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Adodo Eddy Osaman

By Eddy Osaman – December 10, 2021 @ 8:24 pm

Congratulations on choosing to study in Canada! This post would help you navigate your journey.

 

CHOOSING A COURSE:

  1. Have at least 3 courses in mind – Example “Msc biomedical sciences, Msc physiology, Msc Kinesiology”.
  2. Ensure the courses are related to your previous academic experience. Courses should also be rare in your home country (for visa’s sake).
  3. If you have a province in mind, google “Course title + province”. For example, “Msc biomedical sciences Manitoba”. This will provide a list of institutions in Manitoba offering biomedical sciences. Click here to see an example.
  4. Four key areas to check in an institution website are “PITAS” – Program, International students section, Tuition, Accommodation, and Scholarships.
  5. Some institutions have simplified the process by providing country-specific requirements. Click here to see an example.
  6. For the sake of your post-graduate work permit, do not choose a program of less than a year. I will explain subsequently in this post.

 

FINDING AN AFFORDABLE INSTITUTION:

The best universities in Canada in terms of affordability and cost of living are in the Atlantic region of Canada, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

  1. New Foundland – Memorial University of New Foundland.
  2. New Brunswick – Saint Thomas University, University of New Brunswick, Crandall University, University of Moncton.
  3. Nova Scotia – Saint Francis Xavier University, Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Saint-Anne University, Cape Breton University.
  4. Prince Edward Island – University of Prince Edward Island.
  5. Manitoba – Brandon University, University of Saint Boniface, Canadian Mennonite University.
  6. Saskatchewan: The University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada.

 

VERIFICATION OF INSTITUTION:

Before you proceed to apply to any Canadian institution, you need to verify if it is Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligible. A PGWP is a document authorizing you to work in Canada upon graduation. This is your key to staying back in Canada. You can confirm if your institution is PGWP eligible by clicking here.

 

APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION:

Admission applications are usually done on your institution’s website. Most Canadian institutions would require:

  1. High school certificate – For BSc applicants.
  2. Transcripts and Degree certificate – For MSc/PhD applicants. Most institutions accept student copies of transcripts but will require that you subsequently send the original copies.
  3. Resume/CVClick here to see resume templates.
  4. Statement of purpose – This document shows your study intent. Almost every institution requires it. See how to write a good SOP by clicking here.
  5. Reference letters – For PG/MSc/PhD applicants.
  6. English test – Most Canadian institutions usually waive this if you were taught in English language or are from an English-speaking country.
  7. Research proposal – For applicants to research-based programs. Click here to see a sample.

 

OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH LOW GRADES:

  1. Get your research (project works) published. Click here to see journal publication websites.
  2. Write an aptitude test if it is applicable to your institution. Example GRE, GMAT.
  3. Get some work experience in your desired field. This can include volunteering.
  4. Secure a research supervisor.
  5. Evaluate your degree –  For applicants to the USA, evaluating your transcripts using WES can help eliminate the courses you failed.
  6. Most institutions usually evaluate the last 2years of your academic transcripts. You may still be eligible for MSc if you scored high in the final 2 years of your previous degree.

You may stand a chance of getting admitted directly to your desired academic level by doing these. But if you consider these a hassle, then apply to a Postgraduate Diploma program (PGD) or Postgraduate Certificate program (PGC). A PGD is longer and provides more academic credits than a PGC. Take note of the difference if you wish to pursue Msc subsequently.

 

HOW TO FIND A SUPERVISOR:

Having a supervisor is important in research-based programs, research-based scholarships, and for individuals with low GPAs.

  1. Google “Academic staff + university”. Example “Academic staff Wilfrid Laurier University”. This would provide the list of academic staff and their contact information. Click here to see an example.
  2. Reach out to them via email using the format listed here.
  3. Another option is to search on LinkedIn. Click here to see an example. 

 

TUITION:

Canada has 4 academic terms – Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring. Some institutions display their tuition fees by academic term, per credit hour, or by academic year. 

 

CANADIAN INSTITUTIONS WITH TUITION PAYMENT PLANS:

Some institutions offer payment plans, meaning you can pay in installments. They include Wilfrid Laurier UniversityUniversity of AlbertaUniversity of ManitobaUniverity of CalgaryUniversity of VictoriaMcGill UniversityUniversity of OttawaUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaQueens University,Tyndale University. For other institutions, google “Payment plan + Institution name”. Example “Payment plan University of Manitoba”.

 

FUNDING & SCHOLARSHIPS:

The major ways to fund your academics are:

  1. Personal funds.
  2. Crowdfunding – Contributions from folks to your bank account.
  3. Loans – Obtainable from banks or trusted agencies in your community.
  4. Scholarships – There are Full scholarships, Partial scholarships, Government scholarships, and Non-GPA based scholarships.
  5. Research-based Grants – A lot of scholarships are tied to research. These researches are not in the field of sciences alone. It can be in any profession. Your best shot at a research-based scholarship is when you are able to secure a Supervisor. See my recent point on how to reach out to a Supervisor.
  6. External Scholarship websites such as Scholarships Canada and Yconic.
  7. Apply to a U15 university. Click here to know more.

