CANADIAN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION APPLICATION & ADMISSION PROCESS
Q: How far in advance should I start planning for my studies in Canada?
A: It is recommended that Nigerian students wanting to study in Canada should start planning for their studies in Canada, 4 months to 1 year in advance. This is particularly important as it could take CIC up to 3-5 months to process an application for a study visa to Canada from Nigeria.
Q: How long will it take for me to secure an admission at a Canadian college or university?
A: Our office will forward your application to the Canadian educational institution once you complete all requirements. The turnaround time could range from 1 to 8 weeks, depending on the Canadian educational institution. It should be noted that colleges usually have a faster turnaround time compared to universities. Likewise, there is a faster turnaround time for undergraduate programs compared to graduate or doctoral (PhD) programs.
Q: When can I commence my studies in Canada?
A: The main intake for study in Canada is predominantly ‘Fall’ (September). The other intake is ‘Winter’ (January), but it depends on the students’ program and the institution that he/she is applying to. Very few institutions may have the ‘Summer’ (May) intake as well. If you are hoping to get an entrance award or entrance scholarship from the Canadian educational institution, then your best bet is the September intake, as most Canadian universities only consider ‘Fall’ (September) applicants for entrance awards/scholarship.
Q: What are the requirements for admission into Canadian universities?
A: Each university in Canada has its own policy regarding admission requirements. The admission requirements will usually be available on the educational institution’s website, or the university will have to be contacted directly for the admission requirements of the program you are interested in. However, as a general rule, Nigerian undergraduate students wanting to study in Canada are expected to have a WAEC or NECO result with at least five/six credits including English and Mathematics. While Nigerian postgraduate students looking to study in Canada are expected to have a minimum of a Second Class Lower (2:2) with a high GPA in the last two years of their undergraduate studies or Second Class Upper (2:1).
Q: Will you (i.e. Avail International Consults) be responsible for searching for the school for me?
A: Yes. We take the stress off you. We will assist you with college/university selection, including assistance with course selection if required. We have several educational institutions in Canada that we partner with, so you will be rest assured of speedy admission processing. In addition, our educational consultants will take care of the complete application process for you, from filling in the application forms, to dealing directly with the educational institution on your behalf.
Q: Can I do a Master’s program in Canada with HND or Third Class?
A: At this time, Canadian educational institutions do not accept HND nor Third Class undergraduates, directly into their Master’s program. So, you will have to consider first going for a post-graduate diploma (PGD) or post-degree certificate/diploma or an advanced certificate in Canada. Then, if you have good grades in the post-degree diploma/certificate program (usually a minimum of B average), you should be able to secure an admission into a master’s program afterwards. Another alternative will be for you to use your HND or Third Class degree to pursue an undergraduate degree in Canada, whereby some courses will be waived for you, so you only get to spend 2-3 years to obtain an undergraduate degree in Canada.
Q: Do I have to write an English Language Proficiency Test (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), considering that Nigeria is an English speaking Country?
A:The colleges and universities that we deal with, exempt Nigerians from providing proof of English language Proficiency. However, some Canadian educational institutions evaluate Nigerian applicant for English language proficiency when their applications is processed.
In general, a Nigerian student applying to an undergraduate program in Canada who has a WAEC/NECO result with a minimum of C6 (or C5 depending on the institution) in English Language, may be exempt from the English Language proficiency requirement. Also, for postgraduate studies in Canada, a Nigerian student who have completed a 3 or 4 years’ undergraduate degree may be exempted from the educational institutions English Language proficiency requirement since undergraduate degrees in Nigeria are taught in English Language. However, the Canadian educational institution reserves the right to ask a student for a Proof of English Language proficiency at any point.
Q: Would I be required to write GMAT or GRE for a Masters Degree in Canada?
A: A couple of educational institutions do not require GMAT/GRE for a Masters Degree. However, if you want to have more choices, then you may have to write the GMAT/GRE, as some educational institutions require GMAT/GRE for a Masters Degree.
