How to Get a Canada Student Visa

Eligibility criteria

Canada Student Visa You need to apply for a Canadian study permit before entering the country. To be able to apply for this permit, you should have been accepted by a designated learning institute (DLI). You can check your institute’s name in the designated learning institutions list offered by the Canadian Government here. The list only includes schools at the post-secondary level. On your application form, you will have to write the DLI number which you will get from the above link. There are some institutes that may not have a DLI number, but if you can find their name on this list, then it means they are eligible to take international students.

Remember, you can only start your application process for the study permit as soon as you get the letter of acceptance from your university. That’s number one in the Canadian student visa eligibility requirements list.

Next in line in the eligibility criteria, is the money/assets you have. You need to prove that you will be able to pay for your tuition fees, bear the living expenses of yourself and any accompanying members in the country, as well as return transportation costs from Canada.

As an aspiring foreign student in Canada, you will have to make the immigration officer understand that you will not stay back in the country after you finish your studies. Apart from this, you will of course have to prove that you are hale and hearty and are not headed to their country with some disease. They may want you to undergo a medical examination if need be.

Last, but not the least, don’t have a criminal record of any kind so as to make them think you may be a threat to their land. However, in case you are going to Canada to pursue a short term course or program which is of less than six months’ duration, you don’t need a study permit. It is also not required if you are a member of any foreign armed force, or you happen to be related to a foreign representative to Canada. People of Indian origin who have registered Indian status in Canada, are also exempt from the same.

Students who come from visa exempt nations are required to carry electronic travel authorization (eTA) which they can get by punching in some details on a form on the CIC website. This is only applicable for students travelling by air, and not by land or the sea. American citizens and valid Canadian visa holders need not have an eTA.

Documents Required for Canadian Student Visa Application

Here’s a checklist of the documents you’d need to apply for a Canadian study permit:

  1. Letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institute with a valid DLI number. You will be required to attach the original letter.
  2. Valid proof of identity for every single person accompanying the family, including recent passport size photos, their name and date of birth.
  3. Proof of financial support according to which you must prove that you can support yourself and all your family members while in Canada. This would include your bank account details with a Canadian bank, bank account details for the past four months, and proof of loan details secured from a financial institution as a student, among others.
  4. Letter of explanation, with details about why you are applying for a study permit, even though you may not need one. Having a study permit also gives you the freedom to work part time on campus as a full-time student. At the same time, if you wish to continue studying in Canada, you can apply to renew the permit while living in Canada. You don’t have to leave the country to get it renewed.

The above list may not be final. The visa office may require additional information like your medical examination and security information in the form of police certificates.

Fees for Canada Student Visa

As proof of financial support, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada.

Applying for a study permit in Canada is stated to cost $CAN 150. Beyond this, the minimum amount you would need to study in Canada is $10,000 plus tuition fees for a 12-month period outside Quebec, and $11,000 plus tuition for the same period in Quebec, for a single student. This amount will increase with the addition of each additional family member.

Processing time for student visas

Processing time is the time taken by the CIC to take a decision about the application you filed. It will be counted from the day CIC receives an application to the final decision day. There is no specific day or time mentioned when you check the processing time. The visa offices update processing time tool weekly on the whole, and only show the time which it took to process 80% of the applications.

All online applications can be viewed on your MyCIC account, which is where you also have to deposit your fee. As for paper applications, you are again required to have a MyCIC account where you can receive in-depth and real-time information about your application status.

You will also receive online messages regarding your application. But there is no standard time to process an application. It just gives a general idea of how long a process takes.

Working as a student in Canada

One advantage of having a study permit as a full time student in Canada is that you are at liberty to work on campus. You don’t need a separate work permit for it. Ensure that your study permit has printed on it either of the following remarks:

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

Once you have this on your study permit, you can apply for a social insurance number (SIN) to work on-campus. Your study permit and being a full-time student at a DLI will also allow you to work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks. You would need SIN for this as well. Some study programs are designed such that you need to have work experience, which can come only with a study permit. Post-graduation, you can apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This will allow you to work for the length of the study program.

Read these other articles on Studying in Canada.

Disclaimer: We aren’t experts on this topic. We’ve collated this information from various websites to create this introductory article. Please refer to the official websites to get the latest and most credible information.

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