How To Apply For Canada Student VISA – See Guide

Canada offers a world of opportunities for international students. Obtain a study permit to pursue your education in this diverse and vibrant country. Begin by securing a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Demonstrate financial capacity, meet admissibility requirements, and apply online. Remember that a study permit is essential for staying in Canada during your studies.

In this article, we would like to share more insight on the Canada Student VISA route. We will be exploring the requirements, and how you can apply to study in Canada through a study permit.

Canadian Student VISA – Requirements

To apply for a Canada student visa (study permit), you’ll need to meet specific requirements. Here’s what you’ll need:

Letter of Acceptance: Obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
Valid Passport or Travel Document: Ensure you have a valid passport or travel document along with two passport-size photos.
Sufficient Funds: Prove that you have enough funds to cover:
Tuition Fees
Living Expenses
Transportation Costs.
Additional Documents:
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a Canadian financial institution. This is optional as it is only required in specific regions or countries.
Proof of a bank loan for education or student loans.
Recent bank statements (at least four months).
Proof of payment for tuition and housing.
A letter from your benefactor (if applicable). If you are sponsoring yourself through school in Canada, you will need a letter of purpose also referred to as SOP (Statement Of Purpose).
Eligibility Criteria:
You must be enrolled at a DLI.
Show that you’ll obey the law, have no criminal record, and meet health requirements.
Prove that you’ll leave Canada when your study permit expires. You should prove this in the letter of purpose or SOP.
Student Direct Stream (SDS):
If you’re a legal resident in certain countries, you can apply through the SDS for faster processing. Remember, a study permit is essential for staying in Canada during your studies.

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How To Apply For A Canadian Student VISA

Applying for a Canadian student visa, also known as a study permit, involves several steps. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Gain Acceptance to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI):

Your first step is to get accepted into a full-time study program at a DLI. DLIs are universities, colleges, CEGEPs (pre-university colleges in Quebec), vocational schools, or private language schools approved by the Canadian government to host international students. You can find a list of DLIs on the IRCC website:

2. Prepare the Required Documents:

Once accepted, gather the necessary documents for your study permit application. These may include:

Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Canada and has enough blank pages for any required visas.
Proof of Acceptance Letter: The original or a certified copy of your acceptance letter from the DLI confirming your enrollment in a full-time program.
Proof of Financial Support: This demonstrates you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses while studying in Canada. Accepted forms of proof can include bank statements, proof of employment with income details, or a letter from a sponsor covering your expenses.
Medical Exam: In some cases, you may be required to undergo a medical examination by a physician approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Police Certificates: Criminal background checks from your home country and any other countries you’ve resided in for six months or more in the past ten years might be required.
Provincial Nomination Letter (PAL): As of January 22, 2024, most students need a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they plan to study with their study permit application. This signifies the province’s support for your studies.

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3. Apply Online or Through a Visa Application Center (VAC):

The IRCC highly recommends applying for your study permit online. It’s generally faster and more convenient. However, you can also apply through a Visa Application Center (VAC) in your home country.
The IRCC website provides detailed instructions on the application process and the online portal:

4. Pay the Application Fee:

There are associated fees for processing your study permit application. You can find the current fees on the IRCC website.

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5. Submit Your Application and Supporting Documents:

Ensure all documents are valid, clear copies, and translated into English or French if necessary.
Organize your documents neatly and chronologically for easy review by immigration officers.
Review your application thoroughly before submission to avoid errors or missing information.

6. Wait for Processing and Biometrics:

Processing times can vary depending on several factors (explained below). You can check the current processing times for your specific situation on the IRCC website.
In some cases, you may be required to provide fingerprints and a digital photograph as part of the application process (biometrics).
7. Receive Your Decision:

The IRCC will review your application and inform you of their decision. You may be requested for additional documents or clarification if needed.

How long does the process take?

The processing time for a Canadian student visa (study permit) typically falls within 10 weeks, but this can vary depending on your country and application complexity. To get a more accurate idea, use the IRCC’s Check Processing Times Tool based on your situation. Early application, especially for peak seasons, and a complete application package can help expedite the process.


Remember, this is a general overview, and immigration procedures can be complex. It’s always best to refer to the IRCC website for the most current information and consider consulting a professional for a smooth application process.