I decided to break up my Scotland Bound: Studying Abroad entry up into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces for those who found the original entry a bit too daunting. I’ve broken it up into three different entries; this is the third, Choosing a University and Major is first, and Applying to Your University is second. This post is on:
The visa application will happen after you apply for and declare which university you’ll attend.
This entry is a rough overview for those who have little-to-no experience with acquiring the student visa. It will not be a full run-down of the visa application process. I hope to put out a more in-depth entry at some point in the future, if people are interested.
The visa is very important. It states that you are permitted to stay in a country for more than the six months a passport allows. For students, it states that the university is your sponsor. As such, the visa application is equally important.
At some point after receiving and confirming your acceptance, you’ll receive what is called a CAS Form.
This CAS Form is VERY important. You need this for your visa application, which you need in order to be able to move abroad. You will also need to present the CAS Form at Customs when you arrive abroad to start school. Seriously, make sure you have that with you in your carry-on when you arrive in Scotland.
The visa application is a process that requires lots of documentation. It also requires appointments to get pictures and fingerprints taken. After that, all that documentation, paperwork, and a new passport photo must be sent to the British Embassy closest to you, along with your passport, so that you can get the visa on your passport.
The time frame on this is important as well. This all has to be done within a month before you leave. You cannot start the visa application several months in advance of your leaving.
But to prepare, take time to ensure you have access to the documentation you’ll need for this. For example, if you need a copy of your birth certificate for the visa application, go get the copy you need. Doing little things like this will save you getting overwhelmed and panicking when the time comes to apply. And honestly, do whatever you can to avoid stress and anxiety when you’re getting ready to leave for university. It takes away from the excitement.
Your Visa is Your “Work Permit”
I’ve stated this before, but it’s still important. Your university sponsoring your visa is their declaration that they will be your full-time employer during your studies in Scotland.
As such, treat earning your degree as though it’s a full-time job. Yes, you might be paying for the degree, rather than you getting paid like a full-time job, but the degree is an investment in your future.
But, like a full-time job, you do get breaks. You get weekends, you need time off, otherwise you’ll burn-out. So, dedicate yourself to the hard work of earning a new degree, but also make time to enjoy being in a new country because that too is offering you great experience.