Canada ( also known as ‘The Great White North’) has been a wonderful study destination for students around the world. This second-largest country in the world has a reputation for having excellent colleges and universities offering a variety of courses. The country’s natural beauty, the standard of living, and the quality of safety have attracted people from around the world. Many Nepalese students are under the impression that getting a Canadian study permit is tougher than other countries which are not true. Here is the complete guide to getting a student’s visa to Canada.
1. Language Test
Upon graduating from your College or University, if Canada is your choice of destination for further study, you need to take a language test to evaluate your English language proficiency. Canada has two official languages: English and French. English is the language for students and there are several language testing systems that are accepted by Canada. TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language), PTE ( Pearson Tests of English) are also accepted by many colleges and universities but IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is mostly preferred. If you want to enroll in one of the Canadian educational institutes, be it a regular study course or a vocational training course, taking the Academic IELTS test is the best option for you. You need to score at least 6 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band of the IELTS. Different colleges and universities have different criteria as to selecting international students so some educational institutes may require higher scores in the IELTS. The IELTS scores also depend on the level of your degree. The higher degree you want to achieve in Canada, the more you will need to score in the IELTS.
2. Selecting A College or A University
The selection of a college or a university has to be done efficiently. It is very important to choose a course that is relevant to your previous degree. A change, of course, might result in rejection of a visa. Different colleges and universities have different educational courses and their fees are different too. Always choose a college or a university that offers courses that are relevant to your previous courses. Private universities are often expensive so students are encouraged to choose public colleges and universities. You can find a college or a university yourself or you can take help from good educational consultancies to get yourself enrolled in a college.
Canada has three admission intakes in a year.
- Fall: Starts from September
- Winter: Starts from January
- Summer: Starts from April and May
Once you have chosen a college or a university, you need to get an offer letter ( also known as the ‘Letter of Acceptance’ ) from the college. To get an offer letter, you need to scan and email the documents of your previous degrees along with your language test result to the college. You might have to pay a certain amount out of your course fee to get an offer letter. To send the money you need a No Objection Letter ( NOC) from the Ministry of Education. Without an NOC, the bank will not let you send money to Canada.
3. Preparing Documents
Document preparation can be confusing and hectic if you are not in the know as to what documents are required and how they are obtained. Here is the list of the essential documents to apply for a visa. You can add additional documents to the lists if needs be but rest assured just because you have a bulk of papers doesn’t mean you will stand a better chance of getting a visa.
- Passport: you need to have at least 2 blank pages in your passport and your passport needs to be at least 6 months away from its expiry date while applying for a visa.
- Offer Letter: You need to have a Letter of Acceptance ( Offer Letter) that clearly states the name of the educational institution you are going to, your full name, course of study, course starting date, etc.
- Academic Certificates: You will need all your academic certificates to apply for a student visa.
- Language Test Result: You need to have a language test result ( IELTS, TOEFL, PTE) with an acceptable score.
- Proof of Fund: You need to have a balance certificate showing enough money in your bank account or in the account of your sponsors to support your stay and study in Canada. How much you need in the bank account entirely depends on the course you have chosen. If you are going to a university to study engineering or to become a doctor then you need to show more amount in the bank to support you or anyone who is accompanying you to Canada. Usually, it costs around CAD 30,000 per year for an international student. If your educational institute is in a big city like Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City then your expenses can be higher. Generally, 70 Lakh is enough to get a student visa. An education loan is considered more effective. Bank statements of 3 months are required by the Canadian High Commission. However, statements for 6 months is considered good.
- Property Valuation: You or your sponsor’s property must be of at least 1 crore and 50 lakh. If the valuation documents issued by the Woda office then it is considered more efficient. On the off chance, you couldn’t do it from the Woda office, you can resort to an engineering consultant’s office for the appraisal of your property.
- Source of Income: You or your sponsor need to have permanent sources of income to support you. it can be from various sources. If the sponsor has his/her own business then the annual turnover and tax clearance certificate will do the job. If the sponsor doesn’t have his/her own business then the company s/he is employed can be used to show the source of income. You will need a certificate from the company stating the post and his/her monthly salary. Apart from this, If your sponsor has houses or plots of land that are rented out and leased out, those contract papers can also be used to declare the source of income. The amount of monthly income has to be at least 3 lakh.
- Relationship Certificate: You will need a relationship certificate proving how many people you have in your family and who are they to you including the person who is sponsoring you.
- Affidavit Of Support: An affidavit letter is a letter signed by your sponsor promising in writing that s/he is financially responsible for your stay and study in Canada.
- Statement of Purpose ( SOP) Letter: an SOP is a letter or an essay that clarifies your reason behind choosing that particular educational institute and that particular course of study and how will it be useful to you for your career and what are your plans for the future.
- Medical Examination: You need to undergo a medical examination to prove that you are in good health.
- Police Report: You will need a report from the police department stating that you have no criminal charges.
- Photographs: You will need two 35 by 45 photographs which should not be older than 6 months.
- Additional Documents: Apart from these, If you have some training certificate or have some experience letters that are helpful in the case then you can also file them along with the other documents.
4. Booking A Submission Date
Since Canada doesn’t have its High Commission in Nepal. You need to send your document to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. You will not be interviewed by the High Commission generally. Visa application is done through a ‘Visa Application Center’ commonly refer to as the ‘VFS’. You need to book an appointment first then only you can go in for submission. Appointment booking is done online through VFS Canada for Nepal’s website. Biometric is compulsory for the Nepalese citizens and it is done inside the VFS. Log on to the VFS Canada’s website to schedule an appointment for biometric and application submission. Upon booking a date, you need to go to the VFS office to get a payment slip to make bank drafts for biometric, VFS charge, and visa application fee. The Canadian High Commission has suggested everyone to apply 3 months prior to the course starting date because it gives them enough time to process your application.
5. Filling out Forms
You will need to fill out a student visa form. You can download the form of the CIC’s website. carefully fill out the form and validate it. After Validating, it will generate barcodes. print them out and put the barcodes on top of the student form. sign on the pages where it asks you to sign. Apart from the student permit form, you need to fill out family information from too.
6. Applying For A Visa
Gather all your necessary documents and go to the VFS office 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time. Get the biometric done and apply for a visa. the VFS will give you a tracking code to keep track of your application to know what’s going on with your application. When the Canadian High Commission is done processing your application and your passport is dispatched, you will get a call from the VFS when your package is ready to be picked up by you. You can see this process while tracking your application.
7. Important Tips
- You don’t have to submit your original documents. Only your passport and photographs need to be original. The rest of the papers ( academic certificates and mark sheets, Language Test Result, Experience and Training certificates, etc.) need to be photocopied and notarized by a notary public office. The Canadian High Commission will only send your passport back whether you get a visa or not. Therefore, only submit your original documents if you don’t need them again.
- If you have an Education gap, you need to show the visa officer what you did during that gap time. You can cover your gap by submitting your training or work experience letters in the same field of your course of study.
- If you are 25 years and above and have a study gap, then you are advised to have a foreign travel history. There have been many cases in which the High Commission has declined people’s visa application for not having travel histories.
- Make documents that show clear connections to your home country. You need to convince the visa officer that you will leave Canada after completing your study. This is one of the most common causes of visa rejection. If you have a job waiting here or if you have your own business or have your own property or you are a sole beneficiary of your parent’s property or if you are married and leaving your spouse behind then you might stand a better chance of getting a visa. The High Commission rejects many visas every year stating that they are not convinced that the applicant will leave Canada after the completion of his/her study.
- Do not submit fake documents. It may result in banning from applying for 5 to 10 years.