CANADA STUDENT VISA APPLICATIONS (PART ONE)
Q: How long does it take to be issued a Canadian study permit (student visa)?
A: The processing time for a Canadian study visa could take up to 3 to 5 months, so it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.
The time frame varies depending on where (i.e. the country) your application is processed, the application method (i.e. paper or online) used, and the number of application received by CIC during that period. You should avoid the risk of last minute visa applications by ensuring that you apply early to the educational institution in Canada, so that they provide you with the necessary documents (letter of acceptance), which you will need for your visa application. This will ensure that you have enough time to prepare necessary documents and meet other requirements for your visa application.
Q: Can I be refused a visa to study in Canada or is the visa automatic?
A: According to Canadian law, it is a criminal offence for any consultant to state that a visa is guaranteed. However, if you follow our advice, you will have a 99% chance of securing your study visa. In the rare event where your application is unduly refused, we will request for your file from CIC*, do a review of the visa officers notes, and then advise you on the next course of action which could be to reapply (and address the visa officers concerns) or proceed with a judicial review. There are several benefits of using Avail Consult for your visa application process:
Q: Will I be interviewed by a visa officer when I apply for my visa to study in Canada?
A: You will not typically be interviewed by a visa officer at the Canadian Consulate when applying for your study permit. However, if the visa officer finds a reason for you to be interviewed, you will be invited to come to their office for an interview. But it should be noted that this is not a common occurrence, as most study visa applications are handled without the need for an interview.
Q: Will I be required to pay my complete tuition fees before my visa is issued or before travelling to Canada for my studies?
A: No, you do not have to pay all your tuition fees before applying for your visa or before travelling to Canada for your study. Most colleges/universities have instalment plans, but it goes with deadlines so you will have to ensure you pay within the dates given. Some educational institutions may require that you pay a portion of your tuition fees (i.e. Deposit) before you are given the necessary documents (final acceptance letter) to apply for your study visa. However, this varies from one institution to another. It should be noted that the visa officer in charge of your visa application may consider it necessary for you to make the full payment and it will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Who can sponsor me to study in Canada?
A: You can sponsor yourself. Alternatively, an individual (such as your parents, spouse, family members, etc) or an institution (e.g. your employer, religious organization, scholarship agency, etc) can also sponsor you.
Q: Can my Spouse and children accompany me to study in Canada?
A: There is an option for you to bring your family members (i.e. husband/wife and children, only) with you to Canada for your studies. However, you must prove to the visa officer that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any accompanying family member, while you are in Canada for Study. Also you have to apply for a separate visa for each accompanying family member and then demonstrate that you all have sufficient ties in your home country (Nigeria) that will bring you back home after your studies in Canada. The minimum amount that you will need is as follows:
SINGLE STUDENT: Tuition for one year + $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month)
+ ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Additional $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month)
+ EACH ADDITIONAL FAMILY MEMBER: Another additional $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month)
* Source: CICs (now: IRCC) Website. *
WORKING IN CANADA
Working in Canada is a good idea, as it can help you gain valuable work experience, supplement your income, establish business contacts for the future and can even help you immigrate to Canada after graduation.
Q: Can I work while studying in Canada?
A: Yes. As an international student, you are able to work part-time (20 hours a week) during the school year and full-time (40 hours a week) during scheduled school breaks/holidays. Also, international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college have the opportunity to work in Canada for up to 3 (three) years after their studies. There are a number of work options for international students (such as: On-Campus, Off-Campus, Co-op or Intern). There are also options for the spouses of international students to work in Canada, if desired. Learn More ->Study, Work, & Remain in Canada.
Q: Can my spouse (husband/wife) work in Canada while I study?
A: Yes. If your spouse wants to work in Canada, he/she must apply for his/her own work permit. Typically, your spouse must meet the same requirements that you do. If your spouse gets an open work permit – allowing him or her to accept any job with any employer – it is normally valid for the same periods as yours. In some cases, your spouse will need a medical exam. Contact our office to assist with the work permit application processing for your spouse.
Q: Would I be eligible for Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWPP) in Canada after my studies?
