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Student Visa – International Perspective

International Students require a student visa in order to study in Canada. For a short-term course or program- six months or less, study permit is not required, but if the course of study exceeds six months, you need a study permit.

How to apply for a Student Visa?

You can apply for a study permit from outside Canada, at the visa office responsible for the country or area where you live. The visa offices have specific local instructions about which documents you must submit with your application.
There are two ways of applying: Online application or a paper application.

Procedure for student visa- Certain guidelines:
  1. Choose your college or University: Choose which college/institution you want to study and check their eligibility conditions. If you meet the eligibility criteria and other necessary conditions, apply to that particular course of study and college.

  2. Apply for study permit: Once admission to one or more schools has been obtained, you can begin applying for a study permit and, if necessary, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

  3. Understand your visa conditions: Please note that if you are granted a student visa, you must comply with all conditions as outlined by the visa. These conditions include (but are not limited to) the following. You must:
    - complete your program within your visa duration
    - make satisfactory academic progress
    - not interrupt your study, except for compelling or compassionate grounds

  4. Documents required are: Acceptance Letter, Original passport, photograph- two recent, passport-sized photos and fees, Certified Copies of birth certificates, Proof of funding, Academic transcripts, test scores, Visa application form i.e. Student Questionnaire and any other document showing your financial stability and Medical examination results.
    Proof of funds
    - You must also include proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay in Canada. This includes money for:
    - tuition fees;
    - living expenses for you and any family member coming to Canada with you; and
    - Return transportation for you and your family.

  5. Submit the application and documents: Processing times vary depending on the Canadian visa office where you submitted your application.  If your application is complete, the visa office will review it and decide if an interview is necessary. If so, the officer will inform you of the time and place.
A letter of introduction will be sent to you confirming the approval. This letter is not your study permit. Take this letter of introduction with you to show to immigration officials at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.

Student Visa Interview (If necessary)

Student Visa Interview is an important step prior to the final confirmation of student visa approval for Canada. Your interview could fasten or hold up your visa processing. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for the interview and address all concerns of the visa offer.

The interview is taken by the visa officer or the ambassador who may ask the mountain chain of questions primarily to ensure that your application is genuine and your intentions align with what is being written in the application form.

General Questions

  • Why did you choose this University and course and how did you find it?
  • Why Canada for this particular area of study?
  • What are your future plans?
  • Where will you stay and who is your sponsor- proof of the sponsor?
  • What is your family background-source of income?
  • What is the duration of the course?
  • Test results/scores- TOEFL/IELTS scorecard.
  • Have you ever been to Canada before?

Tips

  • The most important thing that you can carry with you for an interview is your self-confidence. Answer honestly, fluently and precisely.
  • Know what your reasons to study abroad are and why you have chosen a particular university and what your career goals are.
  • Practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.
  • Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point i.e. be concise and concrete.
  • Documents check: check if all the documents which you will require are indeed present in your bag.

Planning for your arrival : Essentials to Carry

Once you have been accepted to study at an institution and have received confirmation of your student visa, the next step is to start planning for your arrival. Following are the essentials:
  • Student enrolment and orientation documents – Acceptance letter which is received from your institution, letter from the visa office indicating your study permit details, a valid passport and other necessary documents, if any.

  • Airfares – Be aware of the date and time of your flight. Keep your flight details in a safe and secure place, with your passport and visa.

  • Contact details –Have a list of emergency contact details of your embassy, accommodation and institution details. If you have used a representative mode of applying, hold back their contact details with you, in case you need to contact them once you arrive in Canada.

  • Canadian currency – There are money exchange places available at Canadian airports and in urban centers, but it is recommended to have some Canadian currency to you prior to leaving your home country.
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