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Canada offers a high quality, research oriented education which is recognized worldwide. Canadian Universities are ranked in top 100 worldwide and over 100,000 international students enrolled last year. It is compulsory for all foreign students to obtain a student authority and visa before migrating to study in Canada. A student must also meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration Act and Regulations under normal circumstances.
Which Documents are required for Canadian Visa?
You should apply for the student visa after you get the college acceptance letter. You should begin with the visa process around June if aiming at the September intake. Following are the documents needed to apply.
1. Valid Passport
You would need a Valid Passport to be able to apply for a Study Permit. As of the Canadian High Commission, it is important that you have a passport which validity that extends to cover the intended stay in Canada. For instance, if you plan to travel to Canada in September 2019 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least September 2021.
2. Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
You would need the acceptance letter from the university/institute you are planning to attend. A Designated Learning Institute is the University which is recognized by the Immigration Department. (Here’s a list for your reference). In case you are applying for Quebec, you would also need a CAQ which you would be duly notified.
3. Passport Size Photographs
If you have opted for offline application, you would need two passport sized photographs that conform to the given standards. For online application, you must procure a digital copy of the photograph which should not be more than 4MB. Other requirements are standard about neutral facial expression, plain background as well as no headgear (unless for religious purposes). Note:
- Size of the image should be at least 35 mm x 45 mm
- Image should be recent (not older than 6 months)
4. Proof of Funds
At the time of application for your Study Permit, you would have to show proof of funds. As per the present standards, you would have to prove that you would have enough funds to pay our tuition fees as well as take care of living expended. The Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least Canadian $10,000 for every year of your stay. Apart from the above two, the student would also have to prove that he/she has enough funds for a return fair as well.
5. English Language Proficiency Exam Score
Though not mandatory to have at the time of application, we strongly recommend that you have appeared for and get your English Language Proficiency Score before you start your Visa Application Process. As it is, you would have had to submit your English language proficiency score to confirm your admission to the Canadian University. TOEFL, IELTS, etc. are all acceptable.
6. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
Canadian Immigration requires international students from India to undergo a compulsory Immigration Medical Examination from empanelled doctors. Students would have to book an appointment and visit the listed doctors for a medical examination, preferably a week before they start their Visa Application. This is to give the doctor enough time to validate and upload the necessary documents. Booking an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/ practitioner as per the list of empanelled doctors is always advised. The panel physician will perform a complete medical exam and may refer you for chest x-rays and laboratory tests. Once your exam has been completed, the physician will send the results to CIC.
7. Statement of Purpose
When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you would be required to submit an essay stating the purpose of your trip to Canada and why you have chosen the particular institution. This would be prompted as an optional document in the checklist but we strongly recommend that you submit the same.
8. Credit Card
In case you are making an online application, you would also require a credit card to pay the application fee. The Visa Application Fee for Canada is CAD $160. Please remember that the system only accepts credit cards and not debit cards. Also, it is not necessary that it is your credit card. You can use your parent’s cards as well, provided you have the explicit permission to do so.
Apart from the above, if applying online, you would need access to a digital scanner. However, if you are applying offline, you should have true copies of all the above-mentioned documents. It is important to note that while applying online, you would be required to download a few documents, fill them, print them, sign them and then upload them. Accordingly, the availability of the scanner must be arranged. The system also allows you to upload a good quality digital image. We, however, recommend a scanner to a camera.
During the personal interview, additional documents may be requested by the interviewer. These may be documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status. These may include:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
- Scores from tests, such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Your intent to depart from Canada upon completion of the course of study
- How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs
Note: While filling the application form, you would have to show the proof of fees paid as well as the stipulated cost of living @ CAD 10,000. If you are applying for Quebec you require at least CAD 11,000 for every year of your stay. Kindly allow a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks for your visa to be processed.
Steps on How to Apply
1. Decide on a university to apply to and get your acceptance letter
If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Canada, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a Canadian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.
2.Check if you need a student visa for Canada
You don’t need a study visa (or study permit) for Canada if you are in one of the following situations:
- You are a family or staff member of a foreign representative in Canada, who is accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
- You enroll in a programme that lasts less than six months
- You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act
- You are a citizen of another country, but you have an Indian status registered in Canada
However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.
3. Start your application for the Canadian student visa
As soon as you got the acceptance letter from the university, it is time to proceed to the next step: applying for a student visa, which is locally known as a student permit.
The first steps to obtain your student visa:
- Apply online for your Canadian student visa, on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before you arrive in Canada;
- In countries with limited internet access it’s also possible to apply for visa on paper;
- Provide an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (a university recognized by the Canadian government);
- Deliver proof of sufficient financial resources to support your studies in Canada (tuition fees and living expenses);
- Have no criminal record;
- Submit clinical records that state you are in good health and complete medical examinations if required.
According to recent visa regulations, if you have a family member working or applying for a work permit in Canada, the application for your study permit will be processed in two weeks.You may renew or extend your study permit, if you wish to continue your studies or if your programme has an extension or if you change your school. The study permit expires ninety days after your studies are finished when you receive a notification of the programme completion.
Useful tip: check out if your country is on the list of bio-metrics requests for the study permit
4. Prepare all required documents for the student visa in Canada
- Completed application form;
- The original letter of acceptance from the university;
- A valid passport/travel document, which also allows you to return to your home country. If you live in the U.S.A., this is not necessary;
- Two recent passport-size photographs, with specifications of name and date of birth on the back;
- Proof of financial support during your studies that represent: tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec);
- A letter of explanation;
- If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificate d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations for your document, a statement from the translator and a certified copy of the original documents;
- Proof that you paid the study permit fee (150 CAD).
5. Language requirements
Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require you to submit proof of English language proficiency. Accepted language tests are:
- Cambridge English: Advanced
Proof of your language skills is not included on the list of required documents for a Canadian student visa. But it is a good idea to have some proof of English ability, just in case.
6. Bio-metrics appointment and interview
Depending on the requirements for your country, you might have to show up at a Visa Application Centre in your country to have your bio-metrics taken. The bio-metric fee is 85 CAD. This fee is in addition to the regular visa fee. Some countries are exempt from the bio-metrics visit, so it’s likely they won’t need to visit an application center at all.
Depending on your individual situation you might also be called for an interview. Local visa application centres will charge a small fee for using their services.
Cost of Visa Fee for Canada?
Study permit for Canada costs CAD$ 150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 7,845 (as shared on the CIC Website) as per the current exchange rate. Since the exchange rate keeps changing, we would advise you to check the same at the time of your visa application.
Canadian Visa Applications are available both online and offline. As such, the visa processing fees can be made both online (by means of a credit card) or offline (by means of demand draft if paying at the High Commission of Canada) or by cash at the VAC. This fee must be paid when the application is submitted or a fee receipt of online payment provided. The Demand Draft required is to be drawn out in favor of High Commission of Canada in Indian rupees. VACs accept only Cash Payments.
Also, the visa fee mentioned does not include the VAC service charges. You would have to pay the additional service charges as applicable for your region. Also, A receipt will be issued for each payment received. Please keep the receipt as proof of payment.
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