Canada student visa guide and study permit requirements
Canada is the first destination, Which attracts Indian students to proceed with their study abroad journey in Canada. Every international student who wants to take admission to the top universities in Canada requires excellent academic scores, and permission to study in Canada is validated by means of a study permit.
If you wish to take undergraduate (UG), Post Graduate (PG), or diploma courses at a university, college, or any other educational institution in Canada, you will need a study permit before you enter Canada.
The study permit is issued to students when they arrive in Canada, However, to get there, a student must first apply for a temporary resident visa that is provided by the Canadian High Commission and facilitated by visa application centres in Canada.
VFS Global services are designated VACs for Canadian visas. In this blog post, we will inform you about each and everything from Canadian student visa requirements to documents required for getting a study permit to study in Canada.
What is a Canada Study Permit?
A study permit is a document issued by Canadian immigration authorities that provide permission to international students to study in Canada. International students can not study in Canada without a valid study permit. The students who get a study permit are allowed to enroll or study in Designated Learning institutions.
An educational establishment that has been given the go-ahead from a provincial or territorial government to accept foreign students is known as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Getting the Canada Study Visa Requirements
For getting the Canada study Visa you have to carry a letter of introduction along with all specified documents to Canada.
You would meet with an immigration official at the airport. You have to show your passport and letter of introduction to the border control agency officer, who would then validate the same if found adequate, you will get your study permit.
Eligibility Criteria for Canada Student Visa
You can apply for a Canada study visa if you fulfill the below-mentioned criteria:
- You must be a fully vaccinated traveler, AstraZeneca/Covidshild, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Etc is some of the accepted vaccines.
- You have been accepted by Designated Learning Institute(DLI)
- You have to specify that you have adequate funds to pay for your tuition fees, accommodation expenses for yourself and the family member who accompanies you to Canada and return transportation for yourself and any family member who accompanies you to Canada.
- You have to prove that you have a clean background and no criminal records. You have to show a police verification certificate.
- You have to do a health check-up and show a medical certificate that certifies that you are healthy and you are in good health.
At the time of your interview, you have to convince the visa officer that you will leave Canada once you complete your study.
Which documents are required for Canada Student Visa?
If you are planning to study in Canada, you have to apply for a student visa after you get the college acceptance letter.
You should begin the visa process around June if you are planning for the September intake. The following document is required to apply for a Canada student visa:-
1. Valid Passport
To be eligible to apply for a study permit, you would need a valid passport. As per the Canadian high commission, it is important that you have a valid passport that intended to stay in Canada.
For instance, if you plan to travel to Canada in JAN 2023 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least JAN 2025.
2. Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
You should have the acceptance letter from the university or institute you are planning to attend. A Designated learning institute is a university that is recognized by Immigration Department.
(Here is a list for your reference and more detailed information). If you were to file for Quebec, you would additionally require a CAQ that would have been duly notified.
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 for Canada, you have to show proof of funds. As per the present standards, you have to prove that you have enough funds to pay your tuition fees as well as take care of your livelihood or living expenses.
Canadian immigration deems a student would require at least CAD 10,000 every year for their stay. In addition to the aforementioned two requirements, the student must demonstrate that they have the financial resources necessary for a return fair.
You can share the proof to prove your funds availability:
- Canadian Bank Account
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
- Education loan or a student loan
- Past 4 months’ bank statement
- Bank Draft (BD) it should be convertible to Canadian Dollars
- Proof of paid tuition fee & housing fee
- Letter from a person or school that has provided you with funds
- Proof of funding paid from within Canada (in case of a scholarship or a Canadian – funded education program)
The table given below provides an estimate of the funds required for applicants (Outside Quebec):
|Person||Funds Required Annually (Excluding Tuition fee) – Outside Quebec|
|Primary Applicant||CAD 10,000|
|First Family Member||CAD 4,000|
|Every Additional Member||CAD 3,000|
The table given below provides the funds required for applicants (in Quebec):
|Person||The amount needed by applicants (in Quebec) are listed in the table below:|
|1 person (under 18 years)||CAD 6,569|
|1 person (18 years or above)||CAD 13,134|
|2 persons (18 years or above)||CAD 19,264|
|2 persons (18 years or above) + 1 person (under 18 years)||CAD 21,579|
|2 persons (18 years or above) + 2 persons (under 18 years)||CAD 23,290|
4. Passport Size Photographs
If you choose an offline application, you would require two passport-size photographs that conform to the given standards. You must procure a digital copy of the photographs for an online application process. Which should not be more than 4 MB. Other requirements are standard neutral facial expression, plain background as well as no headgear (Unless for religious Purposes)
Image size Parameters
- The image size should be at least 35 mm x 45mm
- The image should be recent (Not older than 6 months )
- Your name and date of birth must be written on the back of each photograph
5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
International students from India who want to study in Canada, undergo a compulsory immigration medical examination from empaneled doctors.
