Are you an international student looking to get a student visa to Canada? Are you wondering what the process of a student visa in Canada is, the different types of student visas in Canada, the requirements, and the fees?
This article clearly breaks down these and would give you a bird’s-eye view of what you need to get a student visa for Canada.
Canada is a North American country. Its ten provinces and three territories stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic, covering 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.
Over 130,000 international students choose to study at Canadian universities each year. Besides a high-quality education system, Canada offers many opportunities and a vibrant culture.
To stand out in your student visa application, read through this article as it will guide through all the way.
Types Of Student Visa In Canada
It is important that you know which student visa you need in Canada as it will ensure you have the right application process. In Canada, there are three types of student visas.
- The F Student Visa: To study at an accredited college or university in Canada, or to study English at an English language institute, you would definitely need the F student visa.
- The J Exchange Visa: This student visa in Canada is mostly for participation in an exchange program, such as high school or university studies.
- The M Student visa in Canada is issued for non-academic or vocational study or training in Canada.
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How Students Visa Work in Canada
To apply for a student visa in Canada, you must first understand how they work. Things you should note about student visas in Canada is that you should:
#1. Check the Processing Times –
The visa application cycle can take 3-4 weeks. It is recommended that you visit the Canadian consulate’s website to find out how long it will take to process the student visa.
#2. Determine your Application Strategy
There are two methods for applying:
Through an online application: To apply online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to make electronic copies of your documents for uploading, as well as a valid credit card.
At the regional Visa Application Centre, you will still be required to provide a finger scan (VAC). Remember that with Online Applications, you must visit the VFS offices to hand in your passports and provide confirmation of form and fee payment.
The steps would only differ in terms of the documents you would need to bring to the VAC.
Through an application in person: All you have to do in this case is to download the application kit and read the user manual.
The instruction guide contains vital information about study permits and instructions to assist you in completing your application.
#3. Pay the Processing Fee –
Keep in mind that they must pay visa fees besides VFS Global service charges when submitting an application through the VFS, whether in person or by mail.
In all cases, the processing fee is non-refundable.
If you are traveling with your spouse/common-law partner and/or children and are applying for temporary resident visas, work permits, or study permits for them, you must pay the appropriate processing fees for them.
#4. Submit your Application and Supporting Documents –
You must go to your local VFS office. Once there, pay the service fees and hand in your completed application to receive a receipt.
This receipt includes your unique tracking number, which you will need to track the status of your application online.
If they approve your application, the Government of Canada will contact you to request your passport.
They can submit the passport and passport request letter in person or through VFS. You would be given a Temporary Resident Visa as well as a Letter of Introduction.
Requirements and Eligibility Criteria for Student Visa in Canada
To be eligible for a Canadian study visa, you must have a confirmed place to study at a designated organization in Canada, such as a Canadian university, community college, collège d’enseignement général et Professionnel (CEGEP), publicly funded trade or technical school, or private institution allowed to confer degrees by provincial statute.
In addition, you must meet the following requirements:
- A letter confirming acceptance to study at a designated organization in Canada is required.
- Applicants for study in Quebec must also possess a Certificat d’acceptance du Québec (Quebec Certificate of Acceptance, or CAQ)
- You must have proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees.
- Have proof of financial support for the applicant and any family members traveling to Canada.
- Have proof of funds to cover the applicant’s and any family members’ return to their country of origin once they complete their studies. Provide a police/criminal records certificate from their country of origin (this only needs to be provided if specifically requested)
- Be in generally good health, and be willing to submit to a medical examination if one is requested.
- Applicants must intend to return to their home country after completing their studies and must persuade an immigration official that this is the case.
Exceptions in Requirements
The exceptions are when there are certain people who do not require a Canadian Study Permit to study in Canada. Among these exceptions are:
- International students who plan to study in Canada for less than six months
- Members of the families and staff of foreign representatives in Canada, such as embassy personnel and other diplomatic officials
- Members of foreign armed forces in Canada under the Visiting Forces Act are Canadians with Registered Indian status. After receiving your college acceptance letter, you should apply for a student visa. If you want to start the visa process in September, you should start gathering documents in June.
