How to Get Canada student visa


Student visa For Canada

Planning to Study Abroad? Register Now & Get a Call from Us.

With Canada student visa rules getting stricter in countries like US, there is a surge in students opting for Canada as their study destination. A clearly shows how the number of students applying for Student Visa in Canada has been increasing for some years now.

Student visa for Canada

If you are also planning to study in Canada, two of your most common queries will be,

1. What are the Student Visa in Canada Requirements?

2. How to apply for a Student Visa in Canada?

While this Student Visa in Canada Guide contains each and every detail of all that is required to get it, we also wanted to ensure that it helps even those who have no idea about what a Student Visa in Canada is or who can apply for student visa in Canada. So we thought to start with the very basic and then go into further details. Unlike in the USA, there are no multiple types of Student Visa in Canada.

What is a Study Permit Canada?

A Canada student permit is a document issued by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for international students in Canada. To study in Canada, you will require a student permit, which serves as a student visa. The student permit is issued for the duration of the period student will need to complete the program. If your program is of six months or less, the student permit is not required. International student visa Canada is required to study for more than 6 months.

Check Properly Whether You Need A Student Visa Or Not

At Canada, there are some rules where the student doesn't need a visa for the study you should check those rules properly, and if you are in this category then you don't need to apply! If your family or any relatives member of the foreign representative in Canada, then you don't need a student visa.  Or if you are interested in a program which duration less than six months, then you don't need a permit. From the Visiting Forces Act, if you are a member of foreign armed forces, then you don't need a license.  But always remember, though you don't need a student visa, you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to visit Canada. 

Till What Time Can You Stay With Student Permit in Canada?

  • Your student permit will expire after 90 days of the completion of your program. As soon as you receive a transcript or an official letter suggesting that you have cleared your academic program, the student visa in Canada will remain valid only for 90 days after that.
  • If you want to expand your stay in Canada, you will have to maintain a valid status either in form of work permit, or a visitor’s visa to stay in Canada legally.

Therefore, there are two options to stay in Canada after you have completed your studies:

Best Courses to Study in Canada

Visitor’s Visa in Canada:

  • If you want to stay temporarily in Canada after you have completed your studies, you can apply for a Visitor Record. The application can be submitted either online or by paper. Once again, the application should be submitted within 90 days of the completion of your study program.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot apply for a post-graduation work permit once you have switched to the Visitor Record. Any new Student Visa in Canada application (or work) must be made from outside of Canada thereafter. For that, one can apply at Canadian Consulates in Los Angeles (for Student Visa in Canada), Canadian Consulate in New York (For work permit), or in a visa office that serves your country of citizenship (for both work and study permits).

Work Permit Canada:

After completion of your program, you can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. The duration of your Post-Graduation Work Permit cannot be longer than your studies in Canada.

Official length of your Program Work Permit Eligibility for Canada Study Visa
Less than 8 Months Not Eligible for Work Permit
Less than 2 Years but more than 8 Months Same length as the length of Program
2 Years or more 3 Years

Age Limit for Student Visa in Canada:

For Studying in Bachelor’s and Masters in Canada, the students should be at least 18 years of age. In most cases, the students who fall in the age group of 18 to 35 are eligible to apply for a student visa in Canada.

Study Gap for Student Visa in Canada:

A number of universities in Canada are lenient about the study gaps, considering one can justify it with related work experience or test preparation. However, when the competition is fierce for highly selective universities, there might be a problem with the study gap if there is no work experience to prove.

Canada Student Visa with Low Percentage

Excellent results and a high percentage is preferred more by the universities. The student has high chances of getting selected. But a student with a low percentage can also apply and fulfil their dreams to study in Canada.

  • Percentage required for Canada study visa depends on the percentage required by the Canadian university
  • The minimum percentage required is 60%,
  • Some Institutions may also accept 50%-55%, but the acceptance rate is very low.
  • A low percentage of marks can be ignored by the university if you score good bands in IELTS.
  • The eligibility criteria vary with the universities.
  • Writing a very strong Statement of Purpose can also get to admission to the university.

