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Financial Documents Required for Student Visa in Canada

Immigration regulations mandate international students to meet certain financial requirements in other to apply for study visa.

Prospective students from countries outside Canada must provide certain financial documents in support of their student visa (and permit) application in Canada. We previously described proof of funds requirements for foreign students in another topic, but will try to further buttress on this here.

Many international students prefer Canada as the destination to pursue their higher education abroad because of the quality of education that Canadian higher institutions of education offer. Apart from quality education that you can get in Canadian higher institutions, you will also discover that the cost of education in Canada is relatively low compared to other countries. Students who also wish to stay back in Canada after graduation also have the opportunity to do so.

Before you can study in Canada as an international student, you must show a proof of sufficient fund and also present some financial documents needed for Canada study permit. This will show that you have enough money that you need for your tuition and living expenses in Canada.

If you do not have enough proof that you can support yourself financially, then you will lose your chances of obtaining Canada study permit or visa. So, in order to be eligible to apply for Canada study permit, you must be able to show a proof of fund with the financial documents needed for Canada study permit.

Simply put: you must prove that have enough money to carter for yourself, your spouse or any family member accompanying you to Canada.

What is Proof of Funds (POF)?

As an international student, your proof of fund shows that you have enough money to take care of yourself and family members for the duration of time you will stay in Canada for your studies.  Your proof of fund does not only cover your tuition fee but also other costs you will incurs while in Canada.

Ways of Showing Proof of Fund

You can show your proof of fund and financial documents needed for Canada study permit in many ways. The different ways include:

  • Cash
  • Guaranteed investment certificate (GIC)
  • Fixed Assets (immovable property such as house and land)
  • Liquid Assets (Savings/current accounts, fixed deposits, policy investments, vehicle resale price, gold)
  • Sponsorship (Financial support from relatives and non-relatives living outside/inside of Canada)

Cash

Cash is one way to show your proof of fund. Cash is the money you have at hand while entering Canada and you can use them as a proof of fund in Canada. When you want to use cash as a proof of fund, you must show it to the immigration officer at the port of entry.

However, you are not advised to use cash as proof of fund since, you cannot show any document to support it.The immigration officer may want to see the financial documents needed for Canada study permit and you may not be able to show it if you are using cash as your primary proof of fund.

Sponsorship

Most parents sponsor their children for study on Canada, some parents sell their houses or land and deposit a large sum of cash in the student’s bank account. To prove that you have access to the fund, you must do the following

  • proof of relationship to the owner of assets
  • proof of ownership
  • proof of sale
  • Include the details in the letter of support

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Another way of showing your proof of fund is through having a GIC account. When you have a GIC account from your country, then they will keep sending you money an a monthly basis in your Canadian bank account.

You must open an online bank account in your country, then, when you arrive in Canada, then you will open another GIC account with an approved financial institution in Canada where you will receive your money monthly. When you have completed your account opening in Canada, then you will send in CAD $10200 to the account. This is where you will be receiving money every month for the duration of your study in Canada.

After everything, you will be issued a receipt which you must print out because you are going to to attach it to your visa application as your proof of fund and financial document needed for Canada study permit. 

How to use your CAD $10,000 in GIC account.

On your arrival in Canada, you will receive an initial CAD $2,000 as set up costs, then the remaining money will be divided into 12 for the 12 months of the year. In this way, you will be getting CAD $667 every month.

Eligible Canadian Financial Institutions for GIC

The following financial institutions can be used for  GICs by international students. They include:

  1. Bank of Beijing
  2. Bank of China
  3. Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  4. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  5. DesjardinsFootnote1
  6. Habib Canadian Bank
  7. HSBC Bank of Canada
  8. ICICI Bank
  9. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  10. RBC Royal Bank
  11. SBI Canada Bank
  12. Scotiabank

The amount of money needed as proof of funds for applying for Canada study permit always depends on the type of program and the duration of the program that going to Canada for.

Furthermore, if your family members are going with you to Canada, then it will also determine the amount needed as proof of fund and also financial documents needed for Canada study permit. 

Amount of fund based on program

For international students travelling alone into Canada, you can calculate the amount of proof of fund using a simple formula.

Amount for one year program

The amount of money you take with you must be able to cover both your tuition and the cost of living in Canada for one year.

The standard amount used as proof of fund for one year is CAD $10,000. 

Amount for two years program

The amount to use as proof of fund for two years program must at least cover 1st year tuition fees with 2 years cost of living in Canada.

Amount of fund based on family members

If you plan to travel with a family member, you must also provide fund for every family member that will accompany you. Then, you should add an additional amount. For example

If you and 2 family members want to come to a province outside Quebec for a year, you will need

living expenses: $10,000 (for the student)

living expenses: $4,000 (for the first family member)

living expenses: $3,000 (for the second family member)

Total: $17,000 + 1st year tuition fee (for one year)

Financial documents needed as proof of funds for Canada Study Permit

Financial documents needed for Canada study permit depend on the financial option that the student wishes to select. When applying for study permit, you can choose to use any of the following ways as documents for proof of fund.

  • Self-funding
  • GIC
  • Scholarship
  • Financial support from relatives
  • Financial support from non-relatives
  • Financial support from within Canada

Self funding financial documents

You can decide to fund your studies in Canada as an international student if you have enough money to sponsor your education in Canada. This means that you must have money to cover both for your tuition and cost of living in Canada including that of accompanying relatives if any.

