Canada Student VISA – Canada is one of the best study abroad destinations for international students. By 2017, it has attracted around 5 lakh international students to pursue studies at all levels. Being an Indian student, you would need to obtain a Canadian study permit to pursue higher education in Canada. It serves as a Canadian student VISA for the duration of their stay in the country. Students do not need a Canadian study permit if their course or program lasts for six months duration or less. In 2016, international students contributed CAD 15.5 billion to the economy through tuition payments, accommodations etc. In a survey conducted in 2018, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) listed the top three reasons why students choose Canada, that include:
- Canada’s quality education system
- Welcoming and non-discriminatory society
- Reputation as a safe country
In this article, we will explore all relevant information about Canada student VISA, its application process, VISA fees, top Canadian universities and scholarships.
Canada Student VISA – Key Facts
Key points to remember about a student permit to study in Canada:
- A student permit is a document which allows international students to study in Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada.
- Students should apply for the Canada student VISA before travelling to Canada.
- Canadian student permit alone does not allow students to enter Canada. Students would need to apply for a temporary resident VISA or electronic travel authorization (ETA).
- A student permit is valid till the length of the course/program in the Canadian university plus an extra 90 days.
- Students have to re-apply for VISA extension if they cannot finish up their course within the VISA deadline.
If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies.
- If an applicant’s school has asked them to take some courses before they will accept them into the main program (conditional acceptance), authorities will issue their study permit for the length of these courses.
- If students plan to leave Canada during a college break (such as the summer, or winter holidays and spring break), they may need to show proof that they are enrolled in the school when they return to Canada.
Canada Student VISA – Eligibility Requirements
- Students must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
- They need to show proof that they have enough money to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses for themselves and any family members who come with them to Canada.
- They can pay return transportation for themselves and any family members who come with them to Canada
- They must obey the law and have no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada.
- They may have to provide a police certificate.
- Having good health is necessary for which the students need to complete a medical exam.
- Students need to convince the immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their studies.
Read here If you want to know the cost of living in Canada
Canada Student VISA – Exceptions in Student VISA
The students are exempted from student permit under the following conditions –
Pursuing short term courses
- The applicant has applied for a course or program which is for six months or less.
- The studies aren’t part of a longer program.
- They will complete all their studies within the time they have been approved to stay in Canada by the authorities.
Family or staff of foreign representatives
They may not need a study permit if they are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
Members of Foreign Armed Forces
If you are a member of a Foreign Armed Forces in Canada on official duties, you don’t need a study permit.
Minority children in Canada
Applicants who are in kindergarten and are refugees or refugee claimants. They have parents who are refugees or refugee claimants. They want to go to pre-school, primary or secondary school and are already in Canada with a parent who is legally settled in Canada. They do not need to apply for student permit.
If you want to know about Part-time jobs in Canada, check out the article on working while studying in Canada.
Canada Student VISA – How to Apply?
A student must keep in mind the following points before applying for the student permit:
- They would need an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
- Students must carry a valid passport or travel document.
- They must have proof of support for themselves, and for any family members who come with them, while they are in Canada.
Students must apply for a study permit before they come over to Canada. Applying online helps them with the following:
- No courier fees or mail delivery time as the applications are received immediately.
- The applications may be processed more quickly.
- It helps to make sure that the application is complete before they submit it.
- They can quickly submit more documents online if asked.
- Student gets updates on the status of their application directly in their online account.
Step-by-step Online Application Process:
Step 1: Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website here and follow the instructions to apply for the student permit.
Step 2: Students need to answer two questions – Where they are applying from? and How do they want to apply?
Step 3: If students are applying from India then they would select – Outside Canada and apply via online/on-paper.
Step 4: Pre-requisites before applying: Scanner to scan and create electronic copies of documents, and a valid credit or debit card to pay application fees.
Step 5: Read the application guide on the website and prepare all the answers that will be required to be given during the application process.
Step 6: Gather documents (mentioned in the next section) – Applicants should gather documents which are translated and authorized by the notary.
Step 7: Fill this form along with other documents (if applicable) given on the website. Students are advised to fill true information related to personal details, language, passport, contact, details of the intended study in Canada, education, employment, family information etc.
Step 8: Pay application fees – Students need to find if they have to give biometrics from the website. Student needs to pay CAD 150 for student permit and CAD 85 for biometrics per person. Students will need to have an email ID and valid credit card to make a payment over here.
Step 9: In this step, students who have completed the application form, gathered documents and paid the fees need to go online and create an account to upload the application and supporting documents. Students can create a login via two ways:
- Online banking login (Sign-In Partner)
- Government of Canada login (GCKey)
Step 10: Submit the form online
Note: Students who are unable to apply online can send the application on-paper (more details on the website).
Canada Student VISA – Documents required
Depending on the applicant, the following documents are required to apply for a Canada student VISA:
- Proof of acceptance
- Proof of identity
- Proof of financial support
- Depending on your case you may also need:
- Letter of explanation
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
- Custodian declaration (minors only)
If you would like to go through details about the valid documents, CLICK HERE
Canada Student VISA – Student Direct Stream (SDS)
A Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a process by which the applications of candidates belonging to countries mentioned below can be processed faster. Students who fit the following criteria are eligible for SDS:
- A legal resident living in China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam.
- They have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution.
- They can prove that they can pay tuition fees for their first year of study.
- They are living outside of Canada during the application.
- They have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 10,000 and have a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, if planning to study in the city of Quebec, Canada.
- They have given a medical exam before applying.
- They must possess a police certificate before applying
- They have a language test result that shows:
- A score of 6.0 or higher in each skill on IELTS or
- Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
Canada Student VISA – Top Canadian Universities
Canada’s top two universities – the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia are ranked particularly high for global research impact, which means that these schools produce high-quality academic work.
Based on TIMES ranking, the following universities have been globally ranked and a huge number of applications are received by international students here:
- University of Toronto
- University of British Columbia
- Mc Gill University
- Mc Master University
- University of Montreal
Canada Student VISA – Financial aid and scholarships
If you choose Canada as your study or research destination, then there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available to support your studies or post-study period.
CLICK HERE – to read about various scholarships available to international students by Edu-Canada.