For more information on Scholarships, watch this video I made:

APPLYING FOR YOUR STUDY PERMIT:

Congratulations! Now that you have been admitted, the next step is to apply for your study permit. 

A study permit is a document that authorizes you to study in Canada. If you are from a country that requires a visa to travel to Canada, a visa will be issued alongside your study permit.

Not everyone requires a study permit to study in Canada. You can do a quick assessment here.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR STUDY PERMIT:

  1. An IRCC online account – It’s highly recommended to apply online than on paper. Click here to create an account.
  2. IMM1294 – Application for study permit made outside of Canada.
  3. IMM5707 – Family information form. Ensure to include your family members in this form, whether they are traveling with you or not. Very important for future sake.
  4. Schedule 1 – Application form for a Temporary residence made outside of Canada.
  5. Letter of Explanation – This is where you tell the visa officer everything about yourself – Who you are, What and where you are studying, Why you chose Canada, and How you will return home upon graduation. You can also use it to clarify any document you submitted.  
  6. International passport.
  7. Passport photographsClick here to see passport specifications.
  8. Admission letter from your Canadian institution.
  9. Medical examination ($170 CAD per individual) – Upfront medicals are highly recommended. It means you have undergone your medical examination before IRCC requests for it. You can schedule your medicals at an IRCC approved clinic in your country by clicking here.
  10. Biometrics ($85 CAD per person) – This is not compulsory if your fingerprints have been taken within the last 10years.
  11. Police character certificate (About $250 CAD per person) – This is not mandatory in most cases, but recommended. You can process this ahead of time. Click here to get a Police certificate.
  12. Proof of ties to your home country – This comes in form of landed properties, registered business, job, etc. I do not recommend using your immediate family members as ties. It comes with side effects.
  13. Proof of funds – This can be your bank statement. You would need to show funds to cover 1 year of studies. A 6-month bank statement is required for most countries, except countries participating in the Student Direct Stream (SDS). See the list of SDS countries here. Calculate your proof of funds by clicking here.
  14. Travel history – Having traveled to a developed country (such as The USA, The UK, Europe, or Australia) adds more credibility to your application. Your approval chances may be low without one.
  15. Language test score – This is required if you are applying from a non-English or French-speaking country.
  16. Client information – This section in your online application is where you upload your Statement of Purpose, Letter of Explanation, Police Certificate, Transcripts, Resume, Language test score, etc as a single document. Ensure you combine these documents into a single file and upload it here.

 

THE NIGERIAN STUDENT EXPRESS

The Nigerian Student Express (NSE) is a fast-track program for processing study permit applications for Nigerian citizens and Permanent residents.

There is no separate application process for NSE. Once you have submitted your study permit application, you will be notified by IRCC to use NSE. Please note that NSE is optional.

The requirements (in addition to the ones listed above) are:

  1. A MyBankCertificate – A 6-month bank statement obtainable from any of the major Nigerian banks, showing a closing balance of $30,000 CAD.
  2. IELTS score – This can be IELTS General or Academic. A score of 6.0 is required in each skill (reading, writing, listening, speaking). IELTS is mandatory for NSE, whether or not it was required in your admission.

 

PRO TIPS:

  • Be proactive – Do not wait for IRCC to send you an email before proceeding to the next step of your study permit application. Do things ahead of time!
  • Sponsorship – It is highly recommended that working adults should self-sponsor or be sponsored by their spouse, or organization. Married adults should not use their parents as a sponsor. Unemployed young adults can be sponsored by their parents. In all cases avoid using your friend, sibling, cousin, uncle, or aunt as a sponsor. Under the ambits of immigration law, you are not their direct dependent. If they wish to assist you, then explore crowdfunding.
  • Uploading your documents – A maximum of 4MB is allowed per file upload in your online application. Ensure to upload relevant documents or resize them before uploading. 
  • Denial – My aim is to hear the good news of your approval. But if you are denied for any reason, you can apply for an ATIP/GCMS note. An ATIP/GCMS note is better than a generic refusal letter. It gives more insight as to why you were denied. You can request an ATIP/GCMS note here.

WATCH THE STEPS TO STUDYING IN CANADA HERE

Canada Visitor Visa in 30days - The New Portal

FROM STUDIES TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY

International students are only allowed 20work hours per week. Full-time work is only allowed during holidays.

Upon graduation, you will be issued a postgraduate work permit (PGWP), allowing you to work full-time.

It is very important that you study in a PGWP eligible institution, otherwise, you will be asked to return to your home country. Click here to check if your institution is PGWP eligible.

A PGWP has the same length as your program. For example, if your program was for 2years, your PGWP will likely be valid for 2years. A PGWP cannot be extended. Putting into consideration the time it takes for a job search, plus the fact that a PGWP is non-extendable, it is highly recommended not to apply for programs less than 2 years.

Students can now study 100% online from their home countries and still qualify for a PGWP. This temporary policy is valid till August 31, 2022. See the full information here.

If you are able to secure a job classified under skill type 0, A or B, and you are able to keep that job for a period of 1year (full-time) or 2years (part-time), this puts you under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and makes you eligible for Permanent Residency.

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Eddy Osaman is passionate about providing the best travel opportunities for a safer and better life overseas. He is the Bricklayer of iGroup - A brand that owns iTravel, iBit Media, iSMS, and iStore.

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