Following acceptance to a top MBA program abroad, the successful applicant should start preparing for the transition procedure to a foreign country. Part of the process includes of course issuing a student’s visa. Below is some useful information about the process for issuing a visa in the U.S., Britain and France.
Visa issuing process: After receiving the acceptance letter from the educational institution, you will need to approve your participation in the program. At this stage, the institution will send the applicant a form called I -20 that is required for issuing the visa. In parallel, you will need to contact the U.S. Embassy with the necessary documents, pay a fee and get a personal interview.
Working while studying: The student visa allows working on campus during the first year up to 20 hours a week and 40 hours during vacations. In the following years you can also work off campus, subject to the approval of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).
Partners: The student visa includes the permission to be accompanied by spouses. Spouses need to receive an F- 2 visa .To do so; the spouse will need to prove kinship to the main candidate for a visa. A spouse cannot work throughout their stay in the U.S. The spouse is permitted to study in part time studies (up to 12 hours per week).
Extension of stay: With the F-1 visa, one must leave the U.S. 60 days after the end of the educational curriculum. It is possible to submit a special request to stay an extra year for an internship.
Further Reading: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange.html
Visa issuing process: First obtain a CAS code (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) from the educational institution. Then contact the British Consulate in your country with the necessary forms, pay a fee and prepare bank statements that show the financial ability of the applicant or of his parents.
Working while studying: The UK student visa allows up to 20 hours of work per week during the semester and unlimited working time during the holidays.
Partners: If the curriculum is longer than a year, the partners’ visa allows spouses to enter the country and work. Spouses receive a Tier 4 Dependent Partner visa. This visa allows spouses to work full time, but they cannot study during this time. To get a visa for a spouse, you will have to prove partnership household of two or more years (marriage certificate, joint accounts, joint contracts and other documents). Spouses have to prove they have the financial ability to support themselves.
Extension of Stay: In principle, the visa allows to apply for an extension for spending a year working after graduation. Due to many changes in this policy, you should get an update closer to the time from the British consulate.
Further Reading: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/overview
Visa issuing process: After receiving the acceptance letter from the educational institution, contact the French embassy, pay a fee and submit the appropriate documents. Financial ability documentation and finding residence for the first months in France are part of the process. The process will be completed only a few weeks after your arrival to France.
Work during the school year: Student visa holders can work part time during the school year. During the holidays student visa holders can work full time.
Partners: A French student visa does not allow bringing spouses and/or children.
Extension of Stay: There is no “regular” way to stay in France after the end of the visa. To extend your stay, a special request must be submitted.
Further Reading: http://ressources.campusfrance.org/publi_institu/agence_cf/notes/en/note_35_en.pdf