Once you get admission with a low percentage, you can apply for the student visa in Canada.

Where to Apply for Student Visa in Canada?

To apply for Canada visa for study, or any kind of application that is temporary resident type (visitor, study and Canada work visa) for Indian students, VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) Global is in charge of CVAC. CVAC stands for Canada Visa Application Centre. CVAC is an exclusive service provider for Government of Canada. It deals with collection of application, return passports in decision envelopes, and scheduling interviews on behalf of Canada Visa Office. You can fill out Canada visa Application on VFS Global’s official website.

You will need to go to the visa application centre for giving biometrics(fingerprints and photograph), as it is the compulsory CIC Canada student visa requirements. VFS Application fees for Indian Students: $CAN 150, roughly converted, that is 7890 INR. You can also contact the Canadian embassy for Student visa in your home country itself.

VFS Centres in India:

State / UT City CVAC Timings Passport Collection
Delhi New Delhi 08:00AM - 05:00PM 08:00AM - 04:00PM
Chandigarh Chandigarh 07:00AM - 05:00PM

08:30AM - 09:30AM

04:30PM - 05:30PM

Punjab Jalandhar 07:00AM - 05:00PM

08:00AM - 09:00AM,

05:00PM - 06:00PM

Tamil Nadu Chennai 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM
Karnataka Bengaluru 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM
AP / Telangana Hyderabad 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM
Maharashtra Mumbai 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM
Gujarat Ahmedabad 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM
West Bengal Kolkata 09:00AM - 05:00PM 02:00PM - 04:00PM

How to Apply for Study Permit Canada? – The Process

Now, Let’s dive into the Canada Student Visa Application Form and Process. Few things should be checked off your list before you start the process and some conditions that you must follow while applying for Study Permit in Canada. Moreover, there will be some necessary documents, funds and Medical testing required. Make sure you go through the list step-by-step over the whole application process, to apply Canada Student Visa, so you do not miss anything.

1. Before you Apply for a Study Permit Canada:

Before applying check the eligibility requirements for Canada student visa, you must have a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute. Provincial or territorial governments approve the schools to host international students, and these institutions are called DLI. You will have to provide your DLI number at the time of your application. A DLI number starts with an “O”. You are not required to have DLI # if applying for Primary or Secondary school. Primary and Secondary Schools are not included in the list as they are automatically designated.

You can find the list of Designated Learning Institutes on the official website of Canada Immigration and Citizenship.

2. Conditions that must be met before applying for Student Permit

Here are the conditions in the Canada student visa eligibility, to check whether you have fulfilled them before applying to get approval:

  • You should meet the requirements of study visa for Canada of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • You must have been accepted for an academic program in any school, college, universities in Canada
  • You should not have any criminal record, and should not be a risk to security of Canada. You might have to provide a police certificate.
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination if needed.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your expenses such as tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family member who come with you in Canada, and for return transportation to your home country including you and any family member who has come with you.

3. How to Apply for a Student Visa in Canada?

You can apply for Student Visa in Canada Online or On Paper. Here are the details

  • To apply for Canada study visa online, you need to create an account on the official Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website, under immigration tab. Make digital copies of your documents with the help of a camera and scanner, and you will also need a valid credit/debit card.
  • On-Paper application is done offline, and it will take a longer time to complete the full process of Canada student visa.

Student Direct Stream Canada:

Student Direct Stream, or abbreviated just as SDS, is a replacement of the older SPP program. While the SPP program was linked with college, the SDS is liked with the student directly. Scotia Bank backs the process, as it will be providing a GIC of 10000 CAD to deserving students for the first year living expenses of Canada. Only some of the listed countries are allowed to apply through SDS others have to apply through the regular stream for student visa Canada

IELTS requirement for Canada student visa

The most significant change in the admission process is the Canada study visa is IELTS requirements, that is an overall 6.5, with no less than 6 bands in each module. You cannot get Canada study visa with IELTS 5.5 as universities of Canada will not accept you and without offer letter, you cannot get a visa.

