Every year, over 130,000 international students globally choose to study at a Canadian university. This is because Canada holds the status of having one of the best institutions worldwide, the main aspects of that Canada and it’s institutions focus on are research, scientific publications, and international collaborations. They also provide numerous possibilities and vibrant culture.
However, being eligible to study in Canada requires you to have a study permit for a start.
If your course or program won’t last above 6months, there’s no getting the study permit, but if your program would last longer than six months, then a study permit is important.
As a full-time student admitted in an accredited institution, the study permit gives you an edge like, the privileges to work part-time on campus and also work off campus and interns as part of your program when you want to. You can even choose to stay back in Canada as a permanent resident after your graduation.
But how hard is it to get a Canadian student visa, also known as a Canadian study permit? Figuring this out will play a vital role when you make your decision on where you want to study. So, what do you have to do to get your Canadian student visa and how difficult is it?
Apply at a Canadian university and get your acceptance letter
If you’re still unsure of where you want to study in Canada, you will have to make that decision before you can start your student visa application process. After your acceptance into a Canadian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter which is a requirement for the visa application.
Check if you need to apply for a student visa in Canada
You can utilize the official Canadian study permit tool to check if you require a study visa or permit. You won’t require a study visa if one of the below-listed situations applies to you:
- You are admitted for a study programme that lasts less than six months.
- You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act.
- You are the family or staff member of a foreign representative in Canada, who is accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
- You hold citizenship of another country, but you have an Indian status registered in Canada.
Please note that the study permit/visa doesn’t act as a regular visa, which allows you to enter or travel to Canada. For that, you would require a travel visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Start your application for the Canadian student visa
As soon as you receive your acceptance letter from the university you applied to, it is time to proceed to the next step: applying for a student visa/study permit.
The process and requirements to acquire the Canada student visa includes;
- Acceptance letter issued by your chosen intuition in Canada. In this step, you must have applied and gained admission in an accredited education provider in Canada. Once this is done, you can proceed to the next stage.
- Next, pay for your tuition fee or deposit as required by the institution and receive your receipt of payment. This is one of the requirements for a Canadian student visa.
- After that, you should purchase the Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). This usually costs $10,000CAD. This serves as proof of funds that shows you can support your stay in Canada. You receive your first $2,000 CAD on arrival to Canada and then the $8000CAD is spread across 12 equal installments as expenditure for each month. Don’t forget to get your GIC evidence.
- Ensure you undergo medicals through a medical facility accredited by the Canadian government. You can get a list from the CIC website by visiting (http://www.cic.gc.ca/pp-md/pp-list.aspx). Also, after the medicals, you collect a result certifying you’ve gone through medicals. This is supposed to show that you’re in good health condition.
- Your visa application form is required.
- Student questionnaire and other academic documents.
- Your valid passport and also a photocopy of your biometric data is required.
- A family information form is required
- Use of representative form (IMM 5476) is also required.
- Proof of English Proficiency Test is also required to show you can communicate effectively.
Once all the above Canada student visa requirements are met, you can apply and get approved to study in Canada.
Additionally, according to the most recent visa regulations, if your family member is working or applying for a work permit in Canada, your application for the study permit will be processed in two weeks.
You can renew or extend your study permit if:
- You want to continue your studies.
- Your programme has an extension.
- You change your study institution.
Usually, study permits expire 90 days after your studies are concluded (after you receive the notification of programme completion). You can stay back in Canada to travel and explore or you can apply for the Canadian work permit, which enables you take either a full-time or a part-time job, or better still be self-employed.
How long does it take to receive the Canadian study permit?
After applying for your Canadian student visa, although usually faster, the processing time can take up to 90 days. This is totally dependent on the situation in your home country.
You can use the Student Direct Stream to land the study permit faster. The fees for the student direct stream starts at $150 CAD and the time for processing takes around 20 calendar days. The Student Direct Stream is only open to students from the following countries:
Furthermore, If you encounter any hardship during your processing of the Canadian student visa, please do let us know via the comment section. Don’t forget to hire a ICCRC authorized agent if you can afford to. They’d be of immense help to you during the process.
You can find more recent information about the Canadian student visa on the official student visa page of the Canadian government.