US Visa application from Spain

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This was the most fluid process ever!

1. Check what type of VISA you require on this website (if you’re travelling for the OPTION E programme, then it’s tourism i.e. B2) http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english.html
2. Fill the DS 160 form here https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC
3. Go to this website and create a user account – https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-es/niv

  • Enter your DS-160 confirmation number
  • Choose your passport pick-up point
  • Pay the Nonimmigrant Visa application fee
  • Schedule the appointment\
  • Attend the interview – it’s super short and quick. They’ll let you know towards the end if you’re approved and keep your passport (otherwise they give it back right away) There’s almost zero chance for it to get rejected when you’re travelling with your class 🙂
  • In about 1 week you can pick up your passport from the chosen point

Documents required for the interview as stated in my (September 2015) interview confirmation page:

Common documents for any US Visa

1. Current Passport valid for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements.)

2. Passport containing the most recently issued U.S. Visa (if applicable)

3. Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page

4.Confirmation and Instructions page printed from this website (interview confirmation)

5.One 5 x 5 cm (or 2″ x 2″) color photo taken within the last 6 months. Further details regarding Department of State photo guidelines can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/photos/photos.html.
Optional documents:
1. Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel

2. Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States

3. Evidence that you have significant ties to the country to which you intend to return at the end of your stay in the United States (This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to a country other than the United States.)

What I took with me for the optional documents to make sure that I don’t miss out anything:

1. Old Titre de Sejour (copy + original; to prove the 1 year no visa gap in my passport)
2. Proof to show my significant ties to Spain:

  • Empadronamiento
  • Rental agreement
  • ESCP Europe acceptance letter for 2015-2016

3. Proof that I’ll come back on the mentioned dates:

  • A letter from ESCP Madrid that states the purpose of my travel and the exact dates
  • Take the tickets if you have them already

4. Funds: Bank Statements (printed from the online website) of my European accounts
Et Voila!
It’s super fast! Some students didn’t take the rental agreement and the bank statement but still got through. So, the Embassy is pretty chill, but it’s better to take the documents I mentioned above to be on the safer side.

Cheers

Ayush GUPTA

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First steps in Spain

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So, first step’s first: The duration of your VISA!

1. If you applied for a visa of a duration longer than 180 days, then you have to go through some shit!
2. If your visa is valid for 180 days or less, then you’re sorted! Go grab drink and eat some Tapas! And get your Empadronamiento , only if you wish to do so (read problem numero 1)

Problem numero 1: The empadronamiento

This document is optional if you’re staying for a short period, but may come in handy. If you ever get caught doing things that you shouldn’t do or if you’re in some sort of trouble, then it’ll be easy for the state to put you back in place. Not having the Empadronamiento i.e. not being registered with your municipality, you might have some trouble. But again, it’s optional.
However, if you’re staying fro more than 180 days, you HAVE to get it to go forward to the next step: Getting your TIE (residence card)

How to get it?

1. Head to this website to get an appointment: https://www-s.munimadrid.es/CitaNet/Principal.do
2. Click on “Pedir Cita Previa Reserve su cita desde aquí”
3. Select “Atención al cidadano”
4. Select “PADRON”
5. Select your municipality office (in some urgent cases, I have heard, that you may also select some other municipality’s office. But check again)
6. Take your appointment and be on time with your documents:

7. That’s all. You’ll get it right away (takes like 5 minutes or so).
Problem numero 2: TIE

So, I can’t say for everyone, but from my personal experience and a friend’s experience you get your NIE printed on your Spanish VISA. This is something new and I’m not sure when this started, but my friend (from Canada) got our Visas in July 2015, and we had our NIEs printed on the VISA. So, I’d assume that this is the case for you too. So, you can easily open a bank account! Because most banks ask for your NIE number. Anyway, it doesn’t really help with the TIE process.

NIE is some sort of National ID number, so students with visas lasting less than 180 days are chill (Don’t read anymore). But, when you apply for a longer visa, then you get a 3 month visa (sounds weird, no?). This has to be extended for 1 year. That’s why you need the TIE. The TIE will be your VISA/residence permit. It’ll have your NIE, too. Hahaha. So, you guys have to get to this place (I went there too because no one was there to help me out. Lol. Not so lol):

BRIGADA PROVINCIAL DE EXTRANJERÍA Y DOCUMENTACIÓN
Avenida de los Poblados, s/n
28024 – MADRID
Phone: 91-322 86 82/ 85 85
91-322 85 29/ 67 / 68 / 69 / 70 (teléfonos para cita previa)
Open Hours: from 9.00 to 13.00 h from Monday to Friday
Metro: Empalme, Aluche

Because I got to know that I don’t need it anymore, I didn’t investigate further. The place is super crowded so be on time. Read this awesome write-up by “My City Life Madrid” guys for the steps:

http://www.citylifemadrid.com/getting-legal-becoming-an-official-student-resident-of-spain/

 

Best

Ayush GUPTA

Spanish Visa (application from India)

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If you’re applying from France, then the school might be able to help you. From what I have heard, the process in Paris is pretty slick.
But, the people sitting behind the glass windows at Spanish Embassy in Delhi, India have no clue about.. well anything.

