How to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa

Do you intend to finish high school or further your education in Canada? It would be best if you acquired a Canadian study permit, which serves as your temporary Canadian student visa for the country. Each year, more than 500,000 applicants worldwide are accepted and given international student visas to study in Canada.

How to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa

Canada is a top destination for international students from all over the world. Over 130,000 international students opt to study at Canadian universities each year. Canada is appealing to students in addition to being a well-liked tourism destination. It is a highly developed nation with top-notch instructional practices and worthwhile degrees.

Canada offers many opportunities, including a top-notch educational system and a dynamic culture. Because of this, many people want to enroll their kids in Canadian elementary or secondary schools, and many adults wish to begin their university or graduate studies there as well. The students need a study visa and authorization to do this.

Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. However, some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. Sometimes, you can apply at the port of entry once you've reached Canada. This article will thoroughly explain all you need to know about a Canadian student visa to give you the best chance of being granted a Canadian study permit.

What is a Canadian Student Visa?

A Canada Student Visa is the visa needed for international students wanting to enroll in a program in Canada. This permit, a kind of temporary resident visa (TRV), usually includes the name of the educational institution the student is attending and the course of study they are enrolled in. There is a C$150 application cost, and it must be for a designated learning institution (DLI).

The holder of a Canada student visa may begin their academic career in Canada. However, the student needs a study permit in addition to the student visa, which is the same as a Canada visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). Thus, the Canadian student visa combines an eTA and a study permit with a tourist visa.

The study permit grants legal authorization for a person to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. Foreign nationals should be informed that eligibility requirements must be satisfied to submit a study permit application. In addition, the student must also fulfill several requirements throughout their stay in Canada. These are what they are:

  • Continuously be enrolled in a DLI. DLIs are schools or universities approved by the provincial or territorial government to allow them to host international students. You can check if a university is a DLI.
  • Be working on completing your study program.
  • Meet the requirements of the student visa.
  • Stop studying if you do not meet the requirements of the student visa.
  • Leave Canada immediately once your study permit expires.

However, the study permit will not allow you to get Canadian-issued documents or Canadian government benefits such as health benefits. It will, however, create an easier path for you to apply for Canadian citizenship if that is your goal.

Who Needs a Canadian Student Visa?

Regardless of your country, you will need a visa to attend a Canadian high school, college, or university if you wish to study there. All international students who want to learn in Canada and require a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) must get a student visa and permission. You cannot enter Canada with permission; however, you may begin your studies with a visiting visa or an eTA.


However, there are a few instances where you might not need a study visa to study in Canada, for example:

  • If your study program in Canada is shorter than six months, you need a visiting visa or eTA and not a study permit, provided that you finish the course of study within six months or less. However, you will need a study visa if you cannot complete the brief program in six months.
  • If you're enrolling in a quick self-improvement course or discovering something new.
  • Children or family members of accredited foreign representatives' private staff.

Canadian Student Visa Requirements

You'll need to get certain documents ready for your visa application. If your study visa is approved, it will depend heavily on your financial situation. The Canadian government must be able to verify that you have the resources to sustain yourself while you are in school, whether through savings or a sponsor like a parent.

Generally, you'll need the following to apply for a Canadian Study Permit:

  • Admission letter from a DLI
  • Results from a medical exam and police check
  • Two passport-sized photos of yourself
  • Proof you can financially support yourself throughout your studies
  • You may also need to provide your biometrics. Again, it would help if you did this at an approved Visa Application Center in your country.

Canadian Student Visa Application Process

You must apply to a designated learning institute to receive a Canadian study permit. After being approved, you can apply for a study permit. You will need to provide detailed documentation and adhere to all rules established by the Canadian government in addition to the application itself. The entire procedure for applying for a Canadian student visa is detailed here.

1. Get an admission letter from a designated learning institution (DLI)

To start, you must apply to a Canadian university authorized by the relevant province or territory government and receive an acceptance letter. Before you can begin the application process for a student visa to Canada, you must decide where you want to study there. You'll receive an acceptance letter after being admitted to a Canadian university, which you'll need for the visa application. Then, determine if you require a Canadian student visa. Finally, you can utilize the official Canadian study permit tool to check whether you need a study visa or permission.

