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Applying Canadian Visitor Visa as F1 Student in St. Louis

I initiated my Canadian visa application shortly after commencing my undergraduate studies in the U.S. on an F1 visa.

Application Submission

⚠️ Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and complete the forms.

  1. Begin by creating an account to facilitate your application submission. Create account here

    ⚠️ Remember to note down your security questions and answers for future logins.

  2. Complete the questionnaire to obtain your unique reference code.

  3. Prepare the necessary documentation:

    • IMM5257 (Application form)
    • Your passport country or territory of issue is your home country even if you have renewed your passport in the United States.
    • If you're an F1 student, your school is your employer, and your occupation is a(n) (under)graduate student.
    • Click "Validate" to check if you have filled out the form correctly.
    • IMM5645 (Family Information Form)
    • Purpose of Travel (Letter of Explanation)
    • Attach your hotel and flight itinerary.
    • Overland travelers from the U.S. need not attach flight details.
    • Proof of Financial Support
    • Passport and travel documents
    • Passport information page
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • I-94
    • Verification
    • US Visa
    • Photo (45mm*35mm)
    • This can be taken at outlets like Walgreens if needed.
    • Travel History
    • Scan your passport stamps and visas.
    • IMM5657B_1
    • Upload your documents and make a payment via credit card (Visa/Mastercard/Amex accepted).

    The fee was 185 CAD at the time of my application.

Post-submission, you can access your application through the portal, which will inform you about biometrics requirements at a later stage.

Biometrics Collection

Upon receiving your Biometrics Collection Letter, schedule your biometrics session.

For St. Louis, this takes place at the Application Support Center (ASC) at 9700 Page Ave. You should book in advance. Schedule here

Bring these to your appointment:

  • Biometrics Collection Letter
  • Passport
  • ASC Appointment Confirmation

⚠️ Biometrics must be submitted within 30 days of the letter's receipt.

⚠️ Appointments can only be booked up to 14 days ahead.

My experience involved an early arrival and an expedited process, potentially allowing for walk-ins.

Passport Submission

Once biometrics are done and processing is complete, you'll get an Original Passport Request Letter.

Required for submission:

  • Original Passport Request Letter
  • Passport
  • USPS money order for package transaction fee (you may purchase it at USPS). Fee details here
    • Pays to VFS Services (USA) Inc.
    • Address CANADA VISA APPLICATION CENTRE, 145 West 45th Street, Floor 4, New York, NY 10036
    • Memo Application Number+ your Application number shown in your Canadian IRCC portal that starts with 'V'.
  • TT Services Consent Form
  • Return shipment label

Ship the package to VAC (I sent mine to NY). Address: CANADA VISA APPLICATION CENTRE, 145 West 45th Street, Floor 4, New York, NY 10016

⚠️ Note: Do not use FedEx, it would take more time to process.

Final Processing

After VAC receives your passport, you will receive an email from VFS that includes your tracking ID.

You can track your passport processing on VFS. It will take 24 hours before you can track your passport processing.

Steps that will be shown on the tracking page:

  1. Information not found
  2. Dispatched to the IRCC
  3. Under process at the IRCC Office
  4. Your processed decision envelope has been dispatched from the IRCC Office
  5. Has been received from the IRCC Office
  6. processed decision envelop has been collected from Canada Visa Application Centre

My Timeline

  • 2023-09-29: Submitted application
  • 2023-10-01: Biometrics Collection Letter
  • 2023-10-27: Biometrics Collection
  • 2023-11-02: Original Passport Request Letter
  • 2023-11-07: Passport Received By VAC
  • 2023-11-08: Passport under process at IRCC
  • 2023-11-09: Passport has been dispatched from IRCC
  • 2023-11-10: Decision envelope has been couriered (Courier service provider did not receive the package)
  • 2023-11-13: FedEx received shipment
  • 2023-11-15: Passport received