Challenges at the Embassy

1. I saw some students being harassed for bringing their admission letters in English; they were sent back several times.
2. Some got harassed for not bringing enough documents to support their finances, even though they had a lot of documents!
3. The issue of the PCC – the police clearing certificates for every country you’ve resided in in the last 5 years! The people at the embassy don’t know that you don’t need it if you go for less than 6 months!!! I was sent back. I went to the French Embassy for help. They gave me a link to apply for it (because they were awesome! Always remember that you should speak with the natives (French people at the French Embassy and so on…) at the embassies in India; the Indians working their are clueless and well… mostly useless! I applied for the PCC and received mine in about 2-3 weeks. But luckily I found this document online that lists all the documents you need for the Spanish Visa and took it as proof with me to the embassy that I don’t need the PCC and things were sorted 🙂
4. The embassy is fairly unorganised so be on time and also notice their schedule. Somedays they’re open for collection, some for legalisation and some for applications
5. The security guy is a poor man and has to take all the blame because of the clueless people inside. Don’t get mad at him 🙂

*Just another issue that I face (or thought I faced) because of some confusion:
I read a document somewhere that stated that you can’t enter the Schengen Countries for at least 3 months after your residence permit in any of the Schengen Countries has expired. My French Residence Permit was expiring before my Spanish Visa’s commencement and this was annoying. DON’T WORRY :D. It only applies for travel and not for student visas. So, ignore this document if you find it somewhere. Haha

Amazing support from ESCP

1. Elena Potie helped me like crazy for all my Visa woes by fetching information about the Spanish, French and German Visas so that I can just somehow come back to Europe and resume my studies!
2. Laura Garcia and Alberto Martinez at the Madrid Campus helped me by answering my 87 calls and 63 emails! 😛 They even called the embassy in India to get their s**t together and urgent-couriered me documents several times to India!

Application Procedure:

1. Now, don’t apply for a 1 year visa unless you’re going to Spain for 1 year or you can manage to get all the extra documents

2. Here’s the list of documents you’ll need (check the 90-180 days section for your less-than-6month Visa)
http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/india/pdf/Student_visa_16.03.12.pdf

3. No appointment needed. Just go their with everything mentioned in the list + any extra documents that might make your case stronger

4. Don’t forget to carry a copy of the list as proof. Again, they don’t know anything and need to be reminded. Use the list! Be polite!

5. They’re supposed to call or text you to inform you about the collection, but they might forget. This happened with me and the 10 other people I met their. They didn’t just inform us. Haha. Just visit the embassy in 21 days if you don’t get a call/ text within that period. They made us wait their for about 5 hours and finally handed us the passports with the VISA 😀

Some extra notes:

1. Make a cover letter in English and Spanish. If you don’t, then they’ll make you prepare on right there. It’s better to take a printed one which mentions all the documents you’re attaching and their purpose
2. Also mention the exact dates of your study
3. Put your Spanish Address (ESCP will help you with the address :D)
4. If you have a French Social Security and/ or a mutuelle, then you may not need a separate insurance. This was my case, so I attached a copy of an attestation by LMDE that mentions that it covers me indefinitely in Spain. Don’t sweat if you don’t have it; just take an Indian insurance; they not so expensive anyway (note: you can only choose the insurance companies mentioned here – http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/india/pdf/Indian_insurance_companies_020915.pdf)
5. You don’t have to get any legalisation and translations for your documents if you’re applying for the 6 month Visa. So, ignore the students (you’ll become really close friends with them btw. You’ll have to stand their in the scorching sun for hours) you’d meet outside the embassy who are applying for longer visas! 😛

Cheers!

Ayush GUPTA

Charpak Scholarship!

Bonjour à tous!

So I woke on Tuesday morning only to find out that I had just received a charpak scholarship. Why am I posting this after 2 days? Because I was pre-spending all my scholarship money haha :p

For those of you who don’t know what charpak scholarship is:

The Charpak scholarship program is run by the French Embassy in India. It offers three types of funding:

The Internship program
This program is designed for engineering and pure sciences students at the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels who plan to train at French Institutions during their academic break (May to July).

The Exchange program
This program is designed for exchange students for a period of one to four months (duration of an academic semester) at the Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level.

