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26th April 2017BY Qasim Nihang

Due to social media and internet revolution in Pakistan, young people are more aware of their options when it comes to their studies and career lives. Many students in Pakistan are interested in exploring their options and studying abroad. Many of them consider Canada as one of their top options in North America. But how do one go about applying for a study visa to Canada is one-million-dollar question. People find it overwhelming when it comes to applying for anything that requires legal documents. To apply for a student visa in Canada does require lot of documentation and patience, but it is not as hard as it looks. In this blog post, we will be discussing the requirements, procedure and step by step guide on how to apply for student visa in Canada.

To apply for a study visa in Canada, first you would need to pick a university and program you want to study in. Check the requirements for international student to get into the prospective university and program. Along with all the other requirements that your chosen university have, English Language Test is a must. You must take an English Language test to prove that you’re proficient in the language and will be able to adjust and study in Canada. There are few English Language Tests that you can take to fulfill this requirement. They include CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment Test), MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery), IELTS, TOEFL and CanTEST. You will have to take one of the tests depending on the requirements of the university that you’re plan on applying for.

After taking an English Language Test, apply to your chosen university by filling out online application forms and await their acceptance letter. The students for undergraduate programs in Canadian universities will have to pay approximately CA $14,000 per annum. The cost for arts and humanities program is relatively lower than that of medicine and engineering. Whereas for the post graduate degrees, the student pays approximately CA$ 42,000 per annum, depending on the program.

Once you’re officially accepted to the Canadian school, it is time to apply for a study permit. Study permit is a document issued by the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration that allows the student to stay and study in Canada for a limited time of period. In other words, Study Permit serves as a Canadian Student Visa for international students for the duration of their stay in the country. The cost for Study Permit is CA $150. Please note that your application for Study Permit must include your original letter of acceptance from a Canadian university. Your application will be returned or denied right away if you fail to provide this information.

In addition to the acceptance letter and a language proficiency certificate, an applicant will be required to provide their personal data that includes but not limited to their CNIC, passport, two passport photographs with full name, date of birth, mailing address, parents, spouse and children’s information. Any financial proof of money transfers into Canadian banks along with four months’ bank statements. All previous educational credentials are required that includes matric, intermediate, graduation and master’s degree attested from the institution from which they got the degree from. They are required to provide all the detailed information of the chosen program and university they’re planning on attending in Canada. The information required is duration of the program, tuition fees, date of registration, any other conditions, etc.

An international student is required to provide evidence that he/she can endure the educational and residential expenses along with any bank/student loan(s) descriptions. The student must be able to convince that he/she will leave the country after completion of studies. Police records will be required to confirm there is no criminal activity involved along with the Medical examination to prove that you student is fit to study.

If you’re an applicant for master’s degree, you are required to provide a recommendation letter, a motivation letter and an essay explaining why you want to study in Canada.

Once you submitted Study Permit application, the visa process can take up to 10 weeks or more. Therefore, it is advised and recommended that your application is submitted in advance before your classes starts.

In case of children and common law spouse accompanying the applicant they must submit their full application forms along with their applicant’s forms. School studying students can also apply for a study permit and in case of minors along with the application forms proof of guardians in Canada is required.

International students may apply online for study permit through online application system. They can get more information from the official Citizenship and Immigration website Students are required to submit all the documents required for that in picture form while applying online. They must have a debit or a credit card for online payment.

Once your application is successful, you will be issued with a Study Permit along with temporary resident visa valid for multiple or single entries depending on your case.

Depending on where you are planning on coming, make sure to do your research about the housing, campus, extracurricular activities and all the resources available to you from your university. Make sure to get in touch with your program counselor and your profs in advance if you’re already registered in the courses. There are a lot of on campus programs available to help international students go through the transition of moving and studying in Canada, make sure you take advantages of them and ask for help.

Happy Studying & Happy Stay!

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