A Canada study visa enables you to go to and study in Canada. Part-time employment is permitted on this visa, and you also qualify for student facilities while you are in the country.
According to The Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022, Canada is home to 30 of the world’s top 500 universities. The number of international students opting to study in Canada keeps growing every year. A sizable number of these students stay back in Canada after finishing their studies.
Canada is a top destination for international students from all over the world. If you are interested in studying in Canada, you will first need to obtain a Canadian study permit.
Applying For Study Visa
Obtaining a study permit allows you to attend a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) in Canada legally. While applying for study permit, the foreign nation should be aware that there are eligibility requirements which must be met when you submit the study permit application. In fact, there are certain terms and conditions which must be met by students throughout their stay in Canada.
There are many steps involved with applying for a study permit and the processing times vary greatly from country-to-country, so it is best to plan ahead to ensure your permit will be processed before your study period begins. The majority of Canadian post-secondary educational programs commence study in September, January, or May, though a number of programs do offer intakes outside of those dates.
Since a foreign national cannot apply for a study permit without an acceptance letter, they should check the start date and application process for their schools and programs of interest far in advance to ensure they have sufficient time to obtain the acceptance letter and complete the study permit application.
Study Permit Requirements
There are two sets of requirements you must consider when applying for a Canadian study permit: eligibility requirements, and requirements while studying in Canada.
You must meet these criteria in order to be eligible to apply for a study permit:
Acceptance Letter: You must have an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in order to apply for a Canadian study permit.
Proof of Financial Support: You must provide documentation proving that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of tuition for your first year of study as well as the cost of living (housing, food, etc.) for yourself and any accompanying family members for your first year of study.
Please Note: that these funds can be under your name or the name of a family member or close friend.
Supporting Documentation: Extensive supporting documentation must be submitted with all study permit applications. This documentation varies from country-to-country. In order to determine the documents required for a specific location, you can consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, or you can contact our firm and one of our Educational Counsellors will contact you with assistance.
When you apply for your permit, the visa officer will confirm to ensure you meet the requirements. If the visa officer is not satisfied, they will refuse your application.
Requirements while studying in Canada
If your study permit is approved and you enter Canada as an international student, you must meet the requirements below in order to maintain the validity of your study permit. While studying in Canada under a study permit, a foreign national must:
- always be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
- make progress towards completing their program
- respect any conditions listed on their study permit
- stop studying if they no longer meet the requirements and
- leave Canada when their permit expires
- Birth and Leaving Certificate
- Passport size photographs
- Valid Passport
- Attested Copies of 10th & 12th Marksheet, Credit & Trial Certificates
- Diploma’s Mark sheet, Degree Certificate/Provisional Certificate
- Statement of Purpose
- ITI’s Mark sheet, Degree Certificate
- Bachelor’s Mark sheet, Degree Certificate/Provisional Certificate (Transcript if required)
- Master’s Mark sheet, Degree Certificate/Provisional Certificate (Transcript if required)
- Work Experience Letter if required
- English Proficiency IELTS/PTE certificate
Steps to Apply for a Study Visa for Canada
Step 1: Research to know what’s best for you
It is compulsory for all foreign students to obtain a student authority and visa before migrating to study in Canada. Understand what course fits your career goals the best, the cost of living, visa costs, internships and placement opportunities, and other factors to make an informed decision.
As this requires a lot of research, seeking an expert for help is your best bet. Professionals can guide you through this process in ease and avoid future regrets.
Step 2: Shortlist the best Universities in Canada
Browse the website of the shortlisted colleges/Universities and choose the ones that best match your expectation in terms of quality of education, ranking, programme structure, programme fee and other facilities for international students. You can also call them up or visit their social communities and have your questions answered.
International students should verify that the desired institution is a DLI( Designated Learning Institution). Only universities on this list are considered for a study permit. In the absence of a study permit, you cannot get a visa. For a full list of all DLIs by province, please refer to the Designated Learning Institution List.
International students are required to pursue studies at a DLI as this status is required to get entry into the country.
Step 3: Prepare For Entrance Exam
There are 7 entrance exams for immigration to Canada. The ones you need to take depend on the program you plan on pursuing.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL : This is a language test. It measures how well you speak English and your adaptability to the country. It is an easy exam that you should clear if you have basic knowledge of the language. However, do not underestimate this exam. High scores will increase your chances of being selected and may also help you receive entrance scholarships from universities. It is always best to show a foreign country that you are adept at the language they speak in.
- Graduate Record Exam Graduate Record Exam (GRE): This is an exam that tests graduate program students on their quantitative and analytical skills. This test measures how well a foriegn student would be able to keep with university courses. A high score on this exam could go a long way.
- SAT: This is a very common standardized test. It is mainly administered in the US but there are prestigious universities in Canada that require you to take this test. Your test results can be sent directly to a few universities of your choice for no cost at all. SATs take a lot of preparation, and it is best to take them seriously.
- Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): This is a test that graduate students looking to pursue management programs need to take. MBAs need GMAT scores. It tests your quantitative, verbal and reasoning skills. It is a computer-based exam. You can take them upto five times every year.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS): This test is very similar to the IELTS exam. You can take either exam to prove your language skills. Just like the IELTS, it is important to score high on this exam.
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): This is a test for students joining medical programs. It serves as a prerequisite for joining medical programs. It helps universities determine whether a student is equipped to handle their program. There are four sections to this test Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample and Biological Sciences.
Step 4: Finance Your Studies
Living in a foreign country can be expensive, especially when you factor in the exchange rate. There is rent, tuition fees and several expenses that can add up in the long run. You need to have a solid financial plan, and cannot depend on funding it with a part-time job when you get there.
The government needs to see that you have sufficient funds in your account for them to move forward with your application. Therefore make sure you have evidence that you have the funds, be it a bank statement or an accepted loan application.
Step 5: Apply to university
Apply to the universities well before the deadline to avoid unwarranted mistakes. Speaking to university delegates is a great idea, as they can help you out with information that you may not find on their websites. Canadian universities are very intuitive and applying is easy. However, to know how to make your application stand out, contact us.
Once a prospective student has selected a Canadian university or college, he or she may refer to that institution’s website or contact the office of admissions for information on how to apply. Many institutions receive applications electronically online.
In general, an applicant may receive a decision on an application within four to six months after the application deadline. Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Acceptance, which may be used in the application for a Canada Study Permit.
Step 6: Letter of Acceptance to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution
The Letter of Acceptance is mandatory in the application for a Canada study permit. To obtain a Letter of Acceptance, a potential student may first submit an application to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If he or she is successful, the institution may issue a Letter of Acceptance.
The universities will email you acceptance letters when you get in. You must respond to your desired university within a stipulated period of time. Once you have accepted their offer, there are several things to take care of. If there are scholarships that you have in mind, now would be the time to apply to them.
You also need to apply for your study permit and find a place to live. If choosing to live in university dorms, applying early is advisable as they fill up fast. It is also important to keep track of dates, so that you know exactly when to make your way to Canada.
The country does not entertain students coming in earlier than required for their courses, and you will be sent back. You also do not want to arrive too late, and miss important events like orientation.
Step 7: Get your Student Visa
Once you get admission confirmation done, you can apply for your student visa. It is important to do this at the earliest. You will not be able to travel to Canada without one even if your session has started. This is also why it is important to apply for your study permit as this enables you to apply for your visa. There is also a question of not getting through your interview the very first time, so make sure you start procedure well before your program start date.
Are you worried about going through the process of applying for a study visa in Canada? ODMIT Experts, will be there for you as a backbone in assisting you in the whole process. We will guide you entirely throughout the process.
Student Visa and their Dependents
If you have a spouse or child under 18 that needs to come to Canada with you during your studies they are also able to apply for a visa.
Your spouse would have the ability to apply for an Open Work Permit, which would be valid for the same amount of time as the duration of your study program. This type of permit doesn’t require them to have a job before arriving in Canada, it simply gives them the option of working during their time in the country.
If you have a child joining you during your studies in Canada then the child may enter as a visitor as long as there is proof of your study program and study permit.
Intakes in Canadian Universities
The fall, winter, and summer are the three academic intakes at the institutions in Canada.
- Fall – Lasts from September to December.
- Winter – Lasts from January to April.
- Summer – Lasts from May to August.
Going through all the above details, pursuing studies in Canada as an international student seems to be a bit confusing and stressful. ODMIT is there to help you to keep the student visa for Canada process simple.
Our professionals will guide you on applying for a study permit in Canada from the beginning till the end. We guide students to identify and apply for the right course in a destined institution that is better for their life and career.
Don’t wait. Begin your visa application today!
How long does the visa process take?
It can take up to 90 days to process your visa application, so it’s wise to get it submitted as soon as you have a valid letter of acceptance from your college or university.
If you’re from one of the countries listed above, you may be able to use the Student Direct Stream (SDS) to get your study permit faster (usually within 20 days). Fees begin from 150 CAD.
What if your Canada study permit is declined?
Canadian study permits are in high demand so, unfortunately, it’s common for applications to be rejected.
Getting your application right in the first place can save you lots of stress and money. Here are some of the most common reasons behind rejections, and how to fix them.
Inadequate financial funds: Meeting the minimum financial threshold isn’t always enough. Your application will be more convincing if it proves you have sufficient funds for more than just a year.
Unsuitable letter of acceptance: You need a watertight acceptance letter from a registered Canadian DLI.
Missing documents: If you fail to attach your language test scores and travel documents, your application will be rejected.
Plans to return home: Study permits are only temporary visas, so you need to prove that you intend to go back to your home country after your studies.
If your study permit is still rejected by the IRCC, you will be told why in the refusal letter. You can reapply for your study permit at any time, but make sure you’ve addressed the issues in your previous submission.
If you think your first application was wrongly rejected, you can always launch an appeal.