How to Get a Canadian Student Visa To Study in Canada, 2019
Canada Universities are preferred by many international students yearly. Offering a high-quality teaching system, Canada is also rich in possibilities and cultures. Research, scientific publications and international collaborations are three of the aspects that Canada and its universities focus on.
But how difficult is it to get the student visa 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 see what are the main steps for getting your Canadian student visa:
1. 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 the visa application.
Consider some of the top universities in Canada:
- Brock University
- Seneca College
- University of Regina
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- Mount Allison University
You can also apply right now with Abroad Express Entry. to these universities from Canada:
- Thompson Rivers University
- Royal Roads University
2. Check if you need to apply for a student visa in Canada
You don’t need a study visa (or Canadian study permit) 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
However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.
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 student permit.
You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Paper applications typically take about twice as long, and it’s always recommended to check the processing times well in advance. To apply online, you’ll need a credit/debit card and the ability to create electronic copies of your supporting documents (i.e. using a scanner or camera). The visa office in your country will provide specific instructions about which documents you need to provide; this can vary depending on your location. If you need assistance, you can get help at your nearest visa application center (VAC).
The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:
- You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit. You can get this online, by printing out a form, or by requesting a paper form from your university, which will also provide advice on this subject.
- The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you are from a designated country (find out if you need to get one here), but this will not complicate matters too much as it’ll be processed at the same time as your study permit application.
- In order to get your application package you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you’ll need to provide.
- If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fees amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.
- When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC. You’ll need a printer or a scanner to do this.
- Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
- Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.
Useful tip: check out if your home country is on the list of biometrics requests for the study permit application.
4. Prepare all required documents for the student visa in Canada
- Filled in student permit application form;
- The original letter of acceptance from the university;
- A valid passport/travel document, which also 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 study programme that represents: 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 Certificat 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).
- Applicants from Europe, the Middle East or Africa may need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).
- Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and/or police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record – you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
- Unless you’re from the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to prove you have a valid passport which allows you to return to your country of origin after your course is complete. Two passport-sized pictures are also required, with your name and date of birth written on the back.
- Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be CA$10,000 (~US$7,650) for every year of your stay (CA$11,000/~US$8,400 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.
To prove you have this money, you can provide any of the following documents: bank statements, evidence of a Canadian account in your name if the money’s been transferred, a bank draft in a convertible currency, proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees, a letter from a person or institution providing you with money, or proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are undertaking a Canadian-funded program.
5. Language requirements for the Canadian student visa
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 on the list of required documents for a Canadian student visa. But it is a good idea to have some proof of English ability, just in case.
Biometrics appointment and interview
Depending on the requirements for your home 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 biometrics visit, so it’s likely they won’t need to visit an application centre at all.
After applying for your Canadian study permit, the processing time for your visa may take up to 90 days, but usually takes less. This also depends a lot on the situation in your home country.
Depending on your individual situation you might also be called for an interview. Local visa application centres will charge a small fee for using their services.
Apply right now to a Master’s in Canada
You can now apply with Abroad Express Entry. to one of our partner universities in Canada. You can apply whenever you want, and it won’t cost you anything.
Check the available Masters and see which of the degrees match your background and interests. Start the application process by filling in your student profile. You will soon get contacted by one of our application counsellors who will assist you further. We’ll then apply on your behalf. Find out more about applying to a Master’s degree with Abroad Express Entry.