Many international students are drawn to Canada for its top-tier education, inclusive and diverse culture, and the opportunity to experience its stunning natural landscapes. In the year 2022, Canada warmly embraced over 551,405 international students, a testament to its popularity as an educational destination. Moreover, for many, studying in Canada serves as an ideal initial step toward obtaining permanent resident status.
Whether you're in the early stages of planning your journey to study in Canada or have already secured a spot in a Canadian post-secondary institution, it's essential to consider and begin addressing these twelve essential aspects when embarking on your adventure as an international student in Canada.
1. Current Passport
Possessing a valid passport is a fundamental requirement for applying for a Canada Study Permit. The Canadian High Commission mandates that your passport remains valid for the entire duration of your intended stay in Canada. For instance, if you plan to begin a two-year course in Canada in January 2024, your passport should maintain its validity until at least January 2025. Verifying your passport's compliance with these guidelines is vital to streamline the study permit application process and to enjoy a smooth, trouble-free stay in Canada throughout your academic journey.
2. Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
If a Canadian university accepts you, they'll send you an acceptance letter, which can also be called an offer letter. You need this letter to get a study permit. Sometimes, this acceptance comes with conditions. For example, you might need to finish language training like ESL or FSL before starting your main studies.
3. Proof of Funds
When applying for a Canadian student visa, applicants are required to demonstrate proof of funds to cover various expenses:
Travel Costs to Canada
Living Expenses in Canada
Essential documents include financial institution statements, bank statements, evidence of tuition payments, as well as proof of room and board expenses. These documents collectively establish the applicant's financial capability to pursue education in Canada.
Students intending to study in Canada must demonstrate financial capacity, with a minimum of 20,635 CAD required annually, The cost of living ranges from 11,000 to 15,000 CAD, varying by province. The average monthly living cost for a student on campus is around 1000 CAD TO 1200 CAD and off campus is around 550 CAD TO 850 CAD.
4. Passport size Photographs
When applying for a Canadian student visa, ensuring your passport-size photographs meet the specified standards is crucial, whether you're applying online or offline. For online applications, have a digital copy of the photo ready, ensuring it's fewer than 4MB. If you opt for the offline route, you'll need two recent passport-size photos. These pictures should portray neutral facial expressions and adhere to guidelines. Remember, the photos must have been taken within the last 6 months to accurately represent your current appearance. Properly meeting these requirements ensures a smooth application process for your Canadian student visa.
5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
The Immigration Medical Examination (IME) is a mandatory step for international students applying for a Canadian visa. It must be completed at least one week before initiating the visa application process. Students need to book an appointment with approved doctors listed by Canada Immigration within this timeframe. During the IME, various health parameters such as weight, hearing, vision, and blood pressure are checked. Depending on age, chest X-rays and laboratory tests may be required. The results are sent to CIC to confirm the applicant's good health and to ensure they won't pose any public health risks in Canada. This timely and thorough medical evaluation is a crucial aspect of the application process for international students.
6. English Language Proficiency Exam
In preparation for the Canadian student visa application, candidates are mandated to undergo an English language proficiency test and submit their scores as proof of acceptance by a Canadian university. Recognized tests include TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and others of a similar nature. For TOEFL, a minimum score of 90 out of 120 is required, while for IELTS, an overall band score of 6.5 with no sub-bands less than 6 is necessary. This step ensures that students have the necessary language skills to succeed academically in their chosen Canadian institutions and is fundamental in the visa application process.
A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) account is a financial tool designed for students planning to study in Canada. It involves depositing a specific sum of money for a fixed period, typically a year and is offered by the Canadian government as a short-term, low-risk investment. This GIC serves as proof of funds necessary for Canadian visa eligibility, ensuring financial stability during the student's stay. The GIC acts as a secure investment, protecting against currency rate fluctuations and addressing financial concerns for students while studying in Canada. Applying for a GIC account is a straightforward online process, providing swift funding details and simplifying the visa application procedure. Furthermore, it serves as a reliable method for parents to transfer funds, making it a fundamental financial resource for international students.
8. Statement of Purpose (SOP)
An SOP often referred to as a letter of explanation, is a mandatory essay that needs to be submitted when applying for a Canada study permit. This document outlines the purpose of your travel to Canada and delineates your responsibilities as a student.