Applications for a student visa for Canada have increased manifold, particularly in the present environment where the country is one of the most popular choices for higher education. While leading Canadian universities require top-notch scores, the study permit is an equally important criterion. This is required before entering the country for any course or training purpose. Students should first apply for their temporary resident visas before getting the permit. It is offered by the Canadian High Commission and the Visa Application Centers (VACs) facilitate them. VFS Global Services is the designated Canadian visa VAC.
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Student visa for Canada- Necessary documentation:
There are several documents needed for obtaining your student visa for Canada from India. These include the following:
a. Passport- One of the biggest Canada student visa requirements for Indian students is a valid passport. The validity period should comfortably cover the intended period of residence in the country.
b. Acceptance proof from institution- You will require an official letter of acceptance from the institution or university where you have applied. The immigration department has a list of recognized Designated Learning Institutions. Applying to study in Quebec will require a CAQ (also known as Quebec Acceptance Certificate) upon notification.
c. Funding proof- While applying for a study permit, you should present ample proof of funds. You will have to prove that you have sufficient money to cover your education and living costs. The immigration department requires a minimum of CAD 10,000 per year. You will have to prove ample funds for your return fare too. Quebec requires approximately CAD 11,000 in proof of funds as per regulations.
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d. Passport sized photograph- You will require two passport sized photographs as per the standards mentioned. Online applications require digital copies not exceeding 4 MB. The facial expression should be neutral while the background should be plain, and the image size should be 35 x 45 mm and the images should not be older than six months.
e. Immigration Medical Examination or IME- Canadian immigration authorities require international students to go through the mandatory IME courtesy of empanelled or listed doctors. Book your appointment and visit at least a week prior to the application. Your doctor will be undertaking a complete medical examination, referring the candidate for various tests and even chest x-rays. Once the examination is complete, the results will be dispatched to the immigration authorities.
f. Score in English proficiency test- Although it is not compulsory to possess this score while applying, you should have obtained the same ideally before starting the process. You will have to eventually submit your English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) for confirmation of the application.
g. SOP- The SOP or Statement of Purpose is also required if you are thinking about how to get a student visa for Canada. While applying for the same, you may have to provide an essay which states the purpose of your visit to the country and why you have selected a particular institution. This will be given as an optional document as part of the checklist.
h. Credit card- This is required for paying the student visa fees for Canada. CAD 160 is the payable fee and debit cards are not accepted by the system. You may use a family member’s card with proper permission. You will also need a digital scanner for online applications and two copies of all your documents if you are applying through the offline method.
Some added documents may be needed at the time of personal interview. These include evidence of financial and academic position/status. You may have to furnish educational certificates, proof of degrees and qualifications, diplomas and transcripts. You may be asked to show scores of tests like GMAT, GRE, SAT or TOEFL and prove your intention to return to your home country after completing your program. You should also prove ample funds in your account through bank statements and other documents if asked.
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Student visa for Canada from India- Application procedure:
Here are the steps involved in applying for a student visa:
1. Remember to check timelines for processing. The entire cycle for application may require three-four weeks in general. You should refer to the official website of the consulate and learn about approximate processing timelines. At the same time, you will only get estimates and not accurate figures.
2. You can apply via http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/getting-started.asp.
3. You need scanner and camera access for creating digital document copies before uploading along with a valid credit card for paying the fees. You will have to provide a fingerprint scan at your regional VAC. For online applications, you will have to hand over your passport at VFS Global’s office and provide form and payment confirmation.
4. You can physically apply after downloading the instruction manual and application form. You will learn more about completing the application and find the checklist for documents. Fill out the form at http://www.vfsglobal.ca/canada/india/pdf/Consent_form_India.pdf and attach it to the application and this form is needed for getting VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) assistance with regard to visa filing.
5. You will then have to pay the processing fee to VFS Global Services for your application. This charge is non-refundable in all scenarios.
6. If your partner/spouse and children are accompanying you to Canada and are applying for temporary resident visas, study permits or work visas, you will have to pay processing fees separately for them.
7. Submit your application at the nearest VFS office along with all documents. Pay the charges applicable and give them the complete application to get your receipt. This will have the original tracking number. This may be used to track the status or progress of your online application.
If the application obtains approval, you will get an official notification from the Canadian Government that requests for your passport. You can submit this and the request letter personally or via VFS as well. You will get your letter of introduction and temporary resident visa subsequently.
Student Visa for Canada- Applicable costs:
The study permit requires CAD 150 or approximately INR 8,800. You should keep checking the exchange rates to learn the exact amount. The visa processing fees are payable via credit cards online or offline through a demand draft or even cash. The fee should be paid upon submitting your application. The demand draft should be in favour of the High Commission of Canada. The visa charge is not inclusive of service charges at the VAC. You will have to pay added charges with receipts issued for each one of them. Keep all of these receipts carefully. You will also have to pay a biometric charge afterwards and this is CAD 85.
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Dependents and their regulations:
Spouses may accompany full-time international students on dependent visas. You only have to demonstrate ample funds for supporting them. If they are staying for more than one year, spouses can also work full-time. In some scenarios, you may consider applying for your open work permit in case you will be going with your partner or spouse to the country. This will help you find any employment opportunity that is suitable for your skills and needs. You will not require any positive labor market assessment or job offers for applying for a work permit.
Canada student visa- Where should you apply?
Here are the places to apply:
1. High Commission of Canada- 7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021
2. Consulate General of Canada- SCO#54-56, Sector-17A, Chandigarh-160017
3. Consulate General of Canada-22nd Floor, World Trade Centre, Dr. Rajkumar Road, 26/1, Malleshwaram West, Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru-560055
4. Consulate General of Canada- 21st Floor, Tower-2, Indiabulls Finance Centre, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road (West), Mumbai-400013
5. VFS Global, 2nd Floor, Fagun Towers, Ethiraj Salai, Number-74, Egmore, Chennai-600008
6. VFS Global, Mezzanine Level, Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001
7. VFS Global, Building Number 1842, Rene Tower, Rajdanga Main Road, near Geetanjali Stadium, Kolkata- 700107
8. VFS Global, Fifth Floor, Trade Centre, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai-400051
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Eligibility and duration of student visa:
You can only apply for the visa if you have ample proof of funds for covering tuition fees and living costs, have been accepted by a Canadian university or institution and possess a clean background without any criminal record. A medical certificate is also needed, certifying that you are fit. You should also convince the immigration authorities about your intentions to leave Canada and return to your home country upon completing your studies. The duration is the entire tenure of your chosen study course/program and an extra 90 days.