Study visa for Singapore, France, Germany, and Spain

Education Consultant Karan Gupta tells you how to get a student visa for Singapore, France, Spain and Germany.

 

Singapore

 

Singapore by far has one of the simplest student visa application processes. The process from India is online and you need to register as a student in the Singapore Online Immigration System (SOLAR). Remember you have to submit your application at least 1 month prior and no earlier than 2 months prior to your course start date. You can only register once you have an official admission confirmation from a recognized Singapore institute. After filling in your online application (e form 16) you will get an in-principle letter (IPL) within 10-12 days. You can then fly to Singapore with this letter and your valid passport. Once you reach Singapore, you must visit the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and submit your e form 16 along with a medical report, your valid passport, disembarkation card and photograph. You will also be required to pay S$120 to the ICA.

 

France

 

France is one of the few countries in the world which require you to undergo an academic interview, which is the first step in applying for a French student visa. Visit www.india.campusfrance.org and create an account. Enter all your application details and then request an appointment with Campus France. At this academic interview be prepared to answer questions about your past academic history, your reasons to study at a particular university and why France. You must also carry all original documents (all mark sheets and transcripts, degrees, resume, passport and Rs.13500 paid through BNP Paribas) and one set of photocopies.

 

After you complete your academic interview, you have to apply for a long-term visa at the VFS office. You will be required to submit documents that show your financial capability which include your Income Tax papers, bank statements, and proof of all liquid assets. You will also fill in another visa application form and pay fees which at the moment are Rs.3521 (visa fees) and Rs.1405 (VFS fees).

 

The visa process for France can take 2 weeks to 1 month and hence you should apply early. Keep in mind that you cannot apply for your visa more than 3 months prior to your course start date.

 

Spain

 

Some of the documents that are needed for the Spanish student visa are different for students applying in Mumbai and Delhi. In general, students who apply for a student visa to Spain need to have a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) which has to be translated to Spanish and then apostilled. A medical certificate is also needed and some of these documents are to be legalized at the Spanish Consulate. If you have lived for more than 6 months in any country in the world, within the last 5 years, you will need a PCC from that country as well. In addition, the PCC must be apostilled from that country. This can prove to be a real problem for someone who studied as an exchange student in a country like the US, UK or Mexico within the last 5 years, as a PCC would be needed from that country even if you are now back in India. In addition to these documents, you will need your financial papers that show that you can pay for your entire education in Spain.  The visa process for Spain can take 2 weeks to 3 months and hence you should apply as early as possible, keeping in mind that you cannot apply for a visa earlier than 3 months of your course start date. The visa fees are approximately Rs.4300.

 

Germany

 

The first step to getting a German student visa is to get admission at a recognized institute in Germany. You then have the option of opening a ‘blocked account’ at Kotak Mahindra Bank in India or specified national German banks and transferring a minimum of 8640 Euros to this bank account. This is the preferred option to show your finances before you apply for the visa. After you have opened your account and transferred the required amount, you can apply for your student visa with all the required documents such as proof of finances (if your institute charges tuition), your valid passport, admission letters and so on. The visa fees payable is around Rs.4300 (and VFS fees of around Rs.1410). The visa process can take up to 3 months and it’s best to apply early.

 

The author is an alumnus of Harvard Business School

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