I am a student in University at Buffalo (UB). I have been to the Niagara Falls, USA on the orientation trip @$12 organized by UB. That was is August 2015. And then at that time the driver of the chartered bus used to caution us not to go too near the river as the flow rate is too high to survive safe. Also, we were the caution of not to cross the bridge come what may. Because then, as an International Student on F1 visa, without documents , If I went across I cannot enter back USA; and start my studies!
Buffalo and Niagara Falls are so close, also the visa to Canada is kind of affordable, many Indians (Bharathiya) came with it when they entered the USA. Better late, I could apply for it from here, Buffalo. It is the summer vacation. And there is enough time to engage in such indulgence. The Canada visa centre in Buffalo is closed and the processing goes through NYC (or LA if you choose to). Buffalo, NY is so close to NYC , LOL!
How I applied ?
I applied online at Canada Government website. There is fee to be paid almost $78. I do not have any relatives or friends in Canada. So as support document, I attached why I wanted to visit Canada, to visit the Niagara Falls from Ontario, of course. After a few days the website sends email updates on status of application. This turned to “Passport requested”. And then I searched on net, where and what to send. This took some time to understand. This is because the Visa Application Centre(VAC) for Canada in NY is through CSC, not the embassy. And there is a fee to be paid $ 31 (no card payment online, the CSS VAC website for details, or call them for more information). Here, the fee along with proof of payment, copy of consent form and application number goes to the CSC centre in Pittsburgh, PA, while the passport , signed consent form, passport request document need to go to NYC. This has to be in Prepaid Airway Bill, which is prepaid post (Indian English). US postal service (USPS) people know what the former is. In UB Bookstore, the USPS personnel know about this, because all the time someone would apply to get the Canada VISA in this way. The Prepaid Airway Bill comes with a tracking option. Priority Mail is written on the hard envelope. One envelope to send the passport, another is folded and kept inside it with the return address mentioned. This is the prepaid post! The total postal charges was $ 14.
I had forgotten to add some of the mentioned documents. The NY VAC will send details on missing documents if any. I send these via email to them. And in about a week and half (15 days) I received the visa on passport in hand.
Total charges for the visa (including postal charges from Buffalo) = $123.
This may be cheaper in India, depending on the location from which you are applying. Please check the corresponding process for visa application in India. Probably a good thing to consider once you get the USA visa process done.
I read the following blogs for reference to Canada side of Niagara Falls. This may become useful soon.