How to Easily Apply for a Study Visa/Permit in Canada

Canadian universities are known for their world-class facilities, strong infrastructure, quality educational standard, and advanced curriculum, among others. This is why several students from around the world desire to continue their academic pursuits in the country. Besides positively affecting your career trajectory, studying in Canada could be your best bet to getting a permanent residency. But how do you even go about the daunting process of acquiring a study visa in Canada? If you are worried about this, then you should relax as this article is for you! Here, we will be taking you through the process of applying for your study visa in Canada and other relevant information.

Before we proceed, let’s briefly discuss what a Canada study visa is.

What is a Canadian Study Visa?

A Canadian study visa is the key to opening the door to your education in Canada. With your Canadian study visa, alongside your study permit, you can start studying in Canada. A study permit is a document that permits you to study in Canada and it is often given by immigration authorities. A study visa enables you to study at institutions call Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). A DLI is a school or university approved by the government to accept international students. With the study visa, you can work and earn some money while you are still in school or when you graduate.

In order to retain your study permit as an international student, you would need to:

  • Be registered in a DLI.
  • Be employed to finish your studies.
  • Fulfil the conditions of your study permit.
  • Stop your studies peradventure you don’t fulfil the conditions.
  • Exit the country once your study permit expires.

How do you know if you are Eligible to Apply for the Canadian Study Visa?

You would be eligible to apply for a study visa if:

1. A DLI has accepted you. You would need to provide this by presenting an acceptance letter, which would contain:

  • An official letterhead of the institution.
  • The program and degree you would pursue.
  • The amount of tuition fees that would be paid.
  • The dates you would commence and finish your program.

2. You have sufficient funds to cater for your studies and living.

3. You have no criminal record which must be proven with a police verification certificate or court documents.

4. You are in good health and this must be certified by a valid medical report from a reputable hospital.

5. You plan to leave Canada once you have completed your studies.

6. You fill and append your signature on the Visa Application Center (VAC) Consent Form.

7. You submit duplicates of immigration status in Canada or another country.

What are the Documents that would be Required for a Canadian Student Visa?

Once you receive, your acceptance letter, then you should start preparing the following documents as they would be useful in your application process. These documents include:

1. A Valid International Passport

To apply for a study visa you would need a valid international passport. It is crucial that you have a passport that is valid all through your desired stay in Canada, according to the Canadian High Commission. For instance, your passport must be valid through February 2026 if you intend to study there for three years starting in February 2023.

2. Acceptance Letter

This is important to your application process. Note that it must be from a Designated Learning Institution in Canada. If you plan to study in Quebec, you may need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) or a letter of confirmation from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI). Note that the CAQ is usually issued for a maximum period of 49 months.

3. Proof of Financial Ability

You would need to show that you are financially capable when applying for your study permit. You would have to prove that you would have enough money to cover both our tuition and living expenses under the current requirements. According to Canadian Immigration, you would requires minimum of CAD 10,000 for each year of your stay. In addition to the aforementioned, the student must also show that he or she has the resources necessary for a return trip.

Note instructively that you will need to provide proof of your tuition payments and proof that you can afford the required standard of living ($10,000CAD) when submitting your application. For each year you intend to stay, you must have at least CAD 11,000 available if you wish to study in Quebec.

4. Passport Photographs

If you chose to submit your application offline, you would require two passport-sized photos that meet the requirements. You must obtain a digital copy of the photo, which should be at most 4MB, for an online application. Other prerequisites include a consistent neutral face expression, and a plain background with no head covering except your religion makes it mandatory. The image should also be recent, that is not more than 6 months.

5. Language Proficiency Exam Score

It is advisable to get your language proficiency results ready at this time. You would need to submit your results to confirm that you have been offered admission by a Canadian university.

6. Statement of Purpose

You would be asked to write an essay when applying for a Canadian study permit indicating why you are visiting Canada and why you have selected the particular university. This may be optional but we encourage you to include it.

During the online application, you may need to fill out some forms and print them. Also, your interviewer may request additional documents during your interview. These documents may include:

  • Transcripts or certificates from schools you have attended.
  • Your desire to depart from Canada once you complete your studies.
  • How you will intend to cater for your educational, living, and travel costs.

How do you Apply for a Canadian Study Visa?

