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Flashie

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Flashie

Hi everyone. Thursday I received confirmation that I have been approved to study in Canada for the next 2 years.

Thank you to the odd bits and pieces from this forum that popped up in my hundreds of google searches.

The most helpful things from this forum were actually those step by step breakdowns of other people's immigration journeys in their forum Bio. Gave me a good reference how long things will take.

I was very fortunate to have a supporting mother both emotionally and financially for this or it would never have been possible at this stage in my life. I have full intention of paying her back every cent.

I'll put mine below. I want this to be able to help as much to whoever it may, so for that purpose I will be very thorough in my teardown, and avoid the use of acronyms.

(Pre-application)

  • 28 July 2019: Booked my Computer Delivered IELTS academic exam in Joburg (R3720)
  • 26 August 2019 to 27 August 2019: Flew to Joburg for my IELTS exam
  • 3 September 2019: Received IELTS exam results (Listening: 8.5, Reading: 9, Writing: 7, Speaking: 7.5, Overall Band Score: 8 )
  • 1 October 2019 to 12 October 2019: Visited Vancouver (First trip out of SA!) for leisure, research and university tours

(Application)

  • 7 October 2019: Applied to VIU in Nanaimo for a 2 year diploma in IT (R1712.98)
  • 10 October 2019: Contacted by the department chair of my diploma program for a video interview
  • 16 October 2019: Video Interview
  • 17 October 2019: Received offer to study at VIU
  • 18 October 2019: Applied for my Police Clearance Certificate through my local PD (R114+R250)
  • 23 October 2019: Paid a deposit for my 1st semester via FNB's Forex/Swift payment
  • 24 October 2019: Received acceptance letter for study and work from VIU
  • 26 October 2019: Applied for my study permit via "cic.gc.ca"  (This site will become your best friend over the next few months) (R1678.58)
  • 12 December 2019: Sent my Statement of Purpose and my Sponsorship letter to Pretoria Immigrations Canada as I left it out of my application initially
  • 30 December 2019: Received request to do a Medical exam
  • 2 Jan 2020: Decided on TravelDoctorCorporate in Joburg, got an appointment for 7 January 2020.
  • 6 Jan 2020 to 8 Jan 2020: Flew to Joburg to do my medical exam (R2963)
  • 9 Jan 2020: Received my medical report results copies I requested
  • 13 Jan 2020: Received my passport request to Pretoria CVAC
  • 14 Jan 2020: Sent my passport to VFSGlobal in Pretoria along with required fees and paperwork (R440.70)
    Was only let known by a notice at the PD after 12 weeks that I am supposed to contact Pretoria Postnet for my Police Clearance certificate to be sent back (R450)
  • 16 Jan 2020: Received approval to study In Canada
  • 17 Jan 2020: Received Police Clearance Certificate

Throughout all of this application, life continues though. I've had other 💩 hit the fan in the meanwhile such as someone doing a hit and run on my car, getting that fixed, selling off my gaming PC and tech equipment, surgeries, Christmas, Job interviews (Still 8 months left until I leave, people! Have to do something! 😛) So keep all of this in mind. It isn't just purely waiting for action all the time.

 

Thank you all so much for the odd bits and bunches that I found from this site to help me through my application. If anybody has questions I can help with or answer, feel free to message me while this post is still relevant. I'd be glad to answer them. This is something I'd have liked while I was applying. Thanks again. Bye

Edited by Flashie
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HopefulCanada

Hi there

 

Thank you so much for the breakdown. I've just started my process for September intake and i just hope all goes well. Im applying to Mount Saint University in Halifax as a mature student. 

 

I will keep coming back to ask questions as the process goes. Hope you wont mind. All the best in your studies

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CapieCanadian

Hi Flashie

What a wonderful post! I have a few questions, asking for a friend. Can you perhaps help?

1. Does your line of studies have to be in line with your current work experience? I realise it was open field for you since you recently graduated high school but what about those who are a bit older.

2. I reckon you used this link on the CIC site, right? https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit.html Any other info which will be missed if they follow the info on this link step by step?

3. What made you choose VIU? Did you get quick feedback from them? My friends are concerned about response times from universities.

4. What was the end result of the thread you created titled "What am I missing? [Study Permit]"?

In hindsight anything else you wish you knew which could possibly help them?

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Flashie

Hi CapieCanadian,

I noticed your reply last night, so I apologize for only responding now. Things got a bit heated watching the SONA yesterday 😅 I'll try and answer all your points in order below.

On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, CapieCanadian said:

1. Does your line of studies have to be in line with your current work experience? I realise it was open field for you since you recently graduated high school but what about those who are a bit older.

