Canada Student Visa Requirements For Filipinos

Canada Student Visa Requirements For Filipino

A Comprehensive Guide on Applying for a Student Visa in Canada

If you're interested in studying in Canada, obtaining a student visa is a necessary step. In this guide, I'll walk you through the processing time it took me, the requirements needed, and how much I spent on the application process. Let's go!

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Travel Tips
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  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.

Processing My Student Visa in Canada through an Agency

To set the record straight, I didn't go through the process of obtaining my student visa to Canada alone. I worked alongside an agency that helped me with the application. Because I was based in Singapore at the time, my mother helped me by personally submitting my school papers and other documents to the agency. Despite the geographical distance, I was able to communicate regularly with my student coordinator agent in Cebu through email and send necessary documents via LBC. Interestingly, my cousin successfully completed his application while working in Thailand, and many of my classmates also opted to process their papers in the Philippines.

Sharing My Student Visa Application Experience with Wise Immigration

To proceed with my student visa application, I went with Wise Immigration in Cebu, Philippines. Please note that I am not affiliated with this agency nor do I represent them. I am simply sharing my experience to provide you with an overview of the process.

From Applying for an Immigrant Visa to Pursuing a Student Visa

Before obtaining my student visa, I applied for an immigrant visa in Quebec. I still remember my initial email to Ms. Anjelie on July 15, 2014, regarding my Quebec application. It's funny how I've held onto this email for so long, but I see it as a reminder of our humble beginnings. My Quebec application took a while to get going, and after two years, in August 2016, I decided to switch to the transfer program. When I applied for my student visa, I was fortunate enough to work with the same Student Coordinators, Ms. Anjelie, and Ms. Beverly. I'm not sure if they're still working there.

August 2016 - Transfer program from Quebec Immigrant Application to Student Visa

When I was initially applying for a visa, I had my sights set on Quebec. However, when I learned about the Student Visa opening, I requested a transfer of my application. From then on, my student application journey began with Wise Immigration in Cebu, Philippines.

Canada Student Visa Requirements For Filipino

This is where it starts: September 2016
Paid for initial processing fee and submitted school forms and other documents.

Why I Opted for the Winter Semester

School Tuition fees vary depending on the school, program and the semester you start. I decided to go for the winter semester because it fit well with my schedule, and the tuition fee was a bit lower compared to other semesters. If you're planning on applying for the January intake, it's crucial to start your application process before September- the earlier the better. Keep in mind that all requirements must be submitted by November, so don't delay in getting started.

Please note that fees are subject to change

In 2016, I applied for a student visa to Canada, and fortunately, everything went smoothly. I am grateful for my loving mother, patient brothers, and trustworthy agents who made this journey possible. Although I am unsure of the current fees, in this section, I will outline my payment process as a guide for those applying for a Canadian student visa.

Processing Fee Breakdown for Student Visa in Canada

1 CAD = 40 PHP 

Total Processing fee: 1,500 CAD / 55,000 PHP

Pay 750 CAD / 30, 000 PHP - Processing fee
Pay 750 CAD / 30, 000 PHP upon submission of documents
Pay 300 CAD / 12,000 PHP for School Registration

The payment was divided into two transactions. Initial payment of 750 CAD / 30, 000 PHP for the processing fee and the list of requirements provided. The second payment of 750 CAD will be upon submission.

Luckily, my payment of 300 CAD was waived. There was a free school registration offer at that time and I saved 300 CAD for early registration.

Filled out forms:
  • Wise Immigrant Assessment Form
  • Memorandum of Agreement

  • Passport and all stamp pages (they said the application looks good if you traveled abroad)
  • Letter of Transfer (Quebec Transfer Program)
  • Updated Resume
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Employment ID (S-pass ID as I was working in Singapore at that time)
  • My mum submitted all my school requirements and supporting documents.
  • Study Plan Letter (During my breaks at work, I was able to complete this lengthy letter. To give you an idea of how I structured it, below is the outline I used).

