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9 Must-Have Documents Needed for the US and Canadian University Application

Incomplete and incorrect applications are the major reasons for causing a delay in international application processing. Yes, the application process can be a bit stressful but things can turn around if you know the procedure properly. Accurate and on-time completion of applications helps in their faster and efficient processing by the overseas Universities.

A delayed or incorrect application may cause your candidature to be rejected or disqualified. So, the career coaches at MyStudyDestination have compiled the important application documents needed by the students applying in US and Canadian Universities.

A. Common Documents

If you are planning to study abroad, there are some common documents that you need to prepare. These documents are compulsory irrespective of your program, nationality and profile. These are:

1. Transcripts/Diploma

If you are applying for undergraduate programs the transcripts/mark-sheet/DMC of your 10th grade and 10+2 grade are mandatory. A diploma certificate or UG degree certificate is required when you apply for any international master’s program.

2. English Language Test (IELTS/ PTE/ TOEFL) Score

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to give English language tests such as PTE, IELTS and TOEFL. These tests are a must if the students want to seek admission in an English speaking country. The cut-off or minimum score varies with University to University.

Here are some Universities that don’t require IELTS.

3. Passport

Passport is your gateway to step in a foreign land. The applicants should have a valid visa stamped on their passports as well.

Read More6 Realistic Tips to get accepted in the British and US Universities 2020

B. Other Documents

Depending on the program applied, these documents may be required.

4. Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

There are essentially two types of LOR- Academic and professional. For an academic LOR, the recommender can be a teacher, principal, HOD or professor of the last school. A professional LOR is required when the candidate applies to MBA programs designed for experience holders.

Here the recommender can be the immediate team/project manager in the organization under which the candidate is working. The number of recommendation letters varies with the university and program applied.

These letters play a vital role in the Master’s degree program selection. An impressive LOR improves the chances of an applicant to get accepted into the desired University.

5. Statement Of Purpose (SOP)

In SOP, the students have to write an essay describing why they want to be enrolled in their chosen program and University. Along with that, how that program would give the right trajectory to their career. SOP depicts the sincerity and determination of the applicants.

Read More: Writing a Great Personal Statement for University Admissions

6. A List of References

Some US and Canadian Universities need a list of references and their contact numbers. The admission authorities would call them for feedback on the candidate’s abilities and accomplishments.

7. Resume (CV)

A resume is needed if there is a gap in education or the applicant has work experience. All professional and academic achievements should be highlighted impressively.

If a program needs a specific work experience, the candidates may be required to submit their employment/offer letter as well.  

8. Declaration of Finances

The schools, Colleges and Universities in the US need your bank statement and financial declaration form as a part of the application process. It is primarily done to make sure that the applicant has funds to manage the tuition fee and other expenses. 

9. Study Visa/Permit

A copy of the study permit/visa is required by every US and Canadian University. This is usually done when the applicant is already studying there and applies to another university for further education.  

Read More: 5 Tasks for U.S. Bound International Students

Though the list given here is not exhaustive but it has the most important documents needed to apply to an international University. Make a checklist and gather all your documents before sending your application. Explore the University’s admission intake page.

MyStudyDestination assists you in making the right move towards your dream of studying abroad. Our career coaches guide and mentor the students to submit the applications on time and within the deadlines.  

Before submitting the original documents, make sure to have them scanned or keep a Xerox copy. Reach us for the best advice and assistance of all study abroad options and visa queries. Call us at +91-9814031270 or drop a line at to fix the appointment.

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