To meet market needs and student growth, education institutions worldwide are modernizing. International education is highly sought by students. They seek ways to relocate to nations with outstanding universities and distinct educational programs. For this purpose, gaining a student permit is the priority after getting admission to a degree program.

Among other countries, Canada is known to cater to the largest number of students annually, with an estimated 500,000 international students welcomed by the country according to recent stats. Canada is a multicultural nation, known for its Rocky Mountain ranges, breathtaking scenery, and diverse population.

With its economy being the 10th largest in the world, it places special attention on its education system. The country houses over 10 world-class universities with research-led degree courses available. The country’s institutions have produced 28 Nobel Prize Winners over the years. Willard Boyle and Bertram Brockhouse are some of the big names associated with the nation.

Getting a student permit from Canada is a dream come true for many students, however, the policies to approve this visa are stringent. For foreign students, seeking information regarding how to get a Canadian student visa, refer to our extensive article below. It highlights all the steps, documents, and fees you will need for this procedure.

Steps on Applying for a Canadian Student Visa

Getting a student permit approved for Canada is a lengthy and challenging process. But with the right steps, students can smoothly get done with this. To fully understand all the steps that you need to follow, we have elaborated them below.

Step 1. Conduct a Pre-Application Eligibility Check

Make sure that the university you are applying for lies in the list of Designated Learning Institutes set by the Canadian government. This list is available on the IRCC website for cross-checking. Once you have gained acceptance in a recognized program within such an institute, then check that you receive an acceptance letter from the university. The program should last at least six months to gain this visa.

Step 2. Make a Checklist of Necessary Documents

The next step is to look at the list of documents required for the application, as we described earlier. Gather all documents before applying and make sure that they fit the format and translation requirements according to the IRCC website.

Step 3. Create an Account on the IRCC Portal

The most preferred way of application is through creating an account online at the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. This is not only fast but provides the latest information about the advancement of your visa approval process.

The student can stay up to date regarding their visa application with this easily. After signing in through your email, you can look at the application form provided by them. Scan all the documents as required and attach them with the application form. Re-check the application.

For students that do not have internet access, they can opt for the paper-based application method. For this purpose, they need to find a Visa Application Center (VAC). They need to download and complete the IMM 1295 form to apply for a student permit.

Step 4. Pay the Visa Application Fee and Get Biometrics Done

After you have filled out the application form online, you need to pay the non-refundable visa application fee. Next is the step to provide your biometric data, and this can only be done through a Visa Application Center (VAC). This is required based on your nationality, and you need to provide fingerprints and a photograph to fulfill this requirement.

Step 5. Submit Application

After completing all requirements, go through the application form one last time before submitting it. The next thing is to wait during the visa processing time. It takes around 3 months to get approved for a Canadian student permit. You will be informed by the Canadian authorities about your acceptance of the student visa.

A letter of Introduction(LOI) will be provided to you in case of visa approval. This letter needs to be provided to the respective authority to gain a student permit. Make sure you show the immigration officer your letter of introduction when you arrive in Canada at the point of entry. After this, the officer will issue your study permit.

Canada is known for its inclusive culture and welcoming population, along with elite study institutions. The standard of living in the country is high, along with an education and employment system that favors foreigners. Students try hard to attain a student permit to advance their education within the county. The process can be tricky and requires proper documentation. By following our detailed guide, we hope you understand how to successfully get a Canada student visa.

Documents Needed for Canadian Student Visa Applications

Canada offers selective student visas to applicants who fulfill their criteria. The first step is to get approval from a certified Canadian educational institute. Then, to gain Canada’s student permit, the student can apply from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The estimated time needed to get a student permit is 3 months. Here are all the necessary documents that you need to attach to the application form for the student permit.

  • Proof of acceptance from a DLI (Designated Learning Institute) within Canada.
  • Proof of payment of tuition fee for the study course for at least one year or as directed by the institution.
  • Valid National Identity Card of the student from their home country
  • With the new criteria of 2024, students need to provide an attestation letter from the Canadian province or territory they will be studying in.
  • Transcripts/certificates from high school or previous educational institutes.
  • A valid passport that extends beyond 6 months of the student’s education program.
  • A certificate of English Language Proficiency with the required score. It can be IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL.
  • Usually for bachelor’s and master’s degrees that last for more than a year, students need to show financial support in the form of bank statements that will help them complete their full course of education within the country.
  • A GIC for $10,000 from a Canadian bank has been approved. It serves as proof of financial support for your Canadian student visa or permit.
  • Immigration Medical Examination Certificate (IME) gained from a panel authorized by the Canadian government.
  • Travel documents that show proof of any previous travels to other countries.
  • Police clearance certificate of the student.

FAQs: Student Visa Applications for Canada

Where to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa?

For a fast and convenient approach, without opting for the paper method through a VAC, international students can apply for a Canadian student permit online as we mentioned earlier. The applicant can start the application through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. The website gives details about which students are eligible to apply for a student permit.

The applicant might also need a Unique Student Identifier (UIC) before applying for the permit. This can only be allotted by the DIL. It can or cannot be required by the respective authorities, The student should stay up to date with the website as the requirements and procedures are subject to change according to the policies.

How Much is the Visa Issuance Fee for a Canada Student Visa?

The fee that is needed to gain a Canadian student visa is CA$150 per application. This fee applies to both paper-based and online applications. Apart from this, during the biometrics procedure of the applicant, an additional CA$85. This fee applies If the applicant is 14 years or older.

In case the visa is rejected, there is a need to repay the visa issuance fee If the applicant needs to reapply for the student permit. Within this process, for the medical examination of the applicant, a fee of CA$100-$300 is required for the IME certificate.


We 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 to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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  1. Nwanesi Maxwell Amamonyegeze September 21, 2023 3:28 am - Reply

    This article is awesome. Thanks again for the knowledge.

    • Hyun Lee September 21, 2023 12:16 pm - Reply

      You are welcome!

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