Student Partnership Program- Eligibility, Colleges List, Application, GIC Program

by janvi.bhambri

Over the years, the number of international students enrolled to study in Canadian universities have almost doubled, from 66,000 to 124,000 and about 13% and 5% of the total increase can be credited to China and India respectively.

To further promote and increase the count, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) launched Student Partners Program, popularly known as SPP in 2009.

Initially open for only Indian students, the program works to stream line admission and visa processes for international students wanting to study in Canada. According to Canadian government official, SPP is a blessing for all those preparing to leave home and study in Canada as they no longer have to worry about meeting study permit application checklist. Students can get a study visa very quickly and with minimal documentation.

Since its initiation, there has been a sudden increase in the number of Canadian visas issued to Indian students and a large number of students have started to apply to various specialized trade requirement based diploma and Post graduate diploma programs in Canada.

Gauging how successful it turned out to be, the project was later extended to China as well. Students in China can apply through two steams: with or without IELTS results.

Advantages of SPP:

Some of the major advantages of applying under SPP are given below:

  • The admission process is streamlined and made easier for students
  • Less hassle because of Visa documentation and guidelines
  • Faster processing of Canadian Visa

How does SPP work?

Nearly 40 Canadian colleges and several other ACCC colleges are listed under the SPP program. Students planning to pursue their studies in Canada under the SPP program, do not have to apply for the same separately.

Students must apply to a participating SPP college. Application submitted by the students are then processed by the college authorities and a fair decision is taken based on the documents furnished by the students. In case an applicant meets the eligibility criteria of the college applied to, he/she will be considered under the SPP program.

Note: Students planning to enroll in full-time study programs in Canada are eligible for SPP.  SPP programs are open to students from China and India only.

Colleges under SPP Program:

Algonquin CollegeSelkirk College
Red River College of Applied Arts, Science & TechnologySault College
Saskatchewan PolytechnicOkanagan College
Parkland CollegeNorQuest College
Northern LightsNorthern College
North Island CollegeNorthern Alberta Institute of Technology
Niagara CollegeMohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology
Manitoba Institute of Trades & TechnologyMedicine Hat College
LaSalle CollegeLoyalist College of Applied Arts & Technology
Langara CollegeLambton College of Applied Arts & Technology
Seneca College of Applied Arts & TechnologyUniversity of the Fraser Valley
Sheridan College Institute of Technology & Advanced LearningVancouver Community College
St. Clair College of Applied Arts & TechnologyVancouver Island University
St. Lawrence College-
Confederation College of Applied Arts & TechnologyKwantlen Polytechnic University
Conestoga CollegeLakeland College
Columbia CollegeHumber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
College of the RockiesDouglas College
College of New CaledoniaDurham College
Centennial College of Applied Arts & TechnologyFanshawe College of Applied Arts & Technology
Cambrian College of Applied Arts & TechnologyFleming College
Canadore CollegeCamosun College
Bow Valley CollegeGeorge Brown College
Assiniboine Community CollegeGeorgian College of Arts & Technology

Many other CICan colleges also welcome students from India. Applications are usually in the hands of the each participating college. Before applying for SPP, it is advised to contact the participating college of your choice for information in regards to the above. SPP further involves close cooperative partnership and feedback from registered participating colleges. Through this feedback, colleges can ensure students compliance with the terms of their study permits. Students must sign a consent declaration on the SPP checklist to be processed under this program.

Am I Eligible to apply for SPP?

In order to apply for a visa under SPP, students must fit in the below-mentioned eligibility criteria guiding the same:

  • Overall score of 6.0 in your IELTS, taken not before than 2 years.
  • Must have completed grade 12 in the last two years or have finished Bachelor’s in the last five years.
  • Should not have more than 8 backlogs during recent exams
  • Must apply for a course relevant to student study background and must add value.
  • Must have score a minimum 50% in their recently completed degree or diploma or Higher as per the SPP institution specific requirement.
  • Show proof of payment of the tuition fee for one semester or one year
  • Purchase of a special Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from Scotia Bank of CAD$10,000 to cover living expenses for the first year of stay in Canada.
  • Must never be denied of Canadian study visa before

What is a GIC?

A GIC stands for Guaranteed Investment Certificate. A GIC can be seen as a type of Canadian investment typically issued by banks or trust companies. Students will have to invest their money for a certain amount of time in order to receive a guaranteed rate of return.

As per guidelines set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, students will require approximately $10,000 CAD per year, excluding tuition fee, in order to pay for their living expenses. This can be done by purchasing a participating GIC and using it as evidence that you have paid your tuition fee.