The Master’s program
This program is designed for one to two years of studies in France at the Master’s degree level

This scholarship is named after Georges Charpak (1924 – 2010)

Georges Charpak was a French Physicist who was awarded the Nobel    Prize in Physics in 1992. During World War II, Georges Charpak served in the French Resistance. He was deported at the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau when he was 20 years old. Georges Charpak survived and received his PhD in Nuclear Physics at the age of 30 from the College de France. His later findings were of considerable significance for the advancement of civil nuclear engineering and biomedicine. After receiving his Nobel Prize, Georges Charpak became a tireless advocate of the “hands on” approach science in elementary schools. His work lives on in tens of thousands of classrooms in France today.

The application is selected on the basis of:

Excellent academic record
to date, as well as the consistency and quality of the statement of purpose. Knowledge of French is definitely an asset. For master’s scholarship applicants, a tie-up between your current Indian institution and your future French Institution will also
be an asset. Fluency in writing and speaking English is mandatory.

This is what a Charpak scholarship holder receives:

•Free student visa, including CEF fee waiver
•Monthly stipend of 615 euros
for up to 10 months (= 1 academic year)
•Medical insurance coverage
•Access to student housing
if available, or partial funding of your housing expenses (230 to 280 euros monthly, depending on the city of residence in France)
•Full tuition waiver at public universities
Partial tuition waivers may be granted by other institutions, according to their individual policies.

Although that’s already quite a lot, you get another, very essential gift – the name of a French embassy scholarship in your CV/résumé!

So all this becomes yet another reason for you to consider studying in France. Taking up some French language courses, as I’ve emphasised before, increase your chances of getting this prestigious scholarship.

Thanks for reading this post, and please apply for this scholarship when you chose to study in France! 😀

Ciao
Ayush Gupta ( AG )

Visa Process!

Bonjour à tous,

Applying for the visa is one of the most important steps after you’ve received an offer from a university. It is recommended to apply at least 20 – 25 days before your expected date of departure. You will initially receive a visa for the first 3 months only and then you’d have to get it extended for a year once you’ve reached France. You can check out the following checklist of required documents:

  • Long stay application form duly filled and signed
  • Two passport size photographs of the past 3 months meeting set standards – one must be attached to the application form (Size 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, with clear background).
  • Passport: a full national private passport or official travel document with a minimum of three months validity beyond the validity of the requested visa, with two blank visa pages face to face with the mention “visa” to affix the visa sticker. The passport should be issued less than 10 years ago.
  • One copy of the passport mentioning personal identity and validity extension information, “note on remarks” page and all the pages which contain Schengen visas.
  • Old passports: if you own one or more former passports, you must bring them.
  • A print out of your Campus France ID number (No objection certificate)
  • A letter of registration from a French Academic Institution or a certificate testifying that you will follow an European Union Training Programme or proof of scholarship.
  • Cover letter explaining the study project, duration of your studies, scholarship details, your financial support, and your motivation to study in France.
  • A short curriculum vitae.
  • Proof of resources: tuition fees + a minimum of 615 Euros/month x by number of months of stay (living expenses). Only liquid assets will be considered. In the case of family member/friend funding your studies, an undertaking must be provided on plain paper duly signed along with supporting financial documents. Bank statements of the last 3 months (of the individual sponsoring the education and the student’s bank statements if he/she has an account in his/her name). If you are being hosted by a family in France, an “Attestation d’accueil” will have to be provided by the family (A sample of this document may be downloaded from http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/R10751.xhtml). In such a case you will have to show resources for a minimum of 300 euros per month for your living expenses. Note: holders of a scholarship are not concerned. A certificate mentioning the amount and the duration of the scholarship is only required.
  • Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid for France for the first 3 months (you will have to get a full social security once you’ve reached France)
  • One copy of your round trip ticket if you are studying 6 months or less (+ 1 photocopy) or a one way ticket only if you are studying in France more than 6 months (+ 1 photocopy)
  • The “Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration” OFII form duly filled and signed. Download the OFII form from www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/IMG/pdf/LS-01d_formulaire_ofii.pdf
  • Accommodation during the first three months of the stay. Proof of residency in France such as a lease, electricity bill, title of property etc. for a minimum of 3 months + 1 photocopy. Hotel: reservation and necessary resources to cover costs. Accommodation provided by an individual: “attestation d’accueil”, or attestation by solemn undertaking (in this case, the copies of identity card and electricity bill and receipt for rent payment or title of property must been provided). Accommodation in an establishment (or in an institution) or provided by an establishment (or an institution): attestation by the establishment or the institution.
  • Copies of the degree and diplomas, certificates

Note: I would recommend that you also take photocopies of all the above mentioned documents asking with you to the Visa authority.

