If you have made the decision to study in Canada from Haiti, congratulations! That is the very first step that precedes applying to your choice of institution, processing your study visa, putting together necessary documents, procuring the required amount of money needed to travel, and finally getting into Canada to study.
If you are a Haitian wanting to study in Canada, the good news is, you have the Haitian advantage.
Table of Contents
- What is the Haitian Advantage?
- Benefits of Studying in Canada for Haitians
- Canada has some of the strongest educational institutions in the world
- People from Haiti can work in Canada while they study
- Process of getting a study visa to Canada is simple and available to all Haitians
- Canada is safe
- Canada welcomes people of different cultures and proclivities, especially people from Haiti
- Canada has one of the most generous immigration programs in the world
- Canada Offers Student Loans
- Documents needed to apply for a Canada Student Visa as a Haitian Citizen
- Document checklist for visa application to Canada from Haiti
- Is there an age limit for studying in Canada from Haiti?
- How long does it take to get a study visa from Haiti?
- Can I Study and Work in Canada at the same time?
What is the Haitian Advantage?
Ease of Visa process
Usually, Canada Student Visa application from Haiti takes around 15 days but it is advisable to give an estimated 1 month to 6 weeks for the visa procedure just in case some extra documentation is requested by Canadian Immigration.
Remember that there are no interviews for Canadian student visa. If you are lucky enough to get an unconditional letter from an educational institution in Canada, you need to apply for your study visa and permit at least 3 months before you intend to travel to Canada as a Haitian Citizen.
It is advisable to leave more time when applying from Haiti, because the Canadian Government may request an extra document.
Proximity to Canada
Haiti is just about 3005km from Canada. This translates into a little over 60 hours of travel time, by road.
This further translates to 5 hours travel time, by air. That’s how close Haiti is, to Canada. Maybe this is the reason why Canada does not subject Haitians to extra labels of security.
The earthquake of January 12, 2010, claimed the lives of countless people and destroyed properties one of which was the Canadian Embassy in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince.
The Government of Canada reached out to the people of Haiti, in a communique dated January 16, 2010, where the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism – Jason Kenney – announced that CIC has put in place special immigration measures for Haitian nationals who are currently in Canada. One can say that Canada has a soft spot for Haiti, and understandably so.
Another reason that Haitians stand a better chance of studying in Canada is the language. Haitians speak mainly French and Creole.
Because the second language of Canada is French, it goes to say, that settling down in Canada would be easier for the Haitian.
Benefits of Studying in Canada for Haitians
Canada has some of the strongest educational institutions in the world
However, not all of them are designated learning institutions. Designated learning institutions are schools that are authorized to accept international students. Each province has its list of designated institutions.
First decide which of the provinces you will stay, then go ahead to find its list of designated institutions. All Primary and Secondary schools in Canada, are designated institutions.
People from Haiti can work in Canada while they study
This gives them extra income, working and studying. It also enhances their experience of Canada, and helps them to build their Curriculum Vitae, with the possibility that they will go on to better employment in Canada when they graduate.
Process of getting a study visa to Canada is simple and available to all Haitians
Majorly, a Haitian actually needs medical assessment, language test results, police certificates, education assessments, travel documents, and proof of funds. Other requirements may follow.
This is a big advantage and it aids the process of applying for residency when the time comes.
Canada is safe
Canada is the 6th safest country in the world. It has maintained this position from 2019, making it one of the safest countries in the world. Crime rates are low, the police are easy to contact and willing to work.
They are trusted and respond quickly. This is very important to a person leaving Haiti to study in a foreign land.
Canada welcomes people of different cultures and proclivities, especially people from Haiti
There are more than 160,000 Haitians in Canada. Some of them hold prominent positions in the country.
Michaëlle Jean, the former Governor-General of Canada, is a Haitian immigrant who came to Canada with her family at the age of 11. She was Governor-General from 2005 to 2010.
A Haitian-Canadian was a City Councillor in Gatineau, Quebec. Mireille Apollon retired in 2018 after being elected twice.
There is an annual Haitian music and culture festival, called Festival Haïti en fête, in the East-Ottawa suburb of Orléans, where a significant number of Haitian-Canadian families live.
As a matter of fact, Quebec is the first choice of settlement for the Haitians because it’s predominantly French, and Haiti’s official language is French.
Canada has one of the most generous immigration programs in the world
Do you know that you can move from Haiti to Canada after studying if you choose? Studying in Canada gives you access to permanent residency.
Canada Offers Student Loans
Many international students rely on loans to cover the cost of their tuition in Canada. Sometimes they are lucky to get grants. Loans are available, depending on the school that has offered you admission. In requesting a loan, these are things to consider:
- The amount you can borrow
- The interest rate
- Repayment period
- When and how your funds will be disbursed
Although it would be preferable to get a scholarship or a grant, which is not repayable, a loan may become necessary as a last resort. However, it is advisable to explore all possible options before settling for a loan.
When you do decide to take a loan, there are private lenders who would likely request for your academic background, to know if you are worth investing in.
You would both agree on terms of repayment that would be suitable. In any case, ensure you are satisfied with these terms. If you are not, please look for other lenders.
How does the loan process work?
- Check to see if your school and program are eligible.
- Submit your application.
