The student visa application process for Canada begins with receiving an admission offer from a Canadian university, you will need a study permit to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada and a student visa to live in Canada.
If you are an Indian student applying for your study permit or temporary resident visa, you do not need to submit your biometrics along with your visa application. However, if you apply after December 31, 2018, you will have to submit your biometrics.
Get your Documents Ready
To apply for your study permit, you will need to provide:
- a copy of your acceptance letter from a DLI
- a copy of the confirmation of your medical examination
- proof of your Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000
- proof of tuition fee payment for at least the first year
- proof that you have taken a language test with a minimum score of 6 for English (International English Language Testing System), or a minimum score of 7 for French in the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (Test d’évaluation de français).
Once your documents are ready, you can either apply online or on paper. The visa application fee is CAD 150.
Check Your Eligibility
To apply for a study permit, you should:
- Be enrolled at a DLI
- Have sufficient finances to cover your tuition, living expenses and a return trip to your country after completing your program at the DLI
- Not have a criminal record or be a threat to the security of Canada
- Complete a medical exam to prove you are in good health
- Convince the immigration officer that you will return to your home country after completing your education program in Canada
In addition to these documents, you can also provide a letter of explanation to support your visa application. This letter should inform the committee of your career goals, the reason why you have selected a particular program, how you are prepared to cope with this program, and why you have decided to pursue the program in Canada.
Two Options to Apply
To apply online, you will need to create an account on the Government of Canada website. You will also need electronic copies of all your documents and a credit card to pay the application fee.
Here are the steps you will have to follow if you decide to apply for your visa online:
- The first step is to create an account. This account will help you prepare your application and submit it online, and later you can check the status of your visa application.
- After providing details about your background and program that you have been admitted into, you will receive an email with details about your login and password.
- Once you login to your account with the details provided in the email, you can upload all the necessary documents that have been listed.
- After uploading your documents, you can pay your visa fee of CAD150 (~Rs 7,800).
- You can then submit and track your visa application.
Apply On Paper
If you decide to apply on paper, you should read the instruction guide provided on the Government of Canada’s website. Once your visa application is ready, you can send it to a visa application center that covers your area. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed and will be returned to you.
To apply on paper, you will have to follow these steps:
- Get your documents ready. You will need certified copies of each document. Additionally, you will have to translate any, if required. Your documents must either be in English or French. Once you get the documents translated, you will need an affidavit from the person who completed the translation. You will also be required to provide a certified copy of the original as well.
- You will have to fill out all the forms in the application.
- After you have gathered your documents and filled out your application, you will have to pay the application fee and the biometrics fee.
- After paying your biometrics fee, you will have to get your biometrics ready.
- You can now submit your application.
Wait for your visa application to be processed
According to the Canadian government’s website, the time taken to process a visa application can vary depending on a range of factors. However, the estimated time for a Canadian student visa for an Indian student is 5 weeks. You can check the estimated processing time for your student visa on their website.
Student Direct Stream
The Student Direct Stream or SDS is a streamlined application process for the study permit, which guarantees faster processing times of 45 days or less. SDS is aimed at students with strong English or French language skills, who wish to study a program at a DLI.
According to the Government of Canada website, you will have to meet the following requirements for you to qualify for the SDS:
- You will need a letter of admission from a DLI
- You will have to demonstrate the necessary knowledge level in French or English
- You will need to demonstrate that you have adequate finances to cover your entire education and living expenses while in Canada
- You will have to provide the results of your medical examination
Get your GIC
The GIC or the Guaranteed Investment Certificate is one of the documents you will be required to submit to get your study permit. You can obtain your GIC of $10,000 from a participating financial institution
As Scotiabank and ICICI Bank Canada are the only participating Canadian financial institutions at present, you can open a GIC account with either of these banks. You will receive a guaranteed rate of interest for 12 months. These funds can help ease your expenses during your study program. After 12 months, you will get back your original investment along with the accrued interest.
In addition to the GIC, you will also need sufficient funds to cover your expenses while studying in Canada.
The Government of Canada expects you to have your health checked before you apply for a student visa. Your medical test will have to be conducted by one of the physicians listed on their website. This generally happens around a month after you have submitted your application. However, you also have the option to get the medical examination done before you submit your student visa application.
While going for your medical examination, carry the following:
- proper ID in the form of your passport, driver’s license or national identity card
- Spectacles or contact lenses, if you wear either
- Test results or medical records of previous or exisiting medical conditions
- The Medical Report Form (IMM 1017E), sent by the Visa office
Once the physician has completed your test, your results will be sent directly to the embassy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is IELTS required for a Canada student visa?
The IELTS is required to obtain a study permit, which will allow you to study at a Canadian institution and get a temporary residence visa for the duration of your course.
How many bands are required to study in Canada?
You require a minimum of 6 bands in order to study in Canada.
How many backlogs are allowed for Canada student visa?
According to our expert on Canada visas, once you have been accepted by a designated learning institution in Canada, your backlogs will not be a concern for the visa officer.
What is the age limit for a student visa in Canada?
There is no age limit specified to get a Canadian student visa.
How many years is the Canadian student visa valid for?
Your study permit or a stamp on your visa will indicate how long your student visa is valid for and how long you can stay in the country. The validity usually depends on the length of your program. If your program is over two years, you have the option to stay back for 3 years. However, if your program is less than two years, you will be able to stay back for the same number of months as the duration of your program.
Can I work with a student visa in Canada?
While working in Canada, either on campus or off, is an option for most students with study permits, there are certain criteria you may have to meet in order to do this. Additionally, if you have opted to pursue a co-op program or a program with an internship, you will require a work permit.
How long can I stay in Canada after graduation?
In order to stay in Canada after you graduate, you will need a work permit. Your study permit will expire 90 days after you complete your study program.
Can international students work in Canada after graduation?
As an international student, you need a work permit to work in Canada after you graduate. You can do this, by applying for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. This program provides you with a work permit that is valid for the duration of the study program. The maxmimum validity period for this permit is three years.
How long does it take to get PR in Canada?
As an international student in Canada, you are required to work for two years before applying for permanent residency. It can take anywhere between one and three years to get your PR.ree
What is SPP Canada visa?
SPP or Student Partner’s Program has been discontinued.