Over 130,000 overseas students study at Canadian universities each year.
Canada offers a diverse range of opportunities and lively culture in addition to a high-quality education system.
Three of the primary topics on which Canada and its academic institutions focus are research, scientific publications, and international cooperation.
To study in Canada, you must first get a Canadian study permit, which also functions as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay.
If your course or program lasts six months or less, you do not require a Canadian study visa.
Nonetheless, applying for permission before coming to Canada may be a brilliant idea; otherwise, if you decide to continue your studies in another program, you will have to flee from Canada to apply for a study visa through a visa application centre.
If you have a Canadian study permit and wish to continue your studies, you can apply to renew it from within Canada.
A study permit permits full-time students enrolled at a recognized higher education school to work part-time on campus.
You may also be able to work off-campus, as a co-op or intern as part of your degree, stay in Canada as a permanent resident, or find a job after you finish.
Applying for the Canadian student visa
You can apply for a Canadian study visa online or via paper application, both available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
Paper applications often take twice as long, and it’s always a good idea to double-check the processing timeframes ahead of time.
You will need a credit/debit card and the capacity to produce electronic copies of your supporting papers to apply online (using a scanner or camera).
The visa office in your nation will provide you with precise instructions on the papers you need to produce; this might vary depending on where you are.
If you want assistance, you can seek it at your local visa application facility (VAC).
The application process for a Canadian student visa
- To begin, you must get a standardized acceptance letter from a recognized higher education provider.
- Students studying in Quebec must additionally apply to the Quebec government for a certificate of admission, known as a CAQ. That must be obtained before you may apply for a study permit. It is available online by printing a form or getting a paper form from your university, which will also advise on the topic.
- The next step is to obtain a Canadian student visa application package, which may be obtained via the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, your native country’s Canadian embassy, or consulate
- If you are from a specified nation, you may also need to get a temporary residency permit (find out if you do here), but this will not complicate matters too much because it will be handled simultaneously as your study visa application.
- You will need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website to receive your application packet. These questions will decide if you are qualified to apply online for a Canadian student permit and what papers you must provide.
- If you are deemed qualified, you will be given a personal checklist code that is valid for 60 days and will be required to submit your application online.
- Make a copy of the page that contains your code for future reference. The page will also provide an application guide, an estimate of your tuition expenses, a list of papers you must send with your application, and instructions for your next steps.
- When you’re ready to apply, set up a MyCIC account and input your checklist code. After that, you will obtain your unique document checklist, which will allow you to upload and transmit your papers to CIC. That will necessitate the use of a printer or a scanner.
- You can submit your entire application to CIC after having all of your documentation and application form ready and have paid your costs.
- Some candidates may be required to attend an interview at their nearest visa office.
Additional requirements for Canadian student visa
Here are the following additional Canadian student visa requirements that may also apply:
Biometrics may be required for applicants from Europe, the Middle East, or Africa (photograph and fingerprints).
Some applicants may additionally be required to undergo a medical examination and a police background check before submitting their application.
If you have a criminal past, you will not be allowed to get a study permit; you may be required to present a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
Unless you are from the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to show that you have a valid passport that permits you to return to your home country when your course is completed.
Two passport-sized photos with your name and date of birth inscribed on the reverse are also necessary.
Proof of finances to sustain oneself is also required for a Canadian student visa.
This is now assessed to be CA$10,000 (US$7,650) for each year of your stay (CA$11,000/US$8,400 if seeking to study in Quebec) in addition to your tuition expenses.
You must also ensure that you have enough funding to cover transportation back home.
You can provide any of the following documents to prove you have this money:
- bank statements,
- Evidence of a Canadian account in your name,
- a bank draft in a convertible currency, proof of tuition and housing costs paid,
- a letter from someone or an organization granting you money,
- or evidence of financing provided from within Canada if you have a scholarship or financial help.
Using the Student Direct Stream to Apply
Canada has created the Student Direct Stream, allowing students from China, India, the Philippines, or Vietnam to apply for a study visa more quickly.
The qualifications are comparable to those for a standard study permit, except for higher language requirements: an IELTS score of at least 6, a seven on the Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens for French, or graduation Canadian-curriculum, high school.
If you do not fulfil the criteria for the Student Direct Stream but meet the requirements for the regular study visa, your application will be examined for the regular study permit option and you will not be processed more quickly.
Next steps after applying
If and when your Canadian student visa application is granted, you will be given a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction, whereas students from countries that require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a temporary residence visa will be given these if necessary. Your passport will be used to link the eTA.
