Canada Study Visa Application Tips & Requirements: Recently, I found out that 30 Canadian institutions were counted among the best in the world, according to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings. This has made the race for a student visa in Canada more challenging than it used to be. Here in this post, you will find the checklist you require to get a Canada student visa at your first try.
I recently came across this site that had some funny but enlightening things to say about Canadians; After I found out that it was illegal in Canada for anyone to have an offensive smell, which could be punishable by 2 years in jail and that Yonge street in Ontario Canada was 1,896 km (1,178 miles) long. Begins in Toronto and goes due north to just shy of Lark Simcoe, making it the longest street in the world. Couple with the fact that Canada is one of the countries with most educated people in the world. Who knew?
More than 50% of the population has a post-secondary education. Plus, the country has a 99% literacy rate. Not bad, right?
With these facts, I quickly knew where I wanted to get my second degree. For some weird reason, not even known to me, I fell in love with Canada. Quickly I got on with getting a visa, thinking my love for this strange country was all the requirements I needed to get a visa. I received a rude shock when I was declined. I knew I had to go back to the drawing board to get right all I got wrong.
THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR CANADA STUDENT VISA:
The first step is to get a Canada Study Visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate. In order to get your application package, you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. To aid your application processes, you will need;
Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
You must have a valid acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI). Meaning you must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec.
You must have a valid proof of identity, which includes your international passport as well as two passport-size photos. You also must present valid proof of identity for every single person accompanying the family, including recent passport size photos, their names, and date of birth.
Canada Visa Photo Requirements
To apply for a Canada visa, you will be asked to provide pictures of yourself which must follow the visa photo guidelines of the Canadian government. The general requirements for a Canada visa visa photo are as follows:
- It must have been taken within the last six months.
- It must be 35×45 mm, or 420×540 px.
- It must have a white background.
- It must be high quality and reflect your true appearance.
The Canada visa photos should have the following dimensions:
Head and Eye-Level Measurements
To meet the necessary requirements, the Canada visa photos must also adhere to the following measurements:
- The applicant’s head measurement, from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin, must be 34.7mm.
- The measurement from the applicant’s top of the hair to the top of the photo, must be 3mm.
It is important to note that photographs that do not meet these specific size requirements will not be accepted.
The picture for a Canada visa should be taken in front of a white ( ) background. There should be no patterns or other objects behind you.
Number of Pictures Required
For most Canada visa applications, you will be required to provide identical photos which were taken in the last six months. If the application is online, you will have to submit the same digital photograph.
Note: Although for most visa types, pictures are required, for certain visas, the Canadian embassy may request more or fewer copies of the same picture.
The pictures you submit for your Canada visa application must meet certain standards of quality to be acceptable, which ensure your facial features are visible and recognizable:
- Your photo should be sharp without any visible pixels or printer dots.
- The photo should not be blurry. Your face should be in focus and without motion or focus blur.
- The photo should be clear and in color. It must accurately represent your skin tone and must be properly exposed with no shadows, color casts or distortions.
- There should be no shadows on you or the background. To prevent shadows, use uniform illumination when taking the photo.
- The photo should be properly exposed. There should neither be underexposure (too dark) nor overexposure (too bright).
- High-quality print. If you’re printing the photo, use a higher quality printer ink, paper, or print setting, or increase the printer’s resolution (dots per inch (DPI) setting).
Overall, the photo should be high-quality and accurately represent your appearance. A low-quality or poorly-lit photo can result in delays or denials of the visa application, so it’s important to take the time to ensure that the photo meets all of the necessary requirements and is of good quality.
Facial Expression and Posture
When you take your Canada visa photo, make sure you meet the following requirements for posture and facial expression:
- Sit or stand straight. You have to face the camera and look straight ahead. Make sure your shoulders are square to the camera and that you’re not tilting your head up, down, or to the side.
- Face the camera with a neutral expression. Avoid smiling or showing your teeth in the photo and do not frown or make any other facial expression that could be interpreted as negative.
- Make sure your eyes are open and clearly visible. Your pupils and irises (colored portions of the eyes) must be clearly visible in the photo.
Clothing and Accessories
When taking a Canada visa photo, it’s important to ensure that you are dressed appropriately and that your photo meets specific requirements. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- Hats or head coverings. Generally, you should not wear a hat or head covering that obscures your hair or hairline in your visa photo. However, if you wear a head covering daily for religious purposes, you may wear it in your photo as long as it doesn’t cast any shadows on your face and your full face is visible.