At present, Scotiabank and ICICI Bank Canada are the only participating Canadian financial Institutions.

Applying for colleges under SPP:

Application processes are simpler for students applying under Students Partners Program through improved and revised application checklist. Students must submit all documents as indicated in the checklists to facilitate timely processing of applications.

SSP students will further have to keep in mind the following things:

  • Pre- application medical examination:

Students will have to submit a copy of their medical examination as indicated in the checklist. Students are advised to undergo medical examination before submitting their Study Permit application. This can be done by visiting one of the designated panel physicians in India.

Once you are done with your medical examinations, you will be handed a copy of your medical examination form which is to be submitted along with your application for study permit.

Note: Students are advised, not to submit their application until one week after the completion of their medical examination.

Documents for Pre - Medical examination:

Take along the following documents while visiting the panel physician:

  • 5 passport size pictures
  • Your original valid passport
  • A photocopy of the page of your passport showing all your bio data along with your picture
  • Letter of acceptance from an SPP institution
  • A signed declaration that clearly states that all documents required in the checklist have been included and all information provided by you is true to your knowledge. That you also have never been refused Canadian study permit before. That you are aware that your application will be refused in case of misrepresentation of any material fact and further will not be allowed in Canada for a period of 5 years.
  • Remember, that submitting the form does not guarantee anything. All costs incurred for medical examination are to be paid by the student and is non-refundable. Students should wait until their application is approved before they make any commitments. Once you are done with the formalities, submit your application at the visa office responsible for your area of residence. Students are advised to submit their application as early as possible to avoid multiple delays due to the necessity of file transfer.

Checklist for study permit application under SPP

Here is a list of documents and forms that students must provide to the nearest application center in conjunction with the IMM 5483 Document Checklist for a Study Permit.

  1. Application for study permit made from outside Canada (IMM 1294)
  2. Family Information (IMM 5707)
  3. Statutory declaration of common- law union (IMM 5409)
  4. Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (IMM 5475)
  5. Custodianship declaration- custodian for minors studying in Canada (IMM 5646)

Document Checklist:

  • Fee payment in an acceptable format. This might include processing fee for application or biometric fee (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of the pages from your valid passport or travel documents that include the following information:
    1. Passport number
    2. Issuance and expiry date
    3. Photo, name, date of birth and place of birth

(In case the applicant is applying for TRV, you will have to provide your original passport for the Visa counterfoil to be issued)

  • Test results for IELTS or any other English proficiency test taken by you. The exam must be taken not before than 24 months with overall band not less than 6.0, with no individual band lower than 5.5.
  • Photocopy of the most recent diploma or leaving certificate, and most recent mark sheets
  • Two photos as per the photo specifications mentioned in the Visa application. The applicant must write their name and date of birth at the back of both the pictures.
  • Letter of acceptance from the DLI you plan to join or enroll in.
  • Letter of approval of application from MDI’s for a ‘certificat d’ acceptation du Quebec’ (CAQ)
  • Proof of financial support. This is to be done by showing a proof of a special GIC from a participating Canadian financial institution of CAD 10,000.
  • Photocopy of marriage license/ certificate
  • Additional documents (if any) required by the Visa office

Keep the following things in mind before submitting the above mentioned documents:

  • Provide a certified translation for any document that is submitted in language other than English and French.
  • In case you are not able to submit all the required documents, your application can get refused or delayed.
  • In case any information provided by you is found to be incorrect or fraudulent, your application will be refused.
  • You may be asked to appear for an interview despite submitting all the required documents.
  • Any study program exceeding 6 months, will require a medical exam that SPP applicants must undergo.
  • While submitting your complete application form, make sure that you include the barcode (last) page.
  • Students must show proof of purchase of a GIC. No applications will be accepted by VFS under the Student Partner Program without a copy of the formal GIC document.

Note: It is advised to submit the application at least three months before the expected date of travel.

Working in Canada Under SPP

There are no changes in the application or conditions of acquiring a work permit under SPP. International students who have graduated or competed their studies from a recognized DLI are eligible for a work permit, be it from a college participating in SPP or a non SPP college.

Since the work permit scheme has its own defined requirements, it does not have anything to do with students under Student Partnership Programs. Anyone wanting a study permit must qualify or satisfy all requirements set by the Canadian government, in order to work in Canada.
According to the existing guidelines for work permit in Canada, students with course period of up to two years or more, are eligible for a Post Study work permit of up to 3 years in Canada. Similarly, students with course period of up to one year or less, are eligible for a work permit equal to their duration of study.

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