Obtaining a Visa | The TOEFL® Test

Obtaining a Visa

No matter where you’re planning to travel, chances are you’ll need a visa to get there. The process for getting a visa depends on the country, but there are some things you need to remember wherever you go.

Applying for a Student Visa

There are seven simple rules you should follow when applying for your student visa.

1. Keep on Schedule

You may need to attend a face-to-face interview during your student visa application, or be required to send off information by a certain date. Plan ahead so you don’t miss any appointments or deadlines.

2. Complete All Forms

Often student visa applications are rejected or delayed because applicants haven’t fully completed every required portion of their forms. Make sure you read and follow all instructions and give all the information you’re required to.

3. Be Honest

Make sure you are totally honest in every stage of your student visa application. Visa agencies have comprehensive databases and will often be able to highlight information that isn’t accurate.

4. Assess Your Health

You may be required to have a medical examination before being issued a student visa, to prove that you do not have any infectious diseases like tuberculosis. You may also be required to get vaccinations depending on where you intend to study.

5. Plan Your Finances

You’ll need to demonstrate you have the financial resources to pay for your tuition and living expenses while studying abroad. Make a detailed plan of your finances and how you intend to pay for your studies. Include any financial aid or scholarships you have qualified for. Find out from the embassy or consular office of the country where you want to study in what types of financial documentation you’ll need to provide.

6. Master Your English

You may also be required to attend an interview when you apply for your student visa. If your English skills don’t satisfy the officer interviewing you, your application may be rejected.

7. Establish Ties to Home

Wherever you’re planning to study, you will need to prove that you have ties to home, such as family or property, and that you will be returning to your native country after your studies are complete. To prove that you intend to return home after your studies have finished, you may be asked to prove how your education abroad will help you get a job in your native country.

Here is specific information about the student visa application process for some of the most popular study abroad destinations.

Applying for a Visa for Australia

All international students require a student visa to attend college or university in Australia. There are, however, different requirements depending on which country you’re coming from and if you’re studying at the graduate or undergraduate level. Whatever your circumstances, you’ll need to take an English proficiency test and be accepted by a college or university before you can apply for your visa.

As of November 2014, TOEFL iBT® scores can also be used to apply for skilled migration, post-work study, permanent residence, and other visas. Learn more about taking the TOEFL iBT Test for use with these Australian visas here.

Applying for a Student Visa for Canada

All international students intending to study in Canada are required to have a student visa. In order to apply for one, you need to take an English proficiency test such as the TOEFL test and be accepted by a Canadian college or university — you will need to provide the letter of acceptance with your application.

Applying for a Student Visa for the United Kingdom

If you are a citizen of the European Union, you can study in the UK without a student visa. Those arriving from outside the EU, however, will need to apply for student visas from their local British Consulate or Embassy.

Applying for a Student Visa for the United States

You’ll need to have been accepted for a study program at an accredited American institution before you can apply for your US student visa. Once you’ve applied, you’ll be required to travel to your nearest United States Embassy or Consulate for a face-to-face visa interview before it’s issued. You’ll also be asked to provide proof that you can financially support yourself while studying in America and have sufficient reason to return home after your studies are over.