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I am an Indian citizen currently enrolled as a graduate student in an university in Canada. My professor here is moving to a university in the US and has asked me to accompany him. I have to apply to that university. So I will terminate my education here after the summer term.

I have a valid Canadian study permit till Dec 2017. Can I apply for the US visa (F1) from Canada? Can I complete all the formalities while I am here and enter US directly from Canada?

Or should I go back to India and apply for the US visa?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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  • Have you asked the US consulate in Canada? I imagine they will have a clear answer. – phoog Mar 17 '16 at 4:36
  • I will do that. Thanks for the tip phoog. – matzgud_89 Mar 17 '16 at 16:22
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The US does not restrict where you may apply for a nonimmigrant visa (such as a student visa) from. You may do so in any country you've legally entered, even if as a tourist.

From the US State Department:

You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.

If you do apply in Canada, take the time and effort to be sure that your visa application is exceptionally high quality. In the past, the Canadian embassy has also warned applicants of a higher refusal rate for applicants who are not residents of Canada.

If you successfully obtain the visa, you may enter the US directly from Canada, or from anywhere else.

  • Thanks Michael. "..be sure that your visa application is exceptionally high quality.." Can you please let me what you mean by this. I will have an official admit letter, I-20 and all the other required documents. It is just that since I can't wrap up here (Canada) before the summer, I plan to apply from here. – matzgud_89 Mar 17 '16 at 16:22
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    @Daddu123 another consideration: if the consulate in Canada denies your application, you can apply again in India with, most likely, a better chance of success. So the application fee could be seen as a gamble which, if you win, saves you the expense of a trip to India. The nominal reason you have a lower chance in Canada is that the staff there are less able to evaluate evidence from India. This may not even apply to you: In your case, much of the evidence may be from Canada, which would improve your chances on an application in Canada (and hurt the chances on one in India). – phoog Mar 17 '16 at 17:27
  • @ phoog That makes sense. Thanks. I have one question. In case my application gets rejected here (reason being that the Consulate here doesn't have any jurisdiction over the place of my permanent residence), will it have any negative effect on my application when I apply from India again? – matzgud_89 Mar 18 '16 at 6:42
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    @Daddu123 There's no such question of "jurisdiction". As previously noted, any consulate can accept your visa application. The question is whether the consulate can verify your documents. Some of the documents you will need for a successful application will come from India, rather than Canada, so a consulate in Canada may have more difficulty verifying them. If the consulate is unable to verify them, this won't have an impact on a new application made from India, provided that that consulate can verify the documents. – Michael Hampton Mar 18 '16 at 6:47
  • @ Michael Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. – matzgud_89 Mar 19 '16 at 16:44
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(I just want to provide a closure to this thread) I did apply from Canada with all the valid documents. It was a gamble and it paid off. I got the visa.

Thanks for providing all the answers.

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