How to Make a Study Plan Letter
  • Addressed to The Visa Officer in the Canadian Embassy in Manila, Philippines
  • Introduce yourself
  • What inspired you to be a nurse
  • Why you want to study in Canada
  • Why pursue this course
  • Explain the importance and impact of education
  • Why Canada, not the Philippines, explain further the availability
  • Strong financial foundation and support from family and relatives
  • Careers after completion of the course, assuring my bright future in the Philippines and Singapore (as I was working in Singapore at that time).
  • Also, I submitted a Printout list of Job Prospects / Job opportunities. To show proof of my intention to return to the Philippines. I had to search for employers seeking Palliative nurses, which was the program I was enrolled in.

September 24, 2016
Took the IELTS exam and passed the required band score. 
Palliative Nursing Course: 6.0 nothing below 5.5

My First Obstacle: My IELTS Schedule Mishap

I had some challenging moments in my IELTS as my speaking exam was scheduled three days before my writing exam, which made for a difficult schedule. This was complicated by my pre-booked travel plans. I reached out to the testing center via phone and email, and thankfully, they agreed to schedule all of my exams on the same day.

My Experience Taking the IELTS Exam in Singapore Versus the Philippines

After taking my first IELTS exam in the Philippines, I decided to try taking it in Singapore instead. I found the officers there to be much fairer, perhaps because I was interviewed by a native English speaker. In the Philippines, I had the misfortune of being interviewed by a fellow Filipino, and I couldn't help but feel that the crab mentality had set in. Despite my efforts to remain confident and focused, the interviewer gave me no acknowledgement during my speaking exam. I knew I had delivered, but the negative energy in the room left me feeling unsettled. Choosing to take the exam in Singapore was the best decision I could have made, as I felt much more comfortable and at ease throughout the entire process.

If you're in Singapore, here's how to Process your Police Clearance:

My Second Obstacle is processing my Police Clearance

It was a challenging situation for me as the office refused to release any documents without proof of my acceptance to a Canadian college. However, the college requires a police clearance certificate before granting approval. To resolve this, I contacted the Canadian embassy in Singapore for assistance. After submitting my application and having it reviewed, the Canadian immigration office sent a request letter for a Certificate of Clearance (COC) which you can use to file for the police clearance. See? If there’s a will there’s a way. I lined up my own stars, ahahaa.

Email the Certificate of Clearance Office:
Criminal Investigation Department - Singapore Police Force

Canada Student Visa Requirements For Filipino

October 2016
Other supporting documents submitted: 
  • Recommendation letter - I asked my travel buddy and supervisor for my recommendation letter.
  • Provided all of my employment certificates.
  • Present employment certificate and payslips (for the last 6 months) as a supporting document for your own savings.
  • Sponsorship documents
  • Police clearance
  • NBI

For Sponsorship documents, Police Clearance and NBI
  • The NBI is in the Philippines and the Police Clearance is from all the countries/territories/you have stayed/stayed for 6 months or more.
  • Sponsors’ documents must all be notarized and NBI clearance must be the latest upon submission of your visa application (recommended, the same month of the submission of the visa application).

Sponsorship Documents
Show money: 2.5 Million PHP to 3 Million PHP, up to five sponsors. 

The amount doesn’t have to be in your account. I asked my father and uncle for support. I also showed my bank account which wasn’t that much and my mum’s too, just to add more names to the list. If you have a Family in Canada even like aunt or uncle who’s a resident or permanent resident they can be one of your financial sponsors.

For a one-year school program, having proof of funds for sponsorship totaling 2.5 million was strongly advised.

October 4, 2016 
Letter of Acceptance from the school received.

A letter of Acceptance (LOA) from Niagara College was issued and I signed it on Oct 5, 2016, for the confirmation of acceptance.

October 12, 2016 
Paid school fees.

Pay Canadian School Tuition Fee: Due date October 30, 2016
  • Option A: Payment of Full YearAmount Due: $14,737.46 CAD
  • Option B: Payment by Term (includes $150 CAD instalment fee) First Term Amount Due: $7,887.46 CAD
I chose Option B and worked part-time in Canada to save money to pay off the second term payment.

October 17, 2016
Medical examination and Fingerprinting.

A medical fee of PHP 10,000.