Documents needed for self funding

Employment Certificate and three month pay slips or proof of business (such as business license under your name)

  • Your bank statements for the last six months (also include Bank certificates)
  • Income tax return for past two years
  • Proof of GIC (mandatory in SDS but optional in the regular stream)
  • Proof of Fixed Assets (immovable property such as house and land) (if any)
  • Proof of Liquid Assets (fixed deposits, policy investments, vehicle resale price, gold)(if any)
  • First-year tuition fee (mandatory in SDS but optional in the regular stream).

GIC

GIC means Guaranteed Investment Certificate. This program helps students to invest in an approved Canadian financial institution who will disburse the money to you on a monthly basis throughout the duration of your program. Financial documents issued to you can serve as a proof of fund for Canada study permit.

Documents needed for GIC

  • a letter of attestation
  • a GIC certificate
  • an Investment Directions Confirmation or
  • an Investment Balance Confirmation

Scholarship

Some students get either government or an agency scholarship to study in Canada. Such students also need to provide certain documents as proof of fund for Canada study permit. 

Documents needed for Scholarships

  • First-year tuition fee (mandatory in SDS but optional in the regular stream)
  • An official letter from the sponsoring organization is mandatory requirement.
  • The official letter must include e full amount of the award its duration, and any governing conditions.

First-year tuition fee

You can as well use your first year tuition fee as a proof that you can sponsor yourself in Canada for the duration of your study. This means showing evidence that you have paid your first year tuition fee in full. 

Documents needed for First Year tuition fee

You can submit any of these documents as a proof that you have paid your first year tuition fee and any to use it as document needed for Canada study permit.

  • a receipt from the a designated learning institution
  • an official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees
  • a receipt from a bank showing that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
  • proof that the tuition fee amount has been transferred into a repository account at the DLI to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date

Financial Documents from non-relatives

Financial documents needed to prove financial support from non-relatives include all the documents needed for your relatives except that you don’t need to show status of relationship, then you will provide an affidavit or letter of support with a detailed explanation person is sponsoring you.

Financial support from within Canada

You can also get a sponsor from Canada who can provide you with food, accommodation and transport. 

Financial Documents needed for Support from within Canada

For financial support from within Canada, you need to provide the following financial documents

  • Official identification documents
  • A certificate of employment and three months’ payslip
  • Bank statement and certificate
  • T4 (T4 is a tax document in Canada)
  • Tenancy certificate
  • Proof of relationship (if any)
  • Affidavit or letter of support

Financial support from relatives

Relatives who can sponsor your study in Canada include your father, mother, grandparents, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, and cousins. These relatives can also decide to provide financial support for your studies and living expenses in Canada.

Financial documents needed to prove financial support from relatives

  • Sponsor’s government Id
  • Income Tax Returns of your relative for the past two years
  • Reference letter from your relative. Also known as Affidavit. Check a sample of Affidavit
  • Relatives bank statements (stamped) for the last six months plus bank certificate
  • Employment Certificate and three months payslips or proof of business (business license under the sponsor’s name)
  • First-year tuition fee (mandatory in SDS but optional in the regular stream)
  • Proof of your relationship
  • Proof of GIC (mandatory in SDS but optional in the regular stream)
  • You can strengthen your application by providing proof of supplementary funds
  • Proof of fixed assets such as house or land (if any)
  • Proof of liquid assets such as savings, fixed deposits, policy investments, vehicle resale price, gold 

Documents to prove a relationship with the sponsor.

Parent: official Ids and your birth certificate or official id

Siblings: your birth certificate or official id and your sibling’s birth certificate or official id

Grandparents: your birth certificate or official Id your mother/father’s birth certificate or official ids and grandparents’ official Ids.

Aunt/uncle: your birth certificate, your mother/father birth certificate or id and your aunt/uncle birth certificate or official IDs

Cousins: your birth certificate, your mother/father birth certificate, cousin’s parent birth certificate, and cousin’s birth certificate or official id. 

Stepparents: provide your birth certificate and marriage certificate of your parents

In-laws: marriage certificate and additional identification documents of your in-laws

Documents needed for Canada Study Permit based on student application

You also have the opportunity of showing your proof of fund based on the type of application that you fill for the immigration officer. There are two types of stream that you can use in your application:

  1. Student Direct Stream
  2. Regular Stream

There are some differences between these two streams and they are included in the table below

Comparison SDS Regular Stream
Availability Only for 7 countries* Worldwide
Acceptance letter from DLI Required Required
Current location Outside of Canada Inside or outside of Canada
First-year tuition payment Must be paid Optional
Proof of financial support Required Required
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Required Optional
Processing time Usually 20 calendar days Varies by country.

Financial documents for General category

For general category or regular stream, you can provide any of these mentioned financial documents as proof of funds.

  • Proof of a Canadian bank account in your name
  • Proof of a student or education loan from a bank
  • Proof of Self-funding
  • Proof of GIC
  • Proof of Scholarship
  • Proof of Financial support from relatives
  • Proof of Financial support from non-relatives
  • Proof of Financial support from within Canada
  • Proof of First-year tuition fee

How many months of bank statements for a Canada student visa?

You will need four months bank statement when applying for Canada study permit, this  must be able to cover for both  submit proof of sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee and other living expenses. A four-month bank statement is often required. Provide any of the following: Original bank account statement, scholarship letters, loan approval letter, or loan capacity certificate.

Applying for express entry? See express entry proof of funds.