1. Almost always from what I've read. Studying a Bachelors degree in Bio medicine after being in Hospitality for 12 years might kick up some flags to the immigration officer reviewing your application. Canada seems to really like specialization (see quote below) to the point that they have a preference for people who's professional experience and education both line up in the same industry.

On 5/4/2015 at 8:15 PM, Sideline said:

Canada is a country of extreme specialists. To such an extent that many Canadians won't/can't even change a light bulb because it is believed to be the job of a master electrician who is insured and has the license to do so.

 

On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, CapieCanadian said:

2. I reckon you used this link on the CIC site, right? https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit.html Any other info which will be missed if they follow the info on this link step by step?

2. Right. I've just gone through the link again and I feel confident to say that if you follow it step by step you'll be able to submit a complete application. The only info that is not mentioned here is the specifics around each of the required documents (Example: "Medical Exam results" - Requires you to make an appointment with a certified Canadian Panel Physician here in South Africa who have their own required documents).

If I could do it over again, I'd not rush through the application during the uploading and submitting part (Once it's sent, it's done). I misinterpreted the "Client Information" (optional document)'s description as meaning anything that will aid your application. So I uploaded a copy of an irrelevant document instead. Rather use this as a place to upload your "Statement Of Purpose" also known as "Letter of Explanation" or "Study Plan". Don't skip this, it can only aid your application. Since I did not upload mine initially, it was a huge struggle to ensure the deciding officer received my Statement Of Purpose alongside my application!

On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, CapieCanadian said:

3. What made you choose VIU? Did you get quick feedback from them? My friends are concerned about response times from universities.

3. VIU was actually a recommendation from my mom who heard about them through some sort of "International Study Agency" which has since fallen flat. VIU also had bonus points for being willing to organise a private campus-tour for me during my trip through Vancouver and Vancouver Island last October.  My main deciding factors were cost and program selection. They were the only University in that area that offered a specific IT diploma course which I qualified for and was interested in. I did not do amazing in my pure math results (by Canadian standards) and did not take physics/science as a subject at school. Because of this I didn't qualify for a lot of the degree studies in/around British Columbia for IT. Cost was also a big factor as we don't have an unlimited pot of gold 😅

They did indeed have a very fast response time to any inquiries I had. In fact, as you could probably see in the timeline above, I was reached out to by the department chair of my program for a video interview before I even had the chance to return from my trip in Canada! They were very helpful along the way and did not complicate the process, which I very much appreciate. Also, Bonus bonus-points for being a in a small, friendly and beautiful coastal town with the same British Columbia Temperate Rainforest climate as Vancouver.

On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, CapieCanadian said:

4. What was the end result of the thread you created titled "What am I missing? [Study Permit]"?

4. All of my questions there (excluding the spoiler) can now pretty much be summed up into 3 words. Statement Of Purpose. That same document that I managed to leave out in answer 2? Yup that's the one. In it you should include somewhere about your intent to return to SA after your studies are complete. They just want reassurance that you won't stay on illegally after your study permit expires. For this, previous international travel history helps. (I had the 1 previous trip to Canada on my name, which showed them that I have no intent on staying on illegally, else I would have done that when I had the chance to, back on my visitors visa.)

As for the spoiler at the bottom of that thread,  I ended up never receiving a request for a Police Clearance Certificate (Despite working wonders to get hold of one before they'd ask me for it). The request for Medical exam came right at the end of the 11-week processing time for South African applications. (Which I see is now 15 weeks!? Crazy!) After receiving the request, you have 30 days to get your medical exam done. I used Traveldoccorp in Joburg as they were 1 of only 3, of all those panel physicians, who were willing to make an appointment for me before the 30 days had been up. About the return plane ticket; I found that I do not need one as I'm expected to be staying there for the next 2 years after I arrive.

On 2/13/2020 at 6:46 PM, CapieCanadian said:

In hindsight anything else you wish you knew which could possibly help them?

Be sure of your own intentions (Ask yourself if this is really something you want to do, and if so, do it to the best of your abilities), and take your time. Don't feel rushed. I felt a lot of unnecessary anxiety because I thought there were deadlines tighter than what it really was. 

Sorry for the long answers to each of these. Hopefully you can extract some useful info out of them. I enjoyed responding to your post  Good luck to your friend!

Edited by Flashie
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CapieCanadian

Wow Flashie, thanks so very much!

Your reply was amazing. No doubt my friends will find value in it. Whenever you find yourself in the Lower Mainland, let me know and we can go grab a cup of coffee at Timmies :) 

I only wish you the very best with your future studies etc, what a grand adventure!

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