Canada Student Visa
For study programs of more than six months in Canada student visa is mandatory. For successful visa application you need to demonstrate that you are enrolled in designated learning institute, have sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living cost and transportation expenses, should be law abiding citizen with no adverse criminal records, you need to show that you will leave Canada at the end of study period.
There are three different categories for study permit in Canada:
1. Student Direct Stream (SDS)
Student Direct Stream (SDS) is an application program introduced by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with an agenda to make the study permit application processing smoother for students from India, China, Vietnam and Philippines. Moreover, the application of students applying under SDS will be quickly processed as compared to regular applications.
Universities in Canada offer Bachelors program, Master’s program and Doctorate programs, few universities also offer post graduate diploma program. Each University has its individual system of application with entry requirements. Requirements for GRE/GMAT/SAT and English language proficiency tests varies from University to University. While considering the applications, overall merit of the student is taken into account.
The Tuition fees for University are higher compared to Colleges and Institutes. Students are encouraged to apply as early as 6 months prior to intake. GIC is acceptable fund and even education loan from standard banks is an accepted evidence for living cost.
3. General (Non SDS)
Students can apply under Non SDS visa application wherein documentation and processing will vary, for Non SDS application more detailed documents are required to prove financial capabilities and income sources. The Designated Learning Institutes (DLI) participating in SDS program are also open and available for Non SDS application. Further applications which are not applicable under SDS or University application are considered for General i.e. Non SDS application.
GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) is not mandatory, but acceptable. Bank savings, other investments and education loan is considered as part of Fund. The basic difference between SDS and Non SDS is the requirement of proof of funds and language ability in English or French which is higher in SDS applications as compared to Non SDS applications. While benefits related to work permit allowed to students and post study work benefits remains the same for both the programs.
Processing Time for Canada Student Visa
For student visa applications done under the SDS program the processing time is 45 days or less. On the other hand, for Non SDS applications the processing time is 60 days on an average. The actual time may vary depending upon the volume of applications at Consulates or High Commission.