What is the process to get a Canada Student Visa?

What is the process to get a Canada Student Visa?

Alisha Khan Alisha Khan
[Published 13 May, 2022 | 12:08 PM]
About Author - 6 min read

Over 150,000 international students choose to study in Canada’s prestigious universities and academic institutes. Apart from its globally-renowned, high-quality education system, Canada also offers a plethora of career opportunities - and a multicultural society to study in.

There are three aspects that Canada and its academic institutions primarily focus on Research, Scientific Publications, and International Collaborations.

Are you an aspiring international student looking to study in the Great White North?

Here are 6 easy steps that will help you obtain a Canada student visa.

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What are the steps to apply for a Canadian Student Visa?

STEP 1: Apply to a Canadian University and get your acceptance letter

If you aren’t already sure where you plan on studying in Canada, you will need to choose one before you can start your student visa process. Once you have been accepted by the chosen university, you will be issued an acceptance letter - which will be required for your student visa application. Some of the top Canadian universities include:

  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Alberta

STEP 2: Check if you need to apply for a Canada Student Visa

You will not need a Canada student visa or study permit if the following conditions apply to you:

  • You are a family or a staff member of a foreign representative in Canada accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.
  • You apply for a study program that lasts 6 months or less.
  • You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act.
  • You are a citizen of another country, but you have your Indian status registered in Canada.

STEP 3: Start your application for a Canada Student Visa

As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, it is time to proceed to the next step – applying for a Canada student visa or study permit.

What are the steps to apply for a Canadian Student Visa?

  • Before you arrive in Canada, apply for your Canadian student visa on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
  • If you have a slow internet connection or are unable to submit the documents online, send the documents by post.
  • Provide a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), a university recognized by the Canadian government.
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources to support your studies in Canada (tuition fees and living expenses).
  • Show proof that you have never been convicted of a crime.
  • Submit medical records stating that you are in excellent health, as well as other mandated medical examinations.
If you have a family member working or seeking a work permit, your study permit application will be processed in two weeks. Your study permit may be renewed or extended if:

  • You wish to continue your studies.
  • Your program is extended.
  • You change your DLI.
Your study permit will expire 90 days after you finish your studies (after you receive a notification of the program completion). You can still travel to Canada, or you can apply for a Canada work permit that allows you to work full-time or part-time, or even be self-employed.

STEP 4: Gather the documents required for Canada Student Visa

  • A completed study permit application.
  • The university's initial letter of acceptance.
  • A current passport or travel document that allows you to return to your native country. This is not required if you live in the United States.
  • Two recent passport-size pictures with name and date of birth information on the back.
  • Proof of financial support during your studies. This entails demonstrating that you have a yearly income of between 10,000 and 11,000 Canadian dollars.
  • A letter of intent.
  • You'll also need a Certificat d'acceptation du Québec, English and French translations of your documents, a statement from the translator, and a verified copy of the original documents if you plan to study in Quebec.
  • Proof of payment of the study permit fee (150 CAD)

Check out this quick interactive video explaining the process to get a Canada Student Visa

STEP 5: Meet the language requirements for Canada Student Visa

The list of required documents for a Canadian student visa does not include proof of English language ability. However, Canadian institutions will require confirmation of English language proficiency unless you are from an English-speaking country. Language tests that are accepted include:

  • IELTS Academic
  • PTE Academic
  • C1 Advanced

STEP 6: Biometrics and Interview

Depending on where you are applying for a Canada student visa, you might have to show up at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country – and have your biometrics taken. This will cost you around 85 CAD. Some countries are exempt from this biometrics requirement.

Also, depending on the individual’s situation, international students might be called for an interview.

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Canada Student Visa processing time

Your processing time starts the day IRCC receives your complete application and ends when they make a decision on it. On average, applying for a Canada student visa may take up to 90 days. You can use the Student Direct Stream (formerly known as Student Partners Program) to get the study permit faster. Processing times under the SDS is usually around 20 calendar days. You are eligible for the SDS, only if you are a citizen of China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, The Philippines, Senegal, or Vietnam.

Read More about Canada Student VisaWhat are the student visa requirements?


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