A: The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) give students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution the opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience. The length of your work permit will depend on the length of your study, up to a maximum of three years. Skilled Canadian work experience gotten through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Q: What are my chances of getting a good job and settling down in Canada after studying?
A: There are many job opportunities in Canada and there is a high likelihood that you will get a job after studying. The current laws in Canada allow you to apply to live in Canada (i.e. for permanent residence) after working in Canada for a minimum of one year.
Q: Will I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling to Canada for my studies?
A: Most Canadian educational institutions will provide basic medical insurance coverage for international students. However, you will have to check with your particular educational institution to ensure that you have health/medical insurance coverage. On the other hand, if you need additional insurance coverage such as flight cancellation, lost baggage, etc., you should purchase travel insurance before travelling to Canada.
Q: What are the student accommodation options for international students?
A: It is imperative to find a housing option that works best for you. There are typically 3 main accommodation choices available to Nigerians for study in Canada:
1. Homestay or Peerstay: Homestay is an opportunity to live with a Canadian family; who will provide food for three meals a day. A homestay student is treated like a member of the family. Peerstay is suitable for independent students who will like to live with a Canadian family, but will prefer to cook their own meals and buy their own groceries. As an international student, we recommend that you spend at least your first semester in Homestay or Peerstay.
2. Student Residence: These are University/College owned student housing, usually located on the institutions campus thereby providing a convenient location that is close to classes and the educational institutions facilities. The residences usually offer a mix of accommodation choices from single private rooms to apartments. If you want to live in the Student Residence, applications for a room should be made well in advance (typically 1-6 months prior to the start of a semester).
3. Off Campus Housing: There are many different types of apartments, room and boards options, and shared housing opportunities in Canada. The Off Campus Housing is the best option for a student that is being accompanied by family members (i.e. spouse, children, etc). It is possible to rent an apartment before arrival in Canada, however we encourage you to exercise caution before entering into agreements. Speak with our educational consultants to get more details about how to secure an Off Campus Housing in Canada.
Q: Can I get scholarships to take care of my tuition fees and living cost in Canada?
A: Scholarships and opportunities for financial assistance are available to Nigerian students for study in Canada, but they are competitive and limited to students of top academic standing. Most of these are available at the graduate level, but there are some secondary school and undergraduate entrance scholarship available, particularly through individual institutions. A Nigerian student who is hoping to get an entrance award or scholarship at a Canadian educational institution, should apply early to their educational institution of choice, to ensure that they are considered for entrance scholarships and awards. Also, the ‘Fall’ (September) intake will be the best option for such a person, as most Canadian universities only consider ‘Fall’ applicants for entrance awards/scholarship. Other bodies and organizations often offer scholarships too. Again, they will look for strong grades and all round achievement.
It is important to note that if you make use of our (i.e. Avail International’s) educational institution placement service for your study in Canada, you have an added advantage as our qualified educational consultants are constantly updated about scholarships for Nigerian undergraduates and graduates, that are available at various Canadian educational institutions. Also, we will do a comprehensive search and ensure that we apply for any entrance awards and scholarships that is available at the chosen Canadian educational institution.
Q: How are Canadian universities ranked?
A: Rankings are based on subjectively perceived “quality”, or on some combination of empirical statistics, or on surveys of educators, scholars, students, prospective students or others. There are several types of rankings so be careful that you are looking at the correct one for your needs. Your Avail International Consult can guide you on this.
Q: Why should I choose to study in Canada?
A: When you study in Canada, you will earn qualifications that are recognized and respected all over the world. Also, you will become part of a diverse, welcoming and vibrant society that offers you a unique cultural experience in a safe and beautiful environment. Furthermore, there are many Post Study work opportunities for international students, including a pathway to immigrate to Canada.
Q: Is it true that Canada is very cold?
A: Coming from a tropical climate, you will certainly feel the difference in terms of weather. However, the infrastructure is built for cold such as having heated rooms, heated transit (buses/trains), so you will be ok! Also you will have to dress-up for the weather. Our educational consultant will provide you with more details about this, during your pre-departure briefing/orientation session.