You will need the following documents to apply for a Canada Student Visa:
1. Valid Passport
To apply for a Study Permit, you must have a valid passport. According to the Canadian High Commission, you must have a passport that is valid for the duration of your intended stay in Canada.
For example, if you intend to visit Canada in September 2022 for a two-year course, your passport must be valid until at least September 2024.
2. Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution
You will require an acceptance letter from the university or institute you intend to attend. We refer to a university recognized by the Immigration Department as a Designated Learning Institute.
If you are applying for Quebec, you will also need a CAQ, and they will send it to you.
3. Proof of Funds
You would be required to show proof of funds when applying for your study permit. According to current standards, you would have to demonstrate that you have enough funds to pay our tuition fees as well as cover your living expenses.
According to Canadian Immigration, a student would need at least CAD 10,000 for each year of stay. Aside from the above two requirements, the student must also show that he or she has sufficient funds for a return trip.
When filling out the application form, you must show proof of paid fees as well as the stipulated cost of living of CAD 10,000. If you are applying for Quebec, you must have at least CAD 11,000 in your account.
4. Passport Size Photographs
If you choose to apply offline, you will need two passport-sized photographs that meet the requirements.
For an online application, you must get a digital copy of the photograph that is no larger than 4MB. Other requirements include a neutral facial expression, a plain background, and no headgear (unless for religious purposes).
Please keep in mind that the image should be at least 35 mm x 45 mm in size. The image should be current (not older than 6 months)
5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
International students from India are required by Canadian Immigration to undergo a mandatory Immigration Medical Examination performed by impanelled doctors.
Students would need to make an appointment with one of the listed doctors and visit them for a medical examination, preferably a week before they begin their Visa application.
This is to allow the doctor enough time to validate and upload the required documents. The panel physician will conduct a thorough physical examination and may refer you for chest x-rays and laboratory tests. When your exam is finished, the physician will send the results to CIC.
6. English Language Proficiency Exam Score
Though not required at the time of application, we strongly advise you to take the English Language Proficiency Test and obtain your English Language Proficiency Score before beginning your Visa Application Process.
To confirm your admission to the Canadian University, you would have had to submit your English language proficiency score. TOEFL, IELTS, and other tests are all acceptable.
7. Statement of Purpose
When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you must submit an essay explaining why you are visiting Canada and why you have chosen this particular institution.
They will request this as an optional document on the checklist, but we strongly advise you to submit it.
8. Credit Card
If you submit an online application, you will also need a credit card to pay the application fee. The application fee for a visa to Canada is CAD 160. Please keep in mind that the system only accepts credit cards and does not accept debit cards.
It is also not required that it is your credit card. You may use your parents’ credit cards if you have explicit permission to do so.
Apart from the above, if applying online, you would need access to a digital scanner. However, if you are applying offline, you should have authentic copies of all the above-mentioned documents.
It is important to note that when applying online, you will be required to download a few documents, complete them, print them, and sign them. As a result, the scanner’s availability must be coordinated.
You can also upload a high-quality digital image to the system. For a camera, we recommend a scanner.
The interviewer may request additional documents during the personal interview. These could be documents proving academic or financial standing. These could include:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from all of the schools you have attended
- Test results such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- They completed your intention to leave Canada once the course of study
- How will you pay for all educational, living, and travel expenses?
How Long is the Canada Student Visa Valid?
The study permit expires 90 days after the completion of your studies (after you receive a notification of the programme completion).
You can continue to travel and explore Canada, or you can apply for a work permit, which allows you to work full-time, part time, or even independently.
The Demand Draft must be written and made payable to the Canadian High Commission. VACs accept only cash payments.
Fees And Cost Of Student Visa In Canada
According to the current exchange rate, a study permits in Canada costs CAD 150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 8,873 (as shared on the CIC Website). Because the exchange rate fluctuates, we recommend you check it at the time of your visa application.
Meanwhile, online and offline applications for Canadian visas are available. As a result, they can pay visa processing fees online (via credit card) or offline (via demand draft if paying at the High Commission of Canada) or in cash at the VAC. They must pay this fee at the time they submit the application, or they must provide an online payment receipt.
We must draw out the Demand Draft in Indian rupees in favor of the Canadian High Commission. VACs only accept cash payments. Furthermore, the visa fee does not include VAC service charges. You would be required to pay the additional service charges that are applicable in your region. In addition, for each payment received, they will issue a receipt. Please keep your payment receipt as proof of payment.
