specific agreements)
Acceptance at a SEVP approved school and your Form I-20
Application fee payment for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
Non-immigrant visa application and the Form DS-160 confirmation page
One or two photographs in the requested format.
Additional documentation may also be required:
Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates.
Evidence that you have sufficient funds to maintain your living expenses throughout the period of your stay in the US. This may include: bank statements, a financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs or a scholarship program.
Evidence that you will leave the US once you have completed your course of study. This is usually in the form of an air ticket out of the US to your home country.
You may also have to appear for a personal interview at the US embassy or consulate.
You can find out more about each type of visa on the US Government’s Department of State website.
When you arrive in the US, you must:
Not enter the US more than 30 days before your study program begins
Contact your designated school official when you first enter the US
Contact your designated school official again, no later than the program start date listed on your Form I-20
Make sure your visa remains valid
Once you get your visa, there are a number of things you need to do to ensure it remains valid, including:
Fulfilling the purpose for why the Department of State issued the visa
Following the regulations associated with that purpose.
While studying in the US, you will need to observe the following rules:
You must attend and pass all of your classes. If you are finding your studies too difficult, you should speak with your designated school official (DSO) immediately.
If you think you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on your Form I-20, you must talk to your DSO about requesting a possible program extension
You must take a full course of study each term. If you cannot study full-time, contact your DSO immediately.
You cannot drop below a full course of study without consulting with your DSO.
How PAC can help
PAC offers an array of services designed to take the stress and confusion out of the process of applying for a student visa. Speak to your PAC counsellor today.
Visa requirements for the UK
The visa you need will depend on your age and the type of study you want to do. An overview of study visa types and application requirements is included below, but for more information you should visit the Gov.UK website
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To be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa, you must:
Have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.
Be able to speak, read, write and understand English.
Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course.
Applying for your visa online
You must apply for your student visa application online using the British Government’s official Gov.UK website (unless you are applying from North Korea, in which case you can use a hardcopy form).
You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel to the UK. Your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.
When applying for your Tier 4 visa, you will generally need:
A current passport or other valid travel documentation.
Evidence of funds to provide your living expenses for the duration of your course.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number and documents used to obtain CAS.
Passport-size colour photograph.
Tuberculosis screening (if required).
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate (if required).
Additional documents may also be needed if you are:
Not a citizen of the country you are applying from.
Under 18 years of age.
Have family (dependents)
If any of your supporting documents is not in English, you will need to have it translated. Each translated document must be dated, and include the translator's name and signature and confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document.
English language requirements
You must provide evidence of your knowledge of the English language when you apply for your visa. This usually means passing a secure English language test.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have minimum English language requirements for reading, writing, listening and speaking according to your level of study. Your education institution (sponsor) may have different English language requirements.
There is a chance you may be interviewed by a UKVI officer as part of the visa application process. If you cannot hold a simple conversation without an interpreter, you may be refused entry to the UK, regardless of your English language results.
Biometric residence permit
As part of your application, you must also obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP) from UKVI. You will need to make an appointment with UKVI to have your fingers and thumbs scanned and a digital photo taken of your face.
Visa requirements for Australia
PAC can explain the visa process for you to make it a little easier. PAC counsellors have been through the process many times before with students like you, so a few pointers from someone with experience may save you many hours and worries.Your counsellor can walk through the student visa application process and the relevant information on the Australian government’s website. They can help you prepare the necessary documents for your submission and help you prepare for your visa interview.You are required to lodge your application for a visa at least 12 weeks before the orientation date at your institution.
You will need the following documents for your visa application:
Visa application form (which your education counsellor will help you complete)
Visa application fee
Four passport-size photographs
Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment
IELTS result (your counsellor can book your place in an English test)
Academic and work experience documents
Statement of purpose
Evidence of financial ability (tuition fees, living expenses, expenses for dependents, return airfare).
* For a detailed visa application checklist, please speak to your counsellor.
Your application will be allocated a unique Transaction Reference Number (TRN) by the Australian Government. You can find out about the status of your application online.
Visa requirements for Canada
In Canada, a student visa is often referred to as a "study permit".
It is important that you make sure you have the correct study permit for your international studies before you leave for Canada.
Where to find the right information
As study permit conditions can change quickly, you will need to make sure you follow up to date advice.The best place to find this advice is on the website of the Canadian immigration authority, which is called the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you need help in finding the relevant IRCC information, your PAC counsellor can direct you to it. Your counsellor can also help you find the authorised immigration representatives, if required.
We can help you
Often, you will have to translate and courier your documents.Our team can help you through this as well, so that you have less paperwork to keep track of.
We offer visa support to students like you who wish to study in Canada, for free of charge.We would also advise you to visit the IRCC and other relevant websites to ensure that you have the latest information on visa requirements.Our commitment is to help you in your study abroad journey. We do not provide immigration and permanent residency advice.
Visa requirements for New Zealand
The visa you need will depend on the type of study you want to do, and how long you want to stay in New Zealand. Having a valid passport and the right visa is key to a trouble-free entry.
While studying in New Zealand, it’s important to maintain your Fee Paying student status. This status relates to the purpose, or reason why you came to New Zealand.
To apply for a visa, you must have the following documentation ready:
A valid passport which must be valid for at least three months after your period of stay in New Zealand.
A letter of acceptance from a New Zealand education provider which states the minimum course duration, total tuition fee and whether the tuition fee is in domestic and foreign currency. The course must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
You may also need additional documentation such as:
Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates.
Current application form – Student Visa Application form.
Correct visa application fee.
Tuition fee receipt showing payment to date.
Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses throughout the periods of your stay. You will need to show you have NZ$15,000 for a full year of study or NZ$1,250 per month.
This may include:
Financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover accommodation and living costs.
A scholarship program.
Evidence that you are leaving New Zealand after the completion of your course. This can be in the form of flight tickets, however it is optional.
A police certificate if you are aged 17 years or over and plan to study for more than 24 months. A police certificate is a document which is used as evidence of good character.
An X-ray certificate - you will need to have a chest x-ray if you are staying in New Zealand for more than six months, or if you’re a citizen of a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis, or if you’ve spent more than three months in the last five years in a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis.
Full medical examination
Find out more
You can find out more about each of the different types of visas and how to apply on the New Zealand Government’s Immigration website.