- Glasses. In general, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances where they cannot be removed for medical reasons. If you’ve had ocular surgery recently and need to wear glasses to protect your eyes, you’ll need to provide a medical statement signed by a healthcare professional. If eyeglasses are accepted, they should not cover your eyes, cause glare or shadows, or distort your eyes in any way.
- Clothing. You should wear clothing that you would typically wear on a daily basis when taking your visa photo. However, uniforms should not be worn unless it’s religious clothing that you wear daily.
- Hearing devices or similar articles If you typically wear a hearing device or other similar articles, you may wear it in your visa photo.
Digital Photo for Canadian Visa Application
For online applications for a Canada visa, you may be required to submit a digital image. The online Canada visa picture should follow these guidelines:
- Image format not specified. Any of these digital image formats .pdf,.jpg,.gif,.bmp,.png should be accepted.
- a maximum of 300KB.
All other requirements with respect to the background, photo quality, body posture, clothing, and accessories remain the same.
Requirements for Young Children and Babies
The same requirements in regard to size and quality apply to Canada visa photos for young children and babies as well. Also, keep the following requirements in mind:
- The child or baby should be facing the camera. If your child cannot sit upright, it is recommended to lay the baby down on their back on a white or off-white sheet.
- The background must be white or off-white. They can be lying down or sitting up, but the background should always be white of off-white.
- The child or baby must have their eyes open. Although for very young babies, it can be difficult to keep their eyes open, try to get the baby’s attention by making a noise or using a toy to encourage them to look at the camera.
- Do not be in the picture with your child. You must not be in the picture holding or propping up your child.
- Do not use any props. There should be nothing in the picture with your child, such as toys or decorations, as they can distract from the child’s features and may not meet the Canada visa photo requirements.
Should I Print Out the Pictures?
No, because the visa application process is online, you will not be required to print out your visa photo. You have to attach the digital copy of your photo to the application portal, as requested by the US embassy or consulate.
There are usually no medical exemptions from a Canada visa photo; everyone has to provide a photo for their visa application. Certain exemptions may apply in the following cases:
- If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with the application.
- If you wear a hat or head covering for medical purposes, submit a signed doctor’s statement verifying the hat or head covering in your photo is used daily for medical purposes.
Important Notes for Canadian Visa Photo
When applying for a Canada visa, it’s important to provide a photo that accurately reflects your current appearance. Keep in mind that even if your photo is not more than 6 months old, the Canadian embassy or consulate may ask you to submit a new one if it doesn’t represent your current look. You’ll need to obtain a new photo if:
- You’ve had significant facial surgery or trauma, made a gender transition, or undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain.
- If you’ve added or removed numerous or large facial piercings or tattoos, a new photo will be necessary.
However, minor changes such as growing a beard or coloring your hair usually won’t require a new photo submission as long as you can still be identified from the photo in your visa application.
Proof of Funds
Proof of financial support, to which you must prove that you can support yourself and all your family members (if applicable) while in Canada. This would include your bank account details with a Canadian bank, bank account details for the past four months, and proof of loan details secured from a financial institution as a student, among others.
Statement of Purpose
Letter of explanation, with details about why you are applying for a study permit, even though you may not need one. Having a study permit also gives you the freedom to work part-time on campus as a full-time student. At the same time, if you wish to continue studying in Canada, you can apply to renew the permit while living in Canada. You don’t have to leave the country to get it renewed.
Immigration Medical Examination
You may need a medical exam if you want to come to Canada. This is to make sure you’re not inadmissible for medical reasons. If you plan to stay for 6 months or less you generally don’t need a medical exam unless you plan to work in certain jobs.
You may also need to get a temporary resident visa or an electoral travel authorization (ETA), which allows access to the country as a student.
You can apply for a student visa either offline on paper or submit an online application on the official citizen and immigration Canada (CIC) website. A letter of introduction, along with all the necessary documents is needed to be carried to Canada.
Fees for Canada Study Visa
- As proof of financial support, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada.
- Applying for a study permit in Canada will cost you CAD150.
- The minimum amount you would need to study in Canada is $10,000 (Plus tuition fees for a 12-month period outside Quebec, and $11,000 plus tuition for the same period in Quebec, for a single student).
- This amount will increase with the addition of each additional family member.
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