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Step: 5 I How to Study in Canada I Canada Student Visa Process I Prepare to Immigrate to Canada

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

This is it! The last blog of the series How to Study in Canada! Thanks for making it all the way to the fifth step. Hope this series added a lot of value to your information search for applying for Canadian Visa.

This blog will cover the final phase of immigrating to Canada as a student which is Preparing to Immigrate to Canada. Very crucial step! So read attentively.

You have done it all, step 1 to step 4, but now you’re going to a catch that flight, but what is your checklist before you leave right? The last thing you’d want it to be a messy ending!

Here are the 4 things that will be covered in the first half of this blog:

  • Confirm Residence/Housing

  • Course Enrolment

  • Note Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Register for Events and Orientations

  • Book your Flights

Reading this blog, will give you a good idea on what things to double check just before you leave to catch that flight to Canada, ensuring everything goes smoothly. Let’s, get right into it.

Don't have time? Simply watch the video below that goes over everything mentioned in this blog. Make sure to subscribe to the channel, so the next time there is a new video, you'll get notified.

Would you like to speak directly to the admissions team of Algonquin College? Register below for a free virtual information session where you can have all your questions answered and get information on their application process, programs and support services. Click the image below to register.

1. Confirm Residence/Housing:

You need to stay somewhere once you here. And the term for that is residence. Make sure you live on campus. What does that mean? Living in university dorms. Why?

One of the biggest mistakes that majority of international students make is live off campus in their first year. Why is that a mistake? When you arrive to study in Canada, you probably won’t know many people. You get here, you don’t know anybody. So it's important to meet as many people as you can and make as many friends. Goal is to socialize with as many first year students as you can. And dorms are just the right place for that.

In residence, you’ll be around many first-year students, who also want to make friends. Before you know it, you’ll have new friends from all over the world and a bursting social calendar! In residence you're part of a community right from day one. At first, you'll meet lots of new people. You'll recognize faces in the halls, meet up with floor-mates for meals, sit with them in classes. Then, before you know it, you are in a new environment, learning a lot of new things and learning about the Canadian culture, which is so important. Your connections in residence will help you grow by introducing you to other cultures and ideas. And later in life, you'll find you can count on those connections for support.

It's one of the best things about residence life. And some of those friendships will last your lifetime.

So, how do you apply for residence? Once you get accepted, they will send you an email on how to secure a place on residence. Act promptly and lookout for that e-mail.

Maybe you will save a couple 100 bucks by living off campus, but you are missing out on the potential lasting relationships and connections you can make if you were to live on campus. But after 1 year, you can totally make the move. So take the first year to integrate within the community, meet as many people and integrate within the culture. Ok so now you have a place to stay!

2. Course Enrolment:

This may vary from institution to institution. But still is a very crucial step, as some universities or colleges require you to enrol for your courses based on your course sequence.

So, you will need to check with your institution if you have to manually enrol for your courses through their student portal or not. Their, is a pre-determined course sequence for your program for each semester, and all you do is just register for those courses. You get to choose your electives and shuffle them around. Most of it is done through your student portal. Pretty easy step, but if you have any further questions, comment below. It is very important to prepare your course selection before the enrolment period.

Another important thing to note, as an international student you will always have to be enrolled as a full-time student, which is at least have 4 courses every semester. Part time studies are only allowed in your last semester of studies.

3. Note all Important Dates and Deadlines:

Know when things need to get done. Get to know the important dates and deadlines related to your academic program, including the start and end date of every term, the deadlines for enrolment and payment of tuition fees, exam periods, convocation dates, statutory holidays, breaks and special events for both undergraduate and graduate students. Throughout your course of study, it will be your responsibility to know the deadlines and submit your documents and assignments on time.

Usually, students transmit partial tuition fees before coming to Canada. So you need to know when to pay the other half of the fees so your account balance is clear. Your tuition fees will show on your statement of accounts and e-bills. If you don’t clear the amount you owe, you wont be able to register for the next semester.

So take out a calendar, pin down all the important dates and prepare yourself in advance.

4. Register for Events and Orientations:

So there are 2 things you can expect in the first week of your semester. Make sure to register for international student orientations and your program info sessions.

In the orientation, there are many social activities to meet people from your own country as well as other international students, while getting to know the campus and city. The program info session will teach you everything you need to know about your program – course load, expectations, requirements and career pathways and opportunities. You get to meet your professors or dean and will get to learn the cultural norms in Canada, which will help to ease your transition and address your expectations. You will get to hear from upper year international students and answer your questions.

Even before you come to Canada Join university/college Facebook groups, residence groups, your program groups, and follow the international office etc. Keep up with your emails from the schools as they will let you know how, when and where to sign up! Save those dates! Integration within the community as soon as you get here is key to your success!

5. Book your flights

Guess what happens if you don’t book your flight. Imagine...yeah..exactly! Book flights through a flight agency within your country if it’s your first time flying. That way you don’t have to worry about the complications around transit visas and other regulations. Really reduces the stress!

Also, you can expect an airport welcome service from your institution. So, register for the airport welcome service, they have a kiosk at the from set dates and times. They will give you directions to the main campus or your place of accommodation and answer your questions. They will also provide you with useful information for the next steps for your new student life.

So the key things you need to remember:

  • Live on campus, apply early for residence!

  • Enrol for your courses within deadline period.

  • Take note of all the important dates and deadlines.

