Most students find that it is easiest to apply online for their Canadian Visa because it allows you to submit the application without sending your passport right away. In order to apply online, you will first take a quiz to verify that you have access to scanner, a credit card for the fee payment, and also to find out if you are required to obtain biometrics. (Biometrics include fingerprinting and photos which must be in done in person at a Visa Assistance Center. Syracuse NY is the closest location.)
Once you have completed the initial quiz, you create a username and password for your account.
The application will consist of the following forms, all of which should appear if your "application checklist" online. (This is a sample list only, and yours may include more or less documents.)
- Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257)
- Family Information form
- Statutory Declaration of Common-law union (IMM 5409)
- Use of Representative (IMM 5476) only if you used the services of a representative, or if you are appointing or cancelling a representative.
- Authority to Release Personal information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475) only if you authorize Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to release information from your case file to someone other than yourself.
- Fee Payment (At the moment it costs $100 for a multiple entry visa, and another $37 for processing once the visa is approved.)
- Photocopy of:passport number, issuance & expiration dates, your photo, name, date and place of birth
- Two photos
- Proof of Financial Support
- Purpose of Travel (sample itinerary plus explanation of university close to border)
- Photocopy of your current immigration status (I-20, Visa & I-94 record)
Once you have completed your application online, you will receive a notice for your biometrics requirement, or you will be notified once the application decision is made. If approved, you will be asked to send your passport to one address, and a money for roughly $37 to another address. Follow the direction carefully.
PLEASE NOTE: If you come from a country that was previously VISA EXEMPT, you may now be required to obtain an ETA to travel to Canada via AIR. Please refer the their website for more information.