Everything you need to know about Canada Student Visa
|Total Population||Student Population|
|37.74 Million (2020)||642 Million (2020)|
|Top Universities in Canada|
|University of Toronto|
|University of British Columbia|
|University of Alberta|
|Université de Montréal|
|University of Waterloo|
|University of Calgary|
|Average Summer Temperature 18°C to 26°C|
|Average Winter Temperature -6°C to 0°C|
Education System in Canada
The education system in Canada includes both publicly-funded and private schools such as community college, technical institutes, Career College, language schools, secondary schools, summer camps, universities and university colleges.
Under the constitution of Canada, education is considered as the responsibility of the province and you will notice significant difference between education systems of different provinces. However, education is important to Canadians and standards across the country are uniformly high.
The school year in Canada normally begins from September through the following June, but in some instance, January intake dates are possible. Depending upon the province, the secondary schools go up to grade 11 or 12 and students can choose to attend university or college, which is for two years for general and there years for Technical.
The education institutions are not officially ranked in Canada, but the quality institutions are in abundance across the country. While you choose to study in Canada, consider the type, size and location of the institution. Shortlist the area of your interest and investigate which university has more to offer in that discipline.
Popular Student Destinations:
Popular choices among international students to pursue a full-time academic degree are:
- McGill University
- The University of British Columbia
- University of Alberta
- Simon Fraser University
Some of the best colleges in Canada are from cities like Toronto, British Columbia and Montreal. The number of foreign students receiving study permits has been increasing significantly over the years.
Most of the foreign students prefer vocational studies rather than degree courses as these results in better employment opportunities. Some of the popular degree courses in Canada are postgraduate diploma in areas like Business Management, Engineering, Computer science and Hospitality.
Student Life in Canada
Considered as one of the best places to study and live in the world, Canada has a fair share of student population from across the world. Canada has an open-minded attitude towards migrants this is because of diverse population. As a student you need to follow certain etiquettes to avoid a situation of inappropriate behaviour and below are few tips:
- Be Punctual and respect other’s time.
- Canadians believe in gender equality, avoid inappropriate behavior towards opposite sex.
- Avoid making comments that could offend a person’s race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or appearance.
- Avoid questions such as age of a person, relationship status, and salary.
Dealing with Canadian Accent can be challenging during your initial days; however, one gets used to it as the goes on.
Humour is an integral part of Canadian English and should be interpreted as a sign of friendliness, not disrespect.
It is absolutely necessary to participate in all the activities during your classes. You may be asked to participate in class discussion, group work and other activities which will help you in improving your PR skills (Public Relations) in many different settings.
Students always have an option to choose between university managed accommodations or an Independent accommodation outside the campus. Choosing the university managed accommodation comes with benefits of meals cooked for you with a certain degree of cost.
The administrative office at the university can assist you with a list of private properties and landlords in the area to find an independent accommodation.
Orientation week is mandatory for International students and it’s advisable to arrive early before it starts. You will be introduced to university and its services. The college guidebook explains each part of the admission process.
The colleges also offer extra-curricular activities for students and they can explore music, Theatre, and science which can be part of academics.
International Student Admission Process
The admission process may vary based on study programs and levels. Each international student must satisfy the minimum English language requirements. The minimum academic record for class 12th is 65% or above for the humanities stream, whiles it is 70%-80% for science and commerce stream. Students with scores below 60% can avail foundations and Diploma programs.
Note: The numbers are just for reference and the actual numbers may vary from university to university.
The following documents needs to be furnished:
- Attested copy of mark sheets of class X, XII, and Bachelor’s degree (if applicable)
- At least, two academic reference letters from professors.
- If you have work experience then furnish a letter of recommendation from the employer or manager to support your professional ability.
- Statement of purpose (SOP)
- Photocopies of score reports of GMAT/ IELTS/ TOEFL
- Proof of funds to support your education and accommodation
- Medical test and police clearance certificate.
The below process is followed while applying for admission:
- Search for colleges and courses
- Contact schools and visit website for information
- Narrow down your list of schools
- Take the entrance exams like SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS
- Write SOP’s and gather LOR’s
- Apply to college that suits your interests
- Appear for video interviews of the college that shortlisted you
- Once accepted, apply for student visa
SOP: A statement of purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college and the admission officer. It describes about you and the reason for applying to a particular college. The SOP must highlight why you are a perfect fit for the college and why the college should accept you. The style of writing could differ from formal to casual, but it is important to remember that it should reflect your personality.
ESSAY: Essays are important part of the university admission process and must be written and submitted by a prospective student. The common topics of essay include career aspirations, strengths and weakness, skills, experience, and reason for considering a particular school or college.
LOR: A letter of recommendation (LOR) is a reference letter written by a third party describing the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the prospective student to recommend him/her to the college. The third party could be a professor, immediate manager or employer.
Intake Seasons: The intake mainly happens during the month of September and January, but some institutions have intakes in May, July and October as well. September is the major intake season while January is meant for fairly small number of courses.
The admission process must be started before 6 months of the application deadline and most universities have three deadlines, from October to January. You can choose as per your convenience and take your language and aptitude tests there months before the deadline. The last three months should be dedicated to fill out the application forms.
It is essential to complete the application along with the interview and visa application procedure by June or July for the September intake.
Language Test: International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Pearson Test of English (PTE) are the standardized language tests which are required to be taken for the admission to a college. These language testing systems follow different formats and results bands; however, many colleges accept any one of the Language tests reports.
