student visa in canada

Student visa in Canada is one of the most demanded visas amongst the international students.  In 2014, a total of 353,494 applications were made for the temporary resident visas (visitor visas) which is higher than the total number of applications received by all other visa programs combined. The same year made Canada become one of the most popular study destinations for international students after United States and United Kingdom. More than 400,000 international students moved to Canada to study in 2014 because Canada has a friendly visa policy and provides free tuition fees for the deserving candidates, who are residents of certain countries.

Trying to get a student visa in Canada can be confusing, especially if you don’t know where to look or who to ask. We have put together this guide so that university students and their parents have the information they need to apply for a student visa. A successful application will allow you to study in Canada without much hassle. 

If you want to study in Canada, there are many things to keep in mind. For example, what type of visa will give you the best chance at having a smooth and successful study experience here? If you’re a student looking to immigrate to Canada, what will make your space here more comfortable and less overwhelming?

If you are a student looking to study in Canada, there are a few things you need to know about the visa process.

The first thing you should know is that Canada has two types of visas: temporary resident visas and permanent resident visas. Temporary resident visas are for people who plan on staying in Canada for less than 6 months, while permanent residents are for people who plan on staying in Canada long-term.

You will also need a letter from your school stating that they accept you as a student, as well as proof that you have enough money to support yourself while in Canada (this can include bank statements or other documentation). You will need to apply for this visa before arriving in Canada.

If you are planning on studying at an English language school in Canada, there are additional requirements that must be met before being granted entry into Canada as well as while studying here. These requirements include having proof of sufficient funds while studying here as well as having proof that you can support yourself once classes end each term (which usually lasts between three months and one year).

Student Visa in Canada

Canada is one of the most popular countries for international students to study. It has a vibrant educational culture, especially in its cities, and it also offers a wide variety of options for study. In addition to English-language programs, there are also many institutions that offer classes in other languages such as French and Spanish. Students who want to explore the country can find many options for doing so as well. You can take part in cultural activities or go on trips around Canada during your time off from classes. The country also has many beautiful natural wonders that are worth seeing before you leave at the end of your program.

Student Visa to Canada

If you are a student interested in studying at a Canadian university, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. This is because Canadian Immigration law requires that students be full-time students, and not working while they are in the country.

In order to apply for a student visa, you must have been accepted at a school in Canada, as well as have proof of sufficient funds to pay for your education and living expenses during your time there.

A study permit is a document issued by the Canadian immigration authorities that serves as permission for foreign students to study in Canada. International students cannot study in Canada without getting a valid study permit. Apart from this, students who get a study permit are allowed to enroll in Designated Learning Institutions.

Getting the Study Permit

You are required to carry the Letter of Introduction along with all the specified documents to Canada. At the airport, you would meet with an Immigration Officer. Present the Passport and the Letter of Introduction to the border control agency officer who would then validate the same and if found adequate, issue you your Study Permit.

Eligibility criteria for Canada Student Visa

You can apply for a Canada Study visa if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • You have been accepted by a designated learning institute (DLI).
  • You need to prove that you have adequate funds to pay your tuition fee and living expenses.
  • You need to prove that you have a clean background and no criminal record. The aspirants need to produce a police verification certificate to prove this.
  • You need to do a health checkup and produce a medical certificate that certifies that you are in good health.

Also at the time of the visa interview, you need to convince the visa officer that you will leave Canada once you complete your studies.

Which Documents are required for Canadian Visa?

You should apply for a student visa after you get the college acceptance letter. You should begin with the visa process around June if aiming at the September intake. The following are the documents needed to apply For Canada Student Visa.

1. Valid Passport

You would need a Valid Passport to be able to apply for a Study Permit. As of the Canadian High Commission, it is important that you have a passport whose validity covers the intended stay in Canada. For instance, if you plan to travel to Canada in September 2022 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least September 2024.

2. Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution

You would need the acceptance letter from the university/institute you are planning to attend. A Designated Learning Institute is a University that is recognized by the Immigration Department. (Here’s a list for your reference). In case you are applying for Quebec, you would also need a CAQ which would be duly notified.

3. Proof of Funds

At the time of application for your Study Permit, you would have to show proof of funds. As per the present standards, you would have to prove that you would have enough funds to pay our tuition fees as well as take care of living expenses. The Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least CAD 10,000 for every year of your stay. Apart from the above two, the student would also have to prove that he/she has enough funds for a return fair as well.


While filling out the application form, you would have to show the proof of fees paid as well as the stipulated cost of living @ CAD 10,000. If you are applying for Quebec you require at least CAD 11,000 for every year of your stay.

4. Passport Size Photographs

If you have opted for an offline application, you would need two passport-sized photographs that conform to the given standards. For an online application, you must procure a digital copy of the photograph which should not be more than 4MB. Other requirements are standard neutral facial expression, plain background as well as no headgear (unless for religious purposes). Note:

  • Size of the image should be at least 35 mm x 45 mm
  • Image should be recent (not older than 6 months)

5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

Canadian Immigration requires international students from India to undergo a compulsory Immigration Medical Examination from empanelled doctors. Students would have to book an appointment and visit the listed doctors for a medical examination, preferably a week before they start their Visa Application. This is to give the doctor enough time to validate and upload the necessary documents. Booking an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/ practitioner as per the list of empanelled doctors is always advised.

The panel physician will perform a complete medical exam and may refer you for chest x-rays and laboratory tests. Once your exam has been completed, the physician will send the results to CIC.

6. English Language Proficiency Exam Score

Though not mandatory to have at the time of application, we strongly recommend that you have appeared for and get your English Language Proficiency Score before you start your Visa Application Process. As it is, you would have had to submit your English language proficiency score to confirm your admission to the Canadian University. TOEFLIELTS, etc. are all acceptable.

7. Statement of Purpose

When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you would be required to submit an essay stating the purpose of your trip to Canada and why you have chosen the particular institution. This would be prompted as an optional document in the checklist but we strongly recommend that you submit the same.

8. Credit Card

In case you are making an online application, you would also require a credit card to pay the application fee. The Visa Application Fee for Canada is CAD 160. Please remember that the system only accepts credit cards and not debit cards. Also, it is not necessary that it is your credit card. You can use your parent’s cards as well, provided you have explicit permission to do so.

Apart from the above, if applying online, you would need access to a digital scanner. However, if you are applying offline, you should have true copies of all the above-mentioned documents. It is important to note that while applying online, you would be required to download a few documents, fill them out, print them, sign them, and then upload them. Accordingly, the availability of the scanner must be arranged. The system also allows you to upload a good-quality digital image. We, however, recommend a scanner for a camera.

During the personal interview, additional documents may be requested by the interviewer. These may be documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status. These may include:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
  • Scores from tests, such as the TOEFL, SATGRE, or GMAT
  • Your intent to depart from Canada upon completion of the course of study
  • How you will pay all educational, living, and travel costs


  • Canada announced a new pathway that will turn international students in Canada into Permanent Residents. 
  • Canada is still accepting study permit applications, however, delays should be expected.
  • If you’re an international student who has a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, you are exempt from the travel restrictions.
  • International students who remain in Canada can apply to renew their study permit, and can continue to study and work while their application renewal is being processed.
  • If a study permit was issued to an international student after March 18, 2020, they are currently not allowed to travel to Canada.
  • If you’re traveling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
  • When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.
  • Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

For more updates on the Coronavirus, visit our page on the impact the Coronavirus has had on Canadian immigration.

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