Q: What are the common reasons why Nigerian students intending to study in Canada are refused a Canadian study permit?
A: There are many reasons why a Nigerian student wanting to study in Canada may be refused a Canadian study permit. Based on our extensive years of handling Canadian study visa applications, we can say that below are the common reasons why Nigerians who intend to study in Canada have their visas refused:
•Intended program/course of study in Canada is not related to the student’s previous education and/or employment history.
• Insufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
• Lack of ties (e.g. family ties, social ties, economic ties, etc.) to your home country (i.e. Nigeria).
• Length of study in Canada (i.e. the duration of the course/program in Canada, is too short).
• Financial documents (i.e. bank statement) of student and/or sponsor shows inconsistent balances and recent lump sum deposits.
•Misrepresentation (Document Fraud). Misrepresentation diminishes the overall credibility of the visa application submitted, and thus results in a visa refusal. Examples of misrepresentations would be:
• Not declaring that you have been refused a visa for another country.
• False or altered documents, such as: bank statement, marriage certificate, visas, birth certificate, etc.
Also, we find that there are some mistakes made on the part of the visa applicant, which may result in their visa refusal, such as:
•Poorly completed visa application forms.
• Inadequate supporting documents are submitted.
•Ignorance on the part of the student, which results in the student not answering the questions in the visa application form properly.
* These mistakes and much more can be avoided by making use of the services of a knowledgeable and experienced education agent/consultant. So, this is where the services of Avail comes in.
Q: Will you (i.e. Avail International Consult) help me get my study permit (student visa) to enable me study in Canada?
A: We will provide you with counsel, guidance, and support for the entire visa application process. Our counselors and consultants are competent with vast experience in advising students on visa applications, thus we will:
• Scrutinize your study permit (student visa) application documents accurately.
• Provide you with comprehensive explanation on how to increase your chances of obtaining your student visa.
• Present your financial documents and that of your sponsor in such a way that is expected to give assurance to the Canadian visa officer that the funds are truly available for your studies in Canada.
• Review your travel and visa application history, to enable us determine how to package your visa application and what to highlight to your advantage, when submitting your visa application.
If you follow our advice, you will have a higher chance of getting a visa approval, unlike when you apply for your visa on your own. We have a 99% visa success rate!For detailed information on how we can assist you, check out the:
ADVANTAGES OF USING AVAIL INTERNATIONAL CONSULT FOR YOUR STUDY IN CANADA JOURNEY
So you want to study in Canada, but you need to decide on an educational consulting agency to use? Here are a few of the many reasons why other Nigerians have chosen to use us for their study in Canada journey:
• We have a 99% study permit (study visa) success rate
•Our consultants have a first-hand understanding of how the Canadian education system works, as well as the dynamics of dealing with students, and Canadian educational institutions. This is the case, as all our consultants are either Canadian Citizens or Canadian Permanent Residents (Canadian Landed Immigrants) who have schooled, lived, and worked in Canada
•We ensure that we offer a competitive price for the provision of our services
• At Avail, distance is NOT a barrier. Regardless of where you live in Nigeria, our “Virtual Team” is able to assist you every step of the way. You can have your college/university application processed and receive professional visa support/processing, in the comfort of your home or office
• Your documents (study and visa application documents) are checked by experts; who are friendly, professional, experienced and knowledgeable. All our consultants have successfully completed The Canada Course for Education Agents (CCEA)*
• We provide up-to-date advice on course and college/university selection, application and admission processing, student visa (study permit), pre-departure briefing, scholarships, English test, etc.
•Our client’s interest is our number one priority! We understand that no two clients are the same, so we are flexible in our approach and offer a personalized service
•We provide continuous support for students from enquiry to graduation and beyond, through our “Mentoring and Support Services for Students Abroad”
* The Canada Course for Education Agents (CCEA) is developed by the Government of Canada (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada – DFATD) and is offered in collaboration with the Canadian Consortium for International Education (CCIE) and International Consultants for Education and Fairs (ICEF). It was created to support educational agencies in providing the best possible advice to international students planning to study in Canada
Q: How much do I (or my sponsor) need to show in my bank account, in order to apply for my Canadian study permit?
