To study at a university in Canada, it is necessary for you to have a student visa while you remain in the country. Therefore, you must obtain a study permit that serves as a student visa in Canada.
The nation has colleges and universities that are renowned for having a teaching system based on quality. The country also has diverse cultures and offers numerous possibilities for its people. It is clear to see why you might have an interest in being educated in Canada.
You will not be required to obtain a Canadian study permit/student visa for a program or course lasting for fewer than six months. However, you would be wise to start the application process prior to coming into the country. It will be a hassle later if you make the choice to complete your education in a different program since you will be required to depart from Canada and visit a visa office in order to get the permit.
The process of applying for the Canadian study permit/student visa can seem overwhelming. Follow these steps below that will help you gain an understanding of how to apply and obtain this necessary item.
How to Get Your Student Visa (Study Permit) in Canada
1. Choose a college or university to start the application process
You might be undecided about what Canadian college you wish to attend to complete your studies, but that is a decision you must make prior to starting the application process. Once you have been accepted into a university, then you will receive a letter of acceptance that is required.
2. Determine if you are actually required to apply
The Canadian study permit/student visa is not required if any of the situations below apply. You are:
- Currently considered to be a staff or family member of a foreign associate/representative with accreditation from the Canadian Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development
- Enrolling in a program of study lasting 6 months or less
- A member of the (foreign) armed forces in accordance with the Visiting Forces Act
- A citizen of a different nation, but you are registered in Canada with an “Indian” designation
3. Start your application
Once you receive a letter of acceptance from a college, you should apply for a study permit/student visa in Canada.
The first steps to obtain your study permit/student visa: in Canada
- Go online to apply by visiting the website for the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) prior to your arrival in the country
- Provide the letter of acceptance letter you have from a recognized institution of learning, a university designated by the government of Canada)
- Give proof that you have adequate financial means to pay for studying in Canada such as tuition and living expenditures
- You must not have a criminal record when applying
- Submit your clinical records indicating that you remain in proper health and then complete any medical testing that may be required
Recent rules regarding visas indicate that if your family member works or is in the application process for obtaining a Canadian work permit, then your study permit application processing time will be approximately two-three weeks.
It is possible for you to extend your study permit/visa if the following apply: you wish to finish your education or if you’re going to switch schools. The student visa/study permit will expire 90 days (3 months) after you finish the studies and after you get a notification that the program has been completed. You are free to remain in the country for traveling or applying for your work permit to allow you to obtain employment (full-time or part-time).
4. Gather the required documentation
The required documentation includes the following:
- An application for a student permit that has been thoroughly filled out
- An original acceptance letter from the college
- A current and valid travel document or passport allowing you to go back to where you previously lived (this is not required if you live in the United States)
- Two most recent photographs (the size of a passport), with your name and your birthdate
- Proof of your financial resources or support representing tuition fees
- A completed explanation letter (letter of explanation)
- If studying in the Quebec province, you need to have French and English translations for all of your documentation in addition to a translator’s statement and copies (certified) of original documentation
- Proof you have paid any fees related to the study permit
5. Review the requirements regarding languages
If you are not coming into Canada from a country that is English-speaking, universities require that you submit adequate proof that you can proficiently speak the English language. The accepted tests for languages are the IELTS, Advanced Cambridge English, and TOEFL.
While not a required document for getting a Canadian student visa, proving your language skills are a great item to have using some type of English proficiency proof. An interview may also be required, and this depends on your personal situation.
6. Make an appointment for biometrics requirements
Based on what your own country required, you may need to visit one of the local visa application centers to take biometrics in your home country. These biometric fees will be additional fees to the regular ones associated with the visa. There are some exempt countries that do not require the biometrics, so you may not have to go to a visa application center.
Once you apply, your wait time for processing time varies and may take as long as three months. Most of this will depend on which country you live in. You are able to apply for renewal of your visa in Canada once you decide if you want to continue your education in the country.
If you are a full-time student who is registered with an institution that has been accredited, a Canadian student visa will allow you to hold a part-time campus job. You can also work off-campus or work as an intern. You may decide to remain to stay in Canada or to find new work after graduating. There are so many possibilities!
I hope that this article on how to get a Canadian student visa was helpful. If you are interested in getting scholarships in Canada, visit Canada Scholarship Page!