Visa Process

Visa Application Process for US Citizens (as of 06/01/2014)

The information below is intended to supplement the student visa requirements and application information provided by these countries. The advice reflects our “best understanding” of their student visa process, but this process often changes and sometimes varies by consulate, e.g. the Boston Italian consulate versus the New York Italian consulate. Be sure to confirm these instructions on the consulate’s official web pages for visas and/or with your program provider. You find these instructions by going to the web pages of your study abroad country’s embassy in Washington.  Consult the Directory of embassies. Once on the embassy website, click on its entry for: Consular Services, Visas, or Consulates. (Be sure to check that if as a Bates student you are eligible to apply for a visa through the relevant Boston consulate)


Australia

On-line application:

  • Have your passport, your Confirmation of Enrollment number, and a credit card.  Your university will issue your Certificate of Enrollment (COE) number once you have paid your tuition.  Some universities will issue the COE with a partial tuition payment.
  • Go to the Australian Immigration Department web page   Note: your Australian university participates in the streamlined visa program (SVP) that treats all student visa applicants as though they were a low immigration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1), regardless of their country of origin. This reduces the amount of documentation required and the length of time it takes to issue the student visa.
  • Click on “Start an Application”
  • Click on “First Student Visa”
  • Fill out the application and submit it electronically along with the (approximately) $500 fee
  • You will receive the visa approval e-mail within several days
  • Print the visa e-mail and carry it with you throughout your travels. This is your visa.

Denmark

All students require a Residence Permit. DIS facilitates the receipt of the Residence Permit. Students who are considered ‘visa free’ will enter Denmark as tourists and will apply for a Danish residence permit after arrival in Copenhagen. A visa-free student is any student who is a U.S. citizen or is a citizen of a country exempt from the requirement of having an entrance visa to enter Denmark. A list of visa-free nationalities can be found here. (scroll down to the list of ‘Citizens exempt from the visa requirement’).

Once in Denmark, all visa-free students will apply for a residence permit – upon arrival you will receive the necessary application/paperwork and there will be an orientation session that will offer assistance in completing the application. Immigration Service will arrange for special hours for this processing and residence permits will be processed on the spot.

Students who are NOT considered visa free (i.e. you need a visa to enter Denmark) will need to apply for a residence permit prior to departure to Copenhagen. Non-visa free students will need to make the trip to the Danish Consulate in New York to apply in person. The Danish Consulate in New York is the only Consulate in the US with biometric capabilities; students are also allowed to apply in person at any other Danish Consulate around the world that has biometric capabilities. Once a student has turned in their application at the Danish Consulate it will take up to 2 months to process.The DIS North American office will be in direct communication with you about this process.


France

Prior to applying for a visa you must register on-line with Campus France at the French Embassy in Washington. Campus France provides a step-by-step guide to the application process. The Campus France Registration Fee is $100, payable only by money order. Students should keep in mind that CampusFrance approval can take up to 3 weeks once the student completes the registration successfully and mails in the money order and accompanying paperwork. Having registered, you may then apply for a visa. All consulates require a personal appointment for submitting the visa application. US French Consulates are requiring extended time for French visa processing, as the new visa procedures, including biometric data, require additional work on their part. The processing time can be up to 4 weeks, and students should make an appointment for their visa well in advance of their departure. Do not wait for your Campus France approval.

Bearers of non-American passports should call the Boston Consulate for special requirements. Because of possible delays they should begin their visa application early (the Consulate recommends that they do so at least three months before the departure date i.e., June 1 for Fall, or October 15 for Spring) and check with their own consulates with regard to visas for France and travel in Europe outside of France.

Visa Application: In-person or mail application. Bates students must apply in person at the Boston Consulate. You must schedule an appointment on line; no walk-ins are accepted. The Boston Consulate does not accept phone calls regarding visas. General information about the visa process.

There are two kinds of long-stay student visa available, depending upon the length of studies in France as indicated in the letter of enrollment.

1 – temporary long stay visa: from 3 to 6 months, multiple entries, no “carte de séjour” (residency card) is requested but there is no possibility to extend the stay.

