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Canada Student Visa 101


Canada is one of the leading attractions for international students. A number of students apply to Canadian universities every year and students who get admission in a university may or may not need to apply for a Canadian study visa owing to certain criteria. If your course duration is for at least six months then you have to apply for a Canada student visa.


Before you apply for the study permit, you should already have the acceptance letter in hand from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). DLI is a list approved and recognized by the government of Canada.

You are also required to prove that you can afford to pay the expenses during your stay in Canada and that you will leave the country post completion of your course.

You will have to undergo a medical check-up to ensure that you are hale and hearty. Also, there shouldn’t be any criminal record in your name.

Canada student visa application

You can apply for the study visa either online or offline.

Student visa for Canada – do you need it or not?

You are not required to apply for a study permit, if –

  • You are a kin or a staff member of a foreign representative in Canada or are a member of foreign armed forces

  • Your course duration is less than six months

  • You are an Indian citizen who has an Indian status registered in Canada

If you are exempted from having a student visa and you are travelling by air then you will have to carry an electronic travel authorization (eTA), which can be obtained by filling some details on the CIC website. American citizens do not require an eTA.

Language requirements

You may also be required to submit scores from English proficiency examinations, such as IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and other standard examinations like GRE, SAT, GMAT.

Canada student visa requirements

  • A valid passport is mandatory, which means the passport shouldn’t expire during your stay in Canada. For example, if the duration of your course is for a year and you plan to go Canada on September 1, 2017, then your passport should be valid until September 2018.

  • Submission of supporting financial documents – there is a section in Canada student visa application where you have to provide the evidence of fees paid and stipulated living expenditure, which is usually around, CAD 10,000 per annum.

  • Two latest passport size photographs are necessary (35mm x 45mm) for offline application. If you are applying online then you should have a digital copy of your photo, the size not being more than 4MB.

  • A statement of purpose stating why you are joining the university that you have chosen to study in and your purpose of staying in Canada is needed.

  • A Credit Card is required to pay the processing fee for Canada student visa (150 CAD) if you are applying online. Keep in mind that only credit cards are accepted for payment, not debit cards.

Interview and Bio-metrics

You might have to visit your nearest visa application centre for a personal interview and bio-metric authentication, depending on the requisites for your country. The bio-metric fee costs CAD 85 in addition to the Canadian study visa processing fee.

Canada student visa processing time

It is advisable to have an account in the Canadian consulate website/CIC account to know the approximate time taken to process the student visa.

Moreover, you have an option of working on campus or off-campus while studying in Canada. The necessary qualifications required to do so are –

  • You should have a valid study permit

  • Be a full-time student, be enrolled at a DLI at post-secondary level or a vocational program at secondary level in Quebec

  • Be in an academic, vocational or professional training program that heads to a degree, diploma or certificate and is six months or more than six months in duration.

  • You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work from Service Canada.

Your study permit will expire 90 days after you have completed your study program, so you’ll have to acquire a post-graduation work permit (PGWPP) if you want to stay in Canada after your studies and find work!

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