I recently got my tier 4 student visa to pursue Sloan Programme at London Business School. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the admissions team and visa compliance officer for all the help provided during the application process. LBS provided a step-by-step guide to fill the application forms and also organised a webinar detailing the visa process followed by a Q&A session.
The visa requirements are dependent on various factors and keep changing from time to time. Please check UKBA website or contact visa compliance officer at LBS for more details. I encountered a few surprises and wanted to share this information for the benefit of other applicants in India.
1. Appointment Time: I suggest to book an afternoon interview slot. My visa appointment was scheduled for 11:30 AM and I was on time at VFS office (authorised agent for UKBA visa applications) along with my wife and kid in Hyderabad. We finished the biometrics and other paper work formalities within 30 minutes. I was asked to wait for 3 hours to attend a visa interview with visa officer in UK (until UK morning time). VFS could have communicated this earlier as I ended up waiting with a 5 month old kid just for the interview. I also provided feedback to VFS that student appointments must be provided only in the afternoon slots in India so that applicants need not wait for long time. VFS mentioned that they are just agents and UKBA has to take such decisions. I wish UKBA takes this decision for the convenience of student applicants. I am also planning to provide this feedback to UKBA through their website.
2. Fee Payment: VFS does not accept credit cards in India. I applied for visas through VFS in other countries and they have accepted credit card. I assumed VFS would accept credit card in India as well. I had to rush to a nearby bank to withdraw cash. They do accept Demand Drafts. The visa application fee is 30000 INR approx. per applicant and note that the fee is the same for dependants as well as infants.
3. Medical Reports: As an applicant from India, I had to submit a medical report for Tuberculosis. While my wife and I underwent X-ray test, my son was not required to go through x-ray. The medical officer issued a certificate based on our reports for my son. It takes a day to get the X-ray reports, so make sure you plan in advance for medical tests. It is mandatory to provide medical test report when you submit visa application.
4. Visa Interview: The interview was through a video-conference in a kiosk at VFS office. The interview lasted for 10 minutes. Visa officer was friendly and was typing notes as I spoke during the interview. The location was a bit noisy and audio clarity was not good enough. I got similar feedback from some of my classmates who attended interviews in other cities in India.
Below are few questions asked during the visa interview. I am sure this is a cake walk for Sloan students, as they would have prepared for these for LBS interview :-).
- Introduction- Confirm your name, date of birth and course applied for?
- Why UK?
- Why LONDON?
- Why LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL?
- Why Sloan?
- What other schools and countries have you considered?
- Did you understand all the questions asked ?
Good luck for other applicants, hope this information is useful.
I am on vacation in India and just getting back to studies. My next post will be on accommodation and pre-programme preparation/reading list for Sloan.