2. Apply for the permit online or download an application package

It's time to move on to the next step, which is to apply for a student visa, also known as a study permit in your country of residence, as soon as you receive the acceptance letter from the university. First, you must apply for a study permit online, whether outside Canada or currently within. Additionally, you can only submit a paper application if you have a handicap that prohibits you from doing so online or if you have a valid identity or travel document for a person who is a refugee, stateless person, or a non-citizen resident.

Before traveling to Canada, you must submit an online application for a student visa through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Send the visa application materials by mail if you cannot submit the documents online due to a slow internet connection.

3. Pay the fee for your application and keep the receipt

Ensure you have all the documentation needed for your nation, including evidence that you have paid the study permit fee (150 CAD). If immigration agents believe an applicant has not complied with all conditions, they reserve the power to refuse study visas. Consequently, having a knowledgeable immigration representative analyze your application before the submission is beneficial.

4. Have a medical check-up from a panel physician registered in your country

You might need to visit a visa application center in your country to get your biometrics taken, depending on your nationality. The cost for biometrics is 85 CAD. In addition to the standard visa application fee, there is also this cost (150 CAD). The inhabitants of several nations are excluded from this biometrics requirement; thus, they won't have to go to an application facility.

Depending on your circumstances, you might also get a call for an interview. Local visa application centers will charge a nominal fee for employing their services.

5. Receive a decision on your application

The processing period after submitting your application for a study visa in Canada may be up to 90 days; however, it usually goes faster. This is also based on the circumstances in your country of origin. Come to Canada if your study permit is approved! Please be aware that you will not be issued a study permit for Canada until you reach a Canadian Port of Entry (POE). The Canadian government will give you a Port of Entry Introduction Letter if your permit is approved. When you arrive in Canada, you must save this letter and present it to an immigration authority to get your study permit.

Student Direct Stream

Furthermore, residents of some countries may apply through the Student Direct Stream to get their permits faster. Fees start at 150 CAD and the processing time is usually around 20 calendar days. 


You can apply via the Student Direct Stream if you are a legal resident in one of these countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • the Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

Canadian visas for student dependents

If your spouse or child under 18 needs to join you while you study, they can also apply for a visa. An Open Work Permit, valid for the same time frame as your studies program, may be used by your spouse. It only permits them to work while they are in Canada; it does not require them to have a job before arriving. If you have a child joining you while you are studying in Canada, the youngster may enter the country as a visitor if you show documentation of your study permission and study program.

How long is the Canadian Student Visa valid?

You can often remain in Canada while you have a study permit. First, you can see when your permission expires by looking at it. Then, you can ask for an extension in particular circumstances. For instance, a student visa from Canada is only suitable for the duration of the study program plus an additional 90 days. You can use these 90 days to prepare to depart Canada or submit an application to renew your study visa.

Therefore, you will need to extend your study permit if you do not finish your program by the end of the period during which it is valid. You will only get an additional 90 days if you complete the program before the study permit expires, after which you must leave Canada.

You must provide proof that you have completed your program by submitting the notification of graduation from your schools, such as an email, a letter, or another document, or submit a copy of your degree, diploma, or certificate. When one of these was issued will be used as the date you completed your program, and then your additional 90 days for preparation to leave Canada will begin.

Working while you study in Canada

Let's say you wanted a part-time job to assist you in paying for your studies in Canada. In such a situation, you are now eligible to work without a work permit during university semesters for up to 20 hours on or off campus and full-time during breaks like the winter or summer holidays.

To qualify, you must:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • Be a full-time student
  • Be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level.
  • Be studying in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
  • You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or receive government programs' benefits and services.

After completing your studies, you might wish to continue working in Canada. If you want to continue living and working in Canada after your education, you must obtain a post-graduation work permit. Three years are allowed for this. Depending on the length of your study program, getting a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is simpler when you have a student visa.

Studying in Canada as an international student might be challenging and confusing. Applications for permits to enroll in numerous colleges and programs are frequently rejected because they don't adhere to legal standards. But it may be made easy with the help of this manual and other web resources. You may also visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Commission's official website for more comprehensive information.

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