  • Register for events and orientations.

  • Make sure to book your flight!

Now it's time to picture yourself at the airport in Canada! You made it! But wait, there is more!

Imagine everything went well! You got admitted to the university or college of your dreams! You got your Canada Student Visa! Now you need to know what important immigration documents you need to bring with you and have with you at all times, what to pack and things to expect when you get here!

Don't have time? Simply watch the video below that goes over everything mentioned in this blog. Make sure to subscribe to the channel, so the next time there is a new video, you'll get notified.

1. Documents Required for Canada Student Visa on arrival:

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer. The officer will:

  • ask to see your passport or travel documents

  • ask you a few questions and

  • make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada

They usually ask about the duration of your study and where you are staying.

So you have to show them:

  • a valid passport or travel document

  • the letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit

    • This letter has your permit reference number, which is used to issue your study permit

  • a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from your school

  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada

  • letters of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring and

  • either a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa (temporary resident visa)

    • If you have a valid eTA, it’ll be linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit

Keep all your important documents in a secure but accessible place. Keep your passport, Letter of Introduction (from the visa office), proof of funds, and Letter of Acceptance (from your university or college ) to hand, ready for arrival in Canada. It’s a good idea to keep any other documents – which could include accommodation information, key phone numbers, transcripts, and a list of all items you’re bringing with you, and their value – in the same safe place.

2. What you need to pack:

Pack things that are absolutely necessary! Clothes and accessories! Fitting your entire life into a suitcase can be tough but it’s also a chance to start fresh. Try to pack as simple as you can. If you’re moving into campus accommodation, check if it’s furnished (it usually is) and see what’s included. If you’re moving in with roommates, get in touch with them beforehand and see what they already have or what they’re bringing, as applicable. Bulky items like bedding, towels, and small appliances can be found at a reasonable price once you arrive.

Check when your flight arrives. If you get here daytime, great! Drop your stuffs off in residence or wherever you are staying, and head to the nearest Walmart/Loblaws or grocery store. Buy all the things you need right away - bed sheets, pillows, shower gels and all that stuff.

But if you get here at night time, and you have a family here, you should definitely stay with them, and if you don’t have family, get a hotel room and sleep the night there. Because your residence bedroom wont be furnished, which means no pillows, no blankets, you will be starving and trust me its not a pleasant experience.

Also, please dress to impress when you are an international student here in Canada. Your appearance is your first impression. That’s the reality! Look the part, dress nice! Shop some nice outfits before you get here! Doesn’t have to be over the top! Simple and minimalistic will do! You can use Pinterest to get some fashion ideas or just google University or College student outfit ideas in Canada.

One key element to consider is the Canadian winter. It gets really cold and many international students don’t really know what to expect and cant figure out what kind of jackets to buy and that’s understandable. Buy your winter jacket once you get here! Because what usually happens is that you buy a few jackets back home thinking that it will be good enough for the cold here, but then you get here and realize that they are actually not warm enough, then you have to buy a jacket here either way. So it’s better to just buy it here once instead of spending money on jackets twice! The jackets actually go on sale during fall, so its perfect! But here is what you can get back home - sweaters, hats, mittens/gloves, wool socks, sweatpants and shirts, shoes, bring some professional outfits like dress shirts and suits, cause you will have presentations! However, if you have sweaters and warm socks, bring as many as you can fit.

As tempting as it might seem to pack your favourite foods, and other unnecessary things that you think are absolutely necessary, don’t pack them, it’s probably not worth the hassle, Pack warm clothes, get a few fashion ideas and start trying to look good! Feel good about yourself!

3. What to Expect on Arrival:

Here are 2 possible scenarios. Scenario 1 where, just before landing in Canada, the flight attendant will provide you with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card The CBSA website provides information about this Declaration Card. Fill out this form on the flight.

Or, Scenario 2 where you fill out the form on a screen at a kiosk after you land at the airport! Fill out all the info correctly! Claim that you have a few gifts with you from $20-$30 with you to avoid getting randomly selected. And look proper too!

Then all international students have to pass through Immigration. An officer will ask for your passport or travel documents and will ask some further questions. Tell the officer you’re coming to Canada to study. You must tell the border officer if you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000. If you don’t, they may fine you and seize your funds.

Here is when you will have a big smile on you! After your interesting confab, if there are no issues, the officer will issue your study permit and will stamp your passport! Congrats! You made it! Don’t get too excited! Read the document carefully, double check everything, the dates, your name. The process is extremely smooth and welcoming.

And that's it, if everything is good! You head towards the exit, and guess what YOU'RE IN CANADA!

Pick up your bags, and if you already are expecting family to pick you up great! And if you don’t, there are kiosks set up from your institution at the airport! Just look for them! Go say hi, introduce yourself and they will arrange transport for you from the airport to your residence!

With that being said, that’s the end of this series on How to Apply for Universities in Canada! I want to thank you for sticking around and staying tuned throughout this series! This series was created with the sole mission of bringing transparency to the international student application process and help address all of your questions. I appreciate you being part of the journey!

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Blog Tags: Canada Student Visa, Canada Visa, Study Permit Canada, Canada Immigration, Study in Canada, Canada Study Visa, Study Visa for Canada, Canada Student Visa Requirements, Canada Student Visa Process, Canada Student Visa Processing Time, Canada Student Visa Fees

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