Students interested in studying at Canada for more than a period of 6 months have to apply for study permits. Students going in for shorter courses do not need study permits. So, aspirants should have some working knowledge of Canada visa category s1. Applications for Canada visa category s1 have to be made as soon as students receive an offer letter from their college, university or any other educational institution. It should be highlighted that students can either be granted the Canada visa category s1 or SW-1. However, there is not much difference between these 2 visa categories. Canada visa category s1 means ‘Study Visa’ and SW-1 is ‘Study and Work visa’ or ‘study permit with work permit’. SW-1 is issued to those students who have a co-op in their program while Canada visa category s1 is issued to those students who have an optional co-op or internship as part of their programs. But sometimes it may happen that students in the former category also get Canada visa category s1. Thus, students in Canada visa category S1 have to apply for a co-op work permit after reaching Canada. The application is free. Students with SW-1 can start working without any additional permits.
Either way, the initial application for Canada visa category s1 have to be made from outside of Canada with the following documents:
- Letter of acceptance;
- Proof of identity;
- Completed visa application form;
- A valid travel document or passport;
- 2 latest passport size photographs;
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover one’s entire stay and tuition fees (if not on scholarship) in Canada. This amount would be greater if one is married and planning to bring in their family.
There is no need to hire immigration lawyers or consultants as the visa application is quite straightforward and easy to handle by the applicants themselves. Students can either make an online application or submit a manual application form that can be acquired from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Credit or debit cards and soft copies of certificates and documents are needed for online applications. Upon the receipt of applications, CIC reserves the right to hold interviews for candidates. Interviews might be held in case the officials at CIC doubt that the candidate will go back to their home country upon course completion or about care arrangements in Canada. It is always best to check with your nearest embassy for information connected with the application or for advice about the processing time.
During the application process for study permits, students are asked whether they have a co-op as a part of their programs. If students say yes then they need a co-op letter from their college or university in order to support their application for the SW-1 visa category. The co-op letter clearly states that the internship is a part of the study program. However, if the information about the internship is already given in the admission offer letter then a separate co-op letter is not required. It is still advisable to get in touch with one’s college or University if the co-op is optional. If colleges grant co-op letters in these kinds of cases then students can directly get the SW-1 visa label.
Further requirements include:
- One must not have a past criminal record in one’s country of residence where the visa application is made. As such, students may have to provide a police certificate.
- One must be in good health and also undergo complete medical examination where necessary (examinations are not needed if the course duration is less than 6 months).
- Students also need to give their biometrics now after July 31, 2018. These metrics are good for 10 years.
- Last but not the least; an immigration officer must be convinced that one will leave Canada at the end of the study period.
Applying for Canada visa category s1 means that students have to demonstrate their proficiency in English if they or applying for a course which is taught in English or vice versa for a course taught in French.
Students below 17 Years of Age
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that students apply for a visa but are less than 17 should be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian. Canadian citizens or permanent residents can also act as guardians or custodians. It is entirely at the discretion of the immigration officer to waive this requirement if the prospective student is between 17 and 18. There are organizations that also offer custodianship services.
Coming to Canada on a student VISA is a great way to enter the country. Canada is a great place to live and work although it may have extremely low winter temperatures! Applicants’ families can reap a lot of benefits too. Spouses can work under the work permit visa label. This is a great option to support one’s household given the high cost of living in Canada. Minor children can also study in Canada for the duration of the study period. Parents and grandparents can get a super visa for 10 long years and there is a generous family sponsorship program in place as well.
Good luck with your studies and applications!