Get your Canada student visa with step-by-step guidance on the application process, documents, processing time, study, and work permit. Apply today with experts.
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 and you are eligible for the Student Direct Stream
The Student Direct Stream or SDS is a streamlined application process for the study permit, which guarantees faster processing times of around 20 days.
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 competence linguistics Canadians.
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:
- 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.
Two Options to Apply, Apply Online
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.
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. At present, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, processing times may be slower than usual. You can check for updates on the processing time for your student visa on their website.
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 in India 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. 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. 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 existing medical conditions
- The Medical Report Form (IMM 1017E), sent by the Visa office.
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.