Canada Student visa without IELTS

If you want to study in Canada without IELTS, then you need to prove your admission into a university which has accepted you through enrollment letter. Without IELTS you cannot apply for Student visa in Canada with SDS. The application without IELTS would be considered non-SDS, and would be processed as a general application. Either way, there has to be some English language proficiency proof for a student visa in Canada. It is available to apply for the students of China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Student Visa in Canada processing time for your application keeps changing according to the country you are applying from, and it keeps updating weekly. As far as Student Visa Canada Process is concerned, you can check the latest processing time for Study Permit Application on the official website of Canada Immigration and Citizenship, under the “immigration” tab. The time for the Canada student visa process can be from 15 days to 1 month.

Explore Top Universities in Canada and Make you Study Abroad Dream Come True

Canada Student Visa Requirements

What Documents are Required for Student Visa in Canada?

The following documents are mentioned in the list of Canada study visa requirements

1. Letter of Acceptance:

A letter from the institute you have been accepted in.

2. Proof of Identity:

  • A Valid Passport, which must allow you to return to your home country.
  • Two recent Passport size photographs with Name and Date of Birth written on the back. The student Visa Canada Photo Size is 35 mm x 45 mm (1 3/8″ x 1 3/4″). The size of a person’s face from chin to crown should be between 31 mm (1 1/4″) and 36 mm (1 7/16″).

​3. Proof of fees payment:

Proof that the fees for the first year of study are paid. It is one of the important documents required for Canada student visa.

Proof that you have graduated from:

  • Canadian Curriculum High School OR
  • Have at least a score of 6.5 bands for IELTS OR
  • Have at least a score of 7 for Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (Test d’évaluation de français)=

4. Canada Student Visa Financial Requirements:

Financial evidence is required to prove that you have the capacity to sustain in Canada for your study period. Here are the financial documents required for Canada student visa:

  • If you have transferred money to Canada, proof of your Canadian Bank Account in your name.
  • GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) from Canadian Financial Institute
  • If someone is sponsoring the student, a sponsorship letter will be the mandatory required documents for study permit in Canada, Who can sponsor a student Visa in Canada? Student’s parents, relatives, friends and employers can sponsor the student.
  • Proof of Student / Education Loan for getting Student Visa for Canada
  • Bank Statement for the last four months
  • A draft that can be converted to Canadian Dollars
  • Proof of tuition and housing fees paid

Fund requirements for applying student visa in Canada

Here is the list of outside and inside Quebec study visa requirements of funds:

Person Coming to Canada Location Amount required per year additional to tuition Amount required per month additional to tuition
You (Student) Outside Quebec $10,000 $833
Inside Quebec $11,000 $917
First Family Member Outside Quebec $4,000 $333
Inside Quebec $5,100 $425
First Family Member (under 18 Years) Inside Quebec $3,800 $317
Every accompanying additional Family Member Outside Quebec $3,000 $255
Inside Quebec $5,125 $427
Every accompanying additional Family Member (Under 18 Years) Inside Quebec $1,903 $159

You need to submit the financial documents for Canada student visa to prove your sustainability in both the cases, inside Quebec region or outside of it.

5. Student Visa in Canada Medical Requirements:

If you have lived for six or more than six months in a row in any country or territory that is listed for medical examination on the CIC (Canada Immigration and Citizenship) website, or you have lived in the listed countries for six or more months in the year immediately before the date of your program, then the medical examination is required.

Your family member may need a medical examination, if the family member is going to stay in Canada for more than six months, the same rules of medical examination requirement apply to them, too. Medical examination requirements for a study permit in Canada should be fulfilled for the family member as well.

There are two ways to get a medical examination for immigration:

1. On the Instructions given after Submitting the Canada Student Permit Application:

  • You can wait for the instruction given to you after submitting the application. You must go for the medical exam within 30 days after that. If not, the application may be rejected.