Following the submission of your visa application, students must pay a biometric fee of CAD 85. Candidates must pay this fee in addition to the standard visa fee. Following that, they will collect your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre.
In addition, the visa fee does not include VAC service fees. You would be required to pay any additional service fees that apply in your area. In addition, they will issue a receipt for each payment received. As proof of payment, please keep your payment receipt.
How To Apply For Student Visa In Canada?
Applying for Study Permit
In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Some Canadians are eligible to apply for a study permit. In some cases, you can apply at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada. Make certain that you are aware of the options available to you.
If you want to apply for a study permit, you should do so online, whether you’re outside of Canada or already here.
If you cannot apply online because of a disability or a technical issue with the online application, you may apply on paper.
There are two options for applying for a study permit: online or at a visa application center in your home country. We recommend that you apply for a study permit as soon as you receive an acceptance letter from a Canadian college or university.
Getting a study permit can take up to three months, depending on the country where you apply.
Applying for a Student Visa in Canada
When applying for a student visa in Canada, you may be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph). If you need to provide biometrics with your application, you must go in person to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).
If you are required to provide biometric information, do not submit your study permit application by mail. Instead, please submit it at the VAC when your biometrics are collected.
On the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website, you can check the status of your study permit application. They update the data daily. To begin, you must create an account on the site.
The processing center may occasionally request additional information from you.
Student Visa Processing Time in Canada
The processing time for your student visa in Canada may take up to 90 days after you apply, but it is usually much faster.
This also depends on your home country’s situation. You can get the study permit faster if you use the Student Direct Stream.
Fees begin at $150 CAD and processing time averages around 20 calendar days. The Student Direct Stream is only available to students from the countries listed below:
- The Philippines
Can I Get A Student Visa In Canada Without IELTS?
The list of required documents for a Canadian student visa does not include proof of English language skills.
However, unless you are from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require proof of English language proficiency. Language tests that are accepted include:
- PTE Academic
- C1 Advanced
- IELTS Academic
Working While Studying In Canada
If you are enrolled in a post-secondary program in Canada and wish to work, you are permitted to do so.
International students with a study permit may work part-time (fewer than 20 hours per week) without a work permit.
You must apply for a work permit if you want to work full-time or take part in a work placement while studying. Your spouse or common-law partner is also eligible to apply for a work permit.
Canadian Study Permit holders who meet the eligibility criteria have been allowed to work on or off campus without the need for a separate work permit since June 1st, 2014.
Students who meet the following criteria may work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the academic year:
- Must be enrolled in a Canadian university, community college, collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP), publicly funded trade or technical school, or a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.
- A full-time student is required.
- Must be enrolled in a post-secondary program in Canada, or must be enrolled in a secondary level vocational program or a post-secondary level program in Quebec.
- A valid student visa for Canada is required.
- Must be enrolled in a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- Must be enrolled in a program that lasts at least 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it easy to obtain a student visa in Canada?
Many students aspire to pursue an education in Canada because it is such a desirable study destination. However, because of the high volume of applicants, Canada’s popularity makes getting a visa significantly more difficult.
Is it possible to get a student visa to Canada?
According to CIC, an average of 30% of total student visa applications for Canada are rejected each year. Most of these rejections are based on common reasons.
Is there an interview for a student visa to Canada?
Yes. Following payment of the visa fee, the application requires applicants to schedule an interview with the Canadian Embassy/Consulate. The visa interview is the final stage of the application process that determines whether the visa is approved.
Why are student visas denied?
Inadequate financial resources or documentation to support foreign education. Inability to confirm a required return to India after completing education. Documents that are incorrect or false. Inadequate communication or language skills.
Is it difficult to obtain a student visa for Canada?
As more people apply for a student visa, it becomes more difficult to obtain one. Because of its enormous popularity, it has a stringent visa process.
Most students studying in Canada for more than six months will require a student visa for Canada.
Students studying for six months or fewer do not require a student visa, but must apply for one if they wish to extend their studies or begin another course after they complete their initial studies.
Student visa for Canada allows full-time international students in Canada to work up to 20 hours per week on or off campus.