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6 Crucial Canada Study Visa Requirements and Processing Time

Canada has six crucial study visa requirements for international students hoping to obtain a study permit. These requirements are a must-have if you intend to enroll in any post-secondary institution in Canada, otherwise known as DLIs

Are you interested in traveling the world? Do you wish to pursue a degree while doing so? Most countries allow you to study in their country as long as you have a student visa. Often, prospective international students start with questions like what are the requirements for a study visa in Canada?

In this article, you will find all about Canada Study or Student Visa requirements, the average processing time for obtaining a study permit, and other documents you may need to present to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canada offers a high-quality, research-oriented educational system that is recognized worldwide. In addition, Canada is known as one of the safest, most secure, and multicultural environments for international students.

Most schools in Canada are less expensive than those in the U.S, Australia and the UK. In addition, affordability has made Canadian learning institutions even more attractive for students.

Canada is also rich in possibilities and cultures and offers a high-quality teaching system. Research, scientific publications, and international collaborations are three aspects that Canadian universities and other institutions of learning focus on.

Every year, more and more students declare their interest in studying in Canada. The country has remained open to all kinds of students and has an enabling environment for cultural diversification. Foreign students who study in Canada are called international students.

Canada Study Visa Requirements

One of the steps to study in Canada is to acquire a study visa. However, you will not require a study visa or study permit to study in Canada only if:

  • You are a family member of an employee of a foreign representative in Canada. Such representative must have accreditation by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.
  • Enroll in a study program that does not exceed six months
  • You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act
  • You are a citizen of another country but have a registered Indian status in Canada

6 Documents Required for Obtaining a Student Visa in Canada

These documents are very important and required at the embassy/visa office, or your student visa to study in Canada may be denied:

  1. A completed student visa application form, including all visa checklists for short-term or long-term visa, depending on your purpose of visiting Canada.
  2. An original Letter of Acceptance from your chosen Canadian institution of learning.
  3. A valid passport/travel document allows you to return to your home country.
    • International passport is not mandatory if you are a citizen of the United States (USA).
    • Two recent passport-size photographs with specifications of name and date of birth on the back if you’re applying via paper route.
    • Online applicants need to scan/upload their passport online.
  4. Proof of financial support during your studies. 
    • Proof of financial support must cover tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec).
    • Proof of payment for a study permit
    • Proof of payment for biometrics (if required for your country).
      • You do not need to provide biometrics if you have done so in the last 10 years.
  5. An explanation letter to the Visa Officer (VO), explaining your personal situation. We have an example of SOP document here.
  6. A clean criminal record. You may include a Police Character Certificate to cover for this requirement.
    • Medical examination may also be required, IRCC will inform if you need one.

If you desire to study in Quebec, you will need these extra documents:

  • Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec.
  • All required documents translated into English and French.
  • A statement from your translator.
  • The original of all of your documents.

Language Requirements for Studying in Canada

To study in Canada, you need proof of English Language proficiency as required by all Canadian universities. Applicants from recognized English-speaking countries are exempt. Accepted English Language proficiency tests in Canada are:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

If you wish to study Quebec, you must take a French language proficiency test. French Language Test is known as the Test d’evaluation de Francais (TEF).

Each of these tests has its unique guiding rules and cut-off scores. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not make preferences for any language proficiency tests. You only have to sit for one and pass the required cut-off score.

All language tests remain valid only within their first two years. Although Canada is a bilingual country, speaking both English and French, you do not need to demonstrate proficiency in both at once to get admission into any of the Canadian universities.

Canada Study Permit Processing Time

Depending on the country you are applying for, your Canadian Study Permit may take up to 90 days or more to complete all processing. However, according to recent visa regulations, your study permit can come in two weeks if you have a family member working or applying for a work permit in Canada under certain expedited visa programs.

You may also use the Student Direct Stream to get your Study Permit or Student Visa processed faster. SDS method will take about 20 working days to acquire a Student Visa. The Student Direct Stream is open only to applicants in any of these countries:

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

How To Get a Canadian Student Visa or Study Permit

There are three major steps to follow to get a Study Permit in Canada. These are:

Step 1: Apply to your University of Choice and get your Acceptance Letter

You must decide where to study in Canada before starting your student visa application process. In Canada, foreign or international students are only allowed to study in certain institutions known as Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). A DLI is an institution of learning recognized by the Canadian provincial or territorial government and has been approved to instruct international students.

After being accepted at a Canadian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa applications.

Step 2: Start your Application for the Canadian Student Visa

After receiving an acceptance letter from a Canadian higher institution of learning, you can now proceed to the next step: apply for a student visa or study permit.

You can apply for a student visa by following this process:

  • Begin the student visa application process online through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
  • Provide your acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources to cater for your studies in Canada. Proof of funding includes tuition fees and living expenses.
  • clinical records to prove you are in good health. If required of you, complete all medical examinations.
  • Pay the Study Permit fee of C$150.

If you are in a country with limited or no internet access, you can also apply for a study permit on paper and send all the required documents by post.*

Step 3: Interview and Biometric Application

You may need to appear at the Visa Application Centre in your country and have your biometrics taken.

Biometrics requirements depend on your nationality. For example, if you are a citizen of certain countries, you will not need to go through the biometrics process or even report to the Visa Application Centre. Canada visa biometrics fee is C$85 and will be paid when you report to the application center.

Also, you might be required to come for an interview depending on certain peculiarities in your application. The local Visa Application Centre you visit will charge you a small fee for this.

After these three steps, the next thing to do is to wait for your permit to be finalized, and then you can begin your traveling process to study in Canada!

Renewing your Canada Student Visa or Study Permit

Your Study Permit expires ninety days after you have finished your studies and have received a notification of program completion.

You may renew or extend the study permit if you want to further your studies in Canada, if your program has been extended or if you change your institution of learning.

Your Study Permit expires ninety days after you have finished your studies and have received a notification of program completion.

You should apply for renewal or extension of your Study Permit at least 30 days before the current one expires. You will not get a permit extension if the previous one has expired and if you travel out of Canada and your permit expires, it may become difficult for you to return to the country.

The expiry date for your Study Permit is written on the top right corner so you can readily access it and keep a regular awareness of the expiry date.

If your current study permit expires after applying for a renewal. You will be allowed to remain in Canada until it is decided if the permit will be renewed or not.


Why is my Canada Student Visa being Delayed?

Discover that your Canada Student Visa is taking so long. It may be because you did not submit all required documents and information or your application wasn’t orderly enough and will take longer to vet.

Usually, the IRCC has lots of visa applications to deal with so those that have curtained complications can be sidelined first until others have been processed. To avoid delay in getting a study permit, ensure you fill in all information properly and submit all required documents.

How do you Apply for Renewal or Extension of Study Permit in Canada?

You must log into your existing account with the Government of Canada to apply for a study permit renewal. The online account to access your profile is known as your IRCC account. You can then apply for an extension of your study permit and submit all necessary documents.

If you do not have an IRCC account before, you will have to create one to be able to renew your study permit.

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