No. If you are looking to visit the United States of America as an international student in Canada, you will be expected to obtain a U.S. Visitor Visa depending on your country of citizenship. Indeed, citizens of certain countries may be eligible to travel to the USA without a visa as long as their country falls under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
However, Canadian students who are Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States, howbeit they will be expected to file an I-94 record with the U.S. immigration official at their point of entry to the United States.
If they enter the US by land, Canadian students who are also Canadian citizens will be provided with an I-94 record. If they choose to enter by air, their I-94 record will be entered into the online system. They will only have to print out the I-94 record upon their return to the U.S. as evidence of their legal status.
In both cases, they will be charged a small fee to process the I-94 record. Since U.S. immigration inspectors are very conversant with admitting Canadian citizens as visitors and not full-time students, it falls on you to make sure you are granted the correct immigration status when you are entering the U.S.
If you are admitted as a visitor or tourist and you didn’t obtain an I-94 record that notes your immigration status (e.g., F-1, J-1, etc.), you will have to return to Canada and re-enter a second time.
If you are a citizen of a foreign country studying in Canada, you will first have to obtain a U.S. visa. As a visa applicant, you will need to prove that you are eligible and that you meet all requirements necessary to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
How to Apply for US Visa from Canada as a Student
As an international student in Canada, there are steps you will have to take to apply for a visa to enter the US. The steps include;
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Understand The Type of US Visa You Need
One of the most important things to do when looking to gain entry into the US from Canada is to research, consult and understand the exact type of visa you need.
Have in mind that there are numerous visa options available to those in Canada who are not Canadian Citizens and just as was noted above, the purpose of your travel will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. Therefore, take your time to consider all options and decide on the visa you need and make sure you are eligible.
Know Where You Need to Apply
As an international student in Canada looking to apply for a non-immigrant US Visa, it is pertinent you submit your application at the appropriate visa center approved by the US embassy. The process of applying for a visa will vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Follow the specific instructions provided by the province that you’re in.
Fill out The Online Application Form
You will be expected to fill out the appropriate visa application form and this will depend on the visa type you seek. Notably, you will have to complete a DS-160 application form online. Please be sure to print out your confirmation page with a barcode before exiting.
Note that the DS-160 application form contains questions about personal information such as your full name, marital status, address, birth details, contact number, email, passport details, family information, education, work information, etc.
Pay All Necessary Application Fees
After you must have answered all the questions in your application, you will need to pay the US Visa Fee Online and schedule an interview.
According to reports, you can pay your visa application fee online with a Credit/Debit Card, via Online Banking Transfer or Cash at Your Own Bank, or even with Cash at the right visa center. The fee you will be expected to pay will depend on the type of US visa you choose to apply for. The US Visa Fee in Canada is as follows:
- MRV Fee – $160
- Petition Based Applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
- TN visa applicants – $460
Arrange The Necessary Documents
It is important you invest time into sourcing and gathering all the documents required for your application. Have it in mind that the exact documents you need to submit will vary based on the US visa you are applying for and your nationality.
Note that every visa program has its specific requirements and you must meet them to be granted entry into the country. Arrange all these documents according to their instructions and don’t forget that the whole application process for a US visa depends on these documents. Basic documents you will need to apply for a US visa in Canada include:
- Appointment confirmation page.
- Confirmation page that you have filled the application form DS-160
- Valid Passport
- Two identical US visa photos – of 5 x 5 cm size, color, and taken within the last 6 months. Applicants who have successfully uploaded a picture to the DS-160 application form are no longer required to submit an additional photo.
- Previous US visas (if applicable)
- ACRO – Also known as a police certificate and you will be expected to obtain it from the authorities in your province.
- Letter from an approved physician
- Letter of invitation for B-2 visa applicants
- If you have ever been denied entry into the US or deported from the country, you must also submit documents in this regard
Schedule a US Visa Appointment in Canada
According to the US immigration law, applicants below the ages of 14 and over the age of 79 are not expected to show up for an interview. However, any applicant within the age range of 14 to 79 will have to appear in person at the US consulate or embassy for the US visa interview. Applicants under 14 and over 79 are eligible to apply by Courier. Consulates in Canada available for your visa interview include:
- US Consulate General in Calgary
- US Consulate General in Halifax
- US Consulate General in Montreal
- US Consulate General in Quebec
- US Consulate General in Toronto
- US Consulate General in Vancouver
- US Consulate in Winnipeg
Attend the US Visa Interview in Canada
You must show up on time since if you are late, your appointment might get canceled. Also note that the embassy/consulate staff will collect, enter and examine your application documents.
You may need to have your fingerprints scanned, and then you will have a short interview with a consular officer who will want to know your reason for wanting to gain entry into the US and other questions about your trip. On the day of your interview you will have to bring the following required documents to the Consulate:
- Your visa appointment confirmation page
- Your valid passport
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
- Passport size and quality photo (2”x2”)
- Proof of your current immigration status in Canada (e.g., study/work permit)
- Any document listed on your appointment confirmation page is pertinent to the type of visa for which you are applying.
If your application is successful you will most often get your passport in the mail within 3 – 5 business days after your interview.