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Canadian Study Permit

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Hello everyone, 


I was hoping there would be a few kind american international students studying in Canada who would help me on this. I've accepted an offer to a school in Ontario and I'm an American so I will be needing a study permit.

I've read the application guidelines over and over but I'm still terrified that I will miss something. And now I'm scared that I've missed some deadline for getting this in on time (online). 


I was wondering if anyone knew the best way to prove that you have enough funding besides a scholarship (which I have)? I know people have scanned bank statements but that seems really dangerous with all of my information on it. 


And would anyone know exactly what documents need to be signed and stamped by a notary? 


Any help with these questions would be wonderful. 




Edited by annegirl
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First, you haven't missed any sort of deadline. As an American, you can actually just apply when you get to the border. I did this when I moved to ON last summer, because I was bringing my partner with me and thus ineligible to apply online. At the border immigration office, we gave them our passports, my acceptance letter from the university, my funding letter from the university, and a copy of our marriage certificate and half an hour later I had a 4-year study permit and my partner had a 4-year open work permit. 


Applying online ahead of time probably gives you more piece of mind, but again I don't think you need to worry about being out of time yet. When my brother started school in BC last summer, he filled out the online application less than a month before he moved.


How much is your scholarship? What you need is proof of your ability to pay tuition plus access to $10,000 for living expenses. If you're not getting that much of a stipend from the university, copies of your bank statement are probably the easiest solution. It depends on your own comfort level, obviously, but I've done that for another visa and know other people who have, as well, and have never heard of it being a problem.


None of my things were notarized, though I think I tried to make sure I used the original copies of all my paperwork. In my brother's case, all the documents he used were uploaded scanned copies and I'm also sure that none of them were notarized.


Hope that helps...

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Thank you so much! Now I'm wondering if people at the border crossing I'm planning to cross through are just really cranky (understandably, but still) because everyone I have talked to who has been to Canada has told me *not* to go up to the border early and just apply there. I'll get everything signed just in case they've changed some things? 


My assistantship covers tuition plus maybe some random expenses, but not living expenses. I do have the required 10k in the bank though. 


Do you have any info on bringing your own car into Canada? (like do I need a license etc?) 

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We went through one of the Buffalo/Niagara crossings and the people dealing with all the immigration stuff were great. We knew going in that whether or not they'd issue my wife an open work permit depended on the whims of the officer, so were quite excited when they gave her one for 4 years. In my experience, the people who work in the drive-through booths are much more hit or miss--I've gotten really nice people and very obnoxious people on both the US and Canadian sides.


Technically, if you're in Ontario for more than either 60 or 90 days you need to switch your driver's license car registration. Insurance is much more expensive here than anywhere I lived in the US, though. Try to get a letter from your current insurance company stating the number of years you've been with them and if you'd had any claims.


The license bit is pretty simple, if you've had your current license for more than two years. You go to a DriveTest center, fill out some paperwork, I think pay a fee but I can't remember for sure, and exchange your US license for an ON one. Some states require that you have an official driving abstract and it's good to get one even if you're from a different state. (In my case, when they went to look me up in the system there was some sort of problem with my Massachusetts driving history, but because I had hard copy of my driving abstract from the state issued within the past month, they put in an override and gave me the license anyway.) Also, you technically only need 2 years of driving history, but it's good to show proof of as many as you can because your insurance will be cheaper if you can show a driving history of more than 5 or 7 years.  Also, keep in mind that driving abstracts from certain states only have the history from your current license, not any previous ones you might have had in that state. (In my case, my NH driving abstract only showed the license I got when I was 21, not the one I got when I was 16, which meant having to track down another piece of paperwork for the insurance company to prove I'd had a license since age 16.)


As someone entering the country on a study permit, you're exempt from officially importing your car. Because your car is only here temporarily there are certain restrictions (e.g. you can't sell it for at least a year) but you also don't have to make the modifications that someone permanently importing a car would (e.g. installing always-on daytime running lights). I know I didn't have an official copy of the title of my car at the time and I think they were fine with just the registration, but it's probably good to have the title on you just in case. The car does have to be listed in your name, not anyone else's. You should get a Casual Goods Accounting Document with the car included on it when you're at the border, but you don't have to pay any fees. The other thing you need to do at the border is fill out is a Form 1, because you'll need that when you try to register your car in Ontario. Once you're here and have switched over your license, you need to get insurance, get your car inspected (it needs a DriveClean report and s Safety Standards Certificate), and then bring all the paperwork (including your current title, registration, the Form 1, and I think also the Casual Goods Accounting document) to a ServiceOntario office where they'll give you a new registration and plates.


Let me know if you have more questions. I spent a fair bit of last summer stressing over all these details, so I'm happy to help someone else figure it out, too!

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