2 – One-year visa (for stay over 6 months): the visa is valid during a specific three-month period. After arriving in France and preferably within a week, you must request a “carte de séjour” (residency card) at the “Préfecture de Police”. At this point, you will have to undergo a medical check-up by a doctor from the Office des Migrations Internationales.

To apply in person: Go to the French Consulate in Boston, 31 Saint James Avenue, Park Square Building – Suite 750 – Boston, MA 02116. You do not need to schedule an appointment. The Visa office is open to the public Monday-Friday from 9:00am-12:30pm except on holidays.

You must present the following documents. The visa section makes no photocopies.

  • A passport valid at least three months after the last day of your stay in France (+ 1 copy of pages containing birth date, photo, and expiration date). Please make sure a blank page remains in your passport for the visa stamp.
  • 2 long stay application forms filled out in black. Long stay application forms being in French, you can download an explanation in English by clicking here. Please do not forget to write your phone number and e-mail address,
  • 2 photographs in U.S. passport photo format,
  • Proof of residency or of studies in one of the following states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
  • Letter of admission from a French school/University (+1 copy),
  • Letter from your university in the US stating that you are currently registered there as a student (+1 copy),
  • Proof of sufficient funds: If your parents are going to pay for your expenses in France: a financial guarantee such as a notarized statement certifying that you will be provided with a monthly allowance of $820/month for the duration of your stay in France, or proof of personal income along with a letter from school stating that room, board, and tuition are fully prepaid.
  • Processing fees: (nonrefundable) in the U.S. dollar equivalent of €50 (check your local consulate’s Web site as the rate of exchange changes frequently).

Ireland

On arrival in Ireland you need to present the following to the Immigration Officer at the Airport:

  • Passport
  • Irish university Letter of Acceptance

At the airport, Immigration will stamp your passport, usually for one month – during this time you will be required to register with the Immigration Office. Your Irish university study abroad office will explain this process.

To register at the Immigration Office,  you will need the following documentation:

  • Passport
  • Irish University ID Card
  • GNIB Form (available from the International Office at Irish University)
  • Health Insurance (students are advised to bring copy of their private health insurance policy which states they are covered while in Ireland and hospital cover is also included
  • Immigration Card Fee – 300 EURO (can be paid by credit or debit card)
  • Proof of Financial Support:  Either a Sponsorship letter from Bates stating that ALL expenses are covered OR a Bank Statement from an Irish Bank Account – the university should be able assist students to open an Irish Bank Account at Orientation.   Students are required to have the following amount of money lodged in the account:
  • Students attending Early Start/Fall Semester should have 2,500 EURO lodged in their account
  • Students attending Spring Semester only should have 2,000 EURO
  • Students attending for the Full Academic Year must have at least 3,000 EURO in their account

Students must print an ATM receipt on the day they go to register with Immigration showing they have the above amounts in their account on that date.


Italy

All Bates students can apply through the Italian Consulate in Boston. In person application, appointment necessary. Required documentation may vary from Consulate to Consulate, so please contact your specific Consulate to verify what is required.

You can schedule an appointment to submit your application to the Boston Consulate on the Consulate web site.  You must submit your application in person. Applications should be submitted as early as possible, but no more than 90 days before the date of arrival in Italy.

Student visas are free of charge

You need a passport valid for at least three months beyond your final day in Italy (make sure a blank page remains in your passport for the visa stamp), a photocopy of the passport personal details page, and the original plus one copy of the following:

  • the National Visa application form (available on the Consulate web site) to be signed by applicant in the presence of a Consular Officer.
  • one recent passport photograph (2×2 inches in size, full face, front view, color)
  • Flight Itinerary with exact dates of travel and borders of entry and exit. Electronic tickets are accepted.
  • A letter of current enrollment from Bates College addressed to this Consulate confirming the applicant’s enrollment status. Request this letter from Mrs. Vincent.
  • A letter of acceptance addressed to this Consulate from the U.S. Academic Institution providing for the Study Abroad Program, indicating first and last name of the student, name of study abroad program, name and address of the Italian Academic Institution hosting the program, the dates of the program, if the program will provide health insurance with policy number and coverage abroad statement, and that the program fees have been paid in full. This letter has to be submitted directly by the student.
  • letter of acceptance addressed to this Consulate from the host Academic Institution in Italy, or the Italian branch of the U.S. Academic Institution providing for the Study Abroad Program, indicating the name of the student, if the University will provide for health insurance, lodging of the student and length of the program. This letter, submitted directly by the student, must be written in the Italian language.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage: an original letter, on insurance Company letterhead with the full policy number and insurance official’s signature, guaranteeing unlimited worldwide coverage, and that the Italian provider will be paid directly by the insurance company.
  • Proof of funds: Bank statements are not accepted. For students financially dependent on their parents:
  • a) Affidavit of Support from the parent/s addressed to the Consulate, stating that the parent/s will assume full financial responsibility for any and all expenses incurred by the student during his/her stay in Italy. The signature/s must be notarized.
  • b) original letter from the parent’s Bank on the Bank letterhead with a bank official’s signature, indicating the account number and the exact balance. A minimum of $ 1,000.00 per each month of stay in Italy is required. This letter has to have a recent date.
  • If the minimum $1,000.00 per each month of stay is not met, and the applicant is a recipient of financial aid, a letter from the Financial Aid Office or Advisor, stating the semester costs, the amount of aid, etc. must be submitted along with the proof of funds.

New Zealand

Application by mail.

  • Access the visa application form at New Zealand Immigration Office Web site
  • You apply for a Student Visa.
  • There is no fee for U.S. citizens
  • Students receiving financial aid from Bates, in lieu of pre-paying tuition fees, may submit an official letter from the Bates Financial Aid Office detailing the financial aid settlement.  You need to request this letter from the Bates Financial Aid office. Students whose Bates aid does not entirely cover tuition fees may partially pre-pay the fees and provide the Bates Financial Aid letter to cover the balance.
  • It is best to purchase the NZ Health Insurance policy.

Where to send the visa application:

1) If you reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, and Washington State, send your application with all required documentation to:

New Zealand Visa Application Centre
Suite N2075, 1620 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA
90404
Phone: +1 855 844 2835 (toll free)
Fax: +1 310 496 7437
Email: ttslanz@ttsvisas.com

2) If you reside in any other state, send your application with all required documentation to:

New Zealand Visa Application Centre
1120 19th Street NW
Suite No. 415
Washington DC 20036
Phone:   +1 202 223 3400
Fax: +1 202 223 3900
Email: ttswashingtonnz@ttepl.com

The visa application requires a Visa Application Center (VAC) service fee for all applicants, regardless of nationality.  You must complete a credit card authorization form to pay the VAC fee.  Applicants should include a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope with the visa application for return of the passport.

 


Spain

All Bates students can apply through the Spanish Consulate in Boston. In person application, appointment necessary.

You must schedule an appointment on line to submit your documents. Do this as soon as possible. You must submit your documents in person. The visa processing fee is $140 payable upon application by money order (made out to “Consulate of Spain”).  Applications for this type of visa will neither be accepted more than four months in advance nor less than one month before the departure date. The passport must be left at the consulate for processing. It generally takes about one month or longer to process this type of visa. During this time no telephone consultations will be accepted regarding visa status.

You need to bring the the following documents (the original and a photocopy):