IMPORTANT: this list is specific to Indian applicants and may differ a little for applicants from other countries. I would also try to contact students from a few other countries and make a cumulative list.

Merci
Ayush Gupta ( AG )

Flight bookings

Salut tout le monde,

This is a short informational post for international students. As you would be carrying a lot of luggage, don’t forget to insist on getting extra baggage allowance or any other students specific schemes with you carrier. I, along with two other friends, have booked my ticket through Qatar Airways and they are providing us with 40kg allowance, as opposed to just 23kg for regular passengers.

Some carriers may not provide extra baggage, but compensate by giving discounts on the airfare or discounts on extra baggage charges and some may not have any offers at all. The carriers generally ask for a scanned copy of your “Offer letter from the School” to provide you with a student offer.

PS: I’d recommend that you choose an airlines which provides some student scheme, preferably for extra baggage.

 

Ciao

Ayush Gupta (AG)

More info from ESCP

Salut, tout le monde!
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We have recently received one more email from ESCP. The email contains the following attachments:

– Housing in Paris (version in English and French)
– Ways to finance your studies

All the attachments received from the school are posted on the Facebook Group for ESCP 2013 MIM Intake. I would post the documents here once I get permission from the school to do so.

 

Ayush Gupta (AG)

ESCP in the news

Bon matin!!!

this morning, I saw an article on ESCP in one of India’s Leading newspapers, Hindustan Times.
The article was printed in HT Education, which is a sub-paper dedicated on education. The article, drafted by Ayesha Banerjee, lays emphasis on the fact that ESCP is the world’s oldest business school. There are articles on HEC and INSEAD as well, but we’ll focus on the one on ESCP. I’m attaching a scan below. Go Through it! 😀

ESCP

Cheers
Ayush Gupta (AG)

A New Hope

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Bonsoir,

Enfin, we have received another email from ESCP Open-mouthed smile

The mail was dispatched by Ms. Eponine TURMEL from the international admissions council. She has been of great help and has been very prompt in responding to mails and phone calls. This email contained 3 attachments, namely:

  • The Welcome Booklet,
  • The Academic Calendar of the program
  • The Application form to rent a room at the Vivaldi Residence

The welcome booklet is particularly very useful and explains:

  1. The Visa process
  2. What to do and where to go on arrival
  3. Accommodation and other living expenses
  4. Administrative formalities
  5. Health and other medical aids in France
  6. Must see places and must do things in Paris

So, basically it’s a pretty extensive 23 page Paris guide for students Open-mouthed smile

Also, please check out the academic calendar to get a clear idea about the exam date sheet and more importantly, the ample breaks (Autumn, Christmas, Winter and Spring).

If you would want to apply to Le Vivaldi residence, then fill the form and send it to the email address mentioned on the form and not to Ms. Turmel. The rent is quite steep at first, but that’s the only choice we have right now. The rooms get booked really quickly, so send the form back ASAP.

Apart from these attachments, Ms. Turmel states that there will be a short test on 19th August at 2pm that will help the college decide the group that we fit in the best for the Intensive French classes from 20th August to 23rd August. We will also get compulsory French courses throughout the year. Then, there was something about a French reader who would help us in some way; but I couldn’t really understand that Smile with tongue out.  The mail also mentions that the Intranet login will be provided by the school next week.

There’s also a link for job surveys: Click here for First job survey

Ayush Gupta (AG)

Why France?

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Bonsoir!

So, I have been getting this question a lot lately; mostly from family and friends. Why France?

My answer: Why not? Smile with tongue out

Anyway, on a very serious note, there are plenty of reasons to study in France. Paris in particular. I’ll list some of the reasons I can think of, maintenant (right now), but not in order of priority:

1. Positioned right in the middle of the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. To make it more awesome Europe itself is in the middle of Asia and the Americas Open-mouthed smile. So you’ve got all the major companies and brands at your disposal after your graduation.

2. If you want to get a masters degree and don’t have enough work experience for an MBA, then France and its Grande Ecole/ Masters in Management Programmes are the best choice. These are considered better than MBA in France and are not just money minting 10  month courses available elsewhere in the world, which, according to me,  aren’t as comprehensive.

3. Opportunity to take up internships between the course!

4. City of lights. I hope you guys know that it’s called the city of lights not because of the lights, but because of the “education” and the “ideas”. Okay, they also adopted “street lights” quite early. But you got my point, right? (Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris)

5. Paris is voted as the best city for students. (Ref. http://www.topuniversities.com/city-rankings/2012)

6. You get to learn a foreign language, which is spoken officially in 29 countries (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_French_is_an_official_language)

7. And…… you stay in France and experience the French way of life, the French culture and obviously the French cuisine.

Ayush Gupta (AG)