All entries for Saturday 30 July 2005

July 30, 2005

Study permits!

You might be interested to know that you don't actually need a visa! Well, unless you're an international student already, in which case things might be a bit trickier (I don't have a clue), but if you're a home student (UK) then you can forget about visas, hurrah! You do, however, need a study permit, which is just about the same thing really. Having a study permit lets you work on campus legally, so you don't have to worry about getting a work permit too if you intend on working part time while you're there (as I do).

Canada seems to have quite a few websites dedicated to telling you how to apply for a study permit.
This and this website will tell you pretty much what to do, but I'll talk you through it because I'm nice, and because I found some bits confusing.

OK, it costs $125 Canadian dollars to apply for a study permit. The best way to send this (in fact, the only way I am aware of) is to get a bank draft. I think this costs about a tenner, but I'm not sure. You fill in a form in the bank, and it takes about three days. They then post you a cheque made out in Canadian dollars for you to send along with your application. You need to know who to make the cheque out to when you go to apply, and that person is the "receiver general for canada" (I found that out from here ). You then collect a lot of things together to send of. These things are:

*the application form you can find on the website. It is easy to fill in, except a couple of confusing bits regarding dates. I decided that the best thing to do was to put my term dates down in the bit that specifically asked for them, but in the part where it asks how long your study permit should be valid for, I put until the beginning of September, because I have heard that it makes staying in the country afterwards much easier (apparantly it is quite costly to apply to stay longer).

*your admission letter from Queen's (I sent two because I had two – one that said 'for immigration purposes' and one that had all my information on it)

*your letter from Warwick that says that you will be coming back to the UK after studying in Canada

*two passport sized photos with your name and date of birth on the back. Mine were horrible because the photo machine in the post office by my house makes your face massive so you have to lean back really far to fit your whole face in, and also the chair is really high and wont go lower, so I had a very uncomfortable look on my face.

*your passport. A copy of the ID page might suffice, but I applied quite late and thought I should send the whole thing just in case.

*four months' worth of bank statements. This is to show that you have money. Mine showed that I shop a lot and go overdrawn, but that I have regular payments going in too, and that I'm sometimes not in debt.

*I also sent my letter from the LEA saying how much loan and grant I'm getting. I think $10,000 is the minimum you need to show you have for the year, which is basically covered in your loan so you should be fine here. Unfortunately, my LEA are complete morons and have not sent me this years' form yet, so I had to send last year's one. This didn't seem to matter, though, it was just averagely annoying.

Then you post all of this off to:
Immigration and Medical Division
Canadian High Commission
38 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4AA
United Kingdom

Mine took 12 days to arrive (sent it 29th July and it arrived today, 10th August). What actually arrives is not the permit itself, but an official letter that you have to show someone at the port of entry who will then give you your permit. I hope it doesn't have my horrible photo on it.

It's all quite simple really. Oh, and I sent it all recorded delivery, because losing my passport now would be horrific. And they sent it back recorded delivery too, which was kind. My best advice, though, is it send it off EARLY - I have been having nightmares for the last week about it having got lost in the post, or being declined, or having not sent the right things and it being sent back etc etc.


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