  • National Visa Application and  SUPPLEMENT FORM VISA
  • Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your stay in Spain. Make sure your passport is signed.
  • One of the following types of identification: US Driver’s License; US State ID card; Voter Registration card; current Student ID card.
  • 2 color passport photos with white background.
  • Letter of acceptance as a full time student from Spain’s University/School or US program indicating: name, address and registration number of the school with Spain’s Department of Education (Ministerio de Educación de España), full payment of tuition, duration of the program, subjects of the study and hours of study per week which must be no less than 20.
  • Original letter addressed to this Consulate General verifying enrollment as a full-time student in an official University or School in Spain, and verification of full payment of tuition. This letter must mention that you will be eligible for a credit towards your Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Health Insurance (original form): International insurance coverage for health/accident with a minimum coverage equal to €30,000 during the planning period of stay in Spain (or its equivalency in dollars).
  • Non-refundable visa fee:  “Money-Order” payable to the Consulate of Spain, $140.00 for US citizens, $81.00 for other nationalities, citizens of Canada have to send an e-mail to cog.boston@mae.es for visa fee information.
  • If the duration of stay in Spain is longer than six months: a doctor’s statement on a doctor or medical center letterhead, indicating that the student has been examined and found in good physical and mental health to travel to study abroad and is free of contagious diseases. This Certificate must be signed in the hand of the doctor (M.D. or D.O.) on letter-head in the following format:
    “This medical certificate attests that Mr./ Mrs. ……………………… does not suffer from any illness that would pose a threat to public health according to the International Health Regulations of 2005.”  This certificate must be issued in the place of residence, and is valid for 3 months counting from the date it has been issued.
  • If the duration of the stay in Spain is longer than 6 months: an FBI Background Check notarized and legalized by the “Apostille of The Hague”. (The Apostille is an international legalization which will validate the Certificate; a Notary Public is able to provide this in Maine.) FBI Background Checks may take up to 12 weeks. A local Police Background Check will NOT be accepted.
    Original translated into Spanish and one copy will be needed (contact a legal translator).
    This certificate cannot be older than three months from the issue date.

You must also submit one of the following documents (and 1 photocopy) to guarantee living expenses while in Spain:

  • Letter from the study abroad program assuming full financial responsibility for tuition, room and board for the student during his stay in Spain. For many students this information is included on the previously mentioned letter of acceptance.
  • Personal bank account statements showing a minimum balance of $1000 per month of stay in Spain.
  • Proof of having received financial aid or scholarship covering expenses for tuition, room, board, and personal expenses during the stay in Spain (minimum of $1000 per month).
  • Notarized letter from parents assuming full financial responsibility for the student for at least $1,000 per month of stay in Spain: Suggested wording: “I hereby certify that I’m the (father/mother/other) of (…), will support him/her with a monthly allowance of at least $1,000 while he/she is in Spain and that I’m financially responsible for any emergency that may arise“.

Other possible materials:

  • For non-US citizens: Evidence of your immigration status in the USA.  Provide your “Alien Registration Card” or “US Visa with I-20/IAP-66” (except B1-B2).
  • If the applicant is under 18 years of age: a notarized authorization letter to travel and study abroad from the parents or custodians.

United Kingdom

The British Council provides a clear summary of the two types of entry: Student Visitor and Tier 4 Visa.

I. To study in the UK as a student for six months or less, you can enter the UK on a Student Visitor visa.  You receive the visa from the UK Immigration official upon arrival in the UK.  You must have specific documentation:

  • your acceptance letter
  • financial evidence such as bank statements which demonstrate how you will pay for your studies/living costs
  • evidence that you intend to return to your home country – such as a return air ticket or a letter from your home University or employer stating that you are required to return.

The Immigration Officer will stamp your passport and write the letters “S.V” (or similar) next to the entry stamp.

Note that students entering as a ‘Student Visitor’ must carry ALL the appropriate documentation with them if they depart the UK for a weekend trip to another country. They will be required to show this documentation to UK immigration upon re-entry, and must therefore treat each re-entry to the UK as if they are entering for the first time. The stamp in their passport is not enough on its own to confirm re-entry to the UK.

II. To study in the United Kingdom for more than six months, or to undertake any work at all (paid, unpaid, volunteer, internships), you need an Adult Student (Tier 4) Visa. The visa fee is approximately $530 (as of 6/15/14).  A detailed description of the visa application process is available.

  • Have your passport and a credit card on-hand
  • Access the on-line application (the application instructions specify what documentation you need to provide)

The nearest location to Bates for the required biometric registration is:

USCIS COLO Portland Application Support Center
176 Gannett Drive
South Portland, ME 04106-6909