2. Upfront Medical Exam

  • You can get your medical exam done before you submit your application. This is called the upfront exam. You can go to the panel physician listed on the Canadian Website under Immigration Tab, and choose a Panel Physician in your nearby location.
  • When Upfront medical results are submitted, you have an advantage that the application will be processed faster. However, it does not affect the outcome of the application. You must submit the proof for upfront examination with your application. Otherwise, study visa Canada process the process may be delayed.

​6. Letter of Explanation:

The letter of Explanation should convey your goals to the visa officer:

  • The reasons you have to Study in Canada
  • That you understand your responsibilities as a student.

7. Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ Canada):

  • To study in Quebec, you will need to have CAQ, and your institute can guide you through the process of acquiring it. It is to be fulfilled only under Quebec student visa requirements.
  • If you got approved but do not have CAQ, you can apply for Study Visa in Canada with approval of Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI)

8. Custodian Declaration Form Canada:

If a custodian is required for a minor in Canada, you should fill out a “Custodian Declaration Form”. It is a two-page form where the custodian signs on the first page, and parents or legal guardians sign on the second page. It is one of the compulsorily required documents for Canada study visa for the Custodian. With all these documents you can start your procedure to apply for Canada student visa online process. Be careful while submitting the documents, as a minor mistake can lead to rejection of the visa. Here are the different kinds of Canada student visa form for a different purpose.

Student Visa in Canada Application Forms

Once you have all the documents required for Canada study visa, you need to fill up the following forms.

Here are the Canada Study visa forms that are required for different purposes:

Canada Visa Forms
1. Application For Student Visa in Canada Made Outside of Canada IMM 1294
2. Family Information IMM 5645 or IMM 5707
3. Document Checklist IMM 5483
4. If Applicable, Statutory Declaration of Common law Union IMM 5409
5. If Applicable, Custodianship Declaration - Custodian for Minors Studying in Canada IMM 5646
6. If Applicable, Use of a Representative IMM 5476
7. If Applicable, Authority to release personal information to a designated individual IMM 5475

By filling the required form you can begin your procedure of Canada student visa.

Pay the Student Visa in Canada Fees

The student visa Canada cost is nominal. Here is the process to pay the fee:

  1. To pay the fees for your Study Permit in Canada, CIC website will be the medium. You need to go to the official CIC website and click on “My Application” under the Immigration Tab.
  2. On the next page, you will see the option “Pay Your Fees”. Click there.
  3. On the next page, in drop-down menus, select your country, Temporary residence and Student Visa in Canada respectively.
  4. Choose how you want to pay. You can pay online for both Online and On-Paper applications. There is also a third option to pay at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country.
  5. You can pay the fees with a valid Credit or Debit Card, and will receive a refund on the same in case of refund. Once the application procedure of study visa for Canada starts, the application fees are non-refundable.

You will get a receipt for the payment of your fees on your email account. Include that in your application if you are applying on paper.

Canada S1 visa

This Visa is for overseas students. It is a kind of Temporary Resident Visas which is abbreviated as TRVs. The TRVs are required for certain nationals who want to live in Canada for the short term purposes of studies. The application for TRVs can be done along with the application for the Canada education visa process.

Study in Canada after 12th

What To Do After You Apply

Provide your Fingerprints and Photos (Biometrics):

  • According to the Canada study visa new rules, online applicants, the process for biometrics will be sent to their account message box on the website.
  • For the applications that were made by e-mail, the process of when and how will be sent to their e-mail ID.

The Processing of Application:

If you qualify for the Student Direct Stream (SDS), the Canada student visa procedure takes place much faster. If you are not eligible for SDS program, then the application will get through a slower processing channel.

  • The Application is checked by Immigration department to see if you have all the necessary documents or not. If there a document is missing, the application will be returned without processing.
  • There might also be a need to: attend an interview with immigration officials of Canada in your county, or will be asked to send more information.
  • If you change your number, address, or any other contact information, the department should be informed and updated.