Students have to book an appointment and they have to visit the listed doctors for a medical examination, preferably a week before they start their Visa application. This is to give doctors enough time to validate and upload necessary documents.
Booking an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/practitioner as per the list of empaneled 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 doctor will send the result to CIC.
6. English Language Proficiency Exam Score
Although obtaining your English Language Proficiency Score at the time of application is not required, we strongly recommended that you do so before starting the visa application process. As things stand, admission to the Canadian University would have needed to be confirmed using your English language proficiency score. The TOEFL, IELTS, and other exams are all approved.
7. Statement of Purpose
When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you would be required to submit an essay explaining why you are going to Canada and why you chose the particular university. This would be an optional document that the checklist would ask you to submit, but we strongly advise you to do so.
8. Credit Card
If you were submitting your application online, you would also require a credit card to cover the application fee. The cost is 150 CAD for Indian students who wish to study in Canada.
Remember that the system only accepts credit cards; debit cards cannot be used. It’s not compulsory to have a credit card, anyway. You may use your parents’ cards if you have their express consent.
If you were applying online, you would additionally want access to a digital scanner. If you are submitting an offline application, you must have genuine copies of all the aforementioned documents.
To submit your online application, you must download a few documents, fill them out, print them, sign them, and upload them. As a result, accessibility for the scanner must be planned for.
The technology also allows you to upload a top-notch digital snapshot. However, we suggest a scanner for the camera.
The interviewer may ask for further documents during the personal interview. You have to show proof of your academics or your financial standing documents. We have mentioned below for your reference:-
- Scores from tests such as TOFEL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
- Your intent to depart from Canada after completion of the course of study
- How you will pay all educational, living, and travel expenses
How to Apply for a Canadian Visa for Study
If you want to apply for a Canadian study visa, you have to follow the below-mentioned steps to apply:-
- Check the processing time: Canada visa processing time is 9 weeks if you are applying from outside Canada and 4 weeks if you applying inside Canada. It is advisable to go through the Canadian consulate website to know the exact time taken to process the student visa and to track the application.
- Determine how you will apply: There are two ways to apply for a Canada study visa
(a) Apply online: if you are applying online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. You have to scan your finger at the regional Visa Application Centre (VAC).
Remember, while applying online you have to visit the VFS office to hand in your passports and would have to provide the confirmation of form and fee payment as well. The steps would only vary in terms of documents you need to carry to the VAC.
(b) Apply on paper: You have to download the application kit and read the instruction carefully. The instruction guide contains important information about study permits and instructions to help you complete your application.
Go through the guide carefully and use the document checklist. You are allowed to apply on paper with only 2 conditions:-
Download the application kit and read the instruction guide. The instruction guide contains important information about study permits and instructions to help you complete your application.
Read the guide carefully and use the document checklist. You are allowed to apply on paper only under 2 conditions:
- If you have a disability that prevents you from applying online
- If you hold an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or a stateless person
(c) At a port of entry: The following can also apply at a port of entry:
- Ukrainian nationals (or their family members)
- S. citizen
- S. Permanent Resident (or lawful permanent resident of the U.S.)
- Greenland resident
- Saint-Pierre and Miquelon resident
- Fill out the VFS consent form and attach it with your application form. This form is required to get the assistance of VFS services for your visa filing process.
- Pay the processing fee: When you will submit an application via the VFS, in person or by mail, the visa fee must be paid in addition to VFS global services charges. The processing fee is non-refundable in all cases.
- If your spouse/common-law partner or children are accompanying you and you are applying for temporary resident visas, work permits, or study permits for them, then you will need to pay the appropriate processing fees of them.
- Submit your application along with supporting documents. You have to visit the nearest VFS office to pay the service charges and hand them your complete application to obtain a receipt. The receipt contains your unique tracking number which you have to track the progress of your application.
In case your application is approved you will receive notification from the government of Canada requesting your passport. You can submit the passport and passport letter in person or through VFS. You will get a temporary resident visa and a letter of introduction.
Canada Student Visa Fees
- A study permit for Canada costs CAD 150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 9049 (As mentioned on the CIC website) as per the current exchange rate. As we know the exchange rate keeps changing from time to time, so we would advise you to check at the time of visa application.
