Canada Study Permit Full Application Guide

Canada Study Permit

What is a Canada Study Permit?

A Canada study permit is the Canadian equivalent of a student visa. It is the document that most international students must obtain in order to be allowed to study in Canada. After reading through our previous post, some of you have no doubt become interested in studying in Canada. Well, you will probably need this guide then to help you apply and obtain the permit. However, this does not necessarily apply in all cases.

What Students Do Not Need a Canada Study Permit?

There are some cases in which this type of visa is not required for international students looking to study in Canada. This document is not required if:

  • Your study program lasts six months or less
  • You are a family or staff member of a foreign representative accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • You are a member of a foreign armed force on official duties in Canada
  • You have Registered Indian status in Canada
  • You are a temporary resident and asylum seeker taking French language and culture courses in Quebec

If none of these apply to you and you need the permit, then follow the rest of our guide for a list of simple steps to obtaining it.

How to Apply for and Obtain the Canada Study Permit

If you have previously read our guide on obtaining a US student visa, then you will probably find this process to be considerably simpler. Nevertheless, there is still some bureaucracy to get through. Follow our steps carefully and you should be fine, though.

One last note before we get started: These requirements can be different for different countries, so while this rough template will apply to most places, be sure to check with your local Canadian embassy about any variations on the basic theme presented here.

Step 1: Receive the Letter of Acceptance from Your Canadian University of Choice

Before you start applying for the permit, you will need to receive your letter of acceptance. Keep in mind that, in order for you to qualify for a student visa, your preferred university must be a designated educational institution (DLI), which is a college authorized by the territorial government to accept overseas students.

The duration of your student visa may vary depending on the terms outlined in your admission letter. Your visa will be valid for the period of these preparatory courses plus one year if you have obtained a conditional offer, which means you must complete additional courses before beginning your primary program. You’ll have to submit an application for a new visa after this one expires.

Step 2: Gather All of the Necessary Documents

As with any other visa, getting a Canda study permit will require you to gather a bunch of different documents. It is best to make sure you have all of these before even getting started with the application process. That way, you will not need to stop midway through to try and get a document and waste precious time.

Make sure you have the following:

  • The original / electronic copy of your letter of acceptance/admission letter from a DLI;
  • If you are planning on studying in Québec, a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
  • A letter of explanation explaining your reasons for studying in Canada and assuring your understanding of your responsibilities as an international student
  • Proof of identity (a valid passport or travel document)
  • Two recent passport-sized photos
  • Proof of funds that guarantees you will be able to financially sustain yourself throughout your studies (enough to cover your tuition fees and living costs, or a minimum of CAD 10,000 per year of study)
  • A custodian Declaration, in case you are under 17 years old
  • The receipt for your payment of the CAD 150 study permit fee

Step 3: Fill Out Your Application

There is an official website that goes into detail about everything you need to know about filling out the application itself. It also touches on some general things regarding obtaining your Canada study permit. As such, it is useful to consult at any step of this process.

It is highly recommended that you complete the forms on a computer as it can reduce mistakes and make the whole process go more smoothly. After you have filled out the various forms and uploaded your documents, you will also be asked to pay the application fee. Once all of this has been done and your application is completed, then you need to wait and check its status frequently so that you do not miss the important updates (for example that your application has been accepted and your visa is ready).

Once again, in our article about the US student visa, an important step is the interview. However, an interview is not always necessary for a Canadian visa. You might nevertheless be invited in for an interview based on how they evaluate your application. In this case, a letter with the interview date, time, and location will be sent to you.

Bonus Step 4: Provide Biometrics and Pass a Medical Exam (if it applies to you)

If you are someone who is applying from outside of Canada and have never provided your biometrics before, you must go to an official Visa Application Center to get your biometrics and photo taken. In addition to the CAD 150 study permit price, you must pay an additional CAD 85 fee and make an appointment at an authorized biometric collecting facility.

Remember how we wrote that different countries have different regulations for obtaining a Canada study permit? Well, for students coming from certain locations, it might be necessary to pass a medical exam. This exam will need to be performed by an approved physician. Check this page for a list of all countries and whether or not their citizens are required to undergo the medical exam to qualify for the permit.

Tip: Start Early as it Can Take More Than Three Months to Receive Your Permit!

The Canadian government estimates that it could take up to 13 weeks to process your study visa application. So be sure to start your application procedure four to six months before your trip and allow for the waiting period.

The time it takes for them to process your visa will depend on several factors, including the sort of application you submitted (online or on paper), whether or not you sent all the necessary papers, how simple it is for them to check your information, and how quickly you can respond to any demands on their end.

If you would rather not wait that long, you can apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is processed in 20 calendar days. Citizens of the following nations may apply for this stream:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

That said, in order to be eligible for the Student Direct Stream, you must also have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate worth $10,000 CAN and proof of language proficiency from either the IELTS (score of 6.0 or higher in each skill) or the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) (score of 7.0 or higher in each skill). These requirements are in addition to those for the regular study permit stream.

Does the Canada Student Permit Require Proof of Your English Proficiency?

It’s mandatory to prove your English proficiency to the Canadian universities. This requirement might not apply to you if you already earned a degree from an English-speaking nation.

A certificate from an acceptable language competence test must be submitted if you are from a non-English speaking nation. Check the page for your program before choosing which test to take because each university and program has different minimum score requirements. The most commonly accepted tests are standard ones such as IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, and PTE Academic, among others.

Obtaining the Canada Study Permit

After your application is accepted and you have your permit, there should be very little stopping you from finalizing your preparations to study in one of Canada’s incredible universities. Before departing, make sure that all the information on it is correct to ensure that your stay goes smoothly.

The student visa process presented here is one of the simpler ones. It is another thing which makes Canada an attractive prospect for international students. While other places might require you to jump through many legal hoops to be able to study there, Canada makes it as simple as it can while still ensuring both your safety and the safety of its citizens.

Hopefully, this article will help you obtain a Canada study permit and realize your dreams of studying abroad. However, if there are other places you would rather go or if you have questions that are not answered here, then feel free to browse our website or check out some of our other articles. You are bound to come across something you will find helpful.

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