Once the Permit is Approved or Refused:

If Canada Student Visa Approved:

  • If you have been approved for a student permit, you will receive a POE letter from the department of IRCC. (Immigrations, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada that manages citizenship and immigration Canada), you will receive a Canada visitor visa (Temporary Resident Visa) to enter Canada.
  • A Port of Entry letter, abbreviated as POE is also called correspondent letter or Letter of Introduction.
  • This letter is not your study permit, you will have to show this letter to the officials at the port of entry when you reach Canada to get the study permit.

Canada Student Visa Rejection:

You will receive a letter explaining why the application was rejected, the reasons might include:

  • Not enough funds were shown by you that can support your expenses in Canada.
  • You did not clear the Medical Examination.
  • You failed to convince the visa officer the reasons for you choosing Canada to study.
  • You failed to convince the visa officer that you would leave Canada after completion of your study.

You can contact the visa office that sent you your Canada Study Permit refusal letter if you have any queries regarding your rejection.

What are the conditions for a Study Visa in Canada?

There are few Canada study visa rules, which you need to follow. The first condition one has to follow when you hold a study permit is to remain enrolled in a DLI. Failing to do that, or not maintaining timely progress towards the completion of the study program you have chosen. The DLI you have enrolled in will send your academic enrolment report continuously to the immigration department.

Additionally, an officer can impose, change or cancel the conditions on the Study Permit, which may include:

  • The study program you have chosen.
  • The institution you are going to attend.
  • The location of your study.
  • Time and Duration of the studies.
  • Schedule and place of your medical examination.
  • Schedule and place of reporting for your presentation of evidence of compliance for applicable conditions.
  • Prohibition on Employment Engagement.
  • The period of your stay in Canada. 

To know about the temporary new rules for Canada study visa 2020, go through this: Canada Announced Major Changes to Help International Students

Is it Possible to Work and Study in Canada for International Students?

Can you work on a Student Visa in Canada?

  • As of June 2014, Students do not require a separate student working visa in Canada for off-campus or on-campus work in Canada.
  • While studying, a student can study and work in Canada for 20 hours a week during the ongoing academic session, and can work full time during the breaks. Additionally, they do not have to wait for six months, as it was the case before. They can start working as soon as they reach Canada and have a student permit. Work While Studying is one of the many benefits of Student visa in Canada.

Here are the new rules for international students in Canada: Canada Introduces New Measures on PGWP Eligibility for Students Studying Online

Student visa to permanent resident Canada

International students studying in Canada can apply for Canadian permanent resident status during stuyding in the country or after completing their studies. They should meet the eligibility criteria of the Canadian immigration program under which they apply. Students who have the highest rankings in the Express Entry system are invited to apply for PR (permanent residency)

If you are not among the selected candidates to immigrate to Canada, you may want to apply for a PGWP (post-graduation work permit) after you have completed your studies in Canada. This will give you the right to stay in Canada and work legally. In several cases, doing job in certain occupations can build your chances of getting a successful immigration application.

Study Permit Canada Extension

On the top right corner of your permit, the expiry date of your permit is given. The length of your study is decided by,

  1. Your Program + 90 extra days
  2. If you were conditionally accepted, Pre-requisite Course + 90 days
  3. If your passport expires before the completion of study, then passport minus 30 days.

The extra 90 days gives you time to extend your permit or to prepare to leave Canada.

When to Extend Student Visa in Canada?

  • You need to extend your study permit before 30 days of the expiry date. If you apply before the date of expiry, you can stay in Canada under the same status until you get the decision.
  • You need to extend your study permit if you plan to travel outside the country, and the expiry dates fall while you will be travelling.
  • If your studies are completed before the date written on the permit, the permit will expire 90 days after you have finished your program, regardless of the date written. Therefore, if you want to keep studying further, you should apply for an extension before 30 days of expiration.
  • If your program takes a longer amount of time than you expected, you should apply to extend the study permit before 30 days of expiration.
  • If your study permit expires and you have not applied to extend it, you will be asked to leave Canada.

