Every year, over 130,000 international students choose to study at Canadian universities. In addition to a high-quality education system, Canada also provides numerous possibilities and vibrant culture. Research, scientific publications, and international collaborations are three of the main aspects that Canada and its academic institutions focus on.
But how difficult is it to get the student visa, also known as a Canadian study permit, for Canada? Figuring this out will play a crucial role when you decide where you want to study. So, what do you have to do to get your student visa for Canada, and how difficult is it?
Let’s discover together!
1. Apply at a Canadian university 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 the visa application.
Here are some Canadian universities we recommend:
University of Regina
Wilfrid Laurier University
Mount Allison University
2. Check if you need to apply for a student visa in Canada
You can use the official Canadian study permit tool to find out if you need a study visa or permit. You don’t need a study visa if one of the following situations applies to you:
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 enrol in a study programme 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.
Remember that the study permit/visa does not act as a regular visa, which allows you to enter or travel to Canada. For that, you will need a travel visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
3. Start your application for the Canadian student visa
As soon as you got 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 study 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.
Send the visa application documents by post if you have a limited internet connection or cannot submit the documents online.
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).
Present proof confirming you have no criminal record.
Submit clinical records that state you are in good health; submit 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
your programme has an extension
you change your university
The study permit expires 90 days after your studies are finished (when you receive a notification of the programme completion). You can still stay in Canada to travel and explore or apply for a work permit, which allows you to take a full time or part-time job, or even be self-employed.