Millions of students across the globe apply for Canadian Student Visa annually. Every year more than 4,00,000 Indians apply for Canadian Student Visa, which is proliferating annually.
Canada is amongst the premier destinations for students who wish to study abroad. One of the most crucial tasks to accomplish after gaining admission in a university in Canada, is to procure a study permit. However, there are many factors that you need to keep in mind before and while applying for a study permit. In this blog, we have discussed the documents required and the application process to obtain a Canada study permit.
What is a Canadian Student Visa?
A Canadian Student Visa is a study permit issued by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), allowing students globally to come and study full-time in Canada. It is valid for the study duration of your stay in Canada.
You don’t need a Canadian Study Permit if you have applied for a course or program for six months or less. However, if you wish to study full-time post-completion of a short-term course or program, you will need a Canadian Student Visa for that. You can renew your Canadian Student Visa from within Canada if you wish to continue your studies further.
A Canadian Student Visa allows full-time students registered at an accredited Higher Education Institute to work part-time on campus or off-campus as an intern, a co-op, or as part of your study program. However, you can stay in Canada as a permanent resident after you graduate and work full-time.
How to Apply for a Canadian Visa for Study?
Follow the below-mentioned steps to apply for the Canada student visa process.
- Check the processing times: Canada visa processing time is 6 weeks (this does not include the time required for biometrics). It is advisable to go through the Canadian consulate website to know the exact time taken to process the student visa and to track your application.
- Determine how you will apply: There are two ways to apply:
(a) Apply online: To apply online you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. You will still be required to provide a finger scan at the regional Visa Application Centre (VAC). Remember, in the case of Online Applications you need to visit the VFS offices to hand in your passports and would have to confirm form and fee payment as well. the steps would only vary in terms of documents you need to carry to the VAC.
(b) Apply on paper: Download the application kit and read the instruction guide. The instruction guide contains important information about study permits and instructions to help you complete your application. Read the guide carefully and use the document checklist.
Pay the processing fee: Note that when applying via the VFS, in person, or by mail, visa fees must be paid in addition to VFS Global service charges. The processing fee is non-refundable in all cases.
Submit your application and supporting documents: You have to visit the nearest VFS office. Once you are there, pay the service charges and hand them your complete application to obtain a receipt. This receipt contains your unique tracking number which you will need to track the progress of your application online.
In case your application is approved you will receive notification from the Government of Canada requesting your passport. You can submit the passport and passport request letter in person or through VFS. You would be provided with a Temporary Resident Visa and a Letter of Introduction.
Canada Student Visa Fees
- Canada student visa fees are CAD 150. Canada study visa fees in Indian Rupees is 9,317 as per the current exchange rate in July 2023. Since the exchange rate keeps changing, we would advise you to check the same at the time of your visa application.
- Post submission of your visa application, students need to submit a biometric fee of CAD 85. Candidates need to submit this fee in addition to the regular visa fee. After this, your biometrics will be taken at a Visa Application Centre.
Processing Time for the Canada Student Visa
Processing time is the time taken by the CIC for processing a visa application. It starts when the aspirant applies until the final decision day. Usually, the processing time for a Canada student visa is around 6 weeks. Aspirants (both online and paper) can view the status of their applications through their MyCIC accounts. Moreover, if students are applying through the SDS route, Canada student visa processing time after biometrics is 20 calendar days.
Documents are required for Canada Student Visa
You should apply for a student visa after you get the college acceptance letter. You should begin with the visa process around June if aiming at the September intake. The following are the documents needed to apply For Canada Student Visa.
- Valid Passport
You would need a Valid Passport to be able to apply for a Study Permit. As of the Canadian High Commission, you must have a passport whose validity covers the intended stay in Canada. For instance, if you plan to travel to Canada in September 2022 for a two-year course, your passport should be valid until at least September 2024.
- Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution
You would need the acceptance letter from the university/institute you are planning to attend. A Designated Learning Institute is a University that is recognized by the Immigration Department. In case you are applying for Quebec, you would also need a CAQ (Québec Acceptance Certificate). It is issued by the Quebec Government. Your university or college will provide you with the details of the CAQ application. However, if your studies are for less than 6 months, you do not require a CAQ.
- Proof of Funds
At the time of application for your Study Permit, you would have to show proof of funds. As per the present standards, you would have to prove that you would have enough funds to pay our tuition fees as well as take care of living expenses. Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least CAD 10,000 for every year of their stay. Apart from the above two, the student would also have to prove that he/she has enough funds for a return fair as well.
- Passport Size Photographs
If you have opted for an offline application, you would need two passport-sized photographs that conform to the given standards. For an online application, you must procure a digital copy of the photograph which should not be more than 4MB. Other requirements are standard neutral facial expression, plain background as well as no headgear (unless for religious purposes).
- Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
Canadian Immigration requires international students from India to undergo a compulsory Immigration Medical Examination from impaneled doctors. Students would have to book an appointment and visit the listed doctors for a medical examination, preferably a week before they start their Visa Application. This is to give the doctor enough time to validate and upload the necessary documents. Booking an appointment in advance with the nearest facility/ practitioner as per the list of impaneled doctors is always advised.
The panel physician will perform a complete medical exam and may refer you for chest X-rays and laboratory tests. Once your exam has been completed, the physician will send the results to CIC.
- English Language Proficiency Exam Score
Though not mandatory to have at the time of application, we strongly recommend that you appear for and get your English Language Proficiency Score before you start your Visa Application Process. As it is, you would have had to submit your English language proficiency score to confirm your admission to the Canadian University. TOEFL, IELTS, etc. are all acceptable.
- Statement of Purpose
This is also called a Letter of Explanation. When applying for a Canadian Study Permit, you would be required to submit an essay stating the purpose of your trip to Canada and your understanding of your responsibilities as a student. This would be prompted as an optional document in the checklist but we strongly recommend that you submit the same.