Have you been trying to figure out how to apply for a Canada student visa? It’s possible that you feel overwhelmed by the process and don’t know where to start.
Or maybe you’ve already started the application process but need some help finishing it or finding the proper documents and getting everything in order before your interview with Canadian immigration officials. Whatever your reason, this guide will walk you through every step of the process, from A to Z.
Table of Contents
What is a Study Permit?
First, before we talk about how to apply for one, you need to know what a study permit is. In Canada, if you plan on studying in either English or French-language institutions of higher learning (in Quebec or outside of Quebec) for more than six months —whether it’s at a public post-secondary school or private— you will need to apply for and obtain a study permit.
Study permits are issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). However, CIC doesn’t give out these permits; they only review applications from students who want to come to Canada as full-time students. Once CIC has approved your application, they send your file over to IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada), issuing your actual study permit card.
The process can take anywhere between 10 days and eight weeks, depending on where you live. You should also note that once you have received your study permit, it must be used within three years of its issue date.
If not, it will expire automatically. Also, while there is no limit to how many times you can apply for a study permit if you were denied one previously and are now using it again, your new application may face even stricter scrutiny.
While most Canadian universities don’t require proof of financial support when applying for admission, some schools do. This means that during your initial planning stages when creating your business plan, you might want to include information about sources of funding just in case.
Getting the Study Permit
To come to Canada, you will first need a study permit.
A study permit is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Your application requirements depend on several factors: whether you are studying full-time or part-time, if you have previous study experience in Canada, what program you plan on taking if English/French language skills are required, and other exceptional circumstances such as age.
You can find out more about these criteria here.
If you want to apply for a study permit but do not meet all of these criteria, there may be exceptions that allow you to use it anyway – check out CIC’s website here.
It is important to note that students with valid study permits must leave Canada when their studies are complete.
However, they can apply for an extension of their status while still in Canada if they wish to stay longer.
There are strict rules surrounding extensions; it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer before applying for one. In addition, some programs require that you obtain a letter of acceptance from them before submitting your application to CIC.
The process for obtaining a letter of acceptance varies depending on where you are enrolled. However, you should expect to submit an application form and pay a fee to your university or college at least three months before starting classes.
Eligibility criteria for Canada Student Visa
The eligibility criteria for applying for a Canadian student visa are provided below. Students who are following any of these courses can apply.
1) You must be enrolled in an educational program that leads to an academic, vocational, or professional degree, diploma, or certificate at an eligible post-secondary institution ( college /university).
2) You must have enough money saved up in your bank account while coming here.
3)You must prove that you will leave Canada when your studies are over and not stay back illegally.
4) You should not have applied for a study permit before unless it was refused by CIC or withdrawn by you.
5) You should have met all other requirements of IRCC, including the medical exam, police clearance, etc.
6)If you accompany a dependent family member and yourself, they must also meet all the requirements mentioned above.
7) If you do not meet all the requirements mentioned above, your application will automatically be rejected by IRCC without even looking into it.
8) Your course duration should be between six months to four years.
9) You should not be studying on a visitor visa or work permit.
10) You should not be working part-time and full-time during your studies.
11) Your citizenship status must be either citizen of USA, UK, Australia or New Zealand; permanent resident of USA, UK, Australia or New Zealand; Protected Person Status Holder from the USA; Convention Refugee from the USA; Humanitarian Protection Status Holder from the USA; Temporary Resident Permit Holder from the USA.
Which Documents Are Required for Canadian Visa?
To apply for a Canadian visa, you’ll need to collect several documents as per below:
(1) A valid passport for at least six months past your intended departure date.
Your passport must have at least two blank pages and be in good condition. If you are applying for a student visa and are under 16 years of age, your passport must be valid until your 21st birthday.
(2) Proof of citizenship or legal residency status in Australia or New Zealand.
You will also need proof of citizenship or legal residency status in Australia or New Zealand if you are applying from one of these countries and do not hold dual citizenship with Canada.
This can include an Australian birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate, or permanent resident card. Likewise, it can consist of a New Zealand birth certificate or a permanent resident card for New Zealand citizens.
(3) One recent passport-style photograph measuring 45 mm x 35 mm (similar). The photo should be taken against a plain white background without a head covering and show both ears. (4) An original letter of acceptance from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada.
It must state that you are accepted into a full-time program and provide details about when classes begin.
(5) Evidence of financial support, such as bank statements or scholarship letters showing funding commitments for your entire stay in Canada.
(6) Documents proving any previous study experience outside of Australia or New Zealand, such as transcripts and diplomas.