motivation letter for student visa application

How to Write a Motivation Letter for Student Visa Application With 2 Free Samples

A motivation letter for student visa application should summarize your application and show your genuine interest in pursuing academics in the specified country. It should convince the immigration officials that you will be able to sustain yourself financially during the stay. Without a strong financial backing, it is presumed that you will fall into financial hard times and lose focus.

It is important to indicate that you have strong ties back home to come back to when you finish your studies. Family ties, employment contract or a business enterprise you run back at home will make a strong case for your commitment to return home upon the expiry of your study visa.

How to write a cover letter for a student visa/ what to include in student visa motivation letter

Usually, a letter of motivation is not required in all circumstances. However, certain embassies require it to be submitted together with the visa application form. In this case, you need to ensure that you do your best to provide a comprehensive summary for your application.

Here are some key elements of a good motivation letter:

  • Properly formatted with;
    • An introduction that explains the purpose of the application.
    • An overview of how you qualified for the scholarship and if you already have a placement at the institution of study. This proves that you are an actual student.
    • How you will sustain yourself while studying overseas.
    • A commitment to come back home when you finish your studies.
    • Enclosure section.
  • Make sure to write in formal and professional tone.
  • Maintain uniformity of personal information/details across all your documents.
  • Include proof of permanent residence in your country of origin.
  • Proof-read your work and correct errors.

Is it mandatory to have your student visa application letter notarized?

It is not required (unless expressly stated) to have your motivation letter for student visa application notarized. However, notarization adds a layer of confidence to your application as it proves that the information you have provided is credible and you are who you are claiming to be. If you can access a notary public in your region, you can consider getting your documents notarized.

The Anatomy of Student Visa Motivation Letter

Here are the details the consulate officials are looking for in your student visa motivation letter:

a) Introduction

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Give evidence of your accepted application at the university of choice. Attach the acceptance letter.
  • List any work experience you have in the field, if any. Attach letter from employer.

b) Statement of purpose

  • Make a strong case for pursuing the chosen course/training. How will it help you bridge the career opportunity gaps in your field? How will it contribute to your career advancement/change when you return home?
  • Also make a strong case why you chose to go to the specific school. What benefits will this school offer you?

c) Financial information

  • They want to know how you will cover your tuition, living expenses, medical and other overheads. Attach receipts for payments you have already made if you will be footing expenses from own pocket. Otherwise, attach the commitment letter from your sponsor.
  • You can also include a statement on the arrangements you have made for accommodation near the school or if you will be living with a relative/friend. Attach their invitation/commitment letter.
  • List your funds and attach bank statements with addresses and contact information. This adds a layer of confidence that you not run into hard times and end up dropping from school and becoming another undocumented immigrant in the streets.

d) Assurance of returning

  • This is particularly important. The officials want an assurance that you have a strong enough reason to come back to your country after studies.
  • You can show family ties (marriage, children) by attaching copy of marriage certificate, family photos, etc.
  • You can also attach a copy of your contract with the company that has offered you a job upon returning to the country. If you don’t have a contract, you can attach a letter of commitment with contact information.

e) Concluding remarks

  • Reiterate that the information you have provided is accurate and valid. Provide contact details should they have any question/need further clarification.
  • Show gratitude.

How to Format Your Motivation Letter for Student Visa Application

I cannot overemphasize the importance of brevity enough. The immigration officials evaluate hundreds of applications on a daily basis. Make sure your letter covers the essential requirements for a visa qualification and addresses all of the specific requirements outlined on the application information page.

Official letter writing rules apply. There are many templates you can use but I have optimized a simple template for you to use.

Your Full Name
Passport Details [Number & Expiry Date]


[Name of Embassy Official – usually the Ambassador]
[Title of the Office Holder]
[Embassy Name] in [Country]
[Address of the Embassy]

Subject: Student Visa Request for [Destination Country]

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is [Full Name] and I would like to submit my request for a Student Visa which will allow me to study [Chosen Course/Major] at [University/College], [Address of University/College] with the aim of obtaining my [Diploma/Degree/PhD], from [Start Date] to [End Date] as per the Institution’s Academic Calendar.

I graduated from [Your University/College] in [Year] with a [Diploma/Degree in Field of Specialization]. Getting this opportunity will help me [describe what you want to accomplish]. [Itemized expenses] will be covered by [describe funding source as per the enclosed evidence].

Please find the following documents enclosed:

  • [List all the attached documents in bullets]

I duly certify that all the documents presented with this motivation letter are legally acquired. [You can also indicate if the documents have been notarized].

Upon completion of my studies, I commit to come back to [Your Country] and implement everything I have learned to [describe the change you wish to make with the new skills]. [Here is where you can also indicate if you have a job offer waiting for you when you return].

Should you need any other information to facilitate the process, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience via [Phone Number]. Thank you for taking your time to review this application.



Your Name

Sample Follow-up Letter for Student Visa Application

Sometimes the embassy may delay to relay feedback on the progress of your application, and you may need to send a follow up letter to establish the status of the application. This may happen when there is a backlog of applications, for instance, there was a backlog when the embassies resumed activities immediately the travel restrictions were lifted during the Covid19 pandemic in 2020.

Make sure to capture the necessary details about your application, like the reference number or the passport number and expiration date for easy tracking of your files. Maintain a level head and be courteous even as you send the follow up letter. Thank them for taking their time to help you.

By this time, you shall have known the name of the corresponding consulate official, so, addressing the letter will not be a problem. Here is a simple format you can follow to send a follow up letter to establish the status of your student visa application:

Your Full Name
Your Address
Passport Details [Number & Expiry Date]


[Name of Embassy Official]
[Title of the Office Holder]
[Embassy Name] in [Country]
[Address of the Embassy]

Subject: Student Visa Follow-up for [Reference Number]

Dear [Officer’s Name],

I hope your day is good and this letter finds you well. My name is [Your Name] and I am following up to find out the current status of my student visa application, which was filed on [Date].

Should you require any other information to facilitate the process, kindly do not hesitate to contact me on [Phone Number] at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your kind consideration of this matter.



[Your Name]

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Motivation Letter for Student Visa Application

No one is immune to making mistakes. However, certain mistakes can ruin your chances of getting a student visa to pursue your studies abroad. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for when writing student visa motivation letter:

  • The letter is too long. Immigration officials receive hundreds of applications every week. They are not interested in your life history.
  • Make sure to capture the correct names and addresses of all the universities/countries applied to.
  • This is a formal letter. Rules of formal writing (font face, font style, spacing, tone, etc.) still apply. Address your letter to “Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern”; avoid assumptions. Be succinct.
  • Write the letter from the first person’s perspective. It is proper that way.
  • Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes. Use assistive technology (like grammar checker) if you have to.
  • Keep your letter career-oriented and show how your academic pursuit will enhance your career development when you return home.
  • Be transparent and make your intentions known. Make it clear that you will return home after finishing your studies.
  • Sign your letter.


When planning to study abroad, start your preparations early to avoid any mishaps that may crop up along the way. Make sure to take ample time on the applications to avoid submitting forms riddled with avoidable mistakes.

Write a comprehensive but succinct cover letter, and possibly have it notarized, to spell out your objectives, motivation for pursuing further studies and commitment to return home upon completion of your studies.

If the embassy takes too long to respond to your application, you can send a follow up seeking to understand the status of your application. Follow the tips provided here and use the provided templates to optimize your application.

In case you need any help with your application, get in touch and I will help you. Best wishes in your academic pursuits abroad!

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