While aiming for a September intake it is advisable to take the language test before March to avoid missing the deadline. The universities that you apply will mention the choice of exam results they accept. The time required to prepare for language test purely depends on the English language strength of the student.
GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is used to measure the ability of the potential MBA aspirant to undertake higher education in the field of Business Management. It measures mathematical, English and reasoning skills of the student.
A GMAT exam can be taken 5 times in a year, with a gap of 30 days between two tests. Average GMAT score accepted across universities is 520.
GRE: Graduate Record Exam is a standardized test conducted by ETS (Education Testing Services). Most top graduate level schools for master’s degree program accept this exam. The GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical, writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning. GRE exams are generally taken by students who are planning to pursue MA or MS. Many Business schools are also accepting GRE scores for MBA admission.
The average GRE score is 145-Verbal, 160-Quantitative and 4.0-writing.
Note: The numbers are just for reference and the actual numbers may vary from university to university.
The cost of living purely depends on which part of Canada you choose to reside. Below is the list of expenses you would incur as an international student in Canada:
- Renting an Accommodation (on or off campus)
- Groceries and food
- Utilities such as power, water, gas, internet
- Phone bills
- Text books and reference books
- Airfare to travel back to your home country.
The below mentioned factors may differ from person to person and that would be:
- Dinning out
- Travel and Vacation
- Car rent and Care Insurance
- Cable TV connection
School Expenses: The tuition fee varies according to universities, courses and the city. The tuition expenses in Canada can be up to CND $10,000-$30,000 per year for an under graduate course. And the post graduate course would cost up to $15,000-$55,000 per year.
Living Expenses: A student spends an average of $10,000-12,000 per year based on the location. A student residing in a metropolitan city like Toronto or Vancouver would end up spending up to $15,000, while the student residing in suburbs would spend around $8,000-$10,000 per year.
Health Insurance: As per the Canadian law it is mandatory for international students to have a Health Insurance. Since the students stay for a longer period of time, the chances of falling sick are high, and always enrol for insurance policy that offers cashless hospitalization and covers Medical expenses, personal accident, dental treatment, study interruption. Passport loss etc.
Scholarships: A need based fee waivers or a merit are awarded to International students with strong academic records and good performance in extracurricular activities. To avail the scholarship benefits the eligible students must send all the required documents by a particular deadline. The important documents are listed below:
- Academic records and photocopies
- A recent CV
- A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
- Certificate of language proficiency (IELTS/PTE/TOEFL)
- Letter of reference
Student Visa Canada
Study Permit: A Study Permit is a document issued by the Canadian immigration authorities that serves as a legitimate document for foreign students to study in Canada. Students with Study Permit are allowed to enrol only in designated learning institutions.
Eligibility for a Student Visa Canada
You need to ensure that you carry all the necessary documents along with the letter of introduction for a smooth process. You can study in Canada if you:
- Are enrolled at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
- Prove that you have sufficient funds to support your Tuitions fee and all the expenses including the expenses of your family members who accompany you.
- Have no criminal records, obey the law and get a police certificate (if required)
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires
Canada student visa document checklist
Below are the documents required for Canadian student visa.
- Valid passport
- Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution (Acceptance letter from university/institute you are planning to attend)
- Prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and the family member who accompany you.
- English Language test report
- Letter of explanation (Reason to study in Canada and your understanding of student responsibilities)
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
Application process of student visa for Canada
You can apply for a Canada student visa either online or Apply in person.
- Apply online for your Canadian student visa on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before you arrive in Canada.
- Scan the valid document and upload them.
- You will need to give your Biometrics at a regional Visa Application Centre.
- Download the instruction guide before you complete your application.
- Pay the necessary fee
- Submit your application and check your status.
Apply in person:
- Get the application package which generally includes the forms and instructions guide.
- Complete your application and attach all your documents
- Pay the necessary fee
- You will need to submit your Biometrics at a regional Visa Application Centre along with your application.
The Canadian authorities will review your application, if the application is incomplete, it may be returned.
Once the application is approved a letter of introduction is sent to the applicant.The letter of introduction is not a Study Permit. You need to show it to an officer when you arrive in Canada. The applicant will also be sent a Temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enterCanada.
When you arrive in Canada, you’ll have to meet the border service officer and furnish the below Documents:
- Your passport and Travel documents
- The Letter of Introduction.
- Copy of valid letter of acceptance from the school or college
- Proof of funds to support your stay and cover your expenses
- Letter of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring and
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa (temporary resident visa)
The officer will stamp your passport and let you know how long you can stay in Canada. Usually, this will match the length of your study permit.
Student Life in Canada
Students first few weeks in Canada would be generally busy. Most students would be learning about campus and classes while making new friends. You can consider below options during your early days in campus:
- Explore your campus and familiarize yourself with various departments and make new friends.
- Join the International Student Club
- Find out what learning resources and workshops are available for international students,
- Get your Student Identification Card.
- Make the best use of student services on offer. (Fitness facility, Library)
Post Studies options
Placements: Most Canadian universities have tie up with Career Services Centre, which help students with interview and find jobs.
The on-campus recruitment is always driven by student interest and companies that recruit through the university make an internship or co-op offer before making a full-time employment offer.
Co-Op Education program: The Co-Op program is formally structured with intent to recruit students for a vacant position. A full-time employment offer is made after graduation. International students who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program must apply for work permit along with study permit.
To be eligible for the work permit, you must meet the following conditions:
- Must possess a valid study visa
- Your intended employment must be related to your program of study in Canada
- Your employment must be part of your academic program approved by a responsible academic official of the institution.
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