You must travel using the same passport that you used to apply for your study permit.
The eTA will be valid for 5 years, or until the expiration of your passport, whichever comes first.
Submit these, together with your passport, evidence of funds, and letter of acceptance (as well as any additional papers recommended), to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will issue your Canadian study visa and enable you to enter the country.
Documents Required for Canadian Visa
After you have received your college admission letter, you should apply for a student visa.
If you want to start the visa procedure in September, you need to start in June.
The following papers are required to apply for a Canada Student Visa.
1. Valid Passport
To apply for a Study Permit, you must have a valid passport.
According to the Canadian High Commission, you must have a passport that is valid for the duration of your anticipated stay in Canada.
For example, if you want to travel to Canada in September 2019 for a two-year study, your passport must be valid until September 2021.
2. Evidence of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
You would want an admission letter from the university/institute you intend to attend.
A Designated Learning Institute is a university that has been approved by the Immigration Department.
If you are applying for Quebec, you will additionally require a CAQ, about which you will be informed.
3. Proof of Funds
You would be required to produce proof of money when applying for your Study Permit. You would have to demonstrate that you have the finances to pay our tuition costs and cover your living expenses, according to current norms.
According to Canadian Immigration, a student would need at least CAD 10,000 for each year of residence.
Aside from the aforementioned two requirements, the student must additionally demonstrate that he or she has sufficient cash for a return trip. You would be required to produce proof of money when applying for your Study Permit.
You would have to demonstrate that you have the finances to pay our tuition costs and cover your living expenses, according to current norms.
According to Canadian Immigration, a student would need at least CAD 10,000 for each year of residence.
Aside from the aforementioned two requirements, the student must additionally demonstrate that he or she has sufficient cash for a return trip.
You must produce proof of fees paid and the stipulated cost of living of CAD 10,000 when filling out the application form.
If you are seeking residency in Quebec, you must have at least CAD 11,000 for each year of your stay.
4. Passport Size Photographs
If you choose to apply offline, you will need two passport-sized images that meet the requirements.
For online applications, you must get a digital copy of the image that is no larger than 4MB.
Other criteria include a neutral facial expression, a plain background, and no headgear (unless for religious purposes).
- The image should be at least 35 mm × 45 mm in size.
- The image should be current (not older than 6 months)
5. Immigration Medical Examination
International students from India are required by Canadian Immigration to undertake a mandatory Immigration Medical Examination performed by impaneled doctors.
Students would need to make an appointment with one of the mentioned physicians and see them for a medical checkup, ideally a week before they begin their Visa application.
It is to provide the doctor adequate time to check and upload the required documentation.
It is usually advisable to make an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/ practitioner from the list of impaneled doctors.
The panel physician will do a complete medical examination and may refer you for chest x-rays and laboratory tests.
The physician will transmit the findings of your checkup to CIC after it is done.
6. Score of the English Language Proficiency Exam
Though not required at the time of application, we strongly advise you to take the English Language Proficiency Test and obtain your English Language Proficiency Score before beginning your Visa Application Process.
To confirm your acceptance to the Canadian University, you would have required to submit your English language competence score.
TOEFL, IELTS, and other tests are all allowed.
7. Statement of Purpose
When applying for a Canadian Study visa, you must submit an essay explaining why you are visiting Canada and why you have chosen this specific university.
That will be requested as an optional document in the checklist, however, we highly advise you to provide it.
Processing Time for the Canadian Student Visa
The processing time is the time it takes the CIC to complete a visa application.
It begins when the aspirant submits the application and ends when the decision is made.
As a result, there is no set time frame for processing a Canada student visa application.
Applicants (both online and paper applications) can check the progress of their applications using their MyCIC account.
Canada Student Visa Fee
According to the current currency rate, a study permit in Canada costs CAD 150, roughly comparable to INR 8,370 (as reported on the CIC Website).
Because the currency rate fluctuates, we recommend that you verify it at the time of your visa application.
Working while studying
If you want to work part-time while studying in Canada, you may now work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays without needing a work visa.
To be eligible, you must:
- You must have valid study permission.
- You must be a full-time student.
- Be enrolled in a post-secondary recognized learning institution or, in Quebec, a secondary vocational program
- Be enrolled in a six-month academic, vocational, or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
To work in Canada or access government benefits and services, you will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada.
Your student visa will expire 90 days after you finish your degree, so you’ll need to get a post-graduation work permit if you wish to stay in Canada after you finish your studies and look for work. It is valid for three years.