Upfront Medical Exams are required if you stay out of the Philippines for over 6 months.

I can still recall my experience of undergoing a medical examination on a Monday morning and then heading out for my fingerprinting procedure for the police clearance in Singapore that very afternoon.  

November 21, 2016
Visa Approval and Visa Stamping.

My application to study in Canada has been approved. A letter was given to me and it’s important that you keep this specific letter safe, as the Canada Border Services Agency requires it to issue your study permit. 

A Farewell to Singapore

As I left the Canadian Embassy that day, it suddenly hit me: this was my final goodbye to Singapore. I had spent six memorable years working there, and they were undoubtedly the most unforgettable and thrilling years of my life.

When to book your flight ticket

You may book your flight two weeks before classes begin. I was advised to bring a total of 10,000 CAD in cash for my departure. Take note that you can't bring beyond this amount as you will then need to declare the amount to the Canadian Border. 

If you're still looking for plane tickets check out Skyscanner, It's a great platform that our family used to compare flight tickets and we always get the best deals there.

My Estimated Expenses
  • One-way Plane Ticket to Canada: 30, 000 PHP
  • Accommodation: 400 CAD / 15, 000 PHP - 30, 000 PHP

Work opportunities while studying

I took advantage of the opportunity to work up to 20 hours per week off campus and 12 hours per week on campus while studying. Plus, during holidays, you can work full-time. 
Estimated part-time work in Canada at that time was 12 CAD per hour.

Canada Student Visa Requirements For Filipino
My Last Day in School

What happens after graduation: 
  • After graduation, apply for a 1-year open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP).  
  • Some students I knew took the 2-year school program and obtained a 3-year open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP).
  • Obtaining one year of full-time skilled work experience and applying for permanent residency in Canada under the Canadian Experience Class. This was hard and I don’t know anyone in my class who was able to do this.

Canadian Student Visa Application Summary

Student Visa School Program Details (as a Licensed Nurse in the Philippines)
  • Processing Time : 3 - 5 months (September to November for me)
  • School Program Options: 1-year or 2 years school program
  • School: Niagara College
  • Two programs were offered: Palliative Care and Gerontology
  • Intake or Start of school: January, May & September (I took the winter semester in January)
  • IELTS Band Score Requirements: 6.5 Band score not below 5.5 per ability - Academic Module
  • IELTS Score requirement is different for each course offered: Palliative Care - 6.0 no below 5.5 and Gerontology - 6.5 no below 5.
  • Upon graduation, you’ll receive a Post Graduate Certificate.

My Application Timeline for my Canadian Student Visa
  1. A processing fee of 750 CAD / 30,000 PHP is required. Submit all requirements.
  2. End of October deadline to submit IELTS.
  3. An additional payment of 750 CAD / 30,000 PHP must be submitted upon document submission. The submission deadline is in November.
  4. A payment of 300 CAD is required for school registration. I was able to take advantage of the free school registration offer by registering early, and as a result, I was able to waive my 300 CAD payment.
  5. I received my Letter of Acceptance (Certificate of Acceptance / COA).
  6. After receiving my Letter of Acceptance from Niagara College, I paid half of the total Tuition Fee of $7,887.46 CAD. At that time, my full-year Tuition and Fees amounted to 14,737.46 CAD.
  7. Visa Application fee of 150 CAD.
  8. Medical Examination fee of PHP 10,000.
  9. Visa Approval and Visa Stamping.
  10. Departure for Canada - a new life awaits, unlocking a world of possibilities! Here's a glimpse of my travels in Canada for some inspiration.

To sum up, this was my timetable for the Canadian study application process, which took place between August 2016 and November 21, 2016, when my application was approved. As you can see, the processing time was impressively quick. However, the show money requirement was a significant obstacle to overcome. But where there's a will, there's a way. My advice is to trust the process. If it's meant to be, the stars will align, and before you know it, you'll be waiting outside the airport, ready to embark on your new adventure. Even if that means braving the cold while waiting for your taxi ride!

If your dream is to become a Registered Nurse in the USA. Check out: Five Easy Steps for NCLEX RN Application for New York State.

I wish you all the best and stay safe! ^__^

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