A: You must prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any accompanying family member, while you are in Canada for Study. The minimum amount that you will need is as follows:
SINGLE STUDENT: Tuition fee for one year + $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month).
+ ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Additional $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month).
+ EACH ADDITIONAL FAMILY MEMBER: Another additional $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month).
* Source: CICs Website. *
Q: In applying for my Canada study permit/visa, I want to use a sponsor who is not related to me. Will this reduce my chances of securing a Canada student visa?
A: The best option is having a sponsor who is your family member (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, etc.). However, if you decide to use a sponsor who is not your family member, the letter of financial support that your sponsor will provide to you, has to include a rational explanation as to why this person is financing your studies.
If you choose to make use of our (i.e. Avail) service, we will provide you with a “Letter of Financial Support Template”, which your sponsor should use in writing your letter.
Q: Why should I pay my tuition fees to the Canadian educational institution, before I apply for my Canadian student visa (study permit)?
A: It should be noted that payment of tuition fees is not a prerequisite for visa approval. However, from our years of experience assisting students with visa application to Canada, we have discovered that when students pay their tuition fees before they apply for their study permit, it significantly increases their chance of receiving a visa. We believe that when you pay your tuition fees upfront, you are convincing the visa officer that your primary reason to come to Canada is for education. So, we recommend that you pay a portion of your tuition fees (ideally at least for your first semester), or full tuition fees (if you can afford it), before you apply for your student visa.
And don’t worry, your tuition fees are safe and secure with the Canadian educational institution. In a case where your visa is refused by the Canadian High Commission, the Canadian school will refund your tuition fees.
So ask yourself, do you want to increase your chance of receiving a visa? If yes, then pay your tuition fees.
Q: I applied for a Canadian study permit/visa by myself (or using a different agent) and my application was refused. What should I do next?
A: If your Canadian study permit/visa application was refused, we do not advise that you re-apply ‘blindly’. We recommend that the next action you should take is to request for your visa file (i.e. Access to Information & Personal Information Request) from Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada – IRCC (formerly: Citizenship & Immigration Canada – CIC). This is important because you cannot rely solely on the grounds (i.e. reasons) that were checked off in the visa refusal letter that was given to you by IRCC.
Keep in mind that only an authorized individual can make a request for Access to Information from IRCC. So that means, a visa applicant whose application was refused, will likely not be able to request for their visa file on their own. The good news is that we offer Access to Information services (i.e. Canadian visa case file request), so you should Contact Us at Avail International Consult to assist you with requesting for your prior visa case file(s) from IRCC.
Q: Why should I request for my visa file (i.e. Access to Information) from Citizenship & Immigration Canada – CIC (now: Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada – IRCC), when I am refused a visa?
A: It is essential that you request for your visa file (i.e. Access to Information & Personal Information Request) from IRCC after a visa refusal because this gives you a better perspective why your visa was refused. The visa refusal letter that you were given by IRCC, is a general letter that they provide to all visa applicants whose visa was refused, and this letter has a limited number of checkboxes that the visa officer can choose from. So, the Canadian visa officer will usually choose the option(s) that closely aligns to the reason why your visa was refused, but this may not be the specific reason why your visa was refused.
However, if you request for your visa file, the exact and detailed reason(s) why your visa was refused will be contained in the visa officer’s notes of your visa file. So, once you are aware of the particular reason(s) why your visa was refused, you will then be in a better position to act accordingly.
Please note that only a Canadian Citizen or a Canadian Landed Immigrant (Canadian Permanent Resident) or a Canadian visa applicant that is resident in Canada, can request for a visa file from IRCC. So, if you are based in Nigeria and your study visa application have been refused, that means that you cannot request for your visa file on your own; because you are not authorized to. Therefore, you should Contact Us at Avail International Consult to assist you with requesting for your visa file.