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How to Apply for a Canadian Study Visa

Wed March 24, 2021     765

Study visa is the determining factor that a student is set to go abroad for their higher studies in Canada. It can be time-consuming and cumbersome if one doesn’t know all that needs to be done to submit a complete application along with the form. 

There is, otherwise, ambiguity in the concept of Canada study visa and what needs to be done to apply for it if one is carrying out the procedure all by themselves. 
Let’s get the concept straight before we delve into the process of applying for a Canadian study visa. 
One might hear the two terms ‘study visa’ and ‘study permit’ being used quite irreplaceably. While they lead to the same outcome, the documents and where they are acquired from are different.

A study permit is NOT a visa. Visa lets an individual enter a country, but a study permit, as is the name, allows international students to study at an academic institute (DLI or Designated Learning Institutions in Canada).

So does that mean you need to apply twice? No. A student has to go through the procedure of applying for a study visa only once. The permit comes with it at the Canadian airport when they land. They have to take the study permit document before leaving the airport.

iApply, a one-stop platform for study abroad procedures have the provision of preparing student applications by ensuring that all requirements are met, and procedures take the least time.    

But what is the procedure?

A student attaches the required documents, submits the application, gets their biometrics done once their application gets accepted, and receives their visa in a matter of a maximum of two months.
 A student needs the following documents to apply:
 - Letter of Acceptance from a DLI 

An original or electronic copy of the letter from the academic institute that the applicant receives after they submit  their college or university application
 - A Valid Passport or Travel Document

A copy of the passport of the student needs to be attached. Once it gets approved, the student has to produce the  original one.  
 - Proof of funds that one can support themselves while in Canada
    These can be in the form of: 
    a. proof of establishments of parents (if they are sponsoring), 
    b. proof of income documents and liquid funds
    c. bank statements of the last four months
    d. proof of student or education loan from the bank (if applicable)
   e. proof of funding paid from within Canada (if the student has a scholarship or a Canadian funded educational    program)
However, if a candidate is applying for the Student Direct Stream or SDS processing program (which is a faster way of getting the visa processed), then a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (or GIC) of CAD 10,000 is required with the visa application to study in Canada.

-  Recent Educational Transcripts

Educational transcripts are detailed records of subjects studied by the students under the programs. Copies of detailed reports need to be attached with the application.
- IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) or TOEFL/PTE Certificate

Another important prerequisite is English Language Proficiency test scores. These are an assessment of whether or not a student can adapt to an educational environment where English is the first language.   
- Digital Photograph

A photograph with a full frontal view of the head with no tints, tilts, reflections and expressions are required to be attached with the application form. It is advised that the student reads the specifications carefully if they are making the submission themselves. 
- Medical e-tracking sheet

A medical e-tracking sheet of the applicant needs to be prepared by one of the panel physicians to ensure that the person meets the medical condition mentioned by the public health department of Canada.
- Statement of Purpose

A write-up explicitly stating the candidate’s purpose of taking up the specific program in Canada is required with the visa application. 
- Experience Letter

For those who have worked with an organization previously should attach a letter of experience from the employer(s). This document can also be used to justify the time taken off studies, also known as gap period.  
- Marriage Certificate

For a married candidate, a certificate of marriage is mandatory.
Proper guidance and explicit information plays a vital role in getting a well-packaged visa application to be accepted. Factors like these have helped 1.39 lakh students* from India secure study permits in Canada in 2019 alone.
On the other hand, not meeting all requirements may cause rejection. There are two things that one needs to know before getting into the nitty-gritty of it. One, a student visa may get rejected even when the applicant fulfills academic and admission requirements for an institution. Two, there may be many factors at play, so if one particular factor didn’t work for one student, then the same may not be true for another. Other parts of their application may cover that one factor.  

 Some of the most common reasons for rejection are as follows: 
 - If the choice of program does not align well with the academic or employment background
 - Suspect of financial insufficiency
 - If it is suspected that the candidate will not meet entry-level documents. 
 - If the student does not meet the minimum language proficiency requirements
 - If identity documents are incomplete or uneasy to read
 - If there isn’t enough proof of the candidate’s intent to return. (This does not suggest that the 
   student cannot extend their study visa or obtain permanent residency.)
 - If the lack of job offers for the student is noticeable in the student’s profile
Tips to increase chances of visa approval: 
 - Candidate must add a detailed personal statement to their application to introduce themselves to the visa officer.
 - Candidate must ensure that the personal statement connects their current choice of program and their    educational or work background, in case they are different.
 - Applicants can include proof of adequate finances for more than one year.
 - Students can ensure with additional requirements (if need be) that their profile would meet  
   sufficient requirements
 - Provide clear and easily readable identity documents
In the case of rejection, however, the student can proceed in three ways – request evaluation, make a judicial appeal or submit a new application. 
In the first five months of the year 2019, 61 percent** of the total applications for Canadian student visas were accepted. Let’s also glance at the rates of the study permit approvals for Indian national students compared to approvals of students from around the world and two Asian countries (China and South Korea).

It is always recommended for students to consult an expert or a study abroad consultant in India for submitting a visa application.

You can find more help with visas and applications on Edtech online platforms in India for study abroad like this one. 

* Citizenship and Immigration Canada News (CIC news)
** Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada