Canadian student visa: have your questions answered

Learn how to study legally in the country

Canadian student visa is a specific type of international visa that allows access to a very high quality education system. Therefore, that is why Canada is chosen by thousands of international students annually. 

In addition, the country also offers great opportunities and a wide range of cultural aspects. Research, scientific publications and international collaborations are three areas in which Canadian educational institutions focus on.

But how difficult is it to get a Canadian student visa? 

This answer plays a crucial role when choosing where you want to study and that is precisely why we are going to show you the main steps to get your Canadian student visa. Check them out:

1 – Choose an educational institution and get your acceptance letter

If you are still unsure of where you want to study in Canada, you will need to make a decision before starting the student visa application process. 

After being accepted at a Canadian university, you will receive a letter of acceptance, which is required for a visa application.

Consider some of Canada’s top universities:

  • Brock University
  • Seneca College
  • University of Regina
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Mount Allison University

2 – Check if you need to apply for a Canadian student visa

You don’t need a Canadian student visa if one of the following applies to you:

  • You are a relative or a staff member of a foreign representative in Canada, accredited by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development;
  • You have signed up for a study program that lasts less than six months;
  • You are a member of foreign armed forces under the Visiting Forces Act. 

Even if any of the above situations apply to you, please be aware that you will still need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

3 – Start your visa application

Once you receive your acceptance letter from the university, it is time to follow the next step: applying for a student visa, known locally as a student permit.

The main steps to get your visa are:

  • Apply online for your Canadian student visa on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before arriving in the country;
  • In countries with limited internet access, it is also possible to apply for a visa using paper forms;
  • Provide a letter of acceptance from an educational institution (a university recognized by the Canadian government, for example);
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources to pay for your studies in Canada (tuition fees, housing expenses, among others);
  • Do not have a criminal record;
  • Submit medical records stating you are in good health condition and complete medical examinations if necessary.

According to recent visa regulations, if you have a family member working or applying for a work permit in Canada, your application for a study permit will be processed within two weeks. 

You can renew or extend your permission if you want to continue your studies, if your program has an extension or if you change schools.

The permission expires 90 days after you finish your studies, when you receive a course completion notification. 

You can still stay in Canada to travel, explore or apply for a work permit, allowing you to have a part-time job or even work on your own.

4 – Get all the paperwork ready

To facilitate your Canadian student visa application, have the following documents ready:

  • Completed student permit application form;
  • Original acceptance letter from the university;
  • A passport or other valid travel document, which also allows you to return to your country of origin – if you are a United States citizen, this is not necessary;
  • Two recent passport size photographs (3x4cm) with name and date of birth specified on the back;
  • Proof of financial support during your study program. This means you must provide evidence that you have between 10,000 and 11,000 Canadian dollars a year to live in the country;
  • A letter of intent;
  • If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a certified translation from Quebec, English and French, for your document, as well as a statement from the translator and a certified copy of the original documents;
  • Proof that you have paid the study permit fee (150 Canadian dollars).

5 – Language requirements for a Canadian student visa

Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require you to provide proof of English language proficiency. Accepted proficiency tests are:

  • IELTS
  • Cambridge English: Advanced
  • TOEFL

Proof of your language skills is not included in the list of documents required for a Canadian student visa. 

However, it is a good idea to have some proof of English skills, just in case.

6 – Biometrics and interview

Depending on the requirements of your home country, you may need to attend a visa application office in your country to provide your biometric data. 

The biometric data fee is 85 Canadian dollars. This fee is in addition to the regular visa application fee. Some countries are exempt from this step, so it is always important to check.

After applying for your Canada study permit, your visa processing time can take up to 90 days, but it usually takes less. It also depends on the situation in your country of origin.

Depending on your individual status, you may also be asked to attend an interview. Local visa application centers will charge an extra fee for using their services.

Get ready to obtain your Canadian student visa

Now that you are familiar with all visa application procedures, you have probably realized that visa application steps require you to submit documents translated correctly.

In these cases, your best option is to rely on a competent translation agency, a leading agency in the segment, such as Fidelity. 

Pay close attention to the application steps, enjoy your stay in the country and have a nice trip.

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