How to apply for a student visa in Canada | Interview, Requirements, Permit

Written by Michael Nz. on May 4, 2022

11 min read
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Are you an international student seeking to obtain a student visa to Canada? Are you wondering what is the process of a student visa in Canada, the different types of student visas in Canada, the requirements and the fees?

This article breaks them down neatly and will give you an overview of what you need to get a student visa to Canada.

Canada is a North American country. Its ten provinces and three territories stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific and north to the Arctic, covering 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), making it the second largest country in the world by area. total.

More than 130,000 international students choose to study at Canadian universities each year. In addition to a high-quality education system, Canada offers many opportunities and a vibrant culture. 

Types of student visa in Canada

It is important that you know which student visa you need in Canada as it will ensure that you have the correct application process. In Canada, there are three types of student visas.

  • The F student visa: To study at an accredited college or university in Canada, or to study English at an English language institute, you will definitely need the F student visa.
  • The J Exchange Visa: This student visa in Canada is mainly to participate in an exchange program, such as high school or university.
  • The M student visa in Canada is issued for non-academic or vocational study or training in Canada.

How does the student visa in Canada work?

To apply for a student visa in Canada, you must first understand how they work. What you need to keep in mind about student visas in Canada is that you must:

#one. Check processing times

The visa application cycle can take 3-4 weeks. It is recommended that you visit the Canadian consulate website to find out how long it will take to process the student visa.

#two. Determine your application strategy

There are two methods to apply:

Through an online application: To apply online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to make electronic copies of your documents to upload, as well as a valid credit card.

At the regional Visa Application Center, you will still be required to provide a finger scan (VAC). Remember that with the Online Applications, you must visit the VFS offices to submit your passports and provide confirmation of the form and payment of the fee.

The steps would only differ in terms of the documents you would need to bring to the VAC.

Through an in-person application: All you have to do in this case is download the application kit and read the user manual.

The instruction guide contains vital information about study permits and instructions to help you complete your application.

#3. Pay the processing fee –

Please note that you must pay visa fees in addition to VFS Global service charges when submitting an application through VFS, either in person or by mail.

In all cases, the processing fee is non-refundable.

If you are traveling with your spouse/domestic partner and/or children and are applying for temporary resident visas, work permits, or study permits for them, you must pay the applicable processing fees.

#4. Submit your application and supporting documents –

You must go to your local VFS office. Once there, pay the service fees and turn in your completed application to receive a receipt.

This receipt includes your unique tracking number, which you will need to track the status of your request online.

#5. Approval:

If your application is approved, the Government of Canada will contact you to apply for your passport.

They can submit the passport and application letter in person or through VFS. You will be granted a Temporary Resident Visa, as well as a cover letter.

Requirements and Eligibility Criteria for the Student Visa in Canada

To be eligible for a Canadian study visa, you must have a confirmed place to study at a designated organization in Canada, such as a Canadian university, community college, collège d’enseignement général et Professionnel (CEGEP), funded trade or technical school public. , or a private institution authorized to grant titles by provincial statute.

In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A letter confirming acceptance to study at a designated organization in Canada is required.
  • Applicants for studies in Quebec must also possess a Certificat acceptance du Québec (Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec, or CAQ)
  • You must have proof of sufficient funds to cover the tuition fees.
  • Have proof of financial support for the applicant and any family members traveling to Canada.
  • Have proof of funds to cover the return of the applicant and their relatives to their country of origin once they finish their studies. Provide a criminal/police record certificate from your country of origin (this should only be provided if specifically requested)
  • Be in good general health and be willing to undergo a medical examination if one is requested.
  • Applicants must intend to return to their home country after completing their studies and must persuade an immigration officer that this is the case.

Exceptions in Requirements

The exceptions are when there are certain people who do not require a Canadian study permit to study in Canada. Among these exceptions are:

  • International students planning to study in Canada for less than six months
  • Members of the families and staff of foreign representatives in Canada, such as embassy staff and other diplomatic officials
  • Members of the foreign armed forces in Canada under the Visiting Forces Act are Canadians with registered Indian status. After receiving your acceptance letter from the university, you must apply for a student visa. If you want to start the visa process in September, you should start gathering the documents in June.

