Canada offers a high-quality, research-oriented education that is recognized worldwide. Canadian Universities are ranked in the top 100 worldwide, and over 100,000 international students enrolled last year.
It is compulsory for all foreign students to obtain a student authority and visa before migrating to study in Canada. A student must also meet the Canadian Immigration Act and Regulations requirements under normal circumstances.
Documents Required for a 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. Following are the documents needed to apply.
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You would need a Valid Passport to be able to apply for a Study Permit. As of the Canadian High Commission, you must have a valid passport that extends to cover the intended stay in Canada.
For instance, if you plan to travel to Canada in September 2019 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least September 2021.
Proof of Acceptance By A Designated Learning Institution
You would need the acceptance letter from the university/institute you plan to attend. A Designated Learning Institute is the University that the Immigration Department recognizes. (Here’s a list for your reference).
If you are applying for Quebec, you would also need a CAQ, which you would be duly notified of.
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 online application, you must procure a digital copy of the photograph, which should not exceed 4MB. Other requirements are standard neutral facial expression, plain background, and no headgear (unless for religious purposes).
The size of the image should be at least 35 mm x 45 mm
The image should be recent (not older than 6 months)
Proof of Funds
You would have to show proof of funds at the time of application for your Study Permit. As per the present standards, you would have to prove that you would have enough funds to pay our tuition fees and take care of living expenses.
Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least Canadian $10,000 every year of their stay. Apart from the above two, the student must also prove that he/she has enough funds for a return fair.
English Language Proficiency Exam Score
Though not mandatory to have at the time of application, we strongly recommend that you appear 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. TOEFL, IELTS, etc., are all acceptable.
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 gives the doctor enough time to validate and upload the necessary documents.
Booking an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/ practitioner 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.
Statement of Purpose
When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you must 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.
If you make 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 also use your parent’s cards, given explicit permission.
Apart from the above, you would need access to a digital scanner if you apply online. However, if you apply offline, you should have true copies of all the documents mentioned above.
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 to 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, SAT, GRE, or GMAT.
Your intent to depart from Canada upon completion of the course of study.
How will you pay all educational, living, and travel costs?
Note: While filling out the application form, you must show proof of fees paid and the stipulated cost of living @ CAD 10,000.
If you are applying for Quebec, you require at least CAD 11,000 every year of your stay. Kindly allow a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks for your visa to be processed.
Steps on How to Apply
Decide on a University to Apply to and get your Acceptance Letter
If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Canada, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a Canadian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.
Check if you need a Student Visa for Canada
You don’t need a study visa (or study permit) for Canada if you are in one of the following situations:
You are a family or staff member of a foreign representative in Canada who is accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.
You enroll in a program that lasts less than six months
You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act
You are a citizen of another country, but you have an Indian status registered in Canada
However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.
Start your Application for the Canadian Student Visa
As soon as you get the acceptance letter from the university, it is time to proceed to the next step: applying for a student visa, which is locally known as a student permit.
The first steps to obtaining your student visa:
Apply online for your Canadian student visa on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before you arrive in Canada.
In countries with limited internet access, applying for a visa on paper is also possible.
Provide an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (a university recognized by the Canadian government).
Deliver proof of sufficient financial resources to support your studies in Canada (tuition fees and living expenses).
Have no criminal record.
Submit clinical records that state you are in good health and complete medical examinations if required.
According to recent visa regulations, if you have a family member working or applying for a work permit in Canada, the application for your study permit will be processed in two weeks.
You may renew or extend your study permit if you wish to continue your studies, if your program has an extension, or if you change your school.
The study permit expires ninety days after your studies are finished when you receive a notification of the program completion.
Useful Tip: check out if your country is on the list of bio-metrics requests for the study permit
Prepare all required documents for the student visa in Canada
Completed application form.
The original letter of acceptance from the university.
A valid passport/travel document allows you to return to your home country. If you live in the U.S.A., this is not necessary.
Two recent passport-size photographs, with specifications of name and date of birth on the back.
Proof of financial support during your studies that represent: tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec).
A letter of explanation.
If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificate d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations for your document, a statement from the translator, and a certified copy of the original documents.
Proof that you paid the study permit fee (150 CAD).
Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require you to submit proof of English language proficiency. Accepted language tests are:
Cambridge English: Advanced
Proof of your language skills is not included in the required documents for a Canadian student visa. But it is a good idea to have proof of English ability, just in case.
Bio-metrics Appointment and Interview
Depending on the requirements of your country, you might have to show up at a Visa Application Centre in your country to have your biometrics taken.
The biometric fee is 85 CAD. This fee is in addition to the regular visa fee. Some countries are exempt from the bio-metrics visit, so they likely won’t need to visit an application center at all.
You might also be called for an interview, depending on your situation. Local visa application centers will charge a small fee for using their services.
Cost Of Visa Fee For Canada
A study permit for Canada costs CAD$ 150, roughly equivalent to INR 7,845 (as shared on the CIC Website) as per the current exchange rate. Since the exchange rate keeps changing, we advise you to check the same at the time of your visa application.
Canadian Visa Applications are available both online and offline. As such, the visa processing fees can be made
online (using a credit card), offline (using demand draft if paying at the High Commission of Canada), or by cash at the 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 favor of the High Commission of Canada in Indian rupees. VACs accept only Cash Payments.
Also, the visa fee mentioned does not include the VAC service charges. You would have to pay the additional service charges for your region. Also, A receipt will be issued for each payment received. Please keep the receipt as proof of payment.
For students wishing to study in Canada, we hope you find this article helpful and that you will consider all the tips mentioned above on getting a student visa.
Congratulations and best wishes in your academic journey.