So – you’re facing a Canada student visa interview? Firstly, congratulations! This means your study abroad plans are well underway, and your student visa application is nearly complete.
The even better news? The Canada visa interview is solely designed to check the information on your application and that you’re a genuine student. It’s not intended to catch you out or trip you up. Whilst any interview is a daunting prospect, it’s really nothing to stress about.
If you’re wondering how to prepare for your Canada visa interview, then look no further. Today, we’ll explain how to ace that conversation and get your study permit.
From organising all your documents to common questions and new rules for international students in Canada – here’s everything you need to successfully prepare and pass your Canada visa interview.
How to prepare for your Canada visa interview
The Canada visa interview is often the final stage of the student visa application process.
Not everyone is invited to interview. In fact, most study permits are awarded without a visa interview. However if you are selected for any reason, don’t worry! It’s just to make sure you’re a genuine student that understands your rights and responsibilities in the country.
If selected, your Canada visa interview will be held by representatives of the Canadian government’s immigration department. Expect questions related to your field of study, how you’ll support yourself and the reasons why you’ve chosen a university in Canada.
Interviews tend to be reasonably short, so don’t expect an in-depth grilling. There are several things you can prepare in advance though. Here are some of the most important aspects for your Canada study visa preparation
1. Submit your application
Now this might be an obvious one, but we’re really starting at the start here! If you’re thinking of studying in Canada, submit your study permit application well in advance.
This is the first step to getting a study visa, and the good news is it can all be done online.
We’ve previously written your ultimate guide to applying for a Canadian study permit. So if you’re at the start of the process, take a look through this – and then come back to your interview preparation!
2. Work on your English skills
A common requirement for Canadian study permits is sufficient English (and sometimes French) proficiency. If you’re selected for a Canada visa interview, the immigration official will note your language skills.
Practice hard for any tests, and read English or French language blogs, magazines and books (as well as speaking and listening with TV shows and friends!) as much as possible. With better language skills, your answers will be clearer and your studies will be easier too. It’s a win, win.
3. Organise your documents
As part of the Canada study permit application, you’ll have to provide lots of official documents!
If you’re facing an interview, make sure you’ve got these organised in an easily accessible folder. This is also a good way to remind yourself of your key reasons for study – relating to your existing academic interests and personal statement.
4. Listen carefully and stay positive
When the day of the interview arrives – stay positive, you’ve got this! Canada visa interviews are as much about your personal character as they are about your study intentions. Try to project a calm, positive demeanour. First impressions really do count.
Listen carefully to any questions and try to provide as thoughtful and genuine answers as possible. Keep your responses clear and concise. If you’re someone that particularly suffers from interview nerves, pre-preparing some answers in advance will be massively helpful…
If you’re wondering how to pass your Canada study visa interview – prepare, prepare, and then maybe (just maybe) prepare some more. We’ve covered the steps to follow before the interview, but now it’s time to think about the questions themselves.
To improve your chances of passing the interview (and we’re sure you will!) do some research and prepare short answers to common questions.
Common Canada study visa interview questions
- Why do you want to study in Canada?
- Why did you choose this university in particular?
- What interests you about your course?
- What modules will you be studying?
- How are you planning to finance your studies?
- How will you cover your living expenses?
- What are your plans after graduating?
Whilst answering these questions, don’t suggest you’re planning to settle and work in Canada after completing your studies. Your motivation for coming to Canada should be solely related to your academic study rather than working and living in the country.
Focus on how your study plans fit into your long-term career goals. You should project confidence in your (or your family’s) abilities to fund your studies. Demonstrating close ties to your home country (for instance, plans to travel home during vacation) will further reassure immigration officials.
As a final aspect to consider, new rules for international students in Canada have recently been introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Canada is still processing study permit applications, but there might be delays.
It’s important to get your application in early and double-check any travel restrictions. Fully vaccinated non-essential travellers have been allowed to enter the country since September 2021. Quarantine requirements have also been suspended since July 2021 for fully vaccinated travellers.
Despite this, there are still special measures in place and the situation can change rapidly. If you’re ever unsure of legal requirements, check with your academic institution who’ll be able to advise.
If you’re applying for your Canadian study permit, check out our step-by-step guide to the visa application process. When it comes to the interview itself, just remember to be confident, be yourself – stay calm and smile. Studying abroad is an exciting prospect after all! With these Canada study visa preparation tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful interview.