- You can apply for a Canadian visa application through online or offline mode. The visa processing fees can be made both online (by means of credit card) or offline (by means of demand draft if paying at the high commission of Canada) or by cash at VAC. This fee must be paid when the application is submitted or a fee receipt of online payment is provided. The demand draft required is to be drawn out in favour of the high commission of Canada in Indian rupees. VAC accept only cash payments.
- The visa fee mentioned does not include VAC services charges. You would have to pay the additional service charges as applicable for your region. A receipt will be issued for each payment received. Please keep the receipt as proof of payment.
- Post admission of your visa application, students need to submit a biometric fee of CAD 85. Candidates need to submit this fee in addition to the regular visa fee. After this, your biometrics will be taken to a visa application centre.
Canada Student Visa Processing Time
Processing time is the amount of time the CIC needs to complete a visa application. The day of the final decision begins when the applicant submits the application. As a result, no time frame is specified for processing a Canada student visa application.
Normally, it takes 12 weeks. Through their MyCIC accounts, applicants may check the status of their applications, both online and in print.
Study Permit Renewal
For staying in Canada, students need to have a valid study permit. If your study permit expires before the end of your course of study (programme), you will need to apply for a renewal.
The ideal time to apply is at least 30 days before the expiration of your current permit. Candidates can apply online or via mail.
If in case, your study permit expires before the completion of your studies (program) then you need to apply for renewal of your study permit. Ideally, you should apply at least 30 days before your current permit expires. Candidates can submit their applications through mail or online.
Full-time students on a Dependent visa may be accompanied by their spouses. Simply demonstrating that sufficient finances are available for their assistance will do. If they stay for a year or longer, spouses may also work full-time.
In some cases, you may apply for an open work permit if you will be accompanying your spouse or common-law partner to Canada. With an open work permit, you may find and accept any job when you get to Canada. You do not need a job offer or a positive labour market impact assessment to apply for your work permit.
Canadian Embassy and Consulates Addresses
1. High Commission of Canada, New Delhi
7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021, India
Phone: 011-4178 2000
2. Consulate General of Canada
World Trade Center, 22nd Floor
26/1, Dr Rajkumar Road
Bengaluru – 560055
3. Consulate General of Canada
SCO# 54-56, Sector 17 A
Chandigarh 160 017, India
4. Consulate General of Canada
Indiabulls Finance Centre
21st Floor, Tower 2
Senapati Bapat Marg
Elphinstone Road (West)
VFS Center Addresses
1. New Delhi
VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Mezzanine Level,
Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place
Canada Visa Application Centre
VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Ethiraj Salai, No. 74, Fagun Towers, Second Floor, Chennai, India, 600008
Canada Visa Application Centre
VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Mumbai, India (40005), Trade Centre, 5th Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
Canada Visa Application Centre
VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.
Landmark: next to Geetanjali Stadium, Rene Tower, Building No. 1842, Rajdanga Main Road, Rajdanga, India (700107).
Scholarships for Studying in Canada
Canada is considered one of the top global study destinations for international students all over the world. Studying in Canada is not easy for everyone, therefore we mentioned some of the popular scholarships for those who need financial support for pursuing their education in Canada.
Popular scholarships to study in Canada
|Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship||OGS/QEII-GSST Scholarships for International Students|
|Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship for SC etc. candidates||Ontario Graduate Scholarship- Other Master Programs|
Canada Student Visa FAQs
How many IELTS bands are required to study in Canada?
If you are planning to do your undergraduate degree in Canada, then the Canadian high commission requires 6.0 bands in the IELTS exam with no band less than 5.5. For a postgraduate degree, candidates require an overall 6.5 band less than 6.0.
Is it compulsory to provide proof of English-language proficiency to obtain a student Visa?
If you belong to a country where English is not the native language, then you are required to provide proof of English-language proficiency through various test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL or PTE.
How many backlogs are allowed for Canadian student visas?
Some universities in Canada accept a maximum of 5 backlogs, with a condition that candidates must score a minimum of 70 per cent in the Undergraduate degree. Apart from this, for postgraduate degree programmes, some universities accept a maximum of 7 or 8 backlogs if the candidate has scored 6.5 per cent or above in the UG program
Can I study in Canada without a student visa?
In order to pursue any academic course in Canada, you need to apply for a student Visa.
How can I stay in Canada after my studies are over?
Once your study is over, you will have to apply for Post study work permit (PGWP Canada). The duration of the work permit will depend on the medium of your course. In order to be eligible for a work permit, your course must be at least 8 months in duration. Once you have gained sufficient Canadian work experience, you can apply for Canada PR.