A lot of students ask if they can get an extension for their student visa after studies? The answer is yes! You can apply and be granted a an on your visa depending on the your study location and the reason you are able to present during your application.
There are various reasons why international students might want to extend their student visas. They might have gotten admission for a different course of study that will take longer than the days they have left on their visa or the student might have applied for professional certification which takes a longer time to be completed than the regular study programme.
Similarly, a student might need a visa extension if they are re-sitting an examination or having their research and/or study programme extended beyond the pre-planned duration. Most often, international students in their doctorate programmes usually would apply for visa extensions in the case their research work takes longer than they expected.
The examples given above is a clear indication that the reasons for extension of a student visa would vary based on personal needs.
How to Get Visa Extension Abroad
The only way to get a visa extension abroad is to apply for it. This can be done either through the country embassy, the international office of your university/institution and/or through a dedicated online platform of the immigration or visa issuing body.
What you should Know Before Applying
- When to start the application for the visa extension: in most cases, it is best to start your application before your current visa expires and before your new course start. Start your application process 3 months in advance. The reason being that the application might take as long as 2 months before you get feedback.
- The validity of your passport for the extension: Let’s say your passport is to expire in six months but you want your student visa extended for a year. It is better to get a new passport or to apply for a shorter period.
- Visa extension fee: It is important to stay updated on the extension fee prices as prices may change. Aside from paying the application fee, you might be required to pay a biometrics fee. Ensure you enquire about the fees you will be asked to pay beforehand.
- Required documents: You must have the required documents, and in the format that it is required. Having the wrong documents might lead to your application being denied.
- Visa extension qualifications: Every country has qualifications you must meet to apply for a visa extension, check if you meet them before you start your application. Also, ask for advice on visa extension from the international office at your university.
- Method of application: In some countries, you can apply for a visa extension online, other countries require you to start the application process in person. Find out the method of application of the country you are studying in.
- Check other visas: While extending your student visa would serve as the right option in most cases, in some cases, it might be more beneficial for you to switch to a different type of visa if you meet the requirements of that visa.
N/B: For detailed and up-to-date information on visa extension in your current country of study, you might have to visit the government’s official website for immigration and Visa information. You can enquire about this from the international office at your university.