You will need the following documents to apply for a Canada student visa:

1. Valid passport

To apply for a study permit, you must have a valid passport. According to the Canadian High Commission, you must have a valid passport for the duration of your intended stay in Canada.

For example, if you intend to visit Canada in September 2022 for a two-year course, your passport must be valid until at least September 2024.

2. Acceptance of a Designated Institution of Learning

You will need a letter of acceptance from the university or college you intend to attend. We refer to a university recognized by the Department of Immigration as a Designated Institute of Learning.

If you are applying for Quebec, you will also need a CAQ and it will be sent to you.

3. Proof of funds

You will be required to show proof of funds when applying for your study permit. Under current standards, you must show that you have sufficient funds to pay our tuition fees and cover your living expenses.

According to Canadian Immigration, a student would need at least CAD 10,000 for each year of stay. In addition to the two requirements above, the student must also show that she has sufficient funds for a return trip.

When completing the application form, you must show proof of the fees paid, as well as the stipulated cost of living of CAD 10,000. If you are applying for Quebec, you must have at least CAD 11,000 in your account.

4. Passport size photographs

If you choose to apply offline, you will need two qualifying passport-size photos.

For an online application, you must obtain a digital copy of the photograph no larger than 4 MB. Other requirements include a neutral facial expression, a plain background, and no headgear (unless for religious purposes).

Please note that the image must be a minimum size of 35mm x 45mm. The image must be current (not older than 6 months)

5. Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

International students from India are required by Canadian immigration to undergo a mandatory immigration medical examination by selected doctors.

Students will need to make an appointment with one of the listed doctors and visit them for a medical examination, preferably one week before starting their Visa application.

This is to allow the doctor enough time to validate and upload the required documents. The panel doctor will perform a complete physical exam and may recommend chest x-rays and laboratory tests. When your exam is complete, the doctor will send the results to CIC.

6. English Language Proficiency Test Score

Although not required at the time of application, we strongly recommend that you take the English language proficiency test and obtain your English language proficiency score before beginning your visa application process.

To confirm your admission to the Canadian university, you would have had to submit your English language proficiency score. TOEFL, IELTS and other tests are all acceptable.

7. Statement of purpose

When applying for a Canadian study permit, you must submit an essay explaining why you are visiting Canada and why you have chosen this particular institution.

They will ask for it as an optional document on the checklist, but we strongly encourage you to submit it.

8. Credit card

If you apply online, you will also need a credit card to pay the application fee. The Canadian visa application fee is CAD 160. Please note that the system only accepts credit cards and does not accept debit cards.

It is also not required to be your credit card. You can use your parents’ credit cards if you have explicit permission to do so.

Other requirements

In addition to the above, if you apply online, you will need access to a digital scanner. However, if you apply offline, you must have certified copies of all the documents listed above.

It is important to note that when applying online, you will be required to download some documents, fill them out, print them and sign them. As a result, scanner availability must be coordinated.

You can also upload a high-quality digital image to the system. For a camera, we recommend a scanner.

The interviewer may request additional documents during the personal interview. These can be documents that prove academic or financial status. These could include:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from all schools you have attended
  • Test results such as TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
  • They completed their intention to leave Canada once the course of study
  • How will you pay for all educational, housing, and travel expenses?

How long is the Canada student visa valid?

The study permit expires 90 days after the completion of your studies (after receiving a notice of completion of the program).

You can continue to travel and explore Canada, or you can apply for a work permit, which allows you to work full-time, part-time, or even independently.

The Draft Claim must be in writing and payable to the Canadian High Commission. VACs only accept cash payments.

Fees and cost of the student visa in Canada

Based on the current exchange rate, a study permit in Canada costs CAD 150, which is roughly equivalent to INR 8,873 (as shared on the CIC website). Because the exchange rate fluctuates, we recommend that you check it when applying for your visa.

Meanwhile, online and offline applications for Canadian visas are available. As a result, they can pay the visa processing fees online (by credit card) or offline (by demand money order if paying at the Canadian High Commission) or in cash at the VAC. They must pay this fee at the time they submit the application, or they must provide a payment receipt online.

We must take out the draft demand in Indian rupees in favor of the Canadian High Commission. VACs only accept cash payments. Also, the visa fee does not include VAC service charges. You will be required to pay any additional service charges that apply in your region. In addition, for each payment received, they will issue a receipt. Keep your payment receipt as proof of payment.

