If you are reading this, there is a high probability that you have been offered admission by a Canadian post-secondary institution and therefore need to apply for a study permit to finalize the process. You may also be here if you are trying to garner information on immigration processes beforehand. Whatever the case is, it is very important that you know how to apply for the Canada Study Permit online since this is a very essential process to migrate to Canada as an international student.
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Who Needs a Canada Study Permit?
Having a study permit automatically means you are a student in Canada. Yet, not all Canadian international students need a study permit.
Students whose program lasts for six months (or less) do not need to apply for a study permit. They can simply apply for a visitor visa which permits them to remain in Canada for six months.
Students taking self-improvement programs and distant learning courses do not need a study permit to carry on with their program.
If they must visit Canada during their program, they will do so using other immigration means such as the Visitor Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
All other foreign students taking other kinds of programs in Canada need a study permit before they immigrate to the country.
If they are already in Canada before their programs but are not permanent residents, they still need a study permit. The only exceptions to this are:
- Minor children already residing in Canada
- Family and staff members of accredited foreign representatives
- Members of the Armed Forces of any country who are in Canada for the Visiting Forces Act
- Registered Indians
Requirements to apply for Canada Study Permit online?
- Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
- The DLI number of the school
- A valid passport
- A passport-sized digital photograph
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Letter of explanation
- Family information
- Evidence of work requirements in the study
Letter of Acceptance and DLI Number
Before you begin applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you must have applied to a Designated Learning Institution in Canada. This entails meeting all admission requirements of the school, whether academic or non-academic.
Students who have been offered full admission by the institution they apply to receive an official Letter of Acceptance in their mailbox. With an acceptance letter, the institution recognizes you to be its bonafide student.
You can obtain your school’s DLI Number from the school website.
Your passport should not just be valid as at the time you are applying for a study permit. We recommend that you have a passport that will remain valid all through your program duration.
This is because the validity time for your study permit cannot extend beyond the validity period of your passport.
Proof of Sufficient Funds
Proof of sufficient funds is a compulsory requirement to obtain a Canadian study permit. You don’t need to have this money in your personal account.
The immigration centre only wants to be sure that you or your sponsor(s) have enough to fund all of your expenses when you arrive in Canada.
You can therefore provide the bank statements of your parent(s), relatives, or other sponsors. If you are on a student loan, scholarship, or other kinds of funding, this can serve as your proof of sufficient funds.
Summary of the requirements to prove sufficient funds:
- You alone: CA$ 10,000
- You and your spouse or legal partner: CA$ 14,000
- You and a dependent child: CA$13,000
- Family of three: CA$17,000
In Canada, a dependent child is a child who is less than 22 years of age. A child may also be considered a dependent if he is above 22 but has a physical or mental condition.
To be on the safer side, you may want to ensure you or your sponsors have more than the stipulated amount in their bank accounts.
Letter of Explanation
Students get worried about what the IRCC expects from them in their letter of explanation. This isn’t quite hard. The letter is only a straight-to-the-point and genuine explanation of what you wish to do when you get to Canada. You are to explain why you chose to study in Canada and why you chose that particular field.
As a trick, you should always include that you intend to return to your country upon completion of your course. You can also include how you hope to make an impact in your country with the program you will take in Canada.
Evidence of Work Requirements in Study
This document is required for those who will apply for a work and study option. And these are usually students whose program includes a co-op or internship. Your acceptance letter which includes details on this can serve as evidence.
Step 1: Visit IRCC’s Website
- Select English or French as your preferred language on the site.
- In the menu options, select ‘Services and information’ and then ‘Study’. On the page that shows up, select ‘Study in Canada as an International Student’
- Scroll down and click on ‘Applying for a study permit’ and then ‘get a study permit’
Step 2: Get the Instructions
- On the page that comes next, select ‘How to apply’
- Select where you are applying from (‘inside Canada,’ ‘port of entry,’ or ‘outside Canada’) and select the online application option.
- The next page provides instructions on how you should apply for your study permit.
- Make sure you do not skip this process. Read the information provided as they have been tailored to your circumstances. The IRCC may reject your study permit application if you did not follow the instructions they give.
Step 3: Create an IRCC Account
- You need an IRCC account to perform any transaction with the IRCC
- Click on ‘create an account or sign in. Sign in if you already have an account or register one if you don’t.
- You can register your account using GC Key. This is quite simple and the instructions on how to go about it are already included on the site.
Step 4: Start the Application
- When you log in or create an account, you will be directed to your dashboard. Click on ‘apply to come to Canada’.
- Since this is a new application, you need to complete a personal reference code. This simply means the site tests your eligibility to apply for a study permit. Under the ‘I do not have a personal reference code section’, select ‘Visitor Visa, study and/or work permit’.
- This takes you to a form that you must fill in genuinely and correctly. Once you are done, the site immediately processes your eligibility to apply for a Canadian study permit.
Step 5: Complete the Application
- If you are eligible, the site will direct you to answer more questions. Fill the form and review it for errors.
- The next thing is to upload your documents
Step 6: Pay the Application Fee and Submit
- In about one week, you will receive an email informing you to provide your biometrics. There are verified centres for this everywhere and you can follow the guide given in the email.
- About two weeks later, you will be prompted to take a medical exam at the centre. If you get a mail requesting this, it is a sign that your application was rightly done and your permit will be granted if you are medically sound.
- Within two weeks to one month, you will get another mail that requests you to submit your passport. At this stage, you are very close to getting your permit!
If you follow this step-by-step guide, you should obtain your study permit without any unnecessary delay. Some schools request that you mail them a scanned copy (or proof) of your study permit before you resume. Others do not.
With your study permit, you have finalized all immigration processes expected of you as an international student in Canada. Congratulations, you may now board your choice flight to Canada!