There are valuable tips to consider when applying for a visa.
These application tips and relevant immigration guidelines vary with each country.
However, for those interested in studying abroad with particular reference to Canada, below are the 7 tips to think of when applying for a Canadian visa.
1. Ties to Home Country: Under Canadian Immigration law, applicants wishing to study in Canada are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons to return to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in Canada. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence: job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc. If you are a prospective undergraduate, you need to write about your specific intentions or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-range plans, and career prospects in your home country. Each person’s situation is different, of course, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter which can guarantee visa issuance.
2. Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans: If you are not able to articulate the reasons you decided to study a particular program in Canada, you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in the Canada relates to your future professional career when you return home.
3. Be Concise: Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to review documents. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of looking at your study permit application. Consequently, how you package your visa application is critical to your success. Keep your statement of purpose concise and straight to the point answers.
4. Supplemental Documentation: It should be clear at a glance to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated.
5. Not All Countries are Equal: Applicants from countries like Nigeria with economic challenges or from countries where many students have remained in Canada as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be intending immigrants. They are also more likely to be refused based on lack of adequate funds available for their study in Canada. To overcome this challenge, it is important to present financial statements that shows you can afford to pay for your one year tuition and you have enough left for accommodation, transportation, feeding and miscellaneous expenses.
6. Employment: Your primary purpose of coming to Canada should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students are permitted to work for 20hrs per week, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their Canadian education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse and children are also applying for accompanying visa, be aware that you have to prove to the consular officer that you have enough financial resources to pay for your children’s education in Canada and not rely on employment in Canada to support their education. You also need to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in Canada. Working and attending school part-time are permitted activities.
7. Dependents Remaining at Home: If your spouse and children are remaining behind in Nigeria, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer has the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from Canada in order to support themselves, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa.
Taiwo Roluga, B.Sc, M.A. (UK), PG D (Canada)
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R516184)