Thursday, February 16, 2006

Canadian Study Permit Received!! :)

Sigh ! Am a relieved man today !I got my student visa for Canada today.:)


One of the challenges an Indian applicant faces after getting an admit to a international B school is getting the student visa.The visa process is a simple one.Yet,with the visa consulates assuming that every visitor to their country is a "potential immigrant", one can't be sure of his B school dreams unless he/she has the stamped visa in hand.Tickets cannot be booked,Resignation at work cannot be submitted. With all these worries,you definitely loose some sleep while working on getting the student visa.I got my the Canadian study permit today and am a relieved man !!For the benefit of other applicants, am writing the process that I followed to obtain a Canadain Student Visa:


Overview:
There are three basic stages that one has to undergo (Applying for a Canadian Student Visa from India):
STAGE 1: Submission of necessary documents with passport.
STAGE 2: Medical Examination
STAGE 3: Resubmission of passport.


Time: It 'll take at least 3-4 weeks to obtain your student permit for Canada when you apply from India.I applied for my student visa on Jan 20th and got my Visa on Feb 16 .


Basic Queries

Where do I apply for the visa?
The student permit visa can be submitted at Canadian Visa Application Centres operated by VFS.The visa applications may be submitted at any of the nine application centers across India. All applications will be assessed at The Canadian High Commission, New Delhi or the one at Chandigarh.

The nine locations are:
New Delhi,Chennai,Mumbai
Kolkata,Jalandhar,Bangalore
Ahmedabad,Chandigarh,Hyderabad.


Where do I find the information?
Most of the details for the student visa is available at this site: http://www.vfs-canada.co.in
The address for the nine locations :http://www.vfs-canada.co.in/wheretoapply.html


Do I need an agent to get the visa ?
Not required. It is a simple process ( a lengthy one though!) and if you follow the website instructions,it should be an easy task.


STAGE 1
What are the documents that I need to submit ?
Preparing the documents is a time consuming task. Ensure that all the necessary papers are in place.The forms required to be submmited can be downloaded from this site
(http://www.vfs-canada.co.in/visaapplication.html#2)

You can either fill the forms or type them out on a PC and take a printout.
I preferred the second one as my handwriting is not good. Therefore, I created the forms in word document.

I submitted the following documents at the VFS center on Jan 20th.

a) Duly completed study permit application from with three photographs
b) Completed Personal Information form
c) Letter of acceptance from Queen’s University confirming my admission (Photostat copy)
d) TOEFL Waiver letter, 2000CAD confirmation amount letter.
d) Duly completed Questionnaire
e) Educational Certificates (Engineering, Secondary, Higher secondary)
f) Approved Study Loan sanction letter by the State Bank of India
g) Affidavit of Support from my father and mother along with the proof of funds. ( Photocopy of bonds, MIS, PPF, bank accounts etc)
h) Personal bank statements and proof of funds.(An excel sheet totaling the funds)
i) Proof of Work experience (letter, salary slip etc)
j) GMAT score sheet.
k) Updated Resume.


Any useful tips?

Yes, there are quite a few.

1. When you compile all the papers, it becomes too messy. Use a thread and punch them all together. DO NOT staple the sheets. The VFS folks would verify the papers again and arrange it in a particular order.

2. As there are too many documents and pages, use a highlighter to mark important points.For eg: In the admission letter, highlight the words " admitted to the Queen's University for the program starting May 02,2006".
I did the highlighting stuff for all the documents. The Visa officer will get hundreds of application and by providing all the relevant info to him you are making his work a bit easier.

3. Use 'Post It Notes' to demarcate different sections.For eg: Put a "Educational records" sticky on all your educational certificates put together. "Student Loans", "Finance-Fixed Assets","Liquid Assets" were a few of the other POST IT notes

4. The form asks you to submit the original letter of acceptance. But, DO NOT do that.If you submit that you are unlikely to get that back. I took the original letter with me but the lady at the counter asked me to submit a photocopy.

5. Take sufficient cash for the payment required to be done for visa. The amount mentioned in the website changes. So, carry atleast Rs 6000 in cash and preferably make the payment in cash. The total amount would include your visa processing fees,your VFS charges etc. Don’t bother about making a DD and taking it along with you. I made a DD of incorrect amount, paid by cash and had to cancel it later !!

6. The VFS counters open at 08.00 am on weekdays. The place is usually not crowded but it'll be great if you reach there early.(by 09am).The VFS executives would be fresh and have a close look at your application.The officials there are very friendly. You can introduce urself in 1-2 lines ( “I am XX, work for ABC, and want to apply for a student permit to Canada as I have been admitted to XYZ”)

7. If you have worked outside India and have Tax returns there, it'll be nice if you add them too.

8. Photographs can be taken at the VFS counter itself. However, you don't want to take last minute chances.The photo specifications are at the website( http://www.vfs-canada.co.in/photospecifications.html). If possible, get a analog picture taken as you would have to provide the negative of a photograph during the X-Ray Medical test later.( I did not do this though !!)

9. After you submit the application, you are given a reference number. You can track the status of your application through SMS or the website. This is something that I found extremely useful.!

10. I was under the impression that the study loan is a Mandatory item. However, it is not. If your sponsor can show that he has the cash reserves , that should be be it.Also, a notarized affidavit of support is NOT mandatory. But I had got one done.


STAGE 2

After submitting the docs, when do you get to hear about the medical test.?
Within a week after submitting the application at the VFS office,you get a letter from the Canadian High Commision that will have your passport and a letter.
The letter would ask for any documents that are missing. If everything looks fine, you would be asked to undergo a medical examination.The doctors list too would be there.There are usually 3 doctors per location.


What are the tests done in the medical examination?
1. Physical Examination ( Height,weight,BP,Eye sight)
2. Chest X ray ( The negative of the photograph would be required here)
3. Blood Sample - Test for HIV and other STD.
4. Urine Sample.


What does one need to carry for the medical test:
1.Passport.
2.The letter from the consulate
3. Negative of the photograph
4. Approx Rs 1500 for the medical test.

Any useful tips?

1. Take an appointment with the doctor.(Phone number would be provided in the sheet).If you have a busy schedule, ask him if a sunday is okay.

2. Follow up with the doctor after 2 days to check if the reports were okay,and if he has sent the reports to the Embassy.He might ask you for the courier fees

3. Ask the doctor for a certificate which states that the medical examination has been done.


STAGE 3

What happens after the medical test?
After about 10 working days of the Medical examination ,resubmit your passport at the same VFS counter.Take a photocopy of the first page of your passport.

Is my presence necessary for the resubmission of the passport?
No. In fact, an uncle of mine was kind enough to travel to the VFS office and submit it on my behalf.

How long is the visa valid?
Usually itz valid from the date the visa is stamped to a couple of months after you graduate.


More Help
I am still confused and need some more help. ?
Canadian Education Center provides both onsite and long distance help and guidance.
They charge Rs 2000 and provide quality support.As I had no idea about the process and needed some guidance, I opted for the long distance counselling.
Deepali, a lady there was very helpful. The details are given below:

Ms. Deepali Singh
Online-Education Counselor
Canadian Education Centre-India
12th Floor,
Gopal Das Bhawan, 28 Barakhamba Road,
New Delhi -110001.
Tel: 91 11 5151 5560; 91 11 5151 5561
Fax: 91 11 5151 5558
Website: www.studycanada.ca/india
Email: deepali.singh@cecnetwork.ca


Any general tips?
Get in touch with folks who have got their visa.Tips from folks who have "been there and done that" is extremely helpful.Stay cool and ensure that you have all the papers in place.Queen's university is a reputed school,the chances of visa rejection is very low. Have faith in your B school dreams and stay positive. :)

I am thankful to Sameer,Ashok from the class of 2007 and Rama for the class of 2005 for the tips....Am definitely a relieved man today ! :)

30 Comments:

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Sobee said...

Hi,

Congrats !!!. ALL THE BEST

sobee

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger Indian Blogger said...

Thanks friend.

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Sathya said...

Congrats Biz...

 
At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Ashok said...

Congrats B...

 
At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! GOOD LUCK MR Queens!

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Indian Blogger said...

Thanks for all the wishes.Feels good to get the wishes from you all.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Thoughtcurry said...

buddy happy for you. when do you land there?

 
At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i am in canada and not very happy about u ...as eventhough umight have seen so many dreams same as me and all studnets do..but all will be shatered gradually once u landed here...i know mightbe right now will think what the hell i am talking...but one can only reliaze this after coming to canada.
best of luck

 
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At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I had done my medical test even before submitting the Visa application and also attached the STU form with the application itself, but still I got my passport back after 4-5 days with the medical guidelines letter. I just sent the passport back saying that the medical is already done and attached a copy of a single page medical report that the doctor gave me when i visited her again. Is there anything abnormal here or is it all fine?? Really nervous about my visa status now. Please guide. Thanks.

 
At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Canada Visa said...

Your are lucky man. I am waiting since 4 years ago for Canada Visa.

 
At 1:37 AM, Blogger Ali said...

Resubmitted my passport on 13th 2012 august after medicals but today is 23rd August but still no reply

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger rahyal said...


Thanks for great sharing post. Its very comprehensive information for everyone, very important to know about Canada Study Permits Visa

 
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At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Braniff Watson said...

Looks like you have done a great job! The whole process takes a little longer now as the Canadian govt has just increased the international student intake to 400,000. So there are a lot more applications coming in. Sadly the number of staff at CIC to process the flood of applications has not increased in proportion.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Braniff Watson said...

Looks like you have done a great job! The whole process takes a little longer now as the Canadian govt has just increased the international student intake to 400,000. So there are a lot more applications coming in. Sadly the number of staff at CIC to process the flood of applications has not increased in proportion.

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Canadian Visa said...

This guide would really a big help for a student who wants to apply for Canadian Student Visa. Glad that you shared it with us. Keep posting!

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the detailed information..

I did not get the negative of the photographs to be submitted during medical?? Which negative are you referring to.. is it the one we take when getting a picture clicked?? Kindly advice.

Good luck

 
At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i have hpv will my study permit be rejected?

 
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