How to Extend Student Visa in Canada:

First, make sure the program you have applied is on the DLI (Designated Learning Institutes) list.

  1. You can apply online in Canada Immigration and Citizenship website by creating an account for the restoration of your study permit.
  2. You can apply offline (IMM 5553) for your student permit restoration on paper, too. For that, the local visa office instruction changes from country to country. Check on CIC for Canada Student Visa details

Important Tip: The international student should check on the official website for Canada student visa new rules as these keep changing.

What To Do if Your Student Visa in Canada Expires?

If the expiry date of your study permit has passed before you applied for an extension or a work permit/visitor’s visa, then you have lost your status. In some cases, the permit can be restored. You will have to apply online or offline (IMM 5553) for restoration. You can convert a visitor visa to student visa in Canada only if you are in the country. Here is how to renew student in Canada:

Student Visa Renewal Canada

  • You should submit a restoration application within 90 days of losing your status.
  • You should meet all the Student Visa in Canada- requirements for international students.
  • You should meet all the conditions listed in your permit.
  • If a family member has lost the status, each must apply, and pay restoration fees to get the permit restored.

On your application for restoration, clearly explain how you lost your status. You can stay in Canada during the time restoration application is under process. However, you cannot study since you have lost your status.

Restoration  Cost
Restoration Charges: $CAD 200
Student Visa in Canada: $CAD 150

Minor student visa Canada

  • A minor international student who wants to study for six months or more in Canada must apply for a study visa. This rule is for minor children who come with their parents who have a study or work permit approved overseas.
  • A minor international student does not need a study visa for a program of six months or less, but you should still check from the official website.
  • If the minor is coming to Canada with parents who have a valid study or work permit, they don’t need to provide a letter of acceptance from a school during application for a study permit.

Student Visa in Canada after 10th

For the students who want to start early, there are private and public schools in Canada where students can apply to study in Canada after 10th. The students will move on to a college or a university once they finish their schooling till 12th grade. Since the students will be under 18 years of age, some schools would ask for a guardian to accompany them, though it is not mandatory. Other than that, the requirements for the Student Visa in Canada after 10th are the same.

Canada study visa requirements after 12th

For pursuing undergraduate courses in Canada, you will need certain documents for Canada student visa after 12th once you receive your offer letter. The financial requirement may be changed accordingly but other than this the requirements for the Canada study visa after 12th are the same as mentioned above.

Canada study visa after graduation

International Students, after completing their graduation in Canada, also plans to work there. For this, they require a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) which allows them to obtain Canadian work experience after their studies. Many international students going to Canada for study end up working there or settling up permanently.

  • The Post-Graduation work permit is offered for a maximum of 3 years,
  • The duration of the PGWP depends on the duration of the study course.
  • Getting a Permanent Resident (PR) visa in Canada after completing your education is also an easy process in Canada.

The same requirements as mentioned above is required in the Canada study visa requirements after graduation.

In which cases do you not need a study permit to study in Canada

In some exceptional cases, you will not be required to apply for Study Permit Canada. Some of them are:

Short-Term Courses in Canada:

If your program is of less than six-months and you are not part of any other program longer than that, and you will complete all your studies in the time that is defined for short-term program then you do not need a study permit.

Foreign Representatives in Canada:

If you are a family member or staff member of Foreign Representative to Canada, which is accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), you might not need to have a student permit.

Foreign Armed Forces:

You will not be required a student permit, if you are a member of foreign armed forces on official duties in Canada.

Status Indian Canada:

Registered Indians, also known as Status Indians from another country, are eligible to study in Canada without student permit.


Canada is one of the best study destinations for international students to study and pave their careers to a bright future. The first step to that would be applying for the Study Permit and starting your journey there. The process of Canada study visa may look like an intimidating process, but once you understand it thoroughly, it is not complex at all. We Hope this Study Permit guide helps you in doing that. You can get information about intakes here: Intakes in Canada.


Browse By Countries

Where do you want to study abroad?