July 20, 2020

Step-by-step Guide To Apply For A Canada Student Visa

By Rinu Mathew

According to a survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 96% of international students chose Canada as a study destination owing to its world-class education system, excellent quality of life and low cost of living. The number of international students is steadily increasing for the past few years, with more than 1,30,000 students choosing Canadian universities to complete their higher studies. 

If you wish to study in Canada, then merely securing admission in a Canadian university isn’t the only hurdle that you need to cross. To enter and stay in the country, you need a Canada student visa. 

Canada Student Visa Process

Choose A University 

If you’re uncertain where to study, then you need to decide it before you begin with the Canada student visa process. When the Canadian University accepts you, you will receive an acceptance letter, which is essential for the student visa application

canada student visa

Consider Some Of The Best Universities In Canada.

  • Brock University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Regina
  • University of British Columbia
  • Mount Allison University
  • McGill University 
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • McMaster University
  • University of Montreal

Check If You Need A Student Visa

Note that you don’t need a student visa for Canada if you’re-

  • A citizen of another country and has Indian status registered in Canada.
  • Member of any foreign armed force.
  • Going to Canada to pursue a study programme with less than six months duration.
  • A family member of a foreign representative to Canada.

Nationals from visa-exempt nations need Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), to travel to Canada. You can get an eTA, by providing some details in a form available in the Citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC) website. 

Start Your Application For Canada Student Visa 

You can apply for a student visa for Canada, once you receive the acceptance letter from a designated learning institution. Student visa for Canada is locally known as a Student permit. Before entering the country, you can apply for a visa on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 

Unlike normal visa processing which can take even 2-3 months, you can avail your visa within 4-6 weeks, via Student Direct Stream(SDS). When you apply via SDS, if the eligibility requirements are met, then your application will be processed within 20 calendar days. Student Direct stream has more regulations and stringent rules to fulfil. If you have met the criteria, it will be extremely beneficial to you, since it needs less financial documentation and provides quick processing of visas. Visa application only through the Student Direct Stream will be approved. You're more likely to get rejected if you go for normal processing. 

Eligibility Criteria for SDS

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate of $10,000
  • A minimum score of 6 in IELTS
  • Tuition fee paid for the first year of the study programme
  • Acceptance from a DLI

You have to submit the following documents if you have met the above-mentioned criteria-

  • Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate Payment
  • Proof of payment of Tuition fee for the first year of the study programme
  • Letter of Acceptance from DLI
  • Complete academic documents 
  • An additional requirement of CAQ for those who wish to study in Quebec
  • Copy of medical exam

canada student visa

You can apply for the visa offline at a visa application center, if you belong to a country with limited internet access. 

You have to provide proof of financial resources, which includes the details of your Canadian bank account as well as proof of loan details. It’s important not to have a criminal record. You may need to undergo a medical examination and submit clinical records. 

According to the current visa regulations, your application will be processed in two weeks, on condition that any of your family members are applying for a work permit or working in Canada. If you want to continue your studies, then you can extend or renew the study permit. 

The study permit will expire upon completion of your studies after you receive the notification of completion of the study programme. You can remain in the country, or you can be self-employed, or even apply for a work permit. 

Prepare the Required Documents 

Canada Student Visa Requirements-

  • Duly filled student permit application form
  • Acceptance letter from the University
  • English language proficiency score
  • A valid passport
  • 2 recent passport-size photographs
  • Proof of financial resources 
  • Letter of intent(LOI)
  • Proof that you have paid the study permit fee

Canada Student Visa Fees is $CAN150.

You need to submit proof of financial resources. The minimum amount that you need to pursue higher education in Canada is $10,000 plus tuition fee for a year. But if you’re applying for Quebec, then you need $11,000 plus tuition fee for a year. 

You are required to submit a document, known as a letter of intent. It should include details like why you opted for Canada as a study destination, and should also mention that you have no intention of staying in Canada after completing your study programme. The visa officer will analyse the letter of intent, and you need to convince the officer that you respect and understand your study permit in your letter of intent. 

Meet The Language Requirements For Canada Student Visa

To get a student visa for Canada, you need to provide proof of English language proficiency. To prove your communication and correspondence skills, you need to pass an English language test. Accepted language tests are-

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (C1 Advanced)

IELTS is regarded as the most popular English language test for migration, study and work. Over 10,000 organisations, including academic institutions, governments, professional associations, employers across 140 countries accept this system. 

You need a minimum of 6.0 band in your IELTS, to pursue a Bachelor’s degree whereas 6.5 band, to pursue a Master’s degree. 

Canada student visa

Biometrics Appointment And Interview

Based on the requirements of your country of origin, you need to visit the Visa application centre located in your home country to have your biometrics taken. The fee is 85 CAD, in addition to the fee for regular visa application. Citizens from some countries are exempted from the biometric requirement, and they don’t have to visit the application centre. Find out here whether you need biometrics or not.

Visa processing may take up to 90 days, and the time also depends on the situation in your country. Based on that, you will be called to attend an interview. You need to pay a nominal fee to the Local visa application centre. 

Processing Time 

It is the time taken by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC) to take a decision regarding the application that you have submitted. It starts from the day CIC receives your application until the day in which the final decision is made. You can view the application on your MyCIC account, whereas for offline applications, you need to have a MyCIC account so that you will get an idea on your application status. You will receive messages online regarding your visa application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long is Canada student visa processing time?

Visa processing may take up to 90 days. Processing time for a student visa for Canada varies. The time depends on where it is processed as well as the type of application(visitor visa, study or work permit) that you have submitted. 

  1.  How long does it take to get a visa after biometric Canada?

It depends on the type of application(visitor visa, study or work permit) that you have submitted. It’s better to submit your biometrics once you receive the instruction letter so that you can avoid any delay. 

  1. Does PGDM have value abroad?

When it comes to career prospects, PGDM has value abroad. Having a PGDM is not regarded as a drawback. As a matter of fact, what matters the most is your professional capabilities and the reputation of your University. 

Canada student visa

  1. Which exam is required for MS in Canada?

To pursue MS in a Canadian university, you need to appear for language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL. GMAT score is essential to pursue an MBA program in Canada. Also, certain universities demand GRE scores for non business study programs. 

  1. Does Indian degree have value in Canada?

Most universities recognise and accept Indian degrees of four-year duration. However, not all universities accept Indian degrees with a duration of 3 years. 

  1. Can students work during studies in Canada?

During an on-going session, you can work for 20 hours a week and work full-time, during the vacation time. You can acquire a work permit for 1 year, for a one-year study programme and a work permit for 3 years, for a study programme with 2 to 4 years duration. 

  1. How much funds are required for a Canada student visa?

In order to secure a student visa for Canada, proof of financial resources is required to cover both tuition and living expenses, while in Canada. Fund required outside of Quebec is $10,000, per year whereas fund required within Quebec is $11,000 per year.


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