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Canada Student Visa Guide

Canada continues to attract a steady volume of students from India. While getting admission to Top Universities in Canada continues to require excellent academic score, the permission to study is validated by means of a Study Permit. If you wish to take academic, professional or vocational training at a university, college or other educational institution in Canada, you will need a study permit before you enter Canada. This study permit is issued to students when they arrive in Canada. However, to get there, a student must first apply for a Temporary Resident Visa which is provided by the Canadian High Commission and facilitated by the Visa Application Centers. VFS Global Services are the designated VACs for Canadian Visa.

What is the Visa Fee for Canada?

Study permit for Canada costs CAD$ 150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 7,400 (as shared on the CIC Website) as per 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.

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 2016 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least September 2018.

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. 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.

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.

4. 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)

5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

Canadian Immigration requires international students from India undergo a compulsory Immigration Medical Examination from empanelled doctors. Students would have to book and 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.

6. 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.

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 $150. 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

How to Apply for a Canadian Visa for Study

There are several steps to apply for a visa.

  1. Check the processing times – The visa application cycle might take anywhere from 3-4 weeks. It is advisable to go through the Canadian consulate website to know the approximate time taken to process the student visa. Please note that the time shown is not a guarantee and is just an estimate.
  2. Determine how you will apply. There are two ways to apply:
    (a) Apply online
    To apply online you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. You will still be required to provide a finger scan at the regional Visa Application Centre (VAC). Remember, in the case of Online Application you need to visit the VFS offices to hand your passports and would have to provide the confirmation of form and fee payment as well. the steps would only vary in terms of documents you need to carry to the VAC.
    (b) Apply in person
    Download the application kit and read the instruction guide. The instruction guide contains important information about study permits and instructions to help you complete your application. Read the guide carefully and use the document checklist.
  3. Fill out the VFS Consent Form and attach it with your application form.  You need this form to get the assistance of VFS services for your visa filing process.
  4. Pay the processing fee – Note that when submitting an application via the VFS, in person or by mail, visa fees must be paid in addition to VFS Global service charges. The processing fee is non-refundable in all cases.
  5. If your spouse/common-law partner and/or children are accompanying you and you are applying for temporary resident visas, work permits or study permits for them, then you will need to pay the appropriate processing fees for them.
  6. Submit your application and supporting documents – You have to visit the nearest VFS office. Once you are there, pay the service charges and hand them your complete application to obtain a receipt. This receipt contains your unique tracking number which you will need to track the progress of your application online.
  7. In case your application is approved you will receive notification from the Government of Canada requesting for your passport. You can submit the passport and passport request letter in person or through VFS. You would be provided with a Temporary Resident Visa and a Letter of Introduction.

 

Getting the Study Permit

You are required to carry the Letter of Introduction along with all the specified documents to Canada. At the airport, you would be met with an Immigration Officer. Present the Passport and the Letter of Introduction to the border control agency officer who would then validate the same and if found adequate, issue you your Study Permit.

Dependents 

Spouses can accompany full-time students on a Dependent visa. You only need to show that adequate funds are available for their support. Spouses can also work full time if his/her stay is for a year or more.

In some cases, you may apply for an open work permit if you will be accompanying your spouse or common-law partner to Canada. With an open work permit, you may find and accept any job when you get to Canada. You do not need a job offer or a positive labor market impact assessment to apply for your work permit.

Am I allowed to work on a Canadian Study Permit?

You do not need a separate Work Permit to work while studying in Canada. On a valid study permit, you are allowed to work on-campus and off- campus. Off campus, you are allowed to work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week during term. Apart from these, you

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student with a designated institute of higher learning, and
  • Remain enrolled in an academic, vocational or professional training program that is six months or longer and that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

Post Study Work Permits for Canada

The eligibility criteria to get a Post Study Work Permit are as follows:

  • You should have pursued a full-time course in Canada.
  • The length of your course should have been more than 8 months.
  • You must have graduated from either a public post-secondary institution or a private post-secondary institution or
  • You should apply for the work permit within three months (90 days) after receiving an official letter saying that you have successfully completed your education from the institute.
  • You will be given the work permit only if you have a student visa.
  • You cannot get a work permit longer than your course duration. If your course duration was eight months, then you will receive a work permit for eight months. If your course duration was more than two years, then you may receive a work permit for three years.

Where to Apply for a Study Permit for Canada

VFS Global manages the Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC) in India, CVAC is authorized to provide administrative support services, such as; the collection of visa applications, and return of passports in sealed decision envelopes to applicants. CVAC can also assist in scheduling interviews on behalf of the Canada visa office.

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