As we read in our earlier article “Study in Canada- The complete Guide”, Canada has become a global magnet for international students for their further studies. If you have chosen Canada as your destination for your further studies, it is a very good decision. The next step in your application will be “How to apply for a Canada Student Visa?”
Applying for Visa is a crucial step in your educational journey abroad and any mistakes can prove to be really expensive.
In this article, we will guide you through all the types of Canadian Visas, the entire application process, the cost involved, and more. However, since we are discussing only about the student visa, we will keep it focused only on this topic.
Overview of the Canada Student Visa
While the pre-requisite to getting admissions into the top Canadian Universities is an outstanding academic record, the authorization to study there is granted only through a Study Permit. A study permit is mandatory to enter into Canada for any courses including academic, vocational or professional. A study permit & a student visa are two different things and should not be confused with each other.
What is a Canada study permit?
In Canada, all the institutions that allow foreign nationals to study are called Designated Learning Institutions( DLI). You need to mention the DLI in your study permit application. Only the selected DLIs are valid for your study permit.
The Canadian Government issues a study permit. This allows all foreign nationals to study at the designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada.
However only an approved study permit doesn’t let you enter Canada. You also need to have a valid visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA).
How to get Study Permit & Canada Student Visa?
You can apply for the Study Permit in one of the two methods before you travel to Canada:
- Create an online account on the Canada Immigration website.
- Collect all the required documents as per the instruction guide for the application. You will need to create scanned copies of all the documents for uploading them.
- Pay the required fees through credit or debit cards.
- You have to pay for processing fees, bio-metrics, medical exams, police certificates, language testing & and additional services that you may use at the Visa center.
Offline (Through Paper)
- Download the application package from the immigration website.
- Complete all the documents required in the package. Answer all the required questions carefully and completely.
- Pay all the required fees for the application including processing fees, bio-metrics, medical exams, police certificates, language testing, and any additional services that you may use at the Visa center.
- You can proceed to submit your application to the closest visa application center (VAC) in your city.
- You will need to submit the following:
- Your original travel passport.
- Good quality photocopies of your current and previous passports for the last 5 years, including all pages with visas, all pages with stamps & all pages with your bio-data (name, date of birth, passport number & your photo).
Also, note that an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visa is automatically issued at the same time as your study permit. No need to apply separately or pay an additional fee for the same.
The Government of Canada notifies you requesting for your passport when your Visa application is approved.
You can submit the passport and passport request letter in person or through VFS. Post this you will receive your Canada Student Visa.
How to get the Canada Study Visa?
Eligibility criteria for getting Canada Student Visa
- You are formally enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
- Proof that you have adequate funds available to pay all of your college fees, living expenses for you and your dependents(if any) and return fares for moving back out of the country.
- Proof of a clean citizen background with no criminal records. You also may require to furnish a police certificate(if required)
- You also require to submit a medical certificate to prove that you are in good health at the time of travel.
Apart from this, you also need to give an assurance to the visa officer that you will leave Canada once your study permit expires.
What documents would you require to apply for Canada Student Visa?
There are 3 main types of documents:
Proof of Identity
Passport: The visa application requires a valid passport. The Canadian High Commission requires that your passport is valid at least for the entire length of your course in Canada.
Photographs: You require two recent passport size(35mm x 45mm) photographs with your application. The photos should not be more than 6 months old.
Also note, if you are applying online you require to submit a softcopy of the photos. They should not be more than 4 MB in size.
Similarly, if you are applying through the offline process, you need to submit hard copies of the photographs.
Proof of acceptance
You will need to attach a copy of the letter of acceptance from the university or college that you have applied to.
Proof of Finance
You must prove that you can support yourself while you are in Canada. You can prove this with the following documents:
- If you’ve transferred money to the Canadian Bank account, a bank statement supporting the same.
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a valid Canadian financial institution.
- Education loan statement from a bank to study in Canada.
- Your bank statements for the past 4 months certifying a healthy balance.
- A proof that you have paid the tuition and housing fees.
On an average a student would require atleast Canadian $10000/year towards living expenses in Canada. If you are planning to study in Qubec these expenses would be $11000/ year.
Apart from these, you also need a letter of explanation & medical test reports.
Letter of explanation
This letter helps the visa officer to know you and your goals in Canada. It explains to them about why you want to study in Canada and that you understand your responsibilities as a student.
Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
You have to take a medical exam if you have to come to Canada. This is to make sure that you’re not inadmissible for certain medical reasons. However, note that your own family doctor can’t do the medical exam. You need to find an approved panel physician to do the medical exams from the Canada Immigration website.
After booking an appointment with him, the panel physician will perform a complete medical exam including chest x-rays and laboratory tests.
The physician will send the reports to the immigration department after you complete the test.
Apart from these documents, it is advisable to keep a copy of your English proficiency test like TOEFL or IELTS & statement of purpose with you.
During your personal interview with the Visa officer he may ask you to show him your:
- College transcripts, diploma or degree certificates.
- Score cards for TOEFL, SAT, GRE or GMAT.
- Your assurance to leave from Canada post completion of the course.
- Proof of finances
How much does a Canada Student Visa cost?
A study permit for Canada costs Canadian $150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 8,350/-
You can pay the visa processing fees either online by means of a credit card or offline by means of a demand draft. The DD is to be paid at the High Commission of Canada or by mode of cash at the VAC.
Please note that you must pay this fee along with the application. The Demand Draft must be favoring ‘the High Commission of Canada’ & in Indian rupees. Also, note that VACs accept only Cash Payments.
However, the visa fee mentioned does not include additional VAC service charges. A receipt is issued for every payment made. Always keep the receipts as proof of payments done.
Canada study permit conditions
Most importantly, as a study permit holder in Canada, you need to meet certain conditions. If you don’t meet these conditions, you might lose your student status and study permit. In the worst cases, you may also have to leave Canada. Be sure to check out all the terms & conditions on the relevant university websites before travelling.
Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream
Indian students can also get their study permits faster by applying online through the “Student Direct Stream.”
However, be sure to check out for more information on the same through the official Canadian Immigration website.
Lastly, be sure that you have a valid Health Insurance prior to and through your entire stay in Canada. It is a mandatory requirement for all international students.
Visa processes are different from country to country and we recommend you always make sure to check the official sites to have clear know-how on the same.
Now that you have a complete idea of how to apply for a Student Visa in Canada, we wish you all the very best in your travel to Canada for your further studies.