The following steps would guide you in your application process.

1. Confirm processing times

The process of applying for a visa could take about a month. It is advisable to confirm availability on the website of the Canadian embassy and learn the general processing time for student visas. Please be aware that the estimated time is only an estimate and not a promise.

2. Apply

You would need to start your application process online or in person. To start your online application, you need a scanner or camera to scan your papers into an electronic format for uploading, as well as a working credit card to cover the application fee. At the local Visa Application Center(VAC), a finger scan will still be required from you (VAC). Keep in mind that if you submitted an online application, you would also need to visit the Visa Facilitation Office (VFS) to submit your passports and the receipt for your fee payment. The only difference between the processes would be the paperwork you need to provide to the VAC.

If you want to apply physically, all you need to do is read the instructions and get the application kit. Important details about study permits are provided in the instruction manual, along with instructions on how to complete your application. Use the document checklist and thoroughly read the instruction manual.

3. Fill and attach the VFS Consent Form

Attach the VFS Consent Form filled out in full to your application. This form is required if you want VFS services to support your visa filing.

4. Pay the required fee for processing

Bear in mind that in addition to the VFS Global service fees, visa fees must also be paid when applying via the VFS, whether in person or by mail. The processing charge is never refundable so be cautious when making payment. Also, note that you will be required to pay the necessary processing fees for your children, and/or dependents, spouse or common-law partner, if you are applying for temporary residence visas, work permits, or study permits on their behalf.

5. Submit your documents and application

Submit all the documents listed above with your application at the VFS office closest to you. After you have made payment for services, you would be given a receipt. This receipt would be useful to check the status of your application online because it has a special ID number. If your application is successful, you will receive a notification(a letter) from the Canadian government asking for your passport. Both the passport and the letter of request can be delivered in person or via VFS. A letter of introduction, as well as a temporary resident visa, would also be given to you.

How much does the Canadian Student Visa Cost?

For the Canadian Student Visa, it is expedient that you pay all application fees for yourself and any family members or dependents applying as part of the application procedure. You can either apply for the study visa online or offline. If you are applying online, you cannot submit an application without paying for the service, and if you submit an application on paper without paying the money, it will not be processed.

You can pay online via your credit card or physically through a demand draft if you pay at the High Commission of Canada or by cash via the VAC.

The following is the breakdown of the fees of the Canadian Student Visa:

Study permit (including applications for extensions) — CAD150

Biometrics fee (per person) — $85

Biometrics feed for a family which may consist of 2 or more applicants

Maximum total fee for families that are applying together at the same time — $170

Bear in mind that the visa fee does not include VAC service charges. You would be obliged to pay any additional service fees that pertain to your area and you would be given a receipt. It is important that you keep the receipt properly as it may be useful in future.

How long is the Study Visa in Canada Valid?

Your study visa is only valid for the duration of your course of studying in addition to 90 days. You can use these 90 days to get ready to leave Canada or to submit an application to prolong the duration of your study visa. Therefore, you will need to extend your study permit if you do not finish your program within the term that it is valid. You will only get an extra 90 days if you complete the your studies before the study permit ends, after which you must vacate Canada.

You must produce documentation from your institution, such as a letter, email, or other document announcing your graduation, or a copy of your diploma, certificate or degree, diploma, as confirmation that you have finished your program.

How long is the Processing Time for the Canada Student Visa?

There is no specific time for your Canadian study visa to be processed as this is dependent on different factors. However, the CIC would start processing your application as soon as you file it until the final day. You can also view your application status through your MyCIC account.

Can you Work while on a Study Visa in Canada?

Your ability to work while on a student visa in Canada is subject to several requirements. These requirements are put in place to prevent illegal employees from simply applying for Canadian student status without registering in classes or pursuing their academics. Students may, nonetheless, work in the following situations:

  • Work on campus if they are pursuing a full-time program
  • Do internships as stipulated in their program curriculum.
  • Work off campus if it is for less than 20 hours weekly and your study permit allows it.


Many international students dream of studying in Canada. However, if you do not know how to go about the application process of getting a student visa then you may end up being frustrated. This is why we came up with this article and we have just taken you through the process of getting your Canadian study permit with a focus on the general requirements, documents you need, processing time, costs of getting a student visa etc. We hope this post has made your Canadian journey easier.

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