After submitting their visa application, students must pay a biometric fee of CAD 85. Candidates must pay this fee in addition to the standard visa fee. After that, they will collect your biometric data at a Visa Application Center.

Also, the visa fee does not include VAC service fees. You will be required to pay any additional service fees that apply in your area. In addition, they will issue a receipt for each payment received. As proof of payment, please save your payment receipt.

How to apply for a student visa in Canada?

Study Permit Application

In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Some Canadians are eligible to apply for a study permit. In some cases, you can apply at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada. Make sure you know the options available to you.

If you want to apply for a study permit, you must do it online, whether you are outside of Canada or already here.

If you are unable to apply online due to a disability or a technical problem with the online application, you may apply on paper.

There are two options for applying for a study permit: online or at a visa application center in your home country. We recommend that you apply for a study permit as soon as you receive an acceptance letter from a Canadian college or university.

Obtaining a study permit can take up to three months, depending on the country where you apply.

Apply for a student visa in Canada

When applying for a student visa in Canada, you may be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph). If you need to provide biometrics with your application, you must go in person to the nearest Visa Application Center (VAC).

If you must provide biometric information, please do not mail your study permit application. Instead, submit it to the VAC when your biometrics are collected.

On the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website, you can check the status of your study permit application. They update the data daily. To get started, you need to create an account on the site.

Occasionally, the processing center may request additional information from you.

Canada Student Visa Processing Time

Your Canada student visa processing time can take up to 90 days after you apply but is usually much faster.

This also depends on the situation in your country of origin. You can get your study permit faster if you use Student Direct Stream.

Fees start at $150 CAD and processing time averages around 20 calendar days. Student Direct Stream is only available to students from the countries listed below:

  • China
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • the Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Vietnam

Can I get a student visa in Canada without IELTS?

The list of documents required for a Canadian student visa does not include proof of English language proficiency.

However, unless you are from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require proof of English language proficiency. Accepted language tests include:

  • iBT
  • PTE Academic
  • C1 Advanced
  • IELTS Academy

Work while you study in Canada

If you are enrolled in a post-secondary program in Canada and want to work, you can.

International students with a study permit can work part-time (less than 20 hours per week) without a work permit.

You must apply for a work permit if you want to work full-time or participate in an internship while studying. Your spouse or common-law partner is also eligible to apply for a work permit.

Canadian study permit holders who meet the eligibility criteria have been allowed to work on or off-campus without the need for a separate work permit since June 1, 2014.

Students who meet the following criteria may work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full time during the academic year:

  • You must be enrolled in a Canadian university, community college, CEGEP, publicly funded trade or technical school, or a private institution authorized by provincial statute to award degrees.
  • A full-time student is required.
  • You must be enrolled in a post-secondary program in Canada, or you must be enrolled in a vocational program at the secondary level or a program at the post-secondary level in Quebec.
  • A valid student visa for Canada is required.
  • You must be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • You must be enrolled in a program that lasts at least 6 months.

Frequent questions

Is it easy to get a student visa in Canada?

Many students aspire to pursue an education in Canada because it is a highly desirable study destination. However, due to the sheer volume of applicants, Canada’s popularity makes obtaining a visa much more difficult.

Is it possible to get a student visa for Canada?

According to CIC, an average of 30% of all student visa applications to Canada are rejected each year. Most of these rejections are based on common reasons.

Is there an interview for a student visa to Canada?

Yes. After payment of the visa fee, the application requires applicants to schedule an interview with the Canadian Embassy/Consulate. The visa interview is the final stage of the application process that determines whether the visa is approved.

Why are student visas denied?

Inadequate financial resources or documentation to support education abroad. Inability to confirm a required return to India after completion of education. Incorrect or false documents. Inadequate communication or language skills.

Is it difficult to get a student visa to Canada?

As more people apply for a student visa, it becomes more difficult to obtain one. Due to its huge popularity, it has a strict visa process.


Most students studying in Canada for more than six months will require a Canadian student visa.

Students studying for six months or less do not need a student visa but must apply for one if they wish to further their studies or start another course after completing their initial studies.

The Canada Student Visa allows full-time international students in Canada to work up to 20 hours per week on or off-campus.

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