- Receive a conditional offer after submitting your application.
- Upload the requested documents and complete any further required paperwork.
- Receive a final approval after all of your uploaded documents are verified.
- Once that is done, your funding is disbursed directly to your school
- It is possible to begin the loan application process before being accepted to your school. However, you need to be accepted before you can complete the process.
Documents needed to apply for a Canada Student Visa as a Haitian Citizen
Valid Haiti Passport
A Haitian passport is the international identification document that proves the identity and nationality of its holder, inside and outside Haiti.
You can apply to the Embassy of Haiti If you are already in Canada, you can obtain a passport at the Consulate General of Haiti in Montreal. Ensure that your passport is valid for longer than the expiration of your visa.
Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution in Canada
It’s easy to find DLIs in the provinces of Canada. Just decide on where to stay first, then cast your net. A lot of schools will want you.
Proof of Funds in Haiti
Whether you intend to work while you study, or not, you need to prove that you can suppor yourself during your stay in Canada. Proof of funds is very important, as no country would like a completely dependent foreigner on its hands.
In addition to your tuition fees which are relative to the DLI you choose, you are expected to have more than 10,000 Canadian dollars for every year of your stay in Canada.
Passport Size Photographs
Your Canada study visa passport must be 45mm X 35mm, with your face taking up 80% of the space. It must be in plain white background, without patterns or shadows, and your face fully facing the camera
An Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
This includes physical examination like eye, nose, heart, lungs, and other organ check-ups. Chest X-rays. Blood tests for HIV and Syphilis. This is done by a Panel Physician.
In Haiti, there are 4 Panel Physicians recommended by the Canadian Government. Find the one suitable for you. If however, you do not want to use any of them, you can choose from any Panel Physician all over the world.
You are not allowed to use your family doctor or friend who is a physician. Only those physicians approved by the IRCC can offer this service.
Note that you must pay for their services, and prices differ from one physician to another.
English Language Proficiency Exam Score where required
The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standards used in Canada to measure prospective immigrants planning to study, work or live in the country.
Although this is not required of every international student, Haiti is on the list of students required to provide proof of proficiency in English. Accepted language tests are IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic, and C1 Advanced. Please contact your DLI for their preferred test.
An increasing number of candidates choose IELTS for Canada student visa as it is required by all the top Canadian universities. It assesses the language capabilities of non-English speakers who wish to study in a country where English is the primary language of communication. It is divided into four important parts – listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Statement of Purpose for Travel
An SOP is an essay of about 1,500 words, written by an intending student to Canada. An SOP is probably the only way the admission panel gets to know you – your dreams and aspirations – therefore, it should be properly written.
An SOP should highlight your reason for choosing Canada, your reason for choosing a particular course and university, and your academic background. What are your expectations at the end of your study in Canada?
What are your extracurricular activities? What are your hobbies? All these should be part of your SOP. A note of warning please – do not plagiarize!
You will be required to pay certain fees, especially if you are applying online. The visa application fee is paid with a credit card, not a debit card. That could be 150 Canadian dollars.
When your visa is approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) The eTA will be linked to your passport.
You will be required to present this letter or eTA with your passport, letter of acceptance and proof of finances to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will then issue your Canadian study permit and allow you access into Canada.
This shows that having a Canada study visa does not automatically admit you into Canada. You need a study permit too. This will enable you to work while you study.
Document checklist for visa application to Canada from Haiti
- Police Clearance Certificates and Medical Reports
- Academic Certificates
- Proof of Funds
- Official letter of acceptance from a Canadian university, college or Technical Institute
- College/University Fees Payment Receipt
- G.I.C Payment Receipt or Education Loan Acceptance Letter
- Statement of Purpose
- Other relevant certificates
Is there an age limit for studying in Canada from Haiti?
Generally, a Haitian who intends to study in Canada, is expected to be between 18 to 35 years. If you are above the age limit, and you need to study in Canada, you may be advised to choose a different Canada visa pathway.
How long does it take to get a study visa from Haiti?
A study visa may take between 12 weeks to 3 months, depending on your documentation. Sometimes, the Canadian Government may require extra documentation from you. This may delay the process.
It is always better to start with the preliminaries which entail getting your choice of school to give you an acceptance letter, looking for a province that is suitable, and looking for possible lenders if you are planning to go on student loans.
Other preliminaries may involve finding a school that offers scholarships for your preferred course of study.
Can I Study and Work in Canada at the same time?
Yes, a study permit allows you to work while you study in Canada. However, it is necessary to follow the guidelines for working in Canada on a student visa.
One of the requirements is that a Haitian working in Canada while on a student visa, should be able to prove that the quality of study would not be diminished as a result of his job.
This means that he is expected to make good grades, notwithstanding that he has to work. Work hours will not exceed 20 work hours every week.
It can be extended to full hours during holidays. The aim here is to ensure that you do not lose your focus, which is to make good grades.
Please note: When making reservations for your flight to Canada from Haiti, it is advisable to book well ahead, to get the cheapest rate.
Do not forget any of the important documents you are meant to submit at the port of entry. Remember that you could still be denied entry into Canada, if your documentation is not complete.
In addition to your Canada Study Visa, you require a Canada Study Permit, to study and work in Canada. One is not complete without the other.