A Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Guide to Student Visas
Whether you intend to pursue your Bachelors, Post-graduation or executive courses that eventually help your cause towards securing a white-collar job abroad, Canada is a destination that is likely to cross your mind. This article highlights the step by step process of obtaining a student visa to Top Universities in Canada.
Chronological Order of Steps to Follow:
ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) :
This is used to verify your past credentials / degrees to the Canadian institutes. Can be done through WES (World Education Services) or ICAS (International Credential Assessment Institute of Canada).
Fee : 220-250 CAD as of May 2021.
Timeline : 15-50 days.
- Language Assessment : IELTS – Academic
Fee : INR 14200
Minimum Score Required : Over 6.5 (Atleast 6 Bands in each Section)
Preferred Score : Overall 7 (Atleast 6.5 per Section)
Recommended Test Medium : IDP Computer Based (To avoid getting subconsciously judged for bad handwriting)
LOR – Atleast 2 Letters of Recommendation
- Both from School / College Professors in case of applicant with no work experience
- 1 from Professor and 1 from Reporting Manager incase of applicant with work-experience
SOP – Detailed Statement of Purpose elaborating academic profile, professional history, key achievement and expectations from the course and university opted for.
University Application Forms
Fee : Ranges between CAD 95-140 (INR 6000-8000) for most universities.
Timeline : Most Universities do a detailed analysis of student profile and revert with LOA (Letter of Acceptance) or Rejection with a reason within 15 days.
Next Step : Non refundable deposit of CAD 1000 to secure ‘Unconditional Letter of Acceptance’
GIC – Guaranteed Investment Certificate
Once Unconditional-LOA is issued, you must proceed to deposit the GIC.
A GIC account needs to be opened in a Canadian bank (very simple process, all online).
CAD 10200 (INR 6,50,000) is the minimum GIC required as of May 2021. This GIC is credited back to the student’s account as $2000 upon landing and the remaining $667 in 12 equal instalments to support the students living expenses during his stay in Canada.
College / University Tuition Fee
Tuition fee can be paid via the SDS (Student Direct Scheme) or the Non-SDS routes.
- SDS route involves upfront payment of the entire fee before you apply for student Visa.
- Non-SDS is for applicants who cannot pay the fee upfront. This usually involves securing a Visa before paying the requisite tuition fee.
- It is noteworthy here that the Visa approval rate for SDS routes is 66% and Non-SDS route stands at 33%.
Thus, chances of Visa approval are twice as much, if the entire Tuition fee is paid upfront, for obvious reasons.
While Tuition fees vary widely depending upon the course opted for and the college, Canada declares average annual tuition fee as below, for international students:
- Undergraduate Programs : CAD 20000 / year of Education (INR 13,00,000)
- Masters Programs : CAD 30000 / year of Education (INR 19,00,000)
Applying for Visa
- The most crucial step, involves you creating an account on CIC.GC.CA and submitting your Student Visa application after paying the necessary Visa fee.
- Visa Fee : CAD 150 (INR 9500) as of May 2021
- Fee receipts for GIC and Tuition fee are enclosed at this stage with the Visa application for confirmation along with the unconditional LOA received from the University
BIL – Biometrics Instruction Letter
- Upon final submission of a Student Visa application, if all attached documents are found in order, the student can expect a BIL-request in 15-30 days.
- When you receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter, you are required to pay the Biometrics fee (CAD 85, INR 5500) and book an appointment at your nearest VAC (Visa Application Centre)
- VFS-Canada is the most preferred VAC in India and is location in most major cities. In North India, VACs are available at New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jalandhar
- On the date and time of appointment, you are to carry your original passport and the BIL-Request letter to the VAC and submit your fingerprints and get a photograph clicked
Also Read- Self Sponsored Visa Application for USA
The Golden Mail – PPR (Passport Request Letter)
- After verification of Biometrics and running criminality and background checks against your profile, if all is found in order, you can expect the PPR mail within 20-50 days.
- Once you get your PPR mail (which is basically a request for your passport), you submit your original Passport and a copy of the mail to the same VAC.
- The passport is couriered to the Canadian Embassy, where the Student Visa is stamped and the passport is couriered back to you.
At this stage, your process is now a 100% complete.
You can pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and proceed to book your flight tickets and prepare for a life in Canada!
Today, immigration agents, consultants and touts have made it their job to exploit unaware applicants even though the process of obtaining a Student visa is fairly straightforward and completely transparent.
The purpose of posting this article is to spread awareness of how the process can be managed yourself with no prior experience, and in doing so, save yourself a ton of money! For more information, feel free to read-up further on www.CanadaUpdates.com or get in touch with us at +91-8879100745!