Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Canadian Student Visa Filing (Paper Application Process)

Hello all,
I have spent a lot of time hunting for all the documents and details for filing a student visa and i know this can be a very painful task and needs a lot of time and preparation to gather all the documents . So i decided to write this blog post entirely on the VISA Application Process.

I hope this post will cover most of your VISA related queries. 
In any case, if i have left out any information then please bring it to my notice as it will help the other students who stumble upon this article.

In case you have any questions , then please use the comment section below. If i find the question will be beneficial to the students at large, then i will separately include the answers in the FAQ section of this post.

PART I  : Application Forms 
  • Study Permit Application form IMM1294E
    • After filling up the form, click on the validate button. 
    • Once the form has been validated, you will notice that an extra page will be appended to the existing pdf consisting of 5 barcodes.
    • IMPORTANT : Please print this form using a LASER PRINTER ONLY !! because there might be problems reading the barcode in the VAC office if the colour distribution is uneven. The person filing her visa just ahead of me in line, had this issue with the barcode and had to redo the entire application form and come back another day.
    • Please donot leave any question/section blank . If that section does not apply to you, then consider writing N.A or Not Applicable
  • Medical Examination form
    • It is advisable to go for an upfront medical exam. This will considerably speed up your Visa Process.
    • If you have received an admission letter from the university then you can schedule the medical exam even 10 months before.  I had scheduled my medical exam 45 days prior to my visa filing. 
    • The medical test consists of some Basic tests like Blood Test, HIV , Chest X-Ray, and Urine test followed by a full body checkup by a physician.
  • Family Information Form - IMM5645E
    • Please don't leave any question/section blank . If that section does not apply to you, then consider writing N.A or Not Applicable
  • Study Permit Questionnaire Form - IMM 5957E ( for university Students / Differs for others ) 
    • Please don't leave any question/section blank . If that section does not apply to you, then consider writing N.A or Not Applicable
PART II  : Academic Documents
  • Admission Confirmation Letter to the Canadian University.
  • Photocopy of your TOEFL / IELTS Score
  • Academic Transcripts & Passing Certificates along with Degree Conformation Certificates; from your 10th Standard to Current Level of Education.
    • In some cases maybe you are awaiting results of your most recent degree or you haven't yet received the degree certificate from your current university. In such a situation, consider making a note of this on a Separate COVER LETTER(see the last Section)
PART III : Financials
These documents should make it clear to the VISA officer that your current financial standings are good enough and you can comfortably afford 2 years of Living Expenses(roughly 11000 CAD each year ) and your tuition fee mentioned in your college admission letter.

** if someone is sponsoring you then you need to provide his/her  ITR , PAYSLIPS , Statement of Support & Bank Statements in addition to the following documents **
  • Scholarship Letter 
  • Bank Statements - 6 months 
  • Income Tax Return Receipt 
  • Salary Slips of 3-4 Months 
  • Total Declaration of Finances by Chattered Accountant
    • Please Note that this is OPTIONAL , but getting all your financial documents certified by a chartered accountant speeds up your VISA processing time.
  • Certification from the bank 
  • Self Declaration of Gold / Ornaments - to be given to C.A for certification.
  • If you have paid a part of the tuition fee, then include the receipts as well and write about it in the Cover Letter
  • Affidavit of Support by yours sponsor/s on a 20 rupees Stamp Paper. 
Safe Amount to show = 2 years living expenses + Tuition Cost 
In All finance docuemtns , be it from bank or from your Chattered Accountant , request them to ALWAYS MENTION THE CAD EQUIVALENT of the amount you are showing.

PART IV : Other Documents
  • 4 Passport size Photographs 
  • Photocopy of your Passport 
    • Keep Sufficient Photocopies of your passport with you as you will need it while submitting your documents and for any other process regarding the application. 
  • Original Passport 
  • COVER LETTER : if there are any exceptions (like awaiting results / degree not yet conferred / etc )that you would like to bring to the notice of the VISA officer then draft a separate letter outlining the issues and attach it to your application.
FAQ Section :
When should you start filing your visa ?
If you have got multiple admission offers , then first zero down on the college which you want to attend. After you have the college finalised , start the visa process immediately.
Can we book flights before Visa?
Yes. We can.



I, <NAME OF SPONSOR>, F/o <NAME OF STUDENT>, R/o <ADDRESS>, do hereby solemnly affirm and sincerely state as follows:

  1. I undertake that i am ready to spend the entire cost of education, for my son <STUDENT>, aged about 22 years , who is applying for his <DEGREE AND COURSE> commencing from September 2016 at <NAME OF UNIVERSITY> in Canada.
  2. That the family has ample financial resources to provide necessary funds for the education and living expenses of my son till the completion of his studies in Canada.
  3. I declare that what all are stated is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.


  1. hey, Thanks for the information . Can you show me, How to write cover letter please .....

    1. Hey, its nothing that formal. Just bullet your special cases.
      In any case refer to this PDF to get an idea :

  2. How about statement of purpose?

    1. hello Atul. You dont need any statement of purpose for visa application .
      Statement of purpose is required when you apply to the college.

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    4. Hey hi, SOP is not required for visa? I have applied for University and my consultancy said that it is required for visa decision.

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  3. Hi Shobron,
    My application file is ready and I'll be submitting it on Monday but i have question that do I need any extra File cover or something like that?

    1. Nope. No need of that . The people from VFS will take your completed documents and insert it into a waterproof file. SO no worries. All the best !

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  5. hi please i would like to know whether the cover can just be typed and printed by myself with the blank spaces which i can fill later.wants to know more about the cover letter.

  6. Hey shrobon, thanks alott for all this information.
    I have actually started my MS in the US (it's only my first sem), I now have got MS big data from SFU and I really want to attend that, i.e.(I want to leave United states and go to canada). Can you tell me one thing that do they need my original document to be submitted to them and stay without passport for 5 weeks (processing time) because in that case I will have to go back to india to get my visa done and i wouldn't want that if it's possible to obtain visa while staying in the US. Please also tell me if an interview is compulsory in my case.

  7. Hey hi really helpful!! I am currently filing for a study permit.I am filing an online application, how does it differ from a offline one?

    1. Well there isnt much of a difference.
      The only thing is that you will be asked to mail in your original passport to them once they start processing your documents.
      This creates somewhat of a discontinuity in processing i believe and is moreover a hassle and you will be worried about your passport reaching them and coming back to you via postal mail. Other than this, everything else is the same.

      In the offline process you are submitting every document including your passport at the same time . In my opinion this is a smoother process.
      I had done the process offline while in INDIA and i got my visa in about 11-15 working days, while my friend had done the online application and the process took about 27 days. Thought this can differ quite a bit.
      Hope i answered your question.

    2. Thank you for the quick response!!

    3. I am showing the following proof of funds
      7.5 lakh loan letter
      Gic cad 10042$
      Fd's of parents worth 20 lakh
      Ppf of parents worth 10 lakh
      It returns,and bank statements
      Affidavit of financial support from parents
      Is this enough or should I pay first term fees as well?

    4. This is more than sufficient. It wont be a problem at all if all your other documents are clear :)
      Wishing you all the best :)