Leaving Prep, Study permit, and visa, package (2 months or more, only about study in Toronto, Canada)
Student Permit and Visa
Once you receive your offer package and decide to take the offer, you can start the application.
Personally, I followed the instruction on CIC’s website and applied online. Here is the basic process:
Prepare Materials – Submit Online – Medical Exam – Submit Passport – Complete
In total, it took about 5-6 weeks, although CIC estimated four weeks. So initiate this process as early as possible.
In the end, you should have a study permit and a temporary resident visa
Prepare your application materials:
- Application and additional forms: IMM5257, IMM5645, IMM1294, and GEN_Education_and_Employment_Form
- Passport scans, information page and pages with visas and stamps
- Digital photo
- Offer scans
- Bank Statement and Scholarship offer scans
Medical Exam, you can either take the exam before you submit your application (note: in the instruction of the online process, it is not mentioned that you can do so, but in reality it is practical, according to the medical exam center) or wait until CIC informs you. I choose the second path, which slows down the process a bit, one or two days.
According to the review policy from CIC, you only need to prepare the cost of your first year when you apply for the study permit and visa. As long as your financial support documents covered your first-year tuition and estimated living expense (10000 CAD ), it should be sufficient, regardless whether the possibility of the fund for the rest of your study exists.
The easiest way to prove your funds is to ask your bank to issue a bank statement. The statement should be in both English and Chinese.
If you have a scholarship, the scan of your scholarship offer is also a part of your financial support document.
Optionally, you can show the incoming of your families if they support you financially by providing their employment statements. Since I am on my own, I decided not to submit any other documents except my bank statement and scholarship offer. It turned out fine.
You also need to pay the deposit to secure your position in your class. It is a bit weird for UoT. I was instructed to ask my bank to issue a money order then send it to the school by a courier. However, my bank warned me that money order (汇票) is not a safe way. The money order only specifies who can receive the money, but not who sent the money. So if someone who attended the same school got the money order, he could pay his tuition with it. At that time, my account also has some problem, so I contacted UoT to wire the deposit directly, which only took one week. Besides the transaction fee that you need to pay in your bank, you also need to cover the transaction fee, around 15CAD, for the bank that the school uses. In total, the cost is roughly the same as you decide to issue the money order and send it through couriers.
It will be tough to look for a place remotely. So my strategy is to get a temporary place to live in until I settle down and get to know people in my class. Then I can find a classmate/friend to rent a condo together.
Choosing a temporary place
For students with families, your school might have graduate houses for families. The rental there is often cheaper than that on the market. So it will be hot. Apply as early as you can.
For single students, check out your university first, there might be programs to provide a temporary residence for students. Or if the price of the graduate house is acceptable, and the location and condition are perfect for your study, you can apply a room there too.
If you can not get a spot in the graduate house, off-campus options are there for you. Because I only need a temporary room before I rent a long term place, I did not discover much. Here are two options I checked:
- Campus Co-Operative Residence
Packing (advice from others)
Each airline’s luggage policy is different. You have to pack your belongs accordingly. For Canadian Airline, it allows two check-in items of luggage, each 23 kg, and a backpack.
Here is a simplified list that I packed:
Roughly in one case. In Canada, similar to the USA, people tend to change clothes every day for the hygiene. It is better to prepare enough underwears, shirts, T-shirts to cover at least the weekdays so that you can circle your clothes during the weekend.
T-shirts*7 and short pants*2
Hoodies*2, jackets*3, jeans*3, and long trousers*4 (for spring and fall)
Coats*2 (for winter)
Leather shoes*2, Sneakers*2, Walking shoes*1
USB stick *1, USB hard drive *1
Ethernet cable *1
Rounter*1 (Optional, need it to backup my documents)
Camera*1 (Optional, if you have a smartphone)
Tablet*1 (Optional for readings and note-taking)
Plug Converter (If you need to use three-pin plugs, two-pin plugs are the same as the one in China)
- If you can, take some antibiotics with you, just in case.
- Visit a dentist. If any issue or concern, treat it when you are in China. Dental expenses are pretty high in most of the western countries
- Get a pair of glasses. It is another costly thing to do in most of the western countries.
- Study permit
- Letter of acceptance from your school
- Address of the place that you will live in
- Contact of the school, student service office or current student who you connected with
Think that will warp up my packing list. Hope these series are useful to you on your way to your dream.