International students wanting to study in Canada must obtain a Canadian visa and study permit for the duration of the program or study.
The Canadian Study permit and visa are two separate things altogether. The Canadian Visa, such as TRV (Temporary Resident Visa), permits you to enter Canada, whereas the Study Permit gives you permission to study in Canada.Further, one will have to apply for work permit in order to be eligible to work during or after the completion of their study program.
The applicant must make sure that the duration of both study permit and TRV visa is same. However, validation of both the above documents can be extended at a later stage as well.
Study Permit in Canada
In order to get a study permit, applicant must obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), applicable at post-secondary level.
Do I need a Study Permit?
If you are a foreign national, you will need a study permit to study in Canada. You would not require a study permit if the course you are enrolled in, is for six months or less.
Some of the other cases in which you might not require a study permit are given below:
- If you are a Family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada
- If you are member of a foreign armed force in Canada, then your family members including minor children are exempted from having a study permit.
- If you are a registered Indian in Canada
Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Study Permit
In order to apply for a Canadian study permit, applicants must have the following:
English Language Proficiency Test
Applicants must clear any one English language proficiency test to get into a university in Canada. Some of the Language proficiency tests which the student can go for are given below:
- Cambridge English: Advanced
In case a student is a native English speaker, he will be exempted from sitting for the test. For those who are proficient in French, they will be considered applying through French language as it is second official language of Canada.
Acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
The applicant must possess an acceptance letter provided to them by the school they plan to attend in Canada. Your study permit application must include the original acceptance letter.
In case you have to take some courses before you are accepted in your program, the Government of Canada will issue only issue your study permit for the duration of those courses. Once you are accepted in the program, you will then have to apply to further extend your stay as a student.
A valid passport or any other travel document such as an eTA.
The applicant must possess a valid passport or any other travel document that allows entry and exit from Canada. Applicant will have to submit two recent passport-size photos. Each photo must have the name and date of birth of the applicant, mentioned on the back.
Proof that you have the funds to pay for your tuition fee, living expenses and return ticket.
You can indicate the same through the following.
- A Canadian bank account in your name
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian Financial Institution
- Acceptance of student education loan from a bank
- Your bank statement of the past four months
- A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars whenever necessary
- Proof that you have already paid your tuition and housing fee
- A letter from a person or school giving you enough money to pay for your expenses in Canada
- In case you are enrolled in a Canadian- funded educational program, then you must show proof of funding from within Canada
The applicant must be:
- A law-abiding citizen with no past criminal record under his name. Applicant might have to provide a police certificate as evidence for the same.
- In good health to complete their studies and return after the expiration of their study permit. Applicant might have to complete a medical exam for the same.
- Able to convince an immigration officer that you intend to stay in Canada only till you complete your studies and will be leaving Canada once you are done with your studies.
In certain cases, applicants have to submit the following documents as well:
Letter of Explanation
A letter of Explanation helps the Visa officer to understand your purpose of visiting Canada. The letter must cover the following issues:
- Why you want to study in Canada
- That you understand and acknowledge your responsibilities as a student travelling on a student visa.
Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)
Students planning to study in Quebec require Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ), issued by the Government of Quebec.
If you are approved but are waiting for a CAQ, then you can apply for your study permit using the approval letter from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI).
How to Apply for Canadian Study Permit?
There are few important steps to follow while applying for Canadian Study Permit. The process is given below:
Step 1: Choosing course and institution: Applicants need to choose a course to study and their desired institution by visiting their website. Applying candidate needs to make sure his school has DLI number as it is significant for international students for obtaining study permit. The list of all DLIs can be found at the official website.
If candidate’s institution does not have a DLI, his application will not be entertained. Applying candidate needs to write DLI number on study permit application. Candidate can find DLI number by following the given steps:
- Go to the DLI website: cic.gc.ca
- Choose the province your school is in
- Type the name of school
- Find the DLI number and write it under the section ‘Details of Intended’ study in Canada
Step 2:Check if you need to apply for a Visa and provide proof of Identity: Passport is the only mandatory proof of identity which is also required to return to your home country. Proof of identity is mandatory for applicant as well as the family member who will accompany him.
With Proof of identity, two passport-size photographs are required with candidate’s name and date of birth written at the back.
Step 3: Acquire the Application Form: Check the requirements and eligibility before applying for a visa. Visa application forms can be downloaded from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website- cic.gc.ca.
Applicants can also avail the application package by downloading from the official website. Application Submission centers can be looked up from the CIC website. The visa fee payment has to be made while acquiring the form.
Note: In order to apply online, applicants must have a scanner or digital camera to upload the soft copies of required documents and a valid credit card or debit card to pay with.
Step 4: Arrange all documents: Cross check all the documents to be submitted:
|Application Form||Must be completely filled|
|Valid passport||It works as identity proof. Not required for US citizens|
|Visa fee payment proof||Proof that you have paid the study permit fee|
|Letter of acceptance||Original document obtained by recognized DLI|
|Two passport- size photographs||Recent (35 mm x 45 mm). Sign and write DOB at the back of each photo|
|Proof of sufficient funds||$CAD 10,000 (minimum)|
|Letter of Explanation||Document containing explanation for choosing Canada to study|
|Certificate||Marriage Certificate if applicable|
|To study in Quebec||Approval Letter from Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) to study in Quebec and Montreal|
Applying through Offline mode
In order to apply offline, students can take help from their nearest VAC (Visa Application Center) or follow the below mentioned steps.
Going through the application package
Download the application package. This package includes the application guide and all the forms that you need to fill. Find out all the documents that are required to apply for a study permit.
Fill in the application form
Fill the application form carefully and completely. Any incomplete application form/ packages will not be processed by the visa center.
Payment of the application fee
The next step is to make the payment for the application fee. Usually it is in Canadian dollars. In case you are applying on paper at a VAC, then you may have to pay their service charges as well. This fee is to be paid separately from the IRCC application fees.
Submit your application and required documents
Finally submit the completely filled in application form along with the necessary documents.
What is Student Direct Stream?
For students living in China, India, Philippines and Vietnam, process of getting a study permit is easier and faster using the Student Direct Stream.
Documents required to apply via Student Direct Stream
To apply for a study permit using the Student Direct Stream, students require the following documents.
- Letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution.
- Proof that you are medically fit to travel to Canada and come back after completion of your studies.
- Proof that you possess a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000
- Proof that you have already paid your first year’s tuition fee.
- Proof that you qualify an English language proficiency test or have graduated from a Canadian curriculum high school. (Score of at least 6 for English (International English Language Testing System or at least 7 for French (Test d’évaluation de français)
For all students who do not belong to the above mentioned countries will have to follow the usual application process (given above) for a study permit.
|Case 1: Applicants residing in Canada||Can apply directly in person or by mail at the visa application center (VAC) in Los Angeles.|
|Case 2: Applicants not residing in Canada||Can apply online or send a hard copy of the application in a country where they lawfully reside.|
What to do after application?
After you have applied for a study permit, you must check the status of your application. Processing time may vary depending on where you have applied.
The visa office next reviews the application submitted by you, to make sure that it:
- Is completed and correctly filled
- Includes all the necessary documents
|In case the application is found to be incomplete, they may refuse it.|
|In case the application is complete, the visa officer will then review it and decide if you need to be called for an interview. If so, you will be notified about the time and place.|
Note: If your place or residency/ address/ telephone number changes, then you must inform the Visa office about the same.
If your application is approved, you will be sent a letter of confirmation for the same. However, this letter of confirmation cannot be used as a study permit. Students will have to show the same to the immigration officer when they arrive in Canada. Further, students will also receive an eTA or a visitor visa to enter Canada.