Concluding part of Isunu’s Canadian university application and student visa process. She has successfully submitted all her documents to the Canadian High Commission and is waiting to hear back on her student visa. Kindly say a prayer of success for her if you are reading this.
Update Oct 13th 2018- Isunu reached out to me to share the good news! She got her student visa and is coming to Ontario early next year. I am so excited for her ???????
Gather your documents for your student visa application
Thomas Edison once said “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.
I know how cumbersome and tiring this process can be, but I still believe it can be done if you are patient and you persevere. It is almost the end of June 2018 at this point and I am in the gathering of documents phase. Below is a full list of the documents required:
- INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT.
This is maybe the most important travel document you need from your home country.
Please note that if the validity of your passport cannot accommodate the length of your study, you will have to renew your passport. It is best to do so in Abuja, except you know a top official at the immigration office in Ikoyi, and they still need approval from Abuja which does take a long time. I wasted a whole month in Lagos, and still had to go to Abuja. You will also need all the previous passports you have ever been issued to show your travel history. Make copies of all past and current visas on all passports and a copies of the data page of your most recent passport.
- STUDY PERMIT CHECKLIST/QUESTIONNAIRE- IMM5832
- FAMILY INFORMATION FORM- IMM5645
- APPLICATION FOR STUDY PERMIT MADE OUTSIDE OF CANADA- IMM1294
- 2 PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS
- ORIGINAL AND PHOTOCOPIES OF
- LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE/ADMISSION
- FEE PAYMENT RECEIPT
- ALL OTHER OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY THE SCHOOL
- ACADEMIC DOCUMENTS: WAEC/NECO, Secondary school certificate, University Degree Certificate, Transcript, NYSC certificate, all other diploma certificates you have.
- PROOF OF SUFFICIENT FUNDS
Since I don’t have millions of money in any of my accounts, or haven’t even transacted in multiple digits, I used a relation’s bank statement- personal and company statements. You are allowed to use multiple accounts and if you have any other supporting documents showing proof of income, e.g. Land documents, other businesses, etc you can go with them.
Make copies of these documents, the originals will be collected
- POLICE CLEARANCE
Original police clearance certificate obtained from C.I.D. (I am not sure but I hear the only issuing authority is FCID in Lagos at: Central Criminal Registry, Force C.I.D. Annex, Alagbon Close Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.)
Police clearance in Nigeria is meant to be free, same as bail, but you know your country naa… I did not pay though! (Akata here- I didn’t know police clearance certificate was free when I was getting mine for my Permanent Residency application. I paid a cool NGN4,000 for it :()
Make a copy of this, the original will be returned to you.
- PROOF OF BUSINESS
If you are self employed, you will need the Registration papers and other supporting documents of your company.
Make copies of this, the originals will be returned to you.
- PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT
In the event that you are employed, your employers will have to issue you an introduction letter and payslip for three (3) months (details of the content can be found in the checklist listed above in FORM IMM5832).
You do not need to make copies of this, as the originals will be collected.
- BIRTH CERTIFICATES
In the checklist- FORM 5832, it is stated that you need to present birth certificates of all your family members, whether they are applying or not. I did not have all of this and the lady that handled my documents submission at VFS – said it did not really matter.
Please go with copies.
- MEDICAL EXAMINATION
I took a leap of faith and did the Medical Examination because I trust I am getting this study permit. You will need to book an appointment ahead of time. Do not go on Friday as they do not attend to Canada applicants on that day. It costs NGN 41, 400 and payments are made at Standard Chartered Bank.
Abuja Office-International Organization for Migration (IOM)
11 Haile Selassie Street
Asokoro District- Abuja
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
No 1, Isaac John Street
G.R.A. Ikeja – Lagos.
Tel: +234 (0) 807 219 1112, +234 (0) 80 2226 4059, +234 (0) 90 9215 6079
- STATEMENT OF INTENT/PURPOSE
Don’t take it lightly and don’t take it for granted.
The statement of purpose is what you write to backup your application. It should contain why you want to study in Canada, why you decided on the course, what you do currently and intend to do on your return to Nigeria – you have to convince them that you will return to your country once your program is done.
Imagine the person reviewing your file picks up just the Statement of Purpose letter, it should highlight all the important aspects of your application. Ensure every detail he/she needs to issue your student visa is in this document. Please be truthful in everything you declare here and every step of the way.
Submitting your documents at VFS
VFS Global is the exclusive service provider for the Government of Canada, authorized to provide administrative support services to visa applicants in Nigeria.
Book an appointment for submission, and if you apply online you will still need to go there for Bio metrics and submission of your International Passport.
Canada Visa Application Centre, Lagos
Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I – Lagos
Canada Visa Application Centre, Abuja
Silverbird Entertainment Centre.
Plot 1161, Memorial Drive,2nd Floor,
Central Business District, Abuja
In Lagos, arrive as early as you can, the appointment time doesn’t matter. Once you get there, they will attend to you. The process is quite easy and straight forward. There is no interview at this point, so do not be scared. You will be attended to by someone that will go through your documents to be sure you have all you need. When it is ascertained that all the documents are complete and accurately filled, you’ll be given a number to proceed to the bank with (the bank is within the VFS office).
When it is your turn the cashier will call you to pay IN CASH! I paid NGN 55,520. This is minus courier services. After payment you will be directed to wait for your turn for bio metrics. After bio metrics, a slip will be issued to you and a copy of your passport data page. This slip is what you will use to collect your passport from when it is ready in approximately 10 weeks.
All you have to do after this is hope and pray that you get a positive response from them. I applied at the end of August for my program which starts in January 2019, and started the process in January 2018.
The key to remaining sane and not overwhelming yourself with this process is to start early and give yourself enough time for any unforeseen challenges you may experience. I wish everyone that wants to go through this process the very best of luck.
If you have any other questions or need clarifications on something I have written, I willll be happy to do my best to explain. I am not an expert, neither am I an agent. The details I’ve shared here are from my personal experience and I am still awaiting a response from the Canadian High Commission. Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and @Isunu-O on IG.