Conditional vs Unconditional Offer Letter of Universities Abroad


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Feb 07, 2023 06:01 PM IST

Getting an admission offer letter from your desired university is like a dream come true. However, sometimes students tend to ignore the type of letter they receive which results in visa rejection as well as a huge waste of time and effort. Read on to find the difference between conditional and unconditional offer letters.

Conditional vs Unconditional Offer Letter of Universities Abroad

So, after applying to various universities abroad, you're done with the application process. Well, wait a few weeks before you receive your offer letter from the university. An offer letter is a type of letter that tells you that you have been accepted for a certain program at a university abroad. It can either be a conditional or an unconditional offer letter from the university.

A conditional offer letter has certain conditions that it has to meet. For instance, it should state that you have at least a B or higher in all your grades. On the other hand, an unconditional offer letter doesn't have any conditions. Instead, it states that your grades have been accepted by the university, whatever they may be.

An unconditional offer letter from the university is usually sent to international students who meet the requirements of the university. However, if you have already submitted all the necessary documents, the university will issue an unconditional offer letter. Confusing, right? Let us break it down for you.

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What is a Conditional Offer Letter?

A conditional offer letter from a university abroad gives conditional admission to a certain student. The student must meet the conditions set by the institution. You can accept the conditional offer letter only once it becomes unconditional. After that, the student must pay the tuition fee and purchase an overseas student health cover.

Many universities have clear guidelines regarding the requirements for admission. Through the conditional offer letter, you can get admitted to the school without any problems. Some of the common points taken into consideration during the segregation of conditional and unconditional offer letters from universities are:

1. Academic Profile:

If you are a class 12th student who has received a conditional offer letter, the university will ask about your requirements to make the letter. If you are planning on studying for a bachelor's degree abroad, the university will ask about the grades that you need to get in order to accept the offer. Similarly, if you have applied for a Master's degree abroad, you will be asked about the Grade Point Average (GPA) you obtained in your Bachelor's degree.

2. Language Conditions:

If you didn't submit your English proficiency test scores when applying, the university may still offer you an offer letter. Most universities require a score of at least 6.5 out of a possible 8.0 on the IELTS exam.

3. Genuity of Applicants:

This is usually the reason why universities ask for this condition. They usually want to know if you're a genuine student. If the answer is yes, the universities will ask for various documents that prove your intention to study in the country along with your prior work experience.

What is an Unconditional Offer Letter?

Students who have already met all of the requirements to take admission to a university receive an unconditional offer letter. This letter means that the university has already accepted you and that you're ready to start applying.

Students should note that even if they accept the unconditional letter, the scores in the exams after admission will not be taken into account. Students are also asked to pay a small fee to the university before they receive their offer letter. The deposit is not the student's tuition fee for the year. It's still required to be paid through a credit or wire transfer.

First, you need to pay the acceptance fee. This usually takes the form of a check or money order made out to the university. Once the acceptance process is complete, the university sends an e-COE letter, which is a required document for visa application.

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Difference Between Conditional and Unconditional Offer Letters

The difference between unconditional and conditional offer letters is enormous. This is why prospective students need to understand the two well before applying to study abroad. The difference between the two can affect the visa application of prospective students.

Conditional Offer Letter Unconditional Offer Letter
It requires students to meet certain requirements. It is offered without any conditions.
Students are generally required to get grades as per the university standard. There is no specification on the type of grade required. It may be low or high.
Offered to students with pending documentation. Offered to students who have completed their documentation.
It causes difficulties in getting a visa approved. It does not affect visa approval formalities in any possible way.

After submitting their application, the next step is to await a response from the school or university to where they applied. The response that a prospective student gets from a school or university can be exciting or frustrating. Some students may also choose to send their applications to several universities.

Hence, when you receive a letter of acceptance, make sure to read it and find out if it is a conditional offer or an unconditional offer. If it says that you have not met the requirements, then it means that you will have to try to meet them in order to get visa approval, which is a conditional offer letter. However, if you get an unconditional offer letter, this means that they have met the requirements and that you will be allowed to travel.

How Long do Universities Take to Give an Offer?

After the students send their applications for admission to their respective courses in the universities, the admission officers review the applications and reply. It may take several days to several months depending on the number of applicants. They will reply in three ways: either they will provide an unconditional offer, a conditional offer or reject your application. The students must not panic about not receiving the offer letter quickly.

Can I Apply For a Visa With a Conditional Offer?

It is always better to file your visa application before you receive a conditional offer letter. This means that you have to make sure that you meet the conditions mentioned in the letter before you travel to a country. Sometimes, students who are in their last year of study may receive a conditional offer letter. However, this doesn't mean they're not required to meet the conditions of the letter.

Different countries have their own visa policies. As a result, some procedures may vary. Slight variations may happen depending on the country's regulations. In most cases, the conditional offer letter should be completed before the visa application can be started.

Even if the visa interview is over, a conditional offer letter can still affect the visa approval process. Regardless of how you performed during the interview, the conditional offer letter can still affect the visa approval process. So, before receiving your offer letter, make sure that it's the best one for you. It can also help you get the most out of your career. Follow all the details of the letter and make sure that you're fully aware of the conditions of the visa.

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Should I arrange for accommodation with a conditional offer letter?

It is not recommended to arrange for accommodation with a conditional offer letter. You must be sure whether you would be studying at that particular university therefore you must first submit all the documents required. However, in the meantime, you may explore the options for accommodation and have initial conversations regarding it. 

What is the next process after receiving a conditional offer letter?

After receiving the conditional offer letter, students must thoroughly go through the conditions written in the letter to understand what documents and formalities are needed to turn the conditional offer letter into an unconditional one. They must ensure that the requirements are fulfilled as early as possible. They can take help from the admission panel to get more insight.

Which processes need to be completed after receiving an unconditional offer letter?

The processes that need to be completed after receiving an unconditional offer letter are applying for scholarships, finding accommodation, applying for a visa, purchasing flight tickets, health insurance etc. As there are several formalities to be completed after receiving the unconditional letter, students must try to meet the eligibility requirements of the universities in the first go. 

How long does it take for a conditional offer to change to unconditional?

The students will get a deadline within which they have to submit the documents so that the conditional offer letter is turned into an unconditional offer letter. The time that students get is usually two to three months. The university reconsiders its decision and reaches them within one to two weeks. 

Why do students receive conditional offer letters?

Students receive conditional offer letters if they are yet to submit some documents. These could be passports, grades or language proficiency scores. Students who are in the final year may require to submit their final academic transcripts before receiving the final offer letter. Some universities also check if the candidates are genuine and so they require them to submit financial documents, SOP or work experience proofs. 

What is the difference between conditional and unconditional offer letters from universities?

The difference between conditional and unconditional offer letters from universities is that in a conditional offer letter, students have to fulfil certain conditions before getting the final offer letter and in the case of the unconditional offer letter students have met all the admission requirements and have been accepted by the university completely. 

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