Canada Study Visa : Eligibility, Documents and Application Process
About 100,000 students flock to Canada each year to study in Canadian universities. If you get admitted to any vocational, professional or academic training course at any Canadian educational institute, you would need to have a study permit prior to your entering the country. The study permit gets issued to all the students at their arrival in Canada.
One must keep in mind that he/she would first have to apply for Temporary Resident Visa that is given by the Canadian High Commission and is facilitated by Visa Application Centers. Canada has recently come up with Student Direct Stream (SDS) which is a fast-track procedure for the student permit applications of the students who are the legal citizens of China, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines. If you need more information about the difference between Study Permit and Student Visa you can read this article here. In short, a student visa is basically a document that grants you permission to enter a country and stay there for a particular time period. A study permit, on the other hand, lets you work or study in that country legally.
Majority of universities in Canada prefer student with marks more than 60% in +2 and above. However there are certain universities which do accept students with lower marks. The criteria for minimum marks changes from university to university.
In general, 6.5 is the overall band for a minimum score is required for IELTS. No band below 6 would be preferred. Students applying for the programs like Undergraduate Nursing might need an IELTS 7 with a minimum of 6.5 in listening and reading as well as a 7 in speaking and writing.
Most of the universities in Canada accept both IELTS and TOEFL. Both of them are acceptable. As per your convenience and choice, you can opt for either of the exams. However, it is recommended that you go through the eligibility criteria of every university before appearing for the exams.
First step is to have an acceptance letter from a college. Once you have that you now be eligible to apply for student visa. If your aim is at the intake of January, start your visa procedure by Oct. The documents that you need are as follow:
In order to apply for the study permit, you need a valid passport. As per the Canadian High Commission, having a passport with a validity which extends to cover your stay in Canada is very important. For example, if you are planning to visit Canada in Jan 2020 for a course of two years, your passport needs to be valid until Jan 2022 at least.
Proof of Acceptance
You require a letter of acceptance for the educational institution that you plan on attending. The university needs to be a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) which means, it needs to be recognized by the Immigration Department. If you are to apply for a university at Quebec, you would additionally require a CAQ.
Passport Size Photographs
In case of offline applicants, two passport-sized recent (not older than six months) photographs of a minimum size of 35 mm x 45 mm will be required. Online applicants need to submit a digital picture of not more than 4MB. The photograph needs to be with a plain background, neutral facial expressions and no headgear (except religious reasons).
Immigration Medical Examination
All the international students must undergo the mandatory IME from certified doctors. The students are required to visit the doctor for the IME, ideally a week prior to proceeding with their Visa applications. This would give ample amount of time to the doctor for validating and uploading the necessary documents.
You will have to undergo a complete medical examination wherein the doctor may ask you to get chest x-rays and some laboratory tests down. After the completion of your exam, the doctor will forward the results to the CIC.
English Language Proficiency Exam Marks
Even though it is not compulsory during the time you apply, it is highly recommended to appear for as well as obtain the English Language Proficiency Score before you begin with the process of your Visa application. Submission of the score is anyway needed for confirming your admission to the universities of Canada.
Statement of Purpose
When you apply for the Canadian Study Permit, you will be asked to submit an essay that would state the purpose behind your trip to Canada and your reason(s) behind opting for the specific institute. This would be used as an optional document within the checklist but it is highly advisable that you submit it.
Proof of Funds
During the application procedure for the study permit, you would need to show the proof of funds. According to the current standards, the students need to prove that they possess enough funds for paying the tuition fee as well as manage their living expenses for 1 year. As per the Canadian Immigration, a student would need a minimum of CAD$ 10,000 a year for their stay. Alongside this, students would also need to prove that they possess enough money to manage their return fairs too.
At the time of your personal interview, keep the following documents handy as the interviewer may want to go through them. These would be to prove the evidence of your financial or economic status:
o Degrees, diplomas, certificates or transcripts from the schools you have previously attended
o Marks from exams like GMAT, SAT, GRE or TOEFL
o Your aim of departing from Canada after your course of study is completed
Application Process for Canada Student Visa
There is more than one method for applying for a visa.
Keep the processing time in check
The entire visa application process can take up anywhere from three to four weeks. It is always better to have a look at the Canadian consulate website for knowing the approximate time that the process would take. However, the time displayed on the site would never be a guarantee; it would just be a rough estimate.
Decide the method of applying
You can apply in two ways:
For applying online, one needs an access to a camera or scanner for creating digital copies of the required documents. You would also need a credit card as debit cards would not be accepted. Also, you need to give a finger scanning at regional VAC. The online applicants would also have to go to the VFS office for handing out the passports as well as the confirmation of form and fees payment too.
For this, you need to download the application kit and go through the instructional guide. It would have all the important information related to study permits as well as guidelines for helping you in completing the application. Read it carefully and put the document checklist to use.
Fill the VFS Consent Form and then get it attached to the application form. This form is needed for getting the VFS service assistance in the process of visa filling.
Deposit the processing fee
When you submit the application through VFS, by mail or in person, the visa pay needs to be deposited along with the charges of VFS Global service. The processing fee will be non-refundable in every case.
In case your children, /spouse/common-law partner accompany you and you are to apply for temporary resident visas, study permits or work permits for them, you would have to deposit the processing fee for them as well.
Get your application and supporting documents submitted
Visit a VFS office for paying the service charges and giving them your application to get the receipt. The receipt would have your unique tracking number that will be needed tracking the application progress online.
If your application gets approved, you will get a notification from the Canada Government, asking for your passport. Submit the passport as well as passport request letter via VFS or in person. You would be given a Letter of Introduction and a Temporary Resident Visa.
Contact details of Canadian authorities
Here are some of the important contact details to ease your application process:
Canadian High Commission
VFS Canada Telephone: 022-67866002
Processing time in India to get Canada Student Visa
The regular study visa applicants in India have to wait for 5-7 weeks to get their applications processed. However, if you apply via Student Direct Stream, the procedure will be really fast. One thing you need to remember that the busiest months of the year are from March to June. Apply early for the visa so that you get a response on time.
The study visas which usually get rejected are the ones received after the 15th of August for the programs starting in September. It is always wise to apply at the earliest.
As per the CIC website, the cost of a study permit for Canada is CAD$ 150, which converts to around INR 7,845. Applications for the same are available both offline and online. You can even pay the processing fees via either of the modes; via a demand draft (if paying offline to the High Commission of Canada), through a credit card (for online transactions) or you can even deposit the cash at VAC. The fee needs to be paid after the submission of the application or when you are provided with a fee receipt of your online payment.
An important thing to note is that the visa fee mentioned above doesn’t include the service charges of VAC. The additional charges have to be paid as per the region. Once the payment is received, a receipt will then be issued.
Immigration Opportunities for Indian students in Canada
The immigration program of Canadian Experience Class encourages the international students who are graduating from Canadian Colleges/universities for taking temporary residence, or may as well become permanent residents of the country.
For becoming a permanent resident of Canada, one needs to work for at least a year in the country with the possession of a work permit. To validate this, the job must be qualified as a Skill Type 0 or a Skill Level A or B occupation categorized under the NOC system.
Job opportunities after graduation in Canada?
All the international students who graduate from the universities of Canada are highly encouraged to take up jobs in the nation. The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program let you work for a maximum of three years by offering a work period for a time period equivalent to your course’s duration. For example, if you are completing a one-year course, the Permit Program will grant you a one-year Post Graduation Work Permit. You can then work wherever you like and can also switch your job. You need to apply within ninety days of completing graduation.
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