Canada is one of the top countries to go to if you’re looking to study abroad. There are world-class universities here that can fulfill your academic aspirations. Additionally, you’ll get a taste of its incredibly high standard of living, you never want to settle for anything less. While its stunning sceneries can make you truly appreciate the present, Canada places great importance on your future as well through numerous career opportunities.
So, make sure to check out the documents you need and learn how to get a student visa in Canada.
What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in Canada?
You’ll need to prepare for the following when you apply for a student permit in Canada:
- Letter of acceptance from your host school (original or electronic copy)
- A valid passport or a travel document
- Two passport-sized photos taken recently, with your name and date of birth at the back
- Proof of funds
- Letter of explanation
For the proof of funds, you can prepare any of the following:
- A Canadian bank account under your name
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from one of the participating Canadian financial institutions
- Proof of your education or student loans
- Bank statements for the last four months
- Bank draft convertible to Canadian dollars
- Proof of paid tuition and housing fees
- Proof of scholarship or funding
Meanwhile, the letter of explanation can help your visa officer understand your academic goals. For that, you can include in the letter why you want to study in Canada and that you know and understand your student responsibilities.
How much money do you need for a Canada Student Visa?
The study permit costs $150. Once you get approved, you’ll also receive a visa to allow you to enter the country. However, applying for a student visa for Canada requires you to present proof of funds. For this, you’ll need to prepare at least $7,900 per year, not including the tuition. This amount only applies when you’re looking to stay outside Quebec. If you’re looking to study in Quebec, you’ll need to have at least $8,700 per year, exclusive of tuition. This amount is enough to cover your living costs. To give you an idea, here’s an average monthly budget:
- Accommodation – $200 to $790 depending on the housing type
- Basic utilities- $120
- Internet $40 to $55
- Food: $240
- Transportation: $70
As for tuition, Bachelor’s programs cost around $434 to $23,700. Meanwhile, Master’s programs are around $850 to $51,300 per academic year.
Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in Canada
You can follow these steps in applying for a student permit in Canada. Note that the permit is different from a visa, which allows you to enter the country. However, when you apply for a student permit and get approved, Canada will also provide you a temporary visa so you can enter the country.
1. Choose a Canadian University and Apply
Before you can apply for a student visa and permit in Canada, you’ll need to apply to a Canadian university first. The university must be one of the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in the country. Otherwise, you can’t apply for a student permit. Check out this DLI list to confirm if your chosen university is one of them.
One of the crucial requirements is an acceptance letter. Ideally, you should receive an unconditional acceptance letter in original or electronic copy.
If you receive a conditional acceptance, you’ll need to take a prerequisite course. This might include taking English or French, as a second language. Before you can start on your main academic program, you’ll need to complete your prerequisite course.
In the case of conditional acceptance, note that Canada can only give you a study permit for the duration of your prerequisite course and an additional one year. You’ll need to apply for another student permit to extend your stay in the country.
2. Complete Supporting Documents
Besides the documents listed here, make sure to check with the Canadian mission in your country for specific requirements you might need. You can use this link to know which documents and processes apply to your home country.
If you’re looking to send your Canadian student visa application online, make sure to prepare a scanner or camera to make electronic copies of your documents. You’ll need to upload these on the online application platform.
For a paper application, check out this guide on what documents to submit and how to fill out the application form.
3. Start Your Online Application
The online application process depends on the country you’re coming from. For example, selected countries, such as China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam, can apply through the Student Direct Stream. It offers a faster option to apply for a student permit, including a visa, in Canada.
But, if you’re from one of the countries not eligible for Student Direct Stream, you must go through the regular online process. You’ll need to register for an IRCC account through here. Once you register an account, you start your online application and upload the necessary documents. You’ll also need to pay for your application through your account.
4. Check if You Need to Give Your Biometrics
Depending on which country you’re applying from, you might need to give your biometrics. Check here if you must comply with this. If you’ll apply for a Canadian student visa online, you’ll need to pay for the biometrics fee when you submit your application. Then, you’ll receive a letter detailing how you can submit your biometrics. If you apply for a visa through a Visa Application Center, you’ll also need to provide your biometrics there.
5. Wait for Your Application Decision
You can check the processing time through here as it varies across application types. However, the processing time does not include the biometrics process and the application process between a VAC and the Immigration office of Canada. Technically, it only starts when the Immigration office receives your application.
While you await the decision, the office might contact you to request missing documents or have to attend an interview with a consul in a Canadian mission in your country. In some cases, you might need to undergo a medical exam or provide a police certificate.
6. Receive your Letter of Introduction and Temporary Resident Visa
Once Canada approves your study permit, you’ll receive a letter of introduction stating that you can study in the country. To clarify, this letter is not your study permit. You’ll need to take this letter to Canada and present it to the border services officer. Only then you will get your study permit for Canada. If you’re from a country that requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and temporary resident visa, you’ll receive these along with your letter of introduction.
I hope that this article on How to Get a Canada Student Visa was